sábado, 31 de dezembro de 2011

A WORLD PROBLEM NAMED NATO                                        


1- NATO, an essential device of the western capitalist domination  in the world
2 – A historical approach of the NATO
          From its foundation to 1991
          After 1991
3 – Specific current involvements of the NATO
          “Active Endeavour” operation
          Proliferation of nuclear weapons
          Recent developments
4 - Huge expenditure on defence and war
     The NATO misdeeds for a small country – Portugal
5 - The armed forces and militarism
6 - The struggle against the NATO

1 – The NATO, an essential device of the western capitalist domination in the world

The evolution of the western strategic military apparatus – and the NATO in particular – tries to meet the necessities of capitalism aiming to control the markets and resources, namely energetic, in this phase of neo-liberal globalization whose relevance is so paramount so as to disregard the geographically limited acting frames.

This apparatus is the only one endowed and capable of an intervention on a world scale. In its search for hegemony, in each concrete action, it tries to summon to its entourage countries not integrated in the Pentagon’s military led structure. This domination effort requires a persistent work of juridical construction, of persuasion or political threat, of purchase of influences and propaganda, adapted to the specific territory or framework as the case may be. Thus, a complex network of dependences is woven, together with spheres which interact, juxtapose or complement themselves, so that the majority of real situations is attained and controlled within at least one of those spheres of domination.

In the centre of this mechanism is the Pentagon, name which popularly designates the USA Defence Department, unmatched structure of the American administration in liaison with other reputed institutions, such as the CIA or the NSA. Of all departments, the Pentagon is the one allowed the major slice of the American budget. For the fiscal year which has just started (September), the Pentagon budget amounts to $ 663 700M (including $ 130 000M for Afghanistan and Iraq), which corresponds to over 40% of the world defence expenditure.

At the peak of the Cold War, the USA tried to encircle the former USSR in hostile military alliances in what was then a strategy set up by the state secretary George Kennan. Besides the NATO, other organizations emerged such as the CENTO (extinguished in 1979, with the Iranian revolution), the SEATO (extinguished in 1977, soon after the American defeat in Vietnam) the ANZUS, the NORAD and still the OAS-Organization of the American States - for the control of the Latin-American yard.

These days, the western military strategic apparatus is developed in various political, juridical and military dimensions, with various involvement levels of the integrated countries:

·         Its hard core is constituted by the USA armed forces themselves which, outside their borders, hold 823 military bases, of which 287 in Germany, 130 in Japan and 106 in South Korea, according to Manolis Arkoladis, of the ILPS – International League of People’s Struggle (2), in a multilateral or bilateral context;

·         The NATO represents the main multilateral military organ on a world scale. The recent inclusion of the majority of the central and eastern European countries augmented its territorial and political relevance. Without having, nonetheless, dropped its initial characteristic of opposition to the USSR, (transferred to Russia), the NATO has enlarged its field of action to Central and Southern Asia, as well as to the Indian Ocean;

·         On another level, there is the UNO, whose possibilities of intervention present various advantages. Not being a military organization, the UNO can be particularly useful to the western strategic military apparatus when intervening in secondary missions such as the aftermath of conflicts or missions which, in some way, can be considered as having a humanitarian character, thus serving to occupy the field and maintain or re-establish some kind of order. On the other hand, it allows the use of soldiers other than those belonging to the NATO countries, where the latter’s presence can work as an object of live resistances in areas of former European colonization. While integrating almost the whole of the world countries, the UNO may symbolically represent the neutrality which the western institutions do not possess, taking, nonetheless, into account all the decisions in what military operations are concerned, and which must go through a process of approval by a directory named Security Council and the non veto of its permanent members. In specific cases, the UNO has debased the delegation on the field of its action, in the NATO (Kosovo); for the simple fact that the western powers would very improbably admit the presence of African, Asian or Muslim UN Peacekeeping forces in Europe.

·         Within the logic of creating ties with other non integrated countries in the western strategic military apparatus, in specific areas and situations, the NATO created, in 1994, the so-called Partnership for Peace, which, in 1997, became known as Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, aiming at military cooperation and assistance. This partnership gathers almost all the NATO countries together with Russia and Europe’s neutral countries. Within this framework, cooperation institutions between the NATO and Ukraine, which possess troops stationed in Kosovo and Afghanistan under the NATO command, and between the NATO and Russia which acted likewise in the naval mission in the Somali seas.

·         In 1995, the NATO created the Mediterranean Dialogue in order to contribute to the regional security and stability, including all Northern African countries, except for Libya, but including Jordan and Israel. One should take into account that these pompous designations intend, generally speaking, to disguise the effective imperialist crave for hegemony and domination in the regions where it is applicable;

·         In 2001, the creation of the “Active Endeavour” operation to patrol the Mediterranean Sea is the way the Americans found to take the New York attacks to their best advantage, not liable to be refused by the other countries, some of them almost compelled to take action against the ever exaggerated global terrorist threat and others, making use of the situation to deal with their specific problems as they judge convenient (Russia-Chechnya).

Similarly to what goes on at an internal level in each country, where a great integration between the action of the armed forces and the several police forces can be observed. Within the peoples’ bio-political control framework, the established multilateral institutions also supply a non-exclusively military acting frame, therefore, within the designation “struggle against terrorism”, activities in the civil administration, organization of elections, struggle against criminality, maritime surveillance, drug traffic or illegal immigration are carried out.

2- A historical approach of the NATO

In an approach of the NATO, it is not always possible or even convenient to forget the other dices of the western domination apparatus in the world, since the use of each of them is variable and articulated as each case may be.

Due to the military means it may congregate, to the economic and technological power of its members as well as to its direct or indirect territorial reach, the NATO is a central device of the western geo-strategic domination apparatus in the world. It is articulated in a flexible way at the military level, having the Pentagon and the American armed forces as its main sustaining pillar. However, the USA armed forces – by themselves – possess the capacity to intervene military in nearly the whole world, namely where the NATO has proved to have been unable to do it.

As a matter of fact, all the western military apparatus has the Pentagon at the top. The power as well as the autonomy it possesses in the context of the American government empowers it, for instance, with the capacity to make the defence secretary, Robert Gates, move from the Bush to the Obama administration. Possibly considered as less reliable than his predecessor, Gates was imposed as a guaranty of continuity without much trouble.

From its foundation to 1991

From its creation in 1949, the NATO has never contributed to solve any of the peoples’ problems; it has just added some more where there are already plenty of them.

During its first years up to the dismantlement of the Warsaw Pact (its creation in 1955 having been subsequent to the NATO), the NATO was only able to expand itself when Spain joined in, in 1977, in what was a Felipe Gonzalez’s PSOE initiative, wishing to reinforce its European integration within the imperial apparatus led by the USA. That liaison to the NATO follows the settlement of American military bases in Spain, allowed by Franco, in need as he was of international acceptance for his regime, at the end of World War two, within a bilateral framework and with the most anti-communist feeling, common to both the American administrations and the Spanish fascism.

The NATO was not much interested in the political regimes of its members, with democracy or lack of it, the fate of their peoples was no concern, the most important factor being the acceptance of the American military dominance. Therefore, it was not the NATO that excluded Spain, waiting patiently for Franco to step out, but rather Franco’s dictatorship that has placed itself out since the Spanish dictator wished to maintain some distance vis-à-vis the USA, suspicious as he was of the “American way of life”, very little adequate to his catholic conservatism. The same feelings were shared by the Portuguese dictator Salazar, in spite of having been forced to join the American apparatus due to the importance of the Azores Islands during World War two, and later, as refilling scale between the two sides of the Atlantic, in case an east-west conflict should arise. It is still useful to recall that the NATO also helped and came to coexist in good terms with the Greek colonels and with the Turkish military regimes, both of them of an authoritarian and fascist character.

Until the end of the so-called Cold War, the NATO was the principal cover for various strategic objectives of the western countries as a whole and of the USA, particularly in what the USSR and the other Warsaw Pact countries were concerned:

·         Politically, to promote a climate of permanent insecurity and threat as regarded the Soviet military power and the real capacities and intentions of the USSR concerning Western Europe.

·         Internally, of that international climate of tension, repressive attitudes came out together with the discredit and discrimination regarding the left-wing and workers’ parties and movements, thus all of them suffering from the anathema of being at the service of the “international communism”. In Italy, in the 70’s and 80’s decades, taking into account the dimension of the unionist and political demands, the NATO troops joined the Italian right-wing, the Mafia and the Vatican in preparing a putsch (Gladio Operation) in order to plough the way to an authoritarian outcome to the country in view of the exhausted state of the regime was in, based upon the continuing domination of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), in office since 1946.

