Political scientist, Aleksandr Vedrussov, on the new architecture of global security in a multipolar world.
The United States House of Representatives has passed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Support Act with 357 votes for the motion to just 22 votes against. This act “rejects any efforts by the President to withdraw from the alliance” [according to the press release announcing the legislation]. In taking this step, the House has confirmed leaked information regarding the seriousness of Donald Trump’s intentions to remove the burden of North Atlantic solidarity from the shoulders of the American people. Here, we are not just talking about a purely economic burden for the U.S. Nor is it about the reluctance (incapability) of their allies within the organization to achieve the figures for military expenses that were proposed by the president. Even those members of NATO, which are spending 2 percent of their budget and more on military needs (Poland, the Baltic countries), potentially represent a great headache for the U.S.
The whole problem lies in infamous Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which provides that a military attack on one or more NATO member states in Europe or North America is to be treated as an attack on the alliance as a whole. Considering the revelations which followed NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg’s speech in 2015, in which he said that even so-called hybrid attacks against its members would lead to triggering Article 5, the risk of deliberate or unintentional provocation from the most Russophobic NATO member states has risen to an unacceptably high level.
Not one American politician will dare to speak openly about this threat, which is certainly not Russian, but anti-Russian, and could lead to a global nuclear conflict. Not even Trump. However, the pro-presidential channel “Fox News” has explained his position quite clearly: it is forbidden to even hypothetically admit the possibility of dragging the U.S. into a direct nuclear conflict with Russia because of some Latvian or Estonian error. It is absolutely unacceptable that, in a democratic state, there exists a taboo around the discussion of important geopolitical issues. And further to that, that the Washington globalist establishment is openly threatening the president, who dared to question the desirability of the country’s NATO membership, with invoking the 25th Amendment, which provides for the head of state’s removal from office.
Unfortunately, as the aforementioned congressional vote showed, the fundamentalist-sectarian thinking of the witnesses of the Cold War, for whom the North Atlantic Alliance is not a vestige, but an indispensable tool for preserving Washington’s global dominance, still prevails in the U.S. It also doesn’t matter that the organization was created “with the aim of protecting Europe from Soviet influence,” which hasn’t been a factor in either the aggravation or relaxation of international tension for almost three decades, if only because the Soviet Union, due to the fact that it has ended, can no longer threaten anybody.
Once the Soviet Union disappeared from the world map, Russia repeatedly declared its desire to establish a non-confrontational relationship with NATO. Although no official documents expressing this desire to become a full member of the alliance were sent to Brussels, for a long time this was not considered pure fantasy.
However, on April 1, 2014, the case of our potential membership in the alliance was closed once and for all at the Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the organization’s member states. It was then decided to end military cooperation with Moscow as a result of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Today, talks with Brussels can only concern the restoration of relations to the minimum acceptable and nonthreatening level of global security. This organization, which has outlived its time, is no longer of use to us.
Moreover, as if to help Trump, the Europeans themselves have practically begun a gradual process of dismantling the stale North Atlantic Alliance from their side of the Atlantic. Following President Emmanuel Macron’s recent grand declarations regarding the need to create a pan-European army which would be independent from the U.S., France and the Federal Republic of Germany are moving from rhetoric to action. In the past few days, these key members of the European Union have signed a new bilateral cooperation agreement. This agreement includes the field of defense. “Our duty with Germany is to make Europe a shield to protect our peoples from the world’s changes,” Macron said. Even to the naked ear, it’s possible to hear a unique response to Trump in the French president’s words. The U.S. is casting off the European burden; the Europeans are casting off the American yoke.
Moscow is quite satisfied with this development of events. The main thing is that the creation of this new European military organization was not directed against Russia. Sooner or later, an understanding of the following essential fact must prevail on the continent: any format which guarantees collective security without Russia, let alone one that is directed against Russia, will hardly prove viable in terms of an effective response to the general challenges and threats of the modern world.