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The dangers NATO names and makes



Editor's note: Radhika Desai, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is a professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba in Canada. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated in his pre-ministerial press conference on the eve of the NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels on November 28 and 29, that the almost 75-year-old organization faces "the most dangerous world in decades."

However, little that the military alliance does seem designed to diminish those dangers. Instead, by holding out the hope of prevailing in these conflicts, most of which it has been instrumental in causing in carefully selected theaters outside itself, it is exacerbating them.

There is, upper-most on the world's mind, the six-week-old Israel-Hamas conflict. While U.S. officials routinely invoke the danger that it will spiral out of control into a Middle Eastern war and even a World War III, rather than damping it down, the U.S. and NATO seem hell-bent on stoking it further. They back Israel militarily, financially, and diplomatically (with NATO members routinely vetoing or abstaining from numerous UN Resolutions calling for even a pause in the conflict) so one-sidedly that NATO governments face veritable revolts, not only on the streets but in its own ranks and those of the normally loyal national media.

The U.S. and NATO's hopes of victory against Middle East countries are vain and hubristic. This is already clear from their failure to win the war in Ukraine. With defeat all but announced, the search for scapegoats is already on in Kyiv. If, after 20 months of war, billions in aid and armaments, boomeranging sanctions and unrelenting propaganda the war could not be won, the addition of new wars can hardly bring victory closer.

Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg sits during an interview with AFP at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 27, 2023. /CFP
Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg sits during an interview with AFP at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 27, 2023. /CFP

Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg sits during an interview with AFP at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 27, 2023. /CFP

Finally, Stoltenberg referred to "growing global competition," a code word for the aggression towards China into which the U.S. is trying to dragoon its NATO allies. It has, in recent years, entailed the revitalization of the Quad of Japan, Australia, India and the U.S., the launching of the AUKUS alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. and the shift from "Asia Pacific" to "Indo-Pacific" to designate the U.S. concerns and commitments beyond its western sphere with India positioned as a key U.S. and Western ally in the region.

It has also entailed unprecedented explicit mention of Asian objectives in NATO communiques since the Madrid Summit in 2022, and the attendance of leaders and ministers of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand as regular guests at NATO meetings and summits.

However, this strategy is far from assured. Quite simply, China's winning, development- and growth-based diplomacy continues to engage all these countries and even NATO members with considerable success. While enervated and financialized Western economies offer only subjection, political and financial, China's vibrant economy, productive and technological dynamism and benign international offer exert an economic gravity that leaves no country untouched.

There are many reasons why NATO is being too hubristic and vain: It is too used to being the top dog, too many of its governments have invested too much into these wars and potential wars and it needs achievements to celebrate next July, not failures. But, as became clear in U.S. President Joe Biden's speech a few days ago, when he once again delusionally called his country the "indispensable nation," he wishes to fight the next election as a war president and then some: with wars on two and possibly three fronts.

Given his abysmal ratings, that is the thin thread on his victory hangs.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com. Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.)

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