·         To force the USSR to engage in a weaponry effort beyond its capacities that, as was later to be witnessed, contributed to the dismantlement of the existing politico-economic system, that of State capitalism;

·         Subsequently, after that dismantlement, to enlarge the territory of application of the capitalist model based on the “free-market”, and on the non-restrict domination of the financial capital and of the multinationals;

·         To create the conditions for the maintenance of a huge amount of military orders, thus enabling a politico-military- industrial scheme - the Pentagon being the top - financed by the tax money and complemented by enormous exportations of sophisticated weaponry;

·         To justify, under the cover of the military necessities to “detain” the “evil empire”, the emphasis of the public investment on research, on innovation and technologies dependent on the priorities materialized in the development of weaponry, security and communications material (such is the case of the internet, of the computers, of the spatial exploration);

·         To guarantee a vast and steady market for the placement of weaponry, with two levels of integration. One at the production level, between the American industry and that of the western countries; and the other at the level of the customers/clients, the most modern devices to be acquired by the main States and, by the minor ones, used or technologically obsolete weaponry;

Formally, and throughout the 1949 to 1991 period, the NATO did not participate in military operations, thus allowing its members all acting freedom in territories not covered by the organization. Within that unilateral or multilateral framework, several conflicts took place, such were the cases of Korea, Vietnam, Suez, Cyprus, within the framework of decolonization sceneries, with or without liberation wars, most of the cases outside the East-West context, but always reporting to it (NATO), and always with no direct confrontation between the NATO and the Warsaw Pact troops.

After 1991

Bearing in mind that the NATO central objective was explicitly the defence of the “free world” against the “soviet totalitarianism”, or “communism”, the dismantlement of the Warsaw Pact, in 1991, after the fall of the USSR, the NATO was momentarily void of objectives to justify its existence.

In the Rome Declaration, still in 1991, the NATO proclaimed that it was necessary to be watchful in what concerned the risks born out of the economic, political and social difficulties in Central and Eastern Europe. Those difficulties were deliberate and methodically aggravated by the western support to the uncontrolled dismantlement of their economic structures, by the wild intervention of the financial capital, by the recycling of the former and corrupt “aparatchiks” into corrupt neo-liberals, fervent defenders of democracy and market, by brutal cuts in the social rights as well as the subjection of the workers to a massive unemployment.

This way, in 1992, NATO vessels intervened to impose an embargo of weapons to Serbia-Montenegro, in what was then its first act outside the territory of its own members. In 1995, the organization bombarded the territories of the Srpska Republic, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in what was the prosecution of the dismantling policy and ethnic division of Yugoslavia. In 1996, 60 000 NATO troops occupied Bosnia under the cover of a UNO mandate (3).

In 1999, the NATO bombarded Serbia-Montenegro in order to force the Serbs to flee one part of their territory – Kosovo – its separation based on an ethic division which ended up in the latter’s independence in 2008. In those bombardments, the USA took advantage of the situation to incorporate nuclear remains (depleted uranium, coming from the atomic garbage of the nuclear power stations) in bullets to be sent to the Serbian territory, which is clearly a crime, since it will contaminate its inhabitants for decades to come.

Meanwhile, the NATO enlarged itself significantly, from 16 members in 1991 to the current 28, integrating all the former Warsaw Pact members (6), the former Baltic Soviet republics (3), two republics of the former Yugoslavia together with Albania, already in 2009. The tiny Macedonia remains apart due to the Greek veto while the USA tries to incorporate Ukraine and Georgia regardless of the French and German opposition.

The objectives of this pressure for the enlargement of the NATO are led by the USA, which delineates in its essential part, its contours and directions:

·         To take advantage of the dissolution of the former USSR sphere of influence in order to attain territorial dimension and emphasize its role as world ‘gendarme’;

·         To carry out, under the pretext of the 11th September, the passage from a phase of armed intervention in pre-existing conflicts to a more aggressive one, in order to start  preemptive wars declared by its own and exclusive initiative;

·         To try and compensate the economic weakness of the USA and the dollar, as well as the loss of political relevance in Europe, by means of military power or its open display, in an intimidating way, to the new emerging powers, with special relevance to China, Russia and India;

·          To involve the majority of the Central and Eastern European countries in a ring around Russia, thus separating the latter from Western Europe, reducing Russia’s presence in the Baltic, in the Black Sea and its traditional presence in the Balkans. With such purpose they tried (the project was cancelled by Obama in September 2009) to place a Missile Defense Shield in the Check Republic and in Poland, weapons pointed at Russia in a provocative attitude of challenge and threat, liable to generate retaliations, for example, as regards the energetic supplies to Europe. In the aftermath of the South Ossetia blitz war, in 2008, the USA, aiming to accomplish their goal, even signed an agreement with Poland;

·         To reduce the Russian sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, creating tensions in Ukraine, in Georgia and Moldova;

·         To dispute, together with Russia, the channels  for the energetic supplies of Europe originating from the latter’s territory and also from Caucasus and Central Asia, getting closer – as much as possible –to their original exploration areas;
·         To drag in its adventures EU neutral States (Sweden, Austria, Ireland…) as integral partners of a same civilization as well as economic and political model, in a logic of occupation of the whole of the European map;

·         To hinder Europe’s direct energetic supply links from Iran, but also encircling the latter with the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan or the aero-navel control of the Persian Gulf, to strategically dominate the vital supplies of oil from China (60% of its necessities come from the Gulf) and from India, the great rivals of the XXI century, and from Japan; or still agitating the “international community” with a possible Iranian nuclear  threat;

·         To pressure and to constrain the Islamic world by means of occupations, threats, divides and thus to sustain its strategic ally - Israel - applying the bizarre and racist thesis of the “shock of civilization” proposed by Huntington;

·         To maintain the whole of the European countries in a situation of minority as well as of strategic inferiority and for that purpose eternalize the idea of a Russian threat which might have survived as heir of a soviet threat, virtually exaggerated;

·         To enlarge the amount of weaponry purchasers, substituting, in the case of the new members, the former Russian or Soviet suppliers by American suppliers of military equipment (the USA in 2008 were the main suppliers of armament on a world scale, with 68% of the total amount, at a great distance of the competing countries, since the second place belonged to Italy, with ten times less) (4);

·         To enlarge the military and civil supplying area for brainwashing in training actions. In general, that brainwashing lies on the presumption of the eternal superiority of capitalism, market economy, and private property with an underlying racist and neocolonial prejudice before the other peoples and Southern nations and respective forms of political and social organization. As an example, the following  sentence stated in the “Code of Honour” of the Military Academy students (where the Portuguese Army officers are trained) should be referred  to: ‘The Military Academy student devotedly loves his home land and founds his ideas in the respect and cult of the great human and Christian values which in the past filled it with glory’ (quoted by Mário Tomé, in “Novo Paradigma para a Defesa Nacional” (New Paradigma for National Defence), September/2009;

Ideologically, the NATO defined, in 2007(5), in a global strategy document which includes what is here designated as “risks’ chart”, where each of those “risks”, by its own or by its conjugation may deserve according to the organization, a first option regarding the use of nuclear weapons, both tactical or strategic. Those threats are:

·         The religious fundamentalism, implicitly Islamic, since the Christian fundamentalism, so influent in G. W. Bush’s times, is left aside once it is part of the “struggle against evil”, as the South Arabia wahabism or the fundamentalist Jews,

·         The political fundamentalism, i.e. all the forms of social organization which do not fit in the western model of representative democracy and economic liberalism, a unique and definite thought formula, where such diverse elements as the Chavez’ Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, the Hamas, the Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, etc. and still the left-wing political movements, pacifists, ecologists or human rights movements. In this concept of political fundamentalism partner countries do not fit, such is the case of China or Israel;

·         The international terrorism, always a diffuse designation, where essentially local and regional organizations fit in, are far from constituting international threats. The maintenance of those indefinite contours is particularly useful to provide the NATO with convenient interpretations, in a logic of variable geometry which allows it to act how, when and where it may be interested;

·         The organized crime, rhetoric which ignores the financial system where  benefits become respectable estate, hotel and financial investments, often used to corrupt governments, political parties and local powers, which exclude the financial fraud that, by its very dimension is the ultimate generator of recession and unemployment, as has lately been witnessed, which is an active user of “offshore” and of evasion and fiscal fraud; and which is friendly interlinked with the military western apparatus in Colombia, Afghanistan, Kosovo or Albania;

·         The proliferation of mass destruction weapons, if they happen to be stationed in countries where “evil” is in command (North Korea), or even where they do not exist (Iran and Saddam’s Iraq, in 2003) but, since the accused are at the service of “evil”, defined of course by the USA. It is clear that the circa 150 non-assumed nuclear weapons possessed by Israel are at the service of peace (6) and of “Good”, so as the other nuclear powers (12 000 belonging to the USA or Russia, hundreds belonging to England or France). In 2008, the American Congress ratified an agreement with India, the latter, possessing circa 150 nukes, is defined as being a reliable military nuclear power, according to the American criterion of reliability. Furthermore, in what the Ottawa Treaty, which contemplates de non-production of the lethal anti-personal mines, is concerned, the USA, Russia and China are out.

