What the 'NATO 2022 Strategic Concept' really means
Updated 10:39, 02-Jul-2022
Keith Lamb
Heads of State and Government take part in a meeting of The North Atlantic Council during the NATO summit at the IFEMA Convention Center in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022. /CFP

Heads of State and Government take part in a meeting of The North Atlantic Council during the NATO summit at the IFEMA Convention Center in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Keith Lamb is a University of Oxford graduate with a Master of Science in Contemporary Chinese Studies. His primary research interests are China's international relations and "socialism with Chinese characteristics." The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The "NATO 2022 Strategic Concept" document published in coordination with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Madrid meeting details 49 key principles. With its language of "shared democratic values," "peace and security," "human rights," "tackling terrorism," and "transatlantic bonds," a casual reader might regard the document as benign.

Nonetheless to understand the intent of this NATO document, its polite diplomatic language must be linked with NATO's hard material reality. Despite the high-minded rhetoric of the actor, which is NATO, we can't ignore that this same actor carries a "big stick" that has been used for actions above and beyond the protection of NATO member states.

The document mentions the "transatlantic bond" between the U.S. and Europe a number of times. This transatlantic bond represents the geographical core of the neoliberal elite who have merged together from former Western colonial powers. Their power projection, based on naval power, has followed a strategy of keeping the inlands of the world repressed and divided.

Thus under this strategy, Russia, which has been designated as NATO's immediate threat, unless in Yeltsin-like shambles, can't be anything other but an enemy. One could point to Ukraine and say "Russia is a real threat" but this isn't the view of insider Colonel Jacques Baud who worked on NATO projects in Ukraine.

Baud details how according to NATO member states intelligence Russia was not arming Ukraine's breakaway regions. Instead, weapons came from Russian-speaking Ukrainian armed forces as they had revolted against Kyiv. He goes on to detail how, due to desertions, corruption, and low morale, NATO in conjunction with Kyiv armed right-wing militias who were stepping up their bombings against civilians in Eastern Ukraine that combined with the threat of NATO's Eastern push, pulled the trigger for Russia's Ukraine actions.

The use of NATO for the disruption of Eurasian development and security isn't just transatlantic, with South Korea and Japan, it's increasingly trans-pacific too. Should Japan join NATO, then this would represent a shared military union of all the old imperial powers under the leadership of the U.S. For South Korea and Japan, they would lose more of their autonomy and become stooges to preventing the rise of East Asia, which they profit handsomely from.

With BRICS countries looking towards deeper financial integration, infrastructure development, technological cooperation, and an open trading order, the tide of world history is in favor of the forces of the Global South. Both Western Europe as well as Japan and Korea by furthering NATO's expansion will end up supporting the forces, which seek to maintain technological hegemony and separate economic blocs.

This world of separate blocs stands as integral to the NATO ethos. "Interoperability" is one of the core features of its strategic concept. NATO members, who are required to allocate 2 percent of their budgets towards military expenditures, must buy into interoperable NATO weapons. Accordingly, Western Europe and especially the U.S. happen to be the major suppliers of these weapons.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a press conference on the last day of the NATO Summit at the IFEMA Convention Center, in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022. /CFP

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a press conference on the last day of the NATO Summit at the IFEMA Convention Center, in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022. /CFP

As such, NATO is a major force in the neo-imperial war economy where instability, threats, and war mean profits. As reported by the "Peace and Neutrality Alliance," this nexus is evident in figures like Bruce Jackson, who in 1996 was the Vice President for Strategy and Planning at Lockheed Martin while simultaneously working on NATO projects, which pushed Central European states to join NATO and to purchase U.S. weapons.

This pursuance of profits over concerns for peace and human rights goes beyond just immediate weapons sales. While NATO played its part in the plundering of Iraq's resources, even more obvious was its role in the 2011 destruction of Libya which the Western media was only too happy to call an "intervention."

The fact is under the guise of human rights and democracy NATO acted to steal Libya's resources and protect Western hegemony. Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi had built the most prosperous African state. However, his plans to create an African Dinar backed by Libyan gold challenged both the U.S. dollar and the Central African Franc, issued by France. As reported by the Cosmos Chronicle Hillary Clinton's personal emails linked NATO's actions to this cause.

The failure of Libya led to open slave markets and the destabilization of European societies which were flooded with migrants. With chaos terrorism flourished, ISIL and Al-Qaeda sprang up in Libya. Already with neo-Nazi shootings in the U.S. and New Zealand, there looms the real threat that the same forces NATO has been supporting in Ukraine work to inspire white-power terrorism in the West.

Considering this, one has to wonder how serious NATO's strategic concept of tackling terrorism really is? It would seem if anything that terrorism is merely a strategic tool for maintaining power. Evidencing this is U.S. funding of Uygur separatist movements which it previously bombed in Afghanistan. Furthermore, Turkey's acquisition of Finish and Swedish NATO membership must have come about after they complied with Turkey's demands for them to crackdown on Turkish separatists.

The fact is democracy when it comes to NATO isn't about real international democracy and non-sovereign interference. Rather, it is about using "big stick politics" and the imposition of a "democracy" conceived outside of the sovereign state which works for the protection of monopolies against global integration and global peace.

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