Machiavelli wrote that you cannot make deals with those who are stronger than you. This is hardly a truth that modern politicians do not realize. Against this background, the concept of transatlantic partnership looks highly questionable. And even less so, it does not bring any significant benefit to European states.
It is worth mentioning here that we are not talking about NATO. Unfortunately, this organization has long lost its function as a typical political instrument. We will talk more about the military effectiveness of the alliance. Now we should pay attention to the economic efficiency. In the end, it is this organization that determines the existence of NATO.
To date, no country in the world sells as much weapons as the United States does. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Washington has increased its sales by 23% in the past five years. Of course, most of the armaments are sent to the Middle East. However, European countries also do not miss an opportunity to support the American military industry. This is especially true for the Baltic States and Eastern Europe. And it is not that Russia is nearby. This factor is just an excuse. How does it work?
At first, politicians and the media start to inflame the situation by talking about the Russian threat. This is followed by allegations that only the US can help deter the aggressor. And against the background of this media noise, another agreement is signed on the supply of weapons or the construction of a military base. As an example, the recent statement by Lithuanian President Gitas Nauseda is worth mentioning.
“Without the support of the US and other NATO allies, we could not have effectively contained the Russian threat. Our geographic location and geopolitical position require us to use our resources as effectively as possible. It is important for NATO forces in Lithuania to be as prepared as possible, to be constantly trained, to participate in exercises together with the Lithuanian Armed Forces and to be rapidly strengthened if necessary”, – the President said.
Only a logical question arises: how can the effectiveness of deterrence be assessed if there is no threat? If we return to 1944, it is safe to say that the landing of the Allies in Normandy significantly accelerated the completion of World War II. The situation is very different now. Yes, Russia is not attacking. But the U.S.’s merits here are greatly exaggerated. The Russian threat is nothing more than a publicity move by the American military industrial complex. It’s the same case where a problem is artificially created, and then a solution is proposed. A standard marketing move in an era of mass consumption. But this method Washington uses not only on Europeans.
In 2020, the U.S. defense budget is almost 40% of the world. And American politicians explain this fact with the same threat – Russian and Chinese. Only this time we are talking about the money of ordinary Americans, who are also at the disposal of military corporations.
Now let us return to the defense effectiveness of such cooperation. Back in 2019, the US administration allocated $6.5 billion to protect NATO’s eastern flank. Thus, American taxpayers financed the deployment of military equipment and soldiers in Europe, as well as the construction of 37 missile defense complexes “Aegis Ashore”. The installation of these systems in Romania and Poland causes serious dissatisfaction of Russia because of their striking potential. It is true that the corporations behind the production of such systems and missiles are indifferent to the escalation of tensions. In particular, the well-known Raytheon launches serial production of SM-3 Block IIA missiles. They will be placed just in Eastern Europe, which again caused a negative reaction from Moscow.
“The upcoming tests of the newest modification of the SM-3 Block IIA anti-missile on target, the equivalent of an intercontinental ballistic missile, are woven into this canvas. A handful of States have such missiles at their disposal. Accordingly, the only possible conclusion is that the U.S. is beginning to test its system to directly counter us, to build capacity that could begin to devalue Russian nuclear deterrence”, – said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
One can guess that Russia will not stand idle. But then the question arises: is the US really ready to protect its allies, or are Congress and the White House only serving the interests of the American arms industry? It would be better never to find ourselves in a situation where we have to know the answer, because it is obvious. When Donald Trump demands that NATO member states provide money for defense, all he demands is money. They’ll go to buy American weapons, but not for defense. At the crucial moment, all this will become meaningless, because NATO has no unity, and the “junior” nations will sacrifice rather than spend resources on them.
Turkey has become a sad example of how NATO is afraid to fight with Russia. For Washington, the situation in Syria was an excellent chance for rapprochement with Ankara. But it was chosen to be ignored. The U.S. even refused to provide its ally with Patriot air defense systems, as one misfired missile could have turned into a direct clash with Russia.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.