·         The climate changes are a matter of preoccupation for the NATO and its strategists, not because they may put the survival of life on earth in question, but because they raise conflicts, for example, in what regards the water control. Nonetheless, if Israel poisons or stuffs the Palestinian wells, or if Coca-cola in India leaves thousands of peasants without water for agriculture, they deserve all the indulgence of the world because they belong to the “good” side. On the other hand, ecological and peasants’ movements can be classified as global threats if they prove to be an obstacle to private investments (nuclear investments, those linked to water damming up, to the destruction of the tropical forest, etc…) whose prosecution is fundamental to generate wealth and employment;

·         The energetic security, as it will be further explained in a more explicit way, is a motive for fierce struggles, namely for the control of fossil energies whose resources are still imprecise or subject to commercial manipulations, thus inexorably fated to exhaustion.

·         The same document makes it clear that the very military apparatus  which admits the use of nuclear weapons for such diverse reasons and so far away from a real war scenario, as the ones named above, naturally, is the same that does not restrain itself regarding questions related to human rights violation applied to the enemy, regardless if it is dealing with a vulnerable prisoner (Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo), or a poor and defenseless civilian population (Iraq, Afghanistan), in what constitutes an open denial of the noblest principles enunciated by Humanity and that the governments of the NATO countries take delight in getting hold of in exclusivity. On the contrary, the NATO has been carrying out in its actions the most hateful principles and deviations ever witnessed in History, such as genocide (Palestine), violence on civilian populations, indefinite detentions or imprisonment without formal accusation or trial, being thus inserted in the tradition of recent historical practices of sad memory;

·         The referred document, in order to put in practice the agenda mentioned above, in the process of decision making intends:
-          The rapid action of the NATO - in cases where the protection of a great number of human lives seems to be needed - must be effective even without the permission of the UNO Security Council. As it is known, whenever necessary, both the propaganda machine of the USA or the NATO may forge the existence of dangerous arsenals of weapons of mass destruction (Iraq); a Serbian genocide over the Kosovo population; an alliance with Al-Qaeda (in Somalia and Iraq), or dangerous terrorists in the poor bombarded villages of Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to intervene unilaterally;

-          To do away with the consensus in the NATO’s decision making, with the abolition of the veto right in favour of decisions made by a majority vote, so that its intervention on the ground be quicker;

-          To do away with the national right of its members not to participate in operations led by the NATO. As the actual NATO contingent in Afghanistan relies on the USA armed forces, with relatively symbolic participations of other countries, to increase the war effort of the other members of the organization is the goal to be achieved;

-          Concomitantly, the NATO countries which are not on the ground within the framework of a particular operation are not allowed to participate in the decisions on that particular issue;

-          In practice, it has to do with turning the member-States into still more obedient servants of a command voice coming from the USA and the Pentagon, in particular, to drag the peoples and the most refractory governments along the NATO military adventures, without their express consent and involving them all in the dangers related to specific situations in order to satisfy the interests of the great multinationals propagated by the Pentagon and the NATO, as well as to diminish the importance of the UNO Security Council decisions, so that the American hegemony comes out stronger.

3 – The NATO’s current specific involvements

At the moment NATO is involved in various military operations, either directly or through other elements of the strategic western military apparatus – the American armed forces or the UNO.


The American invasion of the territory, in 2001, took place having as its goal the struggle against terrorism and the capture of Mullah Omar and Bin Laden. However, realism demands that it should be mentioned that these captures would not be convenient since they would reduce the validity of the struggle against terrorism as an argument for future action of the NATO or the Pentagon. The NATO, on its turn, settled in Afghanistan, in August 2003, on the demand of the Afghan government (previously put there by the USA) and the UNO, which immediately bestowed the possibility of action outside Kabul, initial scenery of the operations. Afghanistan has recently been chosen as top priority of the American interventions after the start of Obama’s office.

In June 2009, 58 000 American soldiers were in Afghanistan besides those 74 000 hired for “services” (7), in what amounts to a whole of circa 100 000 western military troops (8)

The NATO intervention, once the operations are over, aims to:
·         Help the Afghan government and its people;
·         Fight against terrorism;
·         Materialize “the greatest international security efforts beyond the euro-Atlantic area”
In practice and besides the propaganda, what has so far been achieved was:

·         The indefinite continuity of a state of war - which in Afghanistan has been a reality since 1979, with the Soviet invasion - as well as the humiliations and massacres of civilian populations, so many times taken by rebels;

·         The maintenance of the territorial divide between the war lords and the Taliban guerrilla, with the government authority operating nowhere else but the cities where the protection of the NATO soldiers is more effective, and that in a context of a varied and fickle local mixture of supports and enmities, alliances and rivalries;

·         The number of Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan is, respectively, 1.1 M and 1.8 M (10), with all the suffering and violence caused by such situation;

·         The increase of the poppy culture (opium), almost extinguished during the Taliban period and that, although more reduced in the last two years, does not hinder Afghanistan from supplying 90% of the world production (11).  After the October 2008 decision, having as a consequence the recent attacks in Southern Afghanistan (Helmand), the NATO intends to include the struggle against drug trade in the objectives of the occupation, thus enlarging the number of justifications to maintain itself on the ground and justify possible reinforcements (12). Decades of military intervention to fight drugs in Colombia have revealed to be evident failures, not hindering the prosperity of the drug cartels and the second American financial market, Miami;

·         To add to the generalized corruption, there is also the compulsory share claimed by the Taliban of 20% of the local enterprises revenues, ironically, and in its majority, coming from the international aid (13).

·          President Karzai’s ties to the Americans come from long ago, (he worked in the Unocal, an oil enterprise that is constructing a gas pipeline in the Caspian Sea) (14), which, to add to its dependency on the invaders, makes himself a puppet. On the other hand, the fraudulent way in which decisively the recent elections were held in order to benefit Karzai, discredits both the latter as well as the invaders;

·         The extension of the conflict to Pakistan, due to the ethnic and cultural proximity of an important slice of its population (pashtuns) that belongs to the major tribe in Afghanistan and, whose separation by means of an artificial border was imposed by the Brits in the nineteenth century, after having been defeated by the Afghans in attempts to expand their territorial area;

·         The increase of political tensions and violence in Pakistan, a lot divided between supporters and adversaries of the USA and also a victim of “collateral damages” caused by the American bombings. A corrupt political class has been supported by the USA, the former being isolated from the people, linked to the military that constitute a real atomic bunker, full of privileges and power, within the Pakistani State apparatus.

·         Underlying the enlargement of the American intervention in Pakistan there are various objectives to be achieved. One is Pakistan’s nuclear armament control so that its access is made impossible to the anti-American Islamic groups; another one is the pressure over India, managing the antagonism with Pakistan over the Kashmir affair; and finally its goal is to introduce some kind of mishandling in the traditional strategic proximity between Pakistan and China, when the latter already has facilities in a deep water port (Gwadar), with an oil terminal and a road connection to China (Karakorum road), thus introducing further difficulties in China’s access to the Indian ocean;

·          The destabilization in Pakistan stimulates the reinforcement of India’s military capacity which places it in the position of the main armament importer ($6000M per year, this rise corresponds to over 21% of its military budget) (15).


Following Yugoslavia’s bombings in 1999, the separation of Kosovo, one of its provinces, was imposed by the NATO. This situation has never been accepted by Serbia, elected as “bête noir” of the NATO in the Balkans. Kosovo is a country dominated by the organized crime, depending on the external financial aid, which amounts to 34% of its GDP, of the emigrants revenues (13% of the GDP), and where unemployment amounts to 40/50% (16).

The internal security has been for ten years secured by the NATO forces as well as by other European countries (14000 soldiers at the moment) (17), and this situation tends to be eternalized due to various reasons:

·         The ethnical division imposed by the USA and the EU in the Balkans stresses the antagonism and the mistrust between the Serbian and Albanese communities, turning the proximity of both communities very difficult without an external mediation;

·         The objective of the constitution of a Great Albania, unifying Albania with Kosovo, part of Macedonia as well as small stripes of Serbia, Montenegro and Greece is still a lot present in the minds of the Albanese politicians, and its carrying out would certainly lead to another war in the region;

·         On the other hand, Kosovo being poor and of weak  resources, the presence of the NATO troops is an important factor of maintenance of a certain economic encouragement;

·         Finally, the settlement of Boldsteel enormous base, known as the Small Guantanamo, on the border with Macedonia, is essential to the western military apparatus aiming to control the AMBO security - the oil pipeline which will connect the Black Sea (Burgas) to the Adriatic (Vlore).

In this context, the presence of the NATO will be maintained, on the one hand, as a deterrent against conflicts, and, on the other, as the guaranty for a formal adoption of the free market logic as well as the representative democracy even if, in the region and in practice, there is nothing but poverty, a large corruption and the rise of an economic mafia, a situation with certain similarities of bad augury with Colombia.

