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Alliance has become Frankenstein's monster

By Martin Sieff | China Daily | Updated: 2024-07-08 07:05
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The flag of NATO. [Photo/Agencies]

The NATO Summit to be held in Washington from July 9 to 11 will without doubt be yet another exercise in US and Western bluster and triumphalism, as well as empty posturing in what in reality has been for at least 23 years a multipolar world.

Even more than the previous gatherings of the venerable and dangerously resurgent transatlantic military alliance, the summit in Washington will be an exercise in nostalgia, unsuccessful time travel and wish fulfillment. Being held in Washington following the 75th anniversary of the 1949 Washington Treaty that led to the establishment of NATO, the summit is aimed at celebrating that event.

However, far from being a cautious defense alliance, as the original gathering of 12 states was presented back then, NATO in the 21st century has transformed into an unwieldy blustering, aggressive would-be giant now comprising 32 member states.

No longer does NATO simply seek to preserve the security and independence of a handful of countries across North America and Western Europe from an ideologically hostile Soviet bloc. Instead, it now projects aggressive military power directly and through its proxy regimes across Asia and Eastern Europe.

The alliance continues to arm Ukraine to the teeth and urge the highly undemocratic, irresponsible and repressive regime in Kyiv to continue conflict with Russia, in what Moscow now views as an existential struggle for survival.

In Asia, NATO supported a continued catastrophic and humiliatingly unsuccessful US attempt at nation-building in Afghanistan for 20 years before the whirlwind Taliban victory in August 2021.

Today, NATO supports the aggressive, irresponsible and entirely unjustifiable AUKUS trilateral security partnership of Australia, which has far too small a population base to indulge in such geopolitical adventurism; the United Kingdom, whose days of "Asian Empire" were dead and buried before NATO was even born; and the United States.

In reality, NATO was always a frightening thermonuclear gamble. In the 1961 Berlin Crisis and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, NATO put cities and countries in Western Europe directly into the crosshair of nuclear annihilation in the alarmingly dangerous standoff between then US president John F. Kennedy and Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev that put the survival of the human race at risk.

Today, the situation is even worse. Far from even aspiring to be a limited European regional pillar of global stability and peace, NATO has transformed into a running-amok giant, careening out of control. It has supported devastating wars which have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, wrecking previously stable, peaceful countries such as Syria, Libya, Serbia and now Ukraine while indulging in insane and entirely unjustified fantasies of global power projection.

Far from increasing global and regional security as it endlessly, repetitively and obsessively claims, NATO, through its expansion in the 21st century, has greatly undermined those vital goals. In particular, under the reckless and blinkered leadership of current Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg from Norway, NATO has become arguably the main factor driving the US-led West's confrontation with Russia and risking the indescribable horror of a thermonuclear world war.

This is no mere rhetoric. The danger is imminent and real.

In January, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists confirmed the setting of its Doomsday Clock at only 90 seconds to midnight: Midnight signifying the outbreak of a thermonuclear war.

Indeed, respected experts such as Edward Lozansky, president of the American University in Moscow and a friend and colleague of the late Andrei Sakharov, and US historian Peter Kuznick of the American University in Washington have publicly warned that the clock should in reality be reset to only 30 or even 10 seconds before midnight.

That's how great a risk is NATO's continued commitment to Ukraine in a conflict designed not for the good or national security of the Ukrainian people but just to bleed Russia dry of the lifeblood of its own soldiers.

It is likely that this awful conflict will lead to a direct clash of US and NATO troops with the Russian military, which could go nuclear.

NATO in reality is far weaker than the SCO in all direct military comparisons. Apart from the already weakened, debt-burdened and militarily wildly overstretched US, the only significant land military power NATO has is medium-sized Turkiye. The SCO, in contrast, can boast of four major thermonuclear military powers all of which have formidable land armies — China, Russia, India and Iran. Turkiye itself, as I have noted, now appears happier associating with the SCO than with NATO.

NATO is even in a strategic and diplomatic shambles: The world has seen how its performance in dealing with internal member divisions and external intervention has undermined its cohesion and effectiveness and caused doubts on its legitimacy and morality in the international community.

A new generation of obsessive, micromanaging US diplomats led by former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and the late Madeleine Albright and led most recently by just departed assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Victoria Nuland continues to be fussily obsessed with imposing their fantasies of human rights, democracy, free markets and even traffic regulations on the innumerable postage-stamp-sized fragments of the Balkans, while despising and insulting and seeking to destabilize the great global powers Russia and China. Such criminal stupidity and irresponsibility defy belief.

After 75 years, this is what NATO has sunk to. It has become a Frankenstein's monster — out of control and pulling the oblivious Western world into an unnecessary and easily avoidable global war that can only lead to the destruction of Western civilization.

NATO became toxic a long time ago. It needs to be wound up and the infection and madness it has spread cauterized right away. The future of humanity depends upon this.


The author is a senior fellow at the American University in Moscow.

The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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