Nato Expansion


Petras

 

The admission of three former members
of the Eastern bloc into NATO was described by President
Clinton as "a very great day not only for Europe and the
United States, not simply for NATO but indeed for the cause
of freedom in the aftermath of the Cold War." Behind the
euphoric rhetoric of the NATO leaders and their supporters in
the mass media (El Pais in Spain, The New York
Times
in the U.S.) there is power politics, economic
profits, and hegemonic domination.

Washington’s rejection of
France’s attempt to increase European influence in the
command structure of NATO was a prelude to Clinton dictating
the terms for new members of NATO: the three new members
(Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic) are U.S. clients;
the rejected candidates (Romania and Slovenia) are French and
German clients. The real meaning of the "expansion of
NATO" is the extension of U.S. hegemony to
Central-Eastern Europe. With the U.S. in command that means
military bases and deep penetration of the military and
security systems of those countries.

Secondly, through U.S. domination of
NATO, the new members will be pushed to accelerate the
"free market reforms" and increase the
opportunities for Western multinational corporations. NATO
military forces will back the regimes administrating these
"unpopular measures"—strengthening the
repressive arm of the state.

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office
predicts total cost of NATO enlargement at about $125 billion
over 13 years with Washington paying only $19 billion. That
means Eastern and Western Europe will have to pay 85 percent
of the cost, or $106 billion. At a time of large-scale
unemployment and cuts in social budgets in East and West
Europe this is likely to lower living standards and provoke
greater social unrest. The new members of NATO in East Europe
will have to increase their military spending to be on the
same footing with their Western partners. U.S. arms
manufacturers are the biggest supporters of NATO expansion
and will be the principle economic beneficiaries. The
president of the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO, Bruce
Jackson, is also the director of Lockheed Martin Corporation,
the world’s best weapons maker. Entering NATO means
buying U.S. weapons. The potential market for fighter jets
alone is $10 billion. Hungary will increase its military
spending by 35 percent, Poland 20 percent, and the Czech
Republic by similar percentages.

By shifting from one power bloc (Warsaw
Pact) to another (NATO), the Eastern European countries will
deepen their clientele relations—a process of
re-satellization. Vaclav Havel, Gyula Horn, and Aleksander
Kwasniewski, the rulers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and
Poland, have undermined the independence of their countries
with the hypocrisy and cant reminiscent of the previous
Soviet clients.

The expansion of NATO almost to the
border of Russia means that U.S. missiles will be only
seconds from their major cities. The military forces are a
major security threat to Russian internal and external
policy. NATO encirclement means that Russian policy will be
pressured to conform to Washington’s dictates. The
enlargement of U.S. hegemony opens the door to the de facto
extension of U.S. influence in the Ukraine and Baltic
Republics, through the existing client regimes. It is likely
that the increased NATO threat will sooner or later lead to
the further subordination of Russia to the West (under
Yeltsin) or his replacement (and the elaboration of a new
Russian defense policy capable of countering NATO’s
advance). Washington can now count on the votes of its new
Eastern client members in deepening Western Europe’s
subordination to its dictates. The inclusion of the three new
members is as much directed at neutralizing West Europe
within NATO as it is in increasing U.S. encirclement of
Russia.

The growth of U.S. power has been
significantly aided by Spanish politicians. Javier Solano has
played an active role in implementing Washington’s
policy in Bosnia. U.S. policy makers hailed Aznar’s
decision to do what France would not and join the NATO
military structure. Thus U.S. hegemony within NATO has been
strengthened at the expense of Europe thanks to Spanish and
Eastern European servility. That is the real meaning of the
"enlargement of NATO." And let’s not forget
the billion dollar military contracts going to U.S. arms
merchants.

In the future, given the increase in
military expenditures and decline in social programs, the
NATO armed forces may be very busy, not fighting external
enemies, but the rebellious domestic population defending
their living standards, resisting foreign military
encroachments on their democratic freedom and political
independence.