IMI-Standpunkt 2008/025english

A Crucial NATO summit

The NATO summit in Bucharest took crucial decisions with far-reaching consequences for the alliance.

von: Tobias Pflüger | Veröffentlicht am: 15. April 2008


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1. NATO expansion to the South and East

Five states will join NATO next year or later: The three balkan states Croatia, Albania and Macedonia (FYRoM), as soon as its dispute with Greece over the country’s name has been solved. Furthermore, the NATO summit decided that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of the alliance, but without setting a concrete date, for this to happen. This was a NATO-typic compromise: US President George W. Bush wanted to admit both countries, former parts of the Soviet Union, as early as next year, while Germany and France – also due to legitimate Russian concerns – where against this proposal.

2. Reintegration of France

By the way, France: France under President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to rejoin all NATO structures, ending the country’s 40-year absence from the alliance’s military command. As a first present in this context, 700 additional french soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, NATO will further intensify its war against the insurgency (claimed to be a „top priority“). For this purpose, NATO finalized a special strategy document on the role of ISAF, its combat troop in Afghanistan. The most interesting aspects of this document are that from now on, civilian counterinsurgency should be carried out (whatever this exactly means, the details are classified) and the cooperation with the European Union, e.g. by using EU-structures, should be further enhanced. Germany is right in the middle and is becoming more and more an integral part of the offensive combat strategy in Afghanistan (in the North and West, by the Tornados and the „Quick Reaction Force“, but also ever more frequently in the South).

3. NATO Missile Defence in cooperation with the United States

In Bucharest, NATO decided unanimously, with support of the German government, to further elaborate on plans to build up an own Missile System in addition to the one Washington intends to install in Eastern Europe. The summit declaration states: „[W]e task the Council in Permanent Session to develop options for a comprehensive missile defence architecture to extend coverage to all Allied territory and populations not otherwise covered by the United States system for review at our 2009 Summit, to inform any future political decision.“ This decision is based on an already completed feasibility study, conducted by major armament companies, which is classified. This is scandalous as such a system could cost large sums of money. For example, the „Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik“, a think tank with close ties to the German Government, calculated that such a comprehensive system could cost up to „40 billion Euros or more.“ This is also a positive NATO-decision on the US Missile System, which also has been greeted without dissent. As the main task of a Missile „Defence“ System is to negate second strike capabilities of an enemy, this must be seen as an open assault on Russia.

4. A New Strategic Concept for the war-fighting alliance

According to our information – which have been confirmed by the French newspaper „Le Canard enscheiné“ -, a update of the Strategic Concept of 1999 has been also discussed in Bucharest. The most relevant document on this issue has been written by five NATO generals, among them Klaus Naumann and John Shalikashvili, titled „Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World“. In this document, for example the first use of nuclear weapons against perhaps existing or merely purported hostile nuclear weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction is proposed (keyword Iran). If possible, the New Strategic NATO Concept should be adopted at NATO’s anniversary summit.

5. NATO’s 60th anniversary – A call for protests in Kehl and Strasbourg

NATO intends to celebrate its 60th birthday in Kehl and Strasbourg in the spring of 2009. This is also an invitation to us, the peace and anti-war movement. NATO symbols the military enforcement of western interests. NATO is and is ever more becoming a war-fighting alliance. We should start a campaign against NATO – to delegitimise this organization. NATO is unnecessary, it has to be disbanded. The culmination of such a campaign could be international protests against NATO’s 60th anniversary and the summit itself in Kehl and Strasbourg.