“Active Endeavour” Operation (18)

This naval operation of surveillance and interception of vessels in the Mediterranean, mainly eastern, started in October 2001, a month after the New York attacks, interpreted as having been an attack against a Member State, the USA, (article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the NATO founding treaty). Through this operation, the western military strategic apparatus builds up one of its spheres of influence and involvement of other countries and territories outside its intimate core.

Thus, any ship suspicious of carrying drugs, explosives or … underground immigrants may be intercepted and inspected within the framework of the struggle against terrorism. For that matter, a system of information has been set up – Maritime Safety and Security information Service which involves over 50 NATO countries and countries of the Mediterranean shore, among others.

The leadership of the NATO in these operations, which tends to perpetuate the patrol of the Mediterranean and the surveillance of the Islamic world, is accepted by other countries such as Russia (because of Chechnya or Dagestan), Israel (enthusiastically), Ukraine and Georgia (in order to obtain the western favours, and thus join the NATO) and Morocco (very linked to the USA and with a strong internal opposition to the current regime). Circa 2000 soldiers are involved in the region (19).


The USA has disputed with the USSR the control of the African Horn until the 80’s, in order to consolidate their role as suzerains in the Indian Ocean. After the first Iraqi war in 1991, the Americans decided to intervene in Somalia, under the cover of the UNO from the following year on, trying to disguise their objective of controlling the oil routes with humanitarian preoccupations.

In that operation, 38000 troops were launched (28000 of the USA), but the operation ended up by being a complete failure and within a few months a traumatic withdrawal took place. After a decade, during which no one seemed interested in Somalia, the rise in the territory of the radical movement of the Islamic Tribunals, an Al-Qaeda branch, according to the American logic, the USA failed once more when they financed some war lords against the referred movement (20).
When the country became controlled by the Islamic Tribunals, the USA was alarmed and, with their logistic support, had the Ethiopian Army sent in, and subsequently seized the power for a period of a little over two years. As they seem to have totally forgotten about the traditional antagonism between the two peoples – Somalis and Ethiopians - the latter left and everything makes us believe that the power will turn to the hands of the successors of the Islamic Tribunals, the al-Shabaab.

Meanwhile, the Western countries have taken advantage of the Somali chaos:

·         The enormous Somali coast, lacking any kind of surveillance since the 90’s, has become a place where nuclear garbage, also composed of heavy metals from the European industries and hospitals, is easily dropped. This function is obviously secured by the Mafia, and on demand. Thus, diseases, malformations in new-born babies as well as deaths in the population of the coast which witnessed, with the 2005 tsunami, the arrival to their beaches of cans with holes, till then submerged. But what does it matter to the great media?

·         Having to face the exhaustion of the fishing banks in general, as well as the control of the existing fishing practice in the EU exclusive zones, the Somali coast became object of predatory fishing of tuna, prawn and lobster, thus limiting the Somali capacity; the latter lacking modern fishing equipment while… possibly, supplying the European consumers with fish contaminated by toxic products dropped in their seas by the European companies!

Before this environmental crimes together with the economic devastation, the Somali fishermen, in order to subsist, try and drive away the great boats of the industrial fishing, to obtain an income from the looting of their riches , not hindering the existence of real pirates, and for that reason getting the support of circa 70% of the Somali population (21).

As this situation destabilizes the development of businesses in general as well as the international routes of oil commerce, the Western, Chinese, Russian, Indian and Japanese war vessels make their appearance against the Somali “pirates”. In October 2008, the NATO decided to send seven war vessels to the Somali seas, and in December the mission which had previously been thoroughly validated by the UNO transferred itself to the control of the EU (Atalanta Operation), the latter possessing 15 vessels in the region.

Maybe it is not by chance that Somalia is bordered by the Aden Gulf, close to the Bab el Mandeb, the Red Sea southern entry. And it will be difficult to understand how the small “Somali pirates’” boats are a reason to justify a circumnavigation of the NATO vessels with stopovers in Karachi, Singapore and Perth, in Australia (22).


In 2003, the George W. Bush’s USA, as known, together with Blair and Aznar, with Durão Barroso playing the waiter, decided to invade Iraq, in order to find Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction… which never existed. Such operation was launched without the approval of the ONU, the same way that later the USA decided about the reorganization of the country, appointed their leader and conducted the military actions which followed the operation. The UNO intervention, after the occupation, was very quickly over with the death of Sérgio Vieira de Melo.

The war and the occupation of Iraq never had the label of a NATO operation, for the simple reason that some of its principal members – Germany, France and Canada - condemned the operation, while Turkey refused to let the troops cross its territory.

Although the war and the occupation of Iraq are essentially of the USA and England’s responsibility - without the NATO’s official seal - they totally fit in the same strategic objectives which rule the organization, even if it is only because the NATO is, like the Pentagon, one of the main devices of the western military strategic apparatus. The question that either abbreviation is used in operations of imperial self-assurance is just a matter of political and diplomatic convenience, since from a restrictive view point of the military operations and destruction capabilities, the Pentagon does not need its allies; it has means that allow it to act on its own… Since 2004, in Iraq, the NATO has maintained only a group of coaches, consisting of 140 troops, as a symbol of its insertion in the global mechanism (23).

Besides a roaring global public opinion against the invasion of Iraq, the London and Madrid attacks - by adding new elements of risk to the operation - were decisive to the breach of the USA allies’ enthusiasm as far as their military commitment in the operation was concerned.

The transfer to the Iraqi army of the internal surveillance responsibility as well as the responsibility for the opposing groups against the American occupation, its troops and allies (‘iraqization’ of the war) reminds us of the ‘vietnamization’ of the war in Vietnam, and, inevitably, its outcome.

The objectives of the western military strategic mechanism in Iraq are multifold, but the control of the main resources of fossil fuels (in the Persian Gulf area are situated 60% of the world oil and 41% of natural gas) is the prevailing one (24);

·         The territorial occupation and the military control in the Gulf area allow the USA to exert pressure/blackmail which is extended to its western allies, largely dependent on the oil of this region for the transports and industry, and whose substitution is nowhere near;

·         The increasing demand of the rival countries which do not possess adequate resources of hydrocarbons (India, China and Japan) makes them hostages of the western power settled in the Persian Gulf area;

·         The emergence of new natural ore deposits does not always happen in areas dominated by the USA (Venezuela, Brazil and Turkmenistan), and, generally, present exploration conditions much more costly than those in the Middle East;

·         The loss of control over Iran in 1979 and the subsequent humiliations undergone by the USA have not been forgotten by the American governments, which have therefore maintained a constant threat over the country, victim as it were of a military putsch fabricated by the CIA in the 50’s and of Saddam’s Iraqi aggression for eight bloody years supported, at all levels, by the western world. On the other hand, Iran possesses a numerous population (66 million), 10, 9% of the world oil and 16% of the gas resources; a geographical position close to Afghanistan and Pakistan (the Pashtun have both language and writing close to the Farsi), to the former Central Asia soviet republics (which have oil and gas) and the Caucasus; and constitutes the eastern border of the Arab world besides possessing a long coast line which goes through the strategic Ormuz strait.

·         The American military presence in the region is a secure support to the Arab monarchies, as far as the restraint to the democratic opening and the economic development are concerned, and works as a close support to Israel as well, to its genocide toward the Palestinians  and the progressive occupation of the latter’s territory;

·         The American alliance with the Arab monarchies also aims at the use by the latter of the dollar as exchange currency for the oil transactions, thus preventing its stronger devaluation. One should remember that some time before the Iraq invasion, Saddam had substituted the dollar by the euro (2000) in the external transactions the same way that he changed his monetary reserves (2001) (25). At the end of 2006, Iran also swapped to the euro as exchange currency for external transactions (26);

·         It emphasizes a territorial and religious division in Iraq to the benefit of the Kurds and the Xiites in order to cultivate enmities and find allies to improve the USA capacities to dominate the country.

The nuclear weapons proliferation

In order to put in practice its aggressive plans directed “urbi et orbi”, the NATO implemented and deepen its relations in the various areas of the globe by setting in motion its net of bases, equipments, communications, information, and still interferences in the design of political regimes.

Although only three NATO members possess nuclear weapons – USA, France and GB – it was decided in 1999 that it is urgent the participation of all NATO countries in the process of placing nuclear armament in their territory, even in peace time (23).

To spread out nuclear weapons to countries which have signed the treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) is expressly barred to countries holders of those weapons (article I) while the non-holders commit themselves not to receive them (article II) (27), what turns that objective into a primary non-accomplishment and a step to the appearance of chain reactions in its proliferation. Worse than that, it thus increases the possibility of a first use of nuclear weapons outside a self-defense context in the presence of a situation of aggression.

