No. 55October 29, 2021
On October 21 and 22 defence ministers of all 30 NATO member countries met in person in Brussels. The humiliating U.S. and NATO defeat in Afghanistan did not give rise to the conclusion that conflicts cannot be resolved through invasions. Far from it, NATO has now adopted what it calls a new “master plan” to prepare for a war with Russia. There are also indications that it will push U.S.-style democracy with a vengeance claiming that anyone who does not submit to their so-called rules-based international order will be subjected to violence. This is NATO’s main item of business in preparation for the next NATO leaders’ summit scheduled for June 2022 in Madrid.
Under the hoax that foreign policy is the prerogative of the executive power (the cabinet ministries) and that it involves security, no discussion takes place within the polity to get approval for the direction in which a government takes the country. The ruling elites have converted foreign affairs into a mystery of state while they feed the war industry by intensifying preparations for even more devastating and disastrous wars.
NATO’s “master plan” is based on the narrative that “Russian aggression is on the rise,” as the current German Defence Minister put it. In fact, Russia’s U.S.$61.7 billion military spending in 2021 is less than one tenth the $811 billion U.S. military budget and pales in comparison to the U.S.$1,174,240 million combined military spending of NATO members.
The details of the new “master plan” agreed to by NATO Defence Ministers are “confidential,” but it is described as a “plan to counter any potential multiple-front Russian offensive (in the Baltic and Black Sea regions) whether it involves nuclear arms, cyber warfare or space-based weaponry.” The “master plan” calls for significant improvements to NATO’s air and missile defences, strengthening its conventional capabilities with fifth generation jets, adapting exercises and intelligence, and improving the readiness and effectiveness of its “nuclear deterrent.”
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg has become adept at raising hysteria over how imminent an attack by Russia on Europe may or may not be.
Stoltenberg describes what is taking place as “a transformation of NATO.” “We have tripled the size of the NATO Response Force,” he said, noting that it now has “more than 40,000 troops” at its disposal and “we have battle groups in the Baltic countries.” Of these, the multi-national NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia is led by Canada under U.S. command, of course.
Stoltenberg said that “we have agreed to deliver more forces with higher readiness. We have agreed to have more forces which are heavier, and with more high-end capabilities, and technologically advanced forces, and forces that need to fully exploit emerging and disruptive technologies to make sure that we maintain our technological edge.”
U.S. officials said the “master plan” enables NATO “to decide what additional weapons it needs and how to position its forces.”
The 30 defence ministers committed to a $1 billion fund to seed development of new digital technologies.
NATO also announced that “15 member countries” reached an agreement on multi-national cooperation to develop, purchase and deliver Ground Based Air Defence systems to protect NATO bases, installations and personnel from air based threats. This was one of the deals struck by defence ministers “in the margins” of the weekend meeting.
Another was an agreement “by at least 10 NATO allies” to develop, produce and procure individual protective equipment and collective protection systems “to equip their forces with state of the art, standardized protection gear in a cost effective manner.” The 10 countries are Albania, Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
NATO Defence Ministers Praise Invasion and 20-Year Occupation of Afghanistan
The meeting of NATO defence ministers’ in Brussels, showed their dishonesty by refusing to discuss the humiliating defeat of the U.S. in Afghanistan and how the U.S. even abandoned all NATO members as it scurried to save itself and get out, engaging in a killing spree of its own people as it went.
“Our mission was not in vain,” they agreed. “We prevented Afghanistan from being a safe haven for international terrorists, and prevented any attack against any NATO ally over 20 years,” they declared. It was never proven that the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon on 9/11, 2001 was carried out by Afghanistan. Nonetheless, NATO’s Secretary General Stoltenberg declared NATO’s twenty-year war on Afghanistan a success because it succeeded in preventing the Taliban from launching any further terrorist attacks against the U.S. or any other NATO member state.
“We will stay vigilant and preserve those gains,” he said. What gains precisely are accounted for with all the deaths and crimes committed by the U.S. and NATO forces were not mentioned.
The Department of National Defence (DND) paints a benign rosy picture of Canada’s role at the NATO defence ministers meeting, October 21-22. The DND communiqué said Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to strengthen NATO’s “deterrence and defence posture;” endorsed NATO’s “critical initiatives” to “ensure the Alliance’s success over the next decade;” addressed NATO’s Operation Allied Solace, its mission to evacuate NATO-Affiliated Afghan contractors and their immediate family members; hosted a defence ministers’ meeting of allies contributing to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group in Latvia; and met with key partners to advance collaboration and coordination with NATO in responding to key geostrategic challenges.
In plain talk it means Canada endorsed NATO’s “master plan” of war with Russia; reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to troop deployment and command of NATO forces in Latvia on the Russian border; did its utmost to obfuscate NATO’s violation of international law and crimes against the people and country of Afghanistan; engaged with other NATO member states in discussing NATO’s missions in Iraq and elsewhere and, since everything is secret in the name of security, nobody knows what else.
For Canada, diversion and obfuscation were the name of the game to draw attention away from the fact that NATO is a warmongering alliance which needs to be dismantled so that the demand of Canadians and the peoples of the world against the use of force to sort out conflicts can take effect. Canada was represented by Harjit Sajjan who was still Defence Minister at the time the meeting took place. At no point did Sajjan take any responsibility for the disasters the U.S. and NATO created in Afghanistan. He announced that “Canada will resettle up to an additional 322 NATO-Affiliated Afghans and their immediate family members,” in Canada. This will bring the number of NATO-Affiliated Afghans that Canada has committed to resettle to 472.
In the final days of the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan, NATO countries evacuated some 120,000 people, including 2,000 who were directly “NATO-Affiliated.” Those airlifted out of Kabul were evacuated to “processing stations” at U.S. or NATO military bases in Qatar, Germany and Spain, as well as to Kuwait, Italy, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and as far afield as Colombia, Ecuador, Cambodia and Uganda.
Tens of thousands more are said to have gone to surrounding countries in those final days adding to the millions who had already fled decades of war and aggression.
For all the talk about relocation, the truth is that the NATO countries do not want to deal with the mess they created. They would rather pay neighbouring countries to keep the refugees in camps or relocate them to provide cheap labour in Canada’s meat processing plants. The European Union, for example, plans to allocate €600 million to Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to help cover expenses generated by the influx of Afghans, and €300 million euros for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
At least 2.6 million Afghans were already living abroad as registered refugees, with the largest numbers in neighbouring Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey. Iran hosts 800,000 registered refugees and up to 3 million other displaced Afghans. Pakistan has 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees and up to 2 million other displaced Afghans. More than 3 million people had been internally displaced in Afghanistan by the end of 2020, and the UN refugee agency estimated that 550,000 more Afghans were displaced within the country from the beginning of 2021 until August 10, including about 240,000 displaced since the withdrawal of the so-called coalition’s military forces began in May.
Canada’s “good news story” actually serves to cover up the enormity of the disaster that has befallen Afghanistan and millions of Afghan people as a result of NATO’s involvement in the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan.
(With files from Department of National Defence, NATO, UN Refugee Agency and Human Rights Watch)
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