Letter: NATO needs to be abolished, not discussed
Letter submitted to The DePaulia, newspaper of DePaul University in Chicago
This survey course on NATO ignores the Alliance’s salient characteristic: That it is not only the world’s sole military bloc, one which from 1999-2012 waged unprovoked wars in three continents (Southeastern Europe, South Asia and North Africa), but the largest multinational war machine in history.
The observation that the NATO “website noted that according to the original treaty, an attack on one NATO country is an attack on everyone” is a reference to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, the basis for 150,000 troops from 50 nations serving under the military bloc’s command in Afghanistan – the largest invasion force in that nation’s history – and the largest number of troop-contributing countries in any war ever, certainly in one nation. The Afghan campaign is also the longest war in the history of the U.S.
In addition, Article 5 is the basis of NATO continuing its comprehensive naval surveillance and interdiction operation, Active Endeavor, throughout the Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Suez Canal, currently in its eleventh year and with no indication of ending.
If at the time of its founding in 1949 NATO’s chief purpose was to “combat the Soviet Union,” then please explain how it is that eight years after the fragmentation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the bloc began a ten-year expansion that saw it increase membership by 75 percent, from 16 to 28 members in 2009.
Or what justification it employed to build military partnerships with another 40 nations throughout Europe, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, East Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa.
NATO is a historically unparalleled threat to world peace, not least because of its centrality in realizing the Ronald Reagan administration’s plan for a potential first-strike global missile shield.
It needs to be abolished, not discussed as though it were a beneficent and innocuous security agreement.