In Europe, the NATO possesses nuclear weapons in Buckel (Germany), Kleine Brogel (Belgian), Volkel (Holland) Aviano and Ghedi-Torre (Italy) (23), locations essentially understood within a context of an Atlantic alliance, and of antagonism vis-à-vis Russia. The Italian bases besides fitting within logic of global confrontation with Russia and connection with the Israeli nuclear arsenal also work as a deterrent and threat toward the southern Mediterranean countries, since almost all the Balkan countries have already been absorbed by the NATO.

In a separate context, the Incirlik base, in Turkey, where also nuclear weapons are stored, should be referred. This base is located very closely to the Turkish port and oil platform of Ceyhan, in the Iskenderum/Alexandretta Gulf, a terminal for pipelines coming from Caucasus and the Caspian Sea Gulf, namely the BTC, whose main shareholder (30.1%) is the BP-British Petroleum, but where the American Chevron (8.9%), the Norwegian Statoil (8.7%), the French Total and the Italian ENI (5% each), among others, also hold a participation (data made public by the BP). It is further intended that it be part of a future connection to the Black Sea and to Kirkuk, in the Iraqi Kurdistan (28).

The goal of all these connections is to make energy reach the Mediterranean and Europe through “safe” routes, outside the reach of the Russian interference without crossing Syria or depending on its ports. Incirlik also works as a surveillance point of the Oriental Mediterranean where, and not as a coincidence, the Israeli ally is stuck.
On the 24th September, the UNO General Assembly, under a USA proposition, approved the 1887 Resolution which aims at the creation of a nuclear weapon free world. Taking into account that the USA are the main detainees of those weapons, that together with the other nuclear powers have not approved anything aiming at the destruction of their arsenals, and have so far not made any advances as far as the reduction of the nuclear weapons is concerned; that Israel, India and Pakistan, not having signed the NPT, are not referred to in the Resolution, the latter is but an instrument of pressure over North Korea and Iran to serve the USA, and also to have the pacific use of nuclear energy included in the NPT revision due to 2010.

Obama, sided by Sarkosy and Gordon Brown, went immediately on to the formulation of threats of a military intervention in Iran, while Russia, relieved from the pressure due to the USA abandonment of the missiles in Eastern Europe, answered back with a formal bitterness towards Iran and denouncing the latter’s construction, two years ago, of an enriched uranium factory. Strangely enough, everybody seemed to be ignorant of such fact, thus demonstrating that the CIA and its satellites had been useless.


The Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM was constituted in 1997 and includes Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldavia but, unlike its name indicates, has been used by the USA to exert pressure and encircle Russia from the south, to expand the western intervention in the Black Sea and control the pipelines to Europe, through Ukraine, coming from Caucasus and Turkmenistan. In fact, the GUAM is the fundamental protagonist to the CTG, pipeline which intends to connect the Caspian Sea (Baku) to the Georgian coast and from there to Odessa, thus averting crossing Russia to supply Europe. From Odessa there is already a Ukrainian pipeline up to Brody, where these days the Russian oil comes into the EU through Slovakia and Hungary. The NATO’s project is to extend it to Plotsk, in Poland, where the Russian supplies also enter through Belarus, without crossing the Ukrainian territory. This project from Odessa to Plotsk will be the OBP pipeline. This strategic question involving the pipelines has various consequences:

·         It turns GUAM into an obvious intermediate phase towards a formal integration of its members in the NATO, thus designing another one of the preliminary spheres of influence, intervention and expansion of the NATO;

·         The GUAM,  together with a Kaczynski’s and Tusk’s subservient Poland, constitute a cherished logistic mechanism (including transport through pipeline and sea) which aims to reduce the energetic dependence on Russia, in an aggressive logic of competition of the western oil multinationals’ interest;

·         The construction of the CTG pipeline, followed by the maritime transport to Odessa and of the OBP pipeline will  enable the transport from the Caspian Sea to Europe, through “safe” countries, both from the NATO (Poland) member countries and future members (Ukraine and Georgia) to the detriment of Russia and Belarus , the latter with strong links to Moscow;

·         It is at this light that the NATO’s military threat was demonstrated (the project Missile Defense Shield, meanwhile put aside by Obama, in 2009), and the war (South Ossetia, Chechnya, or Dagestan) that, surely, has not brought any benefit to their peoples, submitted as they were to these oil disputes).

The most expedite action of the GUAM within that strategy was developed in the beginnings of June 2008, when the presidents of those countries (except Moldavia), with their homologues from Poland and Lithuania met precisely to discuss the question of the pipelines and their transport routes, with the parallel but discrete supervision of the American responsible person (David Merkel). Two weeks later and up to the end of the same month, military maneuvers involving American, Georgian, Ukrainian, Azeri and even Armenian soldiers were held (“Immediate Response” operation). Certainly, and not by coincidence, on the 5th of July, 8000 Russian soldiers were exercising close to the Georgian border.

On the 7th of August, the Georgian president believing he would count upon the support of his allies tried an intervention in South Ossetia, secessionist stripe of Georgia, supported by Russia. In all his imprudence, he did not take into account the Russian reaction which quickly stopped that invasion and promised a declaration of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, with a rather slim recognition of the “international community”. Although with less success than the declaration of Kosovo’s independence, sponsored by the USA (29), this strategy aims exactly at the same goal: the assertion that those territories are the latter’s protectorates.

The Bush’s USA acted discretely as far as their protests were concerned, but some days after their failure in Ossetia, on the 14th August, they signed an agreement with Poland in order to have “interceptor missiles” installed in that country, a project which had long been fought by their target country  – Russia – and meanwhile abandoned.


Israel is not a NATO member, but it deeply and clearly fits in the western strategic military apparatus:

·         The USA has, since its foundation, continually supplied it with military aid and assistance. It has even been the privileged beneficiary of the American military aid from 1976 to 2003, when it was… understandably overcome by Iraq. Since 1985 Israel has been receiving subsidies from the USA amounting to an average of $3000 M a year, according to Jeremy M. Sharp (30);

·         Israel, together with the USA, participates in the development of military technology as well as in military manoeuvers, and establishes military cooperation agreements with countries targeted by the USA’s attention, such is the case of Georgia, or Azerbaijan, clearly in a position of strategic complementary (31);

·          It benefits from all the USA’s  diplomatic support and infinite tolerance in all its racist and genocide attitudes towards the Palestinians, and aggressive behaviours towards the Muslim world in general;

·         Israel masterfully accomplishes the strategy of the “shock of civilizations” and its persistent occupation of other peoples’ territory has its inspiration in the most extremist version of Zionism which does not look much different from what Hitler’s Lebensraum was. And Europe which went through enormous suffering due to the barbarian  Nazi policies  seems to be infinitely tolerant vis-à-vis Israel, allowing it unlimited pardon for its actions only for the simple reason that the European Jews atrociously suffered in consequence of those very barbarian policies;

·         Politically, Israel founds its attitudes and its very existence in the search of a correction for millenarian historical facts, based on a delirious thesis of considering themselves as a chosen people by some kind of divinity. In fact, in the USA it is still common to find those who feel that the nation has a civilizing mission of the world, over inferior peoples, morally decadent, which should be subordinate to the chosen nation;

·         Israel is thus an illegitimate western fortress in Arab lands, in an oil region, and this way, the USA and Europe are willing to carry all the antagonism of the Islamic world as well as  the frequent conflicts and wars against Islamic nations instead of searching to entail peace, friendship and relations of pacific cooperation;

·         The NATO military apparatus is intertwined with Israel in the “Active Endeavour” operation in order to patrol the Eastern Mediterranean, thus allowing Israel a significant support in a crucial area for the country;

·         The western countries are able to reproach India for the possession of nuclear weapons, for example, and launch media campaigns, threats and sanctions against Iran without presenting any prove that the latter is producing nuclear weapons, while ignoring that Israel possesses 150 of those weapons and, for that matter, counted upon the support of France for the development of its nuclear capabilities.

·         The arrival at Ceyhan of oil and natural gas originating in the Caspian Sea and Central Asia (since 2006) aims to make it available in the Eastern Mediterranean  (already supervised as it is  by NATO vessels within the framework of the "Active Endeavour" operation and by the Israeli military forces) without Russia's interference. Other ways to secure the outlet of those fossil fuel producers would depend upon the Arab States crossing (Syria or Iraq) or Iran, since the use of Afghanistan or the Pakistani coast seems to have become highly problematic. Ceyhan will tend to be turned not only into a way of supplying Europe (an essential goal for the NATO) but also to make hydrocarbons available to Israel, and,  through the latter, make them reach Eilat, in the Red Sea, where the Asian consumers would have access, becoming thus dependent on the Western and NATO-Israel whims for their supplies (32);

·         It is not a matter of little importance that Turkey holds the main source of a strategic resource – water, particularly scarce in the Middle East.

