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Lisbon Summit: NATO Proclaims Itself Global Military Force

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Lisbon Summit: NATO Proclaims Itself Global Military Force
Rick Rozoff

The recently concluded North Atlantic Treaty Organization Treaty summit in Portugal gave Washington everything it demanded from its 27 NATO allies, at least 20 NATO partners providing troops for the war in Afghanistan, the European Union and Russia.

The U.S.-controlled North Atlantic Alliance endorsed without reservations and even without deliberations American plans to include all of Europe in the Pentagon's and its Missile Defense Agency's worldwide interceptor missile system. The summit's declaration states: "NATO will maintain an appropriate mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defence forces. Missile defence will become an integral part of our overall defence posture." [1]

In adopting its new Strategic Concept it also authorized an analogous continent-wide cyber warfare operation to work in conjunction with - and for all practical purposes under the direction of - the Pentagon's new U.S. Cyber Command.

It reaffirmed the bloc's Article 5 commitment to render collective military assistance to any member state under supposed attack and stretched the concept of attack to include non-military categories like computer, energy and terrorist threats. The Strategic Concept "reconfirms the bond between our nations to defend one another against attack, including against new threats to the safety of our citizens." [2]

"NATO members will always assist each other against attack, in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. That commitment remains firm and binding. NATO will deter and defend against any threat of aggression, and against emerging security challenges where they threaten the fundamental security of individual Allies or the Alliance as a whole."

While there are no conventional military threats - and no nuclear ones as well - which is to say no military dangers at all confronting NATO's North American and European members, other - contrived - concerns will serve as the basis for the activation of Article 5. They include attacks on or threats to computer networks:

"Cyber attacks...can reach a threshold that threatens national and Euro-Atlantic prosperity, security and stability," NATO claims, so its members are obligated to "develop further [the] ability to prevent, detect, defend against and recover from cyber-attacks, including by using the NATO planning process to enhance and coordinate national cyber-defence capabilities, bringing all NATO bodies under centralized cyber protection...."

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European "dependence" on Russian oil and natural gas and control of strategic sea routes and shipping lanes:

"Some NATO countries will become more dependent on foreign energy suppliers and in some cases, on foreign energy supply and distribution networks for their energy needs. As a larger share of world consumption is transported across the globe, energy supplies are increasingly exposed to disruption."

And several other issues not even remotely related to military matters [3]:

"Key environmental and resource constraints, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity and increasing energy needs will further shape the future security environment in areas of concern to NATO and have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations."

NATO also reiterated its commitment to maintaining American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, with the Strategic Concept stating, "as long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear Alliance."

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And the Alliance went along with the White House and Pentagon shift from an earlier pledge to "draw down" U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan next year to what Washington has of late referred to as "provisional" and "aspirational" plans for a "transitional" strategy that could see Western military forces still in theater in the Asian nation 15 or more years after they first arrived. The Lisbon Summit Declaration states: "Transition will be conditions-based, not calendar-driven, and will not equate to withdrawal of ISAF-troops." 

There is no nation or group of nations offering NATO any serious challenge, none posing a threat to the world's only military bloc, and hardly any even standing in the way of its global expansion. "However, no one should doubt NATO's resolve if the security of any of its members were to be threatened....Deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy....As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance."

"The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies."

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/

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