JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP WALK AWAY FROM NATO? WHY IT WILL NOT HAPPEN EVEN IF HE HAS THE AUTHORITY WHICH IS NOT CLEAR – NATO’S CHANGED PURPOSES SERVE AMERICAN INTERESTS SO WHY SHOULDN’T IT PAY? – THE HOPE EUROPE WILL SEEK NEW DIRECTIONS AFTER BEING BULLDOZED BY IGNORAMUS TRUMP

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENTWATCH

 

“Trump Puts Merkel on Notice, Threatens to Pull Out of NATO”

 

There has been no real need for NATO, when judged in terms of its founding purpose, for many years.

It was created out fear that the USSR’s massive Red Army would roll over Europe. Well, neither the USSR nor the Red Army has existed for decades, and Russia is a place keen to get on with business and new development.

But with the fading to irrelevance of its original purpose, the US has developed new ones for NATO, largely reflecting its own new needs.

One is just as a mechanism for peacefully occupying one of its greatest potential competitors and manipulating its policies. America does a lot of manipulation towards its own interests in Europe.

This purpose very much includes preventing that long-held fear of an economic marriage between Europe and Russia, something that one glance at a map will tell you is a “natural.” Napoleon certainly thought so. As did Hitler. As well as other German historical figures, such as the Kaiser of WWI. There is in fact a long history of Germans, many specialist and technical people, working and living in Russia. Resources, industry, and markets make powerful incentives.

America wants to prevent this from happening, and it likely feels it is already somewhat underway with arrangements such as Russian natural gas sales, which it wants to prevent. A crude and awkward man like Trump insists on using language to express his opposition which makes him sound as though he thinks the date is 1957.

Two is to sell arms to NATO members, a huge captive market, the US being far and away the world’s greatest arms dealer. And, as America’s newest weapons are horrendously complex and expensive, as the F-35, expecting all NATO members to place orders effectively has Europe subsidizing the Pentagon.

NATO provides America many reasons to be used in support of these demands, such interchangeability of parts and entire machines among member states with volume production runs supposedly lowering costs, not that you’d ever notice with something like the F-35.

And three is the use of NATO as a kind of geopolitical fig leaf. It provides a way for American imperial wars to appear as though they reflect international interests, which they largely do not.

NATO members each send token forces to places like Afghanistan to keep America happy. The news headlines, instead of reading “American bombing,” read “NATO bombing.”

It diffuses responsibility and gives a sense of greater international legitimacy.

After all, the US now avoids the UN as much as it can (when it isn’t actually actively trying to dismantle it), the very place where some international legitimacy would come from.

And that isn’t just because the US hates the UN, which just happens to represent the other 95% of humanity.

It is because the US has so many wars now, all of them with very little point except in America’s own estimation, that it would be impossible to have the UN legitimize many of them. The UN did turn them down at the beginning of the Iraq War, a totally illegitimate, criminal enterprise., the first big step in the coming Neocon War rampage across the Middle East.

NATO wasn’t ready for that one, but Britain’s pathetic Tony Blair, thinking he would be part of a great historical achievement, was practically on his hands and knees to join the murderous enterprise. America took what it could get and started the bombing, its favorite international activity over the last couple of decades.

NATO – and an expanded NATO flush with grateful small new member states who all look forward to increased entrée with American officials and would never dream of contradicting them – provides a kind of ersatz (and purchased) international support. These smaller, relatively unimportant states much resemble some ugly girls asked out on a date by some “hunk,” and they act accordingly, as the US very much counted on them doing.

In most cases, it costs the major European countries comparatively little to keep the great angry bully happy. They each sent numbers of troops to Afghanistan previously on the order of hundreds to a few thousand with many or most not even in combat roles.

Were Afghanistan what America always claimed it to be, a serious threat to the world, I think the Europeans would have acted much differently. Their level of support eloquently said what they really thought.

For all of these reasons, it is unlikely the US would walk from NATO. It is largely a set of American purposes being served, so why would America end it and why shouldn’t America pay for it?

Telling the Europeans, they must now pay a great more is just a kind of extortion racket, and Trump is just the kind of lowlife to see whether he can get away with it.

Except for a few countries with very unusual backgrounds – rather pathetic places such as Latvia or Poland – I don’t think any of NATO’s significant members regard Russia today as a threat to anything, but they are unwilling to say so openly in view of the long past American relationship and the fear of offending the US, which really is capable of taking some serious economic or financial reprisals.

The US is even toying now with yet another self-serving purpose for NATO. Colombia has become an “Alliance Official Partner” a new kind of designation with new American purposes behind it. In this case, a threat right on the border of a Venezuela America hates, the potential threat of “international” intervention into a country the CIA has been working hard to destabilize for years and one Trump has now openly mused about invading.

This is stretching NATO’s purpose about as thinly as it can be stretched from the organization founded to protect Western Europe from Soviet aggression.

For all these reasons, no, Trump is not going to leave NATO. And it is not even clear, under America’s system of divided government, he would have that authority if he wanted to. NATO is a tool of the new American hyper-aggression being used to reclaim international dominance, and I think the Europeans understand that well enough to call his bluff. They are not going to start handing over all that money.

But maybe Trump’s increased pressure – conducted with no diplomacy, rudely and in public – is just the thing to move the Europeans in new directions. I sure hope so.

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