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NATO: It's Lost its Meaning, Sense of Purpose; Will it Survive?

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The European members of NATO have now arrived at a crucial crossroads. This once respected organization's original meaning and purpose have now been subverted. Many signs now point to the fact that it can no longer continue on the misguided militaristic course it has been following in recent years; and that, as a result, its demise may be inevitable.

The turning point for NATO arrived when this North Atlantic Treaty Organization was transformed from its primary role of protecting European nations from outside threats to becoming the chief subsidiary of the U.S. military. Thereafter, NATO obediently did the bidding of the U.S. government by dutifully assisting its military in one highly questionable, or completely unjustified war, after another.

Perhaps these North Atlantic nations are having second thoughts about following the U.S. into Central Asia and the war in Afghanistan. The leaders of these North Atlantic nations may well realize that this organization made a crucial mistake when it involved itself in the Middle East and directly participated in the dismemberment of the nation of Iraq. Are these nations feeling good about having taken part in the massive bombing of Libya that devastated that country and its people and set off an ongoing civil war?

These European nations are coming to the realization that remaining in Afghanistan is becoming more dangerous with each passing day. NATO troops of many nations are coming under greater attacks and experiencing increased deaths at the hands of Afghan security forces and police that they, themselves, have trained. That is an ominous sign that they can fully expect this situation to become very bloody indeed as the majority of these troops prepare for withdrawal in the next two years.

These attacks will only serve to convince the European nations to remove their troops at an accelerated rate. The French troops will all be out by the end of 2012, most of Canadian troops are already gone and New Zealand will follow soon. They have had enough and they want no more. They and others are finally awakening to the complete futility of the situation after over a decade of allowing themselves to remain a part of this misguided war and occupation.

Additionally there are two other very pertinent reasons why NATO's days are numbered and why it may, before long, cease to exist, at least as currently constituted.

First, the actions of these European nations as they join with the U.S. to try to confront and contain Russia could very well backfire on them because they, collectively, depend upon Russia for 40% of their oil and natural gas supplies; and this dependence will only increase going into the future. How in the world can you engage in threatening actions against the very nation upon which you are becoming more and more dependent for vital resources? It looks like these European nations are painting themselves into a corner from which extraction might be impossible.

Russia is not the least bid pleaded over NATO's ongoing agenda intended to interfere with its own foreign policy objectives and if it gets to a point where it feels overly threatened, then it will not hesitate to curtail or even completely shut off these shipments of critical resources to Europe, thereby causing massive financial damage to its economies.

Russia is not only a major supplier of oil and gas for these Euro countries, it has also bought oil refineries in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and even Sicily. So by establishing a presence within these countries it is indicating that it intends to further increase this dependency. As the availability and cost of these critical resources becomes more problematic in the future, can you just imagine the power that Russia could hold over these countries?

Now to Iran which also has an advantage over certain European countries by their dependence on its oil. Iran, under normal circumstances, transports some 500,000 barrels of oil to Europe every day, primarily to Italy, Spain and Greece, three of the countries within the Eurozone that are having very serious financial problems.

That supply chain has now been interrupted since these EU nations, once again submitting to the dictates of the U.S., are exercising sanctions against Iran that prevent them from importing its oil. When EU nations that are experiencing severe economic difficulties exercise oil sanctions against Iran they are also greatly harming themselves. And if Iran, as its government has threatened, permanently cuts off oil shipments to these nations, then it will suffer a significant permanent loss of revenues.

So these nations, instead of benefiting from mutual trade, both end up as losers. But who are the winners? The winners are the U.S. and Israel, that Middle East agitator, which instituted these sanctions in order to hurt Iran financially and prevent it from supposedly developing a nuclear weapons capability. By blindly continuing to follow the dictates and demands of the U.S. these EU nations are proving that they are still not strong enough to break the chains of submission and subservience that have tied them down for decades.

They should have learned this important lesson by now but, so far, they haven't; you can't keep on using military threats and sanctions against the very nations that supply you with essential resources needed to drive your economies. Why continue to antagonize and make them your enemies when you know full well that they have the ability to interrupt the flow of necessary resources to you any time they wish? That's like cutting your own throat, but that's exactly what these European nations are doing.

If NATO had remained true to its charter as a defensive organization and had not allowed itself to become transformed into an offensive force reaching into regions across the world, it would probably not be facing its approaching, almost inevitable demise. Looking back, leaders of these nations may rue the day that they ever allowed themselves to be used as pawns and lackeys in a misguided quest for world domination.

France , Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Greece are also a part of the Eurozone, that economic union of European nations that is experiencing severe, ongoing financial problems.   These nations with massive deficit problems will find it very difficult to justify their continued funding of, and involvement with, NATO under these dire circumstances.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
 
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It would seem that the best option for NATO w... by michael payne on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 1:02:10 PM