The sources of the Tiger and Euphrates are situated in Turkey, and there have already been tensions between Syria and Iraq over the water issue. Israel has a serious lack of water, which, for example, partly justifies its indomitable position in what concerns the restitution of the Golan Mountains to Syria, due to their water resources. In 2002, Israel and Turkey signed an agreement for the supply of Turkish water for a period of twenty years, amounting to 50000M litres (circa 3% of the Israel consumption) (33).

·         The start of the BTC opens the way to the development of other phases of the global project in which Israel plays an essential part. There are projects for the construction of several underground links across the sea between Ceyhan and Ashkelon for the oil, natural gas, water and electricity transport, whose viability depends upon the crossing of Syrian and Lebanese territorial waters. Maybe, those reasons justify Israel’s actions to try and crash the Hezbollah; the USA has sent away the Syrian troops from Lebanon and maintains a tense relationship with Damascus. New conflicts are probably to be expected for which the strategic alliance between the NATO and Israel will be a key element. (28)

Recent developments

The western strategic military apparatus is particularly attentive to the changes in the distribution of powers at a world scale and is carrying on the adequacy and repositioning of its resources according to the hierarchies which it establishes as priorities and for what it considers the threats to its suzerainty. The recent positions of the USA and the NATO reveal certain elements of a relative continuity, such is the case of the involvement in Afghanistan, the tolerance vis-à-vis Israel or the animosity towards Venezuela, Iran or North Korea. Changes can be noticed following Obama’s announcement of the abandonment (17th September, 2009) of the Missile Defence Shield or the redaction of the 1887 UNO resolution, about the nuclear weapons proliferation mentioned above.

However, the changes show tactical alterations and do not make the strategy which has laboriously been drawn since 1991 by the USA any different.

  • In the global cut for 2010 ($17000 M), the American government has only taken from the Pentagon around half of that amount, which corresponds to a very slim slice of its expenditure on the defence ($ 663700 M). In that cosmetic reduction, mainly weighs the abandonment of the F-22 Raptor ($2900 M, in 2009) project. It was, nonetheless, referred that a budget reinforcement may be allowed in case the situation in Afghanistan or Iraq gets worse (34);
  • The abandonment of the F-22 project is not a conquest of peace and disarmament lovers. For the joy of the military-industrial complex of the USA or… to revitalise the economy, the construction of 2456 F-35 planes was agreed to throughout a period of twelve years. According to an organ of the American Congress – the Congressional Research Service –the plan will amount to $246 000 M ($ 100.1 M per machine) (35). On the other hand, and for the desperation of millions of starving people and the indignation of all decent citizens, the G-8 countries say they have given a contribution of $13 400 M (a little more than 5% of the total cost of the F-35) for the world food security from January 2008 to July 2009 (36);
  • The American pressures for a greater involvement of the USA allies are widely known (5) both in what concerns the military expenditure as well as the supply of troops for the carrying out of their imperial wars. Germany, for example, which for decades was self-excluded from sending troops abroad, is present in Afghanistan (4000 soldiers), and has recently been partaking in civil population massacres;
  • The significant reinforcement of the American presence in Colombia reveals a greater attention to what is going on in Latin America where several countries (in possession of enormous fuel resources) have shown increasing autonomy and irreverence toward the traditional American suzerainty, such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Equator, and in a smaller scale Brazil and even Colombia, the latter being potentially a more accessible way to the Amazon basin. On the other hand, Obama has made the Honduran putsch makers leave the OAS and permitted Zelaya’s deposition, the powerful Hillary Clinton, and a propos Honduras, has found nothing better than threatening Chavez (37);
  • The abandonment of the project of placing missiles in Eastern Europe might have been a diplomatic arrangement, Russia accomplishing its part with the immediate renouncement to settle similar devices in Kaliningrad. It can be thought that there might be less public proposals which can lead to the American permission to have Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan  join the WTO (the reactivation of the world commerce is a priority for Obama), as a counterpart of a Russian pressure over Iran. This issue was referred to in the conversations with Russia, according to Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary General. The "Iranian question" has revealed itself as a major element in the hierarchy of the American concerns;
  • Rasmussen himself has been flirting with Russia for its insertion in the NATO in order to fight terrorism (at the same time there have been suicidal attacks in the Russian Caucasus) and the proliferation of mass destruction weapons; to help stabilization in Afghanistan; to integrate the western missile apparatus to thwart the nuclear threats in Asia and in the Middle East… and forget the Cold War times. Rasmussen has certainly wished to prepare the isolation of North Korea and Iran, or even launch a certain disturbance in the SCO –  Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which since 2001 has joined together Russia, China and Central Asia countries, and  has amongst its observers such countries as Iran and India;
  • When announcing the end of the project which contemplated the stationing of missiles in Europe, Obama also referred that the very same project will be transferred to another "location" and that "our new defence architecture in Europe is going to allow a much stronger, more efficient and a more speedy defence of the North American forces and of the USA allies". It was also referred that the Iranian ballistic programme - the pretext for the project - continues to be an "important threat” and that the former president Bush "was right" as far as this question is concerned, thus letting a bigger confrontation in the Middle East be envisaged.

4 – Enormous expenditure on defence and war 

For the accomplishment of its function as armed support of the western hegemony in the world, and, at the moment, with an increasing reach of various and unpredictable contours, the NATO has been constantly rearming itself and absorbing a considerable slice of its members’ wealth.

That amount of resources is rather exaggerated vis-à-vis the effective threats and is socially useless… considering that the military expenditure has any social utility.

In almost all the NATO countries at distinct levels, and in spite of the high wealth levels (very uneven) amongst its members, there are structural frailties in the economic performance which the current crisis tends to aggravate. Thus,

  • It is considered a luxury the preference for "cannons instead of butter", as it is currently said, in  terms both of economic and social policies, and the way  they make use of the nations' resources
  • The high unemployment rate with no regard for the young people or maintaining older workers till they reach a state of exhaustion; the precarious work and the stagnation or reduction of the purchasing power; the restraint of the expenditure on health and education; the lack of attention towards urban rehabilitation or the increasing urban peripheries abandoned by the governments; the restraint of the pensions or their appropriation by the financial capital, make it clear for everybody that there are ways of spending public money in a more fruitful way than on defence;
  • The military expenditure, the reinforcement of the role of the private sector, the support to the banks, insurance companies and to the financial speculation are, nonetheless, the great priorities of the governments’ public expenditure. In the USA, the way to cover the risks of 46  million citizens has been arduously debated, not the creation of a public and universal health service, but a limited single insurance which enables public economies without yet marginalizing the insurance industry; however, the debate is less vivid regarding the F-35 planes whose cost amounts to $ 100 M per unit;
  • In the European Union, the harmonization of the military equipments in the context of the NATO is considered essential. At this level of importance, only the temporary dormant SGP (Stability and Growth Pact) - which is intended to be applied to all States in a mechanical and indistinctive way as though all of them presented the same economic features -, or the rule of the ECB (European Central Bank) – an astounding stupidity in terms of monetary policy - or the totalitarian Lisbon Treaty. The creation of a single fiscal regime, the taxation of speculation, the creation of a European health system or a common minimum wage, following the best European praxis, are not a priority.
The geographical enlargement of the NATO operating area as well as the frequency and profundity of its interventions have also disastrous a impact in the less developed countries regarding several aspects;

  • They generate an armament race in detriment of the development and improvement of the people's living conditions, very often at the advantage of the military sector and corrupt regimes. Those acquisitions of military equipments, either second hand or  obsolete due to a more modern weapon production, allow the  developed countries their out flow and this way make their military industry profitable; 
  • They establish an artificial and dangerous segmentation between "good" countries, the NATO allies or subservient countries, and the "evil" countries if they try to draw their own pacific ways of coexistence with other countries and peoples;
  • That segmentation even gives rise to armed conflicts between poor countries, in representation or on the NATO demand, also  autonomously  regarding the USA,  and stimulates illicit armament trade;
  • As there is no such thing as peoples genetically cut out to make war and, on the reverse, all human beings aspire to live in peace and well-being, in security, to have access to health, housing facilities, work, food and education, the whole of the Humanity is harmed by the manipulations of the national leaders’ imperial power;
  • The influence of the NATO and of the world military industries generate military castes with specific interests - antagonistic to those of their fellow citizens - ready to carry out putsches and perform repressive attitudes against popular, unionist as well as pacifist movements. Those military castes, often real states within the state, are always ready to be subject to "lobbying" of the armament sellers thus enhancing the corrupt enrichment of the generals;
  • The maintenance of the NATO or of its main members                                                                                                                                                  influence in a certain country tends to give rise to a conservative logic of stagnation of the latter’s economic and social structures in detriment of the population with high needs in terms of nutrition, health, education and where the lack of work forces the people to painful migratory fluxes;
  • Too often that conservative logic also implies the maintenance or the exacerbation of the preponderance of certain ethnic or religious groups vis-à-vis others as well as the perpetuance of incompetent and corrupt elites based on the military power or on faked or manipulated suffrages, poor and disastrous replicas of the western patterns.
The role of the NATO in what the world military expenditure is concerned has the following and over-measured representation
                                      2007                                   Millions of US $
    1 339 000
       849 875
       583 283
       311 920

