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Washington ensures Cold War comeback: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2022-03-27 19:52
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US President Joe Biden and France's President Emmanuel Macron attend a North Atlantic Council meeting during a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Thursday's summit of the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization member countries highlighted the Cold War mentality that has hijacked reason in the West.

In what was described as "an extraordinary NATO summit in an extraordinary security situation" amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, NATO leaders condemned Russia, pledged more support to Ukraine and vowed to strengthen their long-term "defense posture" on Thursday.

With such an outcome, the only thing that was extraordinary about the summit was the degree to which the European allies' desire for security autonomy has been throttled.

Needless to say, it is the United States that has turned out to be the biggest, if not the only, beneficiary from the conflict in Ukraine.

Both the NATO summit and other two summits US President Joe Biden had with European leaders last week failed to give credence to the possibility of a negotiated settlement to the crisis.

And no wonder, given the gains the US is reaping. By encouraging Ukraine to become its "pawn" against Russia, the US has dragged it into the quagmire of war, with the aim of making the country a "drain" on Russia's national strength for a long time.

To ramp up the pressure NATO has been exerting on Russia, four new NATO battle groups are to be formed in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, to supplement the four already established in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

At the same time, the US is staking the opportunity to sell arms to European countries. Germany, for instance, has already announced it will buy 35 US-made F-35A fighter jets.

And, of course, the military assistance promoted by the US is not an unconditional "gift", there are political strings attached in the form of US leadership in European security affairs. In this way, Washington can shape the objectives of the European security process to its liking.

With the US breathing fresh life into NATO, it is clear that the Cold War military confrontation thinking of the last century will gain even more traction in the West.

Although NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, "We have a responsibility to ensure that the war does not escalate beyond Ukraine", as "this would cause even more death and even more destruction", it is clear that only applies to the US and its allies. Other countries should beware getting sucked into their geopolitical games, lest they should be viewed as useful like Ukraine.

They should take heed that while it is the US playing the role of a ringmaster in the conflict, it is European countries, Ukraine in particular, that are picking up the tab.

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