A NATO summit approaches that brings Donald Trump to Europe and then on to these [British] shores, and brings the usual clamour for more of the taxpayers’ money to be given to arms manufacturers.
Yet NATO is a demonstrably useless institution.
It’s largest ever active military deployment, for 12 years in Afghanistan, resulted in military defeat throughout 80% of the country, the installation of a pocket regime whose scrip does not run further than you can throw the scrip, and a vast outflow of heroin to finance the criminal underworld throughout NATO countries.
Look at this chart closely, and marvel at the fact that the NATO occupation began in early 2002.
In invading Afghanistan and boosting the heroin warlords, NATO countries destabilised themselves.
NATO’s second biggest military operation ever was the attack on Libya, where NATO carried out an incredible 14,200 bombing sorties using high explosive munitions and devastated Libya’s infrastructure and entire cities. Here is Sirte after NATO “liberation”.
The direct result of the devastation of Libya and destruction of its government infrastructure has been the massive untrammelled exodus of migrants, especially from West Africa, through Libya and across the Mediterranean on boats. This has not only led to the appalling exploitation and tragic death of many migrants, it has fundamentally weakened the governments and indeed governing public ethos of European NATO member states and led to a right wing populist surge throughout much of the EU.
In short, in destroying Libya, NATO members destabilised themselves.
The direct result of NATO’s destruction of Libya.
Now NATO is focusing once more on the original “threat” it was supposed to combat, a Russian invasion of Western Europe.
Russia has absolutely no intention of invading Western Europe. The very notion is ludicrous. It does not require NATO to deter a threat that does not exist.
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia alone have a combined GNP as big as Russia. On a purchasing power parity basis, if you add in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania those Eastern states still match Russia economically. On a PPP basis, the combined GDP of all NATO states is 12 times that of Russia.
Russia does have disproportionate military power for its size – but not that much. Russia’s defence spending is one sixth that of NATO defence spending, though it is slightly more efficient because, despite corruption, less of Russia’s defence spending goes into the pockets of arms company shareholders, lobbyists, politicians and other fatcats than happens in the West. But that cannot outweigh Russia’s massive economic disadvantage. Nothing can. Russia is very well placed to defend itself, but in no position to attack major powers.
Russia’s foreign policy successes – in Crimea, Syria and Georgia – have been based not on massive military strength – the NATO powers far outweigh Russia there – but simply...