The comparison between the military expenditure in 2008 and its evolution since 1991 (extinction of the USSR) concerning the main NATO countries and its allies, or preferential enemies, reveals clamorous aspects in what the aggressive features of the organization are concerned;

% of the
Per Capita
2008 (b)
Russia (c)
South Korea
(a)              2005 (constant)1000 M $ dollar values
(b)             2005 $ dollar values
(c)             Russia, 1992 values
                     Source: SIPRI – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

·            The high growth of the military expenditure of countries such as China, Iran, Ukraine or India has a very relative significance, and is not a kind of global threat since it fits within a regional logic. The USA and the NATO are the only powers with intervention capacity in both military and political terms in any part of the globe;

·            China's military expenditure together with that of Russia represented in 2008 only 18,6% of the total amount spent by the USA; in what the "dangerous" Iran is concerned, which is a source of  so much concern for Obama, the corresponding percentage is  but 1,1%;

·            The former colonial powers England and France occupy the 3rd and 4th place respectively in the world ranking of military expenditure, a clearly exaggerated position vis-à-vis the threats pending on those countries, but which reveal the importance of their military industries and pretensions to return to an imperial past;

·            Among the selected European NATO countries a real decrease of the military expenditure is registered. That tendency does not include those countries lying on the Mediterranean shore (Spain, Turkey, Italy and Portugal). It may seem somehow awkward that Turkey presents such a modest growth of its military expenditure – taking into account the conflicting situation existing in the region, but if this fact is due to the heavy settlement of NATO bases in the country, one can easily assume that the defence of Turkey has been taken care of by the NATO. On the reverse, which threat is Spain or Italy under as to justify such high expenditure on defence? Is that to stop the fluxes of poor immigrants coming from Africa?

·            It is widely known the Iranian "preparations" to attack Israel, but the facts reveal that the Israeli total defence expenditure is the double of that from Iran, that each Iranian has as average expenditure of $ 93 while each Israeli spends $ 1704, and that the latter country, whose military expenditure corresponds to 8.6 of its GDP is overcome only by Saudi Arabia (9.3%).

The NATO misdeeds in the case of a small country - Portugal

Portugal is a 10,7 M inhabitant country, the poorest country of western Europe, with serious structural problems which makes it reach high deficits within the health sector or the public finances, high levels of external debt, an ineffective educational system, besides being the only country of the region with significant fluxes of emigration. On top of all that there is an absolute domination of corrupt governments which control the whole of the society, which waste the community funds and tame the judiciary apparatus itself. All these problems emphasise the peripheral character of the country and its dependence on the most powerful NATO countries.

In the Cold War era, the Portuguese Territory of the Azores was of paramount importance for the NATO apparatus, but somehow it lost its value due to the reduction of the perspectives of a generalized conflict. There are no regional conflicts which threaten or involve Portugal, the closest one being in DSR (Western Sahara), besides the internal instability in Morocco or in Algeria. Portugal has recently performed its role as a USA subject by allowing the CIA flights with prisoners to/from Guantanamo after having hosted the Iraq invasion decision makers, in 2003.

It is a country with these characteristics which spends 2% of its GDP on defence – on the same level stands Turkey and China – only overcome, amongst the rich countries, by France and England and a lot above Germany and Canada, Spain Holland and Italy. 

In relative terms, these exorbitant military costs are due to three factors:

  • Military presence in every region the western military apparatus is located – Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia;
  • Maintenance of a high number of troops, as a tribute to its action of overthrowing the fascist regime, in 1974. Nonetheless, the protagonists of that action have later on been left aside and subsequently  replaced by military and ultra-conservative effectives;
  • Misadjusted military expenses, for example on submarines, while the Portuguese coast, one of Europe’s drug entrances, was kept vulnerable, its radar system having been partially inactive for over two years. Also recently, troops scheduled to Afghanistan have been delayed since the existing transport planes (Hercules) were not fit. One of those planes was under maintenance and the other one was out of order, thus leaving the troops on ground.
In short, Portugal offers a clear example of the NATO misdeeds. In the first place, because it involves a small, poor and pacific people in an aggressive alliance in whose actions it subserviently participates, with no possibility whatsoever to exert influence in the decision making, and secondly because the public expenses on defence matters contrast with the various needs in what health, education, housing, and other fields are concerned.

5 – The armed forces and militarism

The incapacity to face the conflict resolution by using means other than the military ones, thus deciding upon the military occupation of the territory, enunciates the difficulties to implement economic development and generate wealth, to fight poverty and disease in a large part of the globe. Step by step, security lines are being established so that the intervention areas are enlarged, hence creating conflicting zones for the control of the resources, or raising conflicts which end in the looting of those very resources. All in all, the importance allowed to the military or paramilitary options results from the smallness and scarcity of the planet Earth in order to satisfy the greed and the covetousness of the economic and political elites.
As a global instrument of domination, the armed forces have profoundly and quickly been altering their way of operating as well as the ways that link them to the societies they are integrated in:

  • The enormous technological effort as far as the military equipments are concerned requires from the soldiers better qualifications, and does without the presence of thousands of less qualified men. The armed forces, namely the ground forces, similarly to what has happened to the naval and aeronautic forces, turned to be activities of intensive capital;
  • That technological incorporation has as its objective not only the creation of decisive advantages in what concerns the detection, neutralization and destruction of the “enemy”, for deterrent or effective destruction purposes, but also to reduce to its minimum the casualties in combat. However, because it is an intensive capital activity, the operations to be developed must be quick in order to prevent enormous war costs such as the substitution of destroyed or damaged equipment, and the maintenance of complicated logistic chains, incompatible with the state budgets;
  • The reduction of casualties in the battle field does not come from any humanitarian concern or from the strong sensitivity of the high military ranks before the loss of lives or human suffering. On the contrary, it comes from the search of a high asymmetry in the war casualties so as to minimize the war time;
-          The casualties themselves are due to be reduced, taking into account the investments on the  soldiers training, or the loss of personal equipments, and, above all, the need to have a public opinion relatively distant and disinterested in the war;

-          The casualties amongst the “enemy” troops, besides being a hindering factor in what their capacities are concerned, which is and has always been the objective of any war, are intended to be disproportionate so as to promote terror as well as the acceptance of the political superiority and of the “good” suzerainty;

-          In this context, there is an underlying disrespect for the sacrificed human lives a lot beyond what is necessary to attain strictly military advantages;

-          In this philosophy there are implicit racist contents, the only thing for it is that among the victims the predominance be that of Arabs, Muslims, blacks or Asians.

·         Within the same anti-humanist philosophy one can inscribe what is defined in the military reports as “collateral damages”, i.e., civilian victims, not always caused by mistake, but, above all, caused deliberately to reach the civilian population, supporters of popular movements, of guerrilla which, in the presence of those damages and threats, are led to abandon that support, to utter accusations or to surrender to the highest purposes of the invader’s or occupier’s suzerainty;

·         The already mentioned technological reinforcement emphasizes the greediness of the military industry aiming at the acquisition of orders and the production of equipments more and more sophisticated, and, as the economic growth of the western countries has been lacking vitality, the governments do not reject financial supports for the modernization of the armed forces as well as for the support to the war industries in order to allow the economy its necessary dynamics;

·         The “struggle against terrorism” is but a vague, obscure argument permanently brandished in all directions, one of which to justify the reinforcement of defence and security. That “struggle” deliberately intertwines the fight against narcotic trade and other illegal or criminal trades with that  of the restraint against illegal immigration, which together allow an integration of the military functions  and the police functions;

·         The use of the private companies as suppliers of labour and adjudicators of military functions and missions, carried out in outsourcing regime, are a real private-public partnership which represent an effective privatization of a significant part of the war accomplishment. In Dario Azzellini’s assessment, these adjudications are estimated to be $150000/200000 M a year (39).

