THE statement of Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a presser during a summit of the alliance in Madrid has apparently validated the assertions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin about the group’s intention. This is what, after all, started the special military operation that Russia made in Ukraine.
Stoltenberg’s statement that Nato has been preparing to face off Russia since 2014 now raises the possibility of an expansion of the war that is now just concentrated in Ukraine. “We actually prepared for this possibility,” Stoltenberg said during that press conference, an indication that the alliance did not suddenly wake up on February 24 and realized that Russia is dangerous.
Nato has long ago prepared for this eventuality, it is apparent now. And, with the deployment of more troops within the alliance, the prospect of an extended and expanded war is on the horizon, especially with the upcoming entry of Finland and Sweden, countries that the alliance invited to be members thereof. And now the prospects are dire with the beating of the drums of war.
It is noteworthy to take into account here the statement of Russian leader Vladimir Putin regarding the possible entry of Finland and Sweden. He said that the two countries “should know that they did not face any threats before but, if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed in their territory now, we will have to take mirror-like actions and create the same threats for them that are created for us.”
It would seem that the primary object of Nato is to squarely blame Russia for its supposed expansionism when the truth of the matter is that it is the alliance that has been expanding its presence even near the very heart of Russia, a key takeaway in the Ukraine crisis that has now engulfed the world.
For Nato, Russia is an aggressor, and that is what the West is harping on. And yet what do we have here? In 1999, Nato accepted Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland into its ranks. In 2004, it took in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia. And then in 2017 Montenegro, and two years ago, North Macedonia. And now there is the looming entry of Finland and Sweden.
Thus, one cannot but assume that Nato has been the aggressor all along, not Russia as the former tries to extend its influence far and wide. For US military veteran Scott Ritter, the prospects of the war even extending to the Pacific are not far off. In analyzing the Madrid summit of Nato, Ritter said that Nato radically redefined its mission and intoned a new mantra that, in summary, says “keep the Russians down, the Americans in, and the Chinese out.” It is an aggressive—even hostile—stance based on maintaining Western, that is, American, supremacy, according to Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War.
Ritter added that “this mission is to be accomplished through the promulgation and defense of a so-called “rules-based international order” that exists only in the minds of its creators, who in this case are the United States and its allies in Europe. The newly adopted mission also represents a radical break with previous practice, which has always attempted to define Nato on the four pillars of its transatlantic raison d’être, now intending to extend the Alliance’s sphere of influence into the Pacific region.”
Stoltenberg’s assertion that Nato has been preparing for the eventuality that is Ukraine brings to mind the statement attributed to the first Secretary General of Nato, Lord Ismay, that the alliance’s job was to “keep the Russians out, the Germans down, and the Americans in.” For Ritter, Nato served as a bulwark against physical Soviet expansion from the beachhead it established in Eastern Europe at the end of World War II.
Ritter made a chilling remark about this. For him, “the guard dog has apparently been retrained as a fighting dog.” Now let us await Mr. Stoltenberg’s reaction.