·         The abandonment of the compulsory military service changes the armed forces which will then be based on selected and hired voluntary elements as if they were authentic mercenary troops, disciplined praetorian guards, instructed and well-paid, capable of the most insane barbarities on prisoners, and population in general of which they are miles apart by a spirit of caste they have been embodied with. One of the advantages of the professionalization  of the armed forces  is that it reduces the pressure in what concerns the end of the conflicts,  common in soldiers  forced to the war, and allows a pacific continuance of the conflicts, led by  hired praetorians;

·         The absence of conscripts in the military service turns the military deeds into something afar from the population, which this way feels its youth is less threatened, less worried about what is going on in the war, the privileged stage for real war lords, thus more neutral before  a professional use of inhuman or forbidden behaviours by the humanitarian conventions, such is the case of the phosphorous bombs, depleted uranium, anti-personal mines, coward actions on defenceless civilians;

·         The growing separation between, on the one hand, the professional politicians and the political parties, mainly those inserted in a rotative logic, and, on the other, the population, in a context of difficulties caused by the neo-liberal globalization and by the financial crises which followed, leads to a high connivance and alliance between the political classes and the military castes in what the public resources are concerned;

·         However, if the war aims at the appropriation by the aggressors of somebody else’s wealth, that aim may turn into a total failure when the effective and economic occupation of the territory is in question. If the occupation assumes a more prolonged character - which may give rise to passive or armed resistance of non-cooperation with the invader - the enormous destruction capacity of the modern armies, and that of their sophisticated media, vigilance and casualties saving have proved to be very frail. That frailty is liable to cause a clear strategic defeat.

6 – The struggle against the NATO

The NATO possesses numerous fragilities which its military potential tends to conceal. Its capacity to start a war is enormous but it is unfit to solve the problems the peoples are confronted with. What follows next is the enumeration of the factors that stimulate the peoples’ struggles of its member countries against the organization:

  • The NATO has an evident strategic debility since in the absence of a reliable global enemy it  focuses its existence on a diffuse anti-terrorist struggle together with minor objectives  (for a military institution), as criminality or clandestine immigration;
  • That debility manifests itself in the difficulty to capture the commitment of the peoples of its member states, incapable to understand the necessity of the organization to create conflicts  and war; and that commitment is both absent and substituted by attitudes of dissidence from the opposition  and important social sectors;
  • Generally, the NATO  enjoys the local or regional unpopularity in the areas its main actions take place and  whose populations are far from receiving the western soldiers as messengers of freedom, peace or well-being;
  • That unpopularity gives rise to difficulties of effective occupation of the territories subjected to its intervention, the non-accomplishment of the initial objectives being more and more obvious, in Iraq or Afghanistan, which is surely considered to be a strategic defeat. That unpopularity and discredit will no doubt increase. At any moment , the NATO may carry out a spectacular action, with devastating effects in the military field and disastrous impact over the civil population, heightening the already strong demoralization of its troops, and with positive  effects in the increasing anti-NATO awareness of the member countries’ citizens, as it was the case after the Kunduz massacre;
  • A strategic defeat in Afghanistan or Iraq will certainly re-launch the debate both over the usefulness of the NATO and the military force as a way to solve the world’s problems, poverty, hunger, health, etc.; and probably to increase the divergences within the alliance, beyond those which have already arisen;
  • A strategic NATO defeat, with the decline of the euro-American domination, reduces its influence in Arab soil and weakens the Israeli fortress; it may force Israel to effectively give in, a lot beyond what the Zionist government’s initial intentions were, and even lead to a situation where there will be place for a democratic and multi-confessional Palestine;
  • The NATO military apparatus may be efficient in the destruction of conventional armies, but it has failed in what concerns the occupation of the territory, in the co-optation of trustworthy local politicians, and it cannot even get hold of the means for a compulsory enrolment of soldiers, as was the case in Indochina. On its turn, the hiring of military services supplied  by private enterprises has evident budgetary limitations;
  • Concomitantly, the western economies have registered a low growth, and the adoption of the neo-liberal policy, the deregulation of the economic activity together with the ‘financiarization’ have increased the asymmetries and worn out the image of the parties in power. More specifically, the USA, with their chronic deficits the debility of their financial system, and a close dramatic reduction of the dollar relevance, will very unlikely be able to carry out further  military operations , mainly if those are to be followed by subsequent occupations;
  • The subordination of the UNO itself to the interests of the NATO or the Pentagon damages the former’s  reputation and may lead to important reforms in its structure, namely, the extinction of the Security Council if the failure of the NATO or the Pentagon is to take place, i.e. of the western strategic military apparatus
  • The enlargement of the number of the NATO members has in its essence the natural difficulties inherent to the growth of its adversity. Those difficulties may manifest themselves in the lack of cohesion  and in the recrudescence of internal conflicts and antagonisms
  • The puppet role played by the non-allied Eastern European countries, pressured to integrate the NATO, and thus feeding tensions with Russia, will become less attractive in case of the NATO defeat, and it will certainly  withdraw the backing support to the para-fascist  nationalism present in the Eastern part of the EU, namely in Poland. In general, the existence of corrupted politicians and members of the military, far away from the obligations  to their respective peoples – subservient before the aggressive strategy of the  Pentagon – will be weakened in its official conservatism vis-à-vis the NATO;
  • A growing weight of the Southern countries influence in the world scene as far as commerce, investments, economic growth, in international institutions has been taking place, which makes it difficult for the deeds or even the affirmation of the only global power as such - the USA and their armed branches, where the NATO is included.
The substitution of the compulsory military service by a regiment of volunteers, thus turning the armies into mercenary organizations, tends to make it difficult for the popular peace movements whose feelings are based upon the growing number of casualties of “our soldiers”. The casualties among mercenaries do not provoke much grief and do not motivate so much the popular movements in their struggle against the war or, still, the movements of mothers or relatives of deceased or crippled soldiers at the war front. If this emotional factor is not present or it becomes just a side factor, the foundation of the struggle against militarism and war will have to be laid upon economic, political, ethical and humanitarian factors.

The struggle against the NATO and militarism carried out by the peoples of its respective member countries may involve several fronts:

  • An economic component, insisting on the uselessness and social inconvenience of the military expenditure as opposed to the expenditure on health, education, housing and other investments;
  • An ecological component, which consists of  alerting to the eminent dangers of the presence of military bases, of territory taken away from the populations for military purposes, specially when they are being used for nuclear weapons storage;
  • An ethical component, which points to the anti-democratic character of the military solutions and emphasizes the unyielding defence of the pacific ways of conflict solving;
  • A humanitarian component which is based upon the expression of human solidarity towards the war victims thus implement a universal and anti-military spirit of assertion and consolidation of the human rights, of paramount importance for the creation of a better world;
  • A component of political exposure for the parasitism of the military castes and their police functions carried out by the dominant parties as central element of the bio-political control of the populations.
It is frequent that the existence of parties and movements, of a national scope, which propose the ceasing of their countries’ participation in the NATO activities, which can be considered as a naïve position if not  a mere populist attitude with electoral goals.

Countries such as England, France or Germany may leave the NATO or refuse to participate in a particular intervention of the organization, if they so decide. Due to their political and economic power, the cohesion which the NATO is so in need of might even be shaken. The same does not apply to smaller countries, which are the great majority of the NATO countries. And that for two reasons:

  • The first, of a political nature, which has to do with the fact that the USA does not easily admit an exit without retaliation. Desertions within their closest sphere of suzerainty are not to be accepted, regardless of the fact they be performed by smaller countries whose contribution is irrelevant in terms of military capacity of  the NATO intervention;
  • The second, of a strategic nature. In some cases, the strategic location of a particular country that wishes to leave the organization is so relevant that it would clearly weaken the NATO military apparatus, which might cause further difficulties provoked by the USA and by their allies. It would be, for instance, the case of Turkey, similarly to what happened in 1979, with the exit of Iran from the USA sphere of influence, the latter having forgotten neither the humiliations nor the strategic loss then undergone.
In this context, the isolate attitudes carried out at a national level  by any country aiming at unilaterally leaving the NATO tend to be superficial as well as ineffective  (General de Gaulle’s France left the NATO, but it has recently joined in again).

In order to be effective and genuine, the movements against the NATO must necessarily have two goals:

  • They must focus on the end of the NATO, the only way to solve the problem and create a global peace environment;
  • All the peoples threatened by its existence must unite those within the member countries, nations currently undergoing its interventions, and those whose location may be in its horizon for future interventions.

September, 2009

Vítor Lima,   member of PAGAN – Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-Nato   (Portugal)
Ângela Prestes (translation)
Version in Portuguese language
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Notes and sources         



(23) http://www.wri-irg.org/node/6573,  Cerremos la NATO, WRI

(34) http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/mundo/ult94u562129.shtml

(37)    Maurice Lemoine in “Sinais da Guerra  Fria nas Honduras”, Monde Diplomatique, Set/09, Portuguese ed.
The messianic hopes regarding Obama fade away as the time goes by. Obama’s subordination to the Pentagon or his pragmatic subalternity when including Hilary Clinton in his government is obvious. H. Clinton lost the democrat nomination for Obama when running for the candidacy , and is now responsible for the USA foreign policy. Obama seems to be the most successful case where Franz Fanon thesis in his 1952 book “Peau Noire, Masques Blancs” can be applied, following the attempts made with Collin Powel and Condoleza Rice. A question seems to be pertinent: Is President Obama a ‘powerpoint’?

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