Jump to navigation Jump to search
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Mar.18.2018: Nato must improve defences against a 'more aggressive' Russia, says chief. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the NATO alliance must revamp its approach given Russia’s new military capabilities. He said expected the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and other Nato leaders to revamp their approach at the next Nato summit this summer. Last week, he accused Russia of trying to destabilise the west with new nuclear weapons, cyber attacks and covert action, including the poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in the British town of Salisbury. Stoltenberg said hybrid warfare could be added to the agenda of the next Nato-Russia council, a forum that brings together NATO ambassadors and Russia’s top diplomat to the alliance, despite the suspension of joint exercises and peacekeeping operations. Stoltenberg listed as evidence of Russia’s threat its 2014 annexation of Crimea, support for separatists in Ukraine, military presence in Moldova and Georgia, meddling in western elections and involvement in the war in Syria. The Guardian.
- Jun.18.2011: Libya: Here we go again. (...) Nato’s engagement in Libya ran into the desert sand faster than the invasion of Iraq ever did. Support for the bombing started to unravel within days of the UN Security Council vote authorising ‘all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack’. International concern mounted still further as Nato leaders swiftly moved beyond the UN mandate of protecting civilians to openly advocating regime change - military intervention to bring about regime change is against international law. Further contravention of the UN mandate of protecting civilians came with the decision to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for bombing raids on areas held by pro-Gaddafi forces. David Cameron's sudden concern for the safety of Libyan civilians rings particularly hollow, given that he had authorised the sale of sniper rifles, assault rifles, machine guns and crowd control ammunition to Gaddafi during the second half of 2010. The Nato assault on Libya reveals serious problems with the principle of humanitarian intervention itself: look at the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which half a million Tutsi were massacred while the international community looked on. Libya boasts the largest proven oil reserves of any country in Africa, as well as significant reserves of natural gas. No fewer than 35 foreign oil and gas companies are active in Libya, including several national oil companies from Nato member states. It is childish to suggest that Nato’s intervention in Libya was undertaken without reference to the country’s natural resources. Nato member states are not disinterested observers but key players with strategic investments in Libya and across the wider Arab world. The fact that the protagonists have been able to cloak their actions in terms of humanitarian intervention does nothing to disguise the underlying agenda of securing key supplies of oil and gas. To pretend that the UN Security Council represents a safety mechanism ‘above’ such considerations is disingenuous. Indeed, Nato forces now treat the Security Council as no more than a convenient fig leaf for their most aggressive ambitions. British public opinion is alive to the hypocrisy. Within a few weeks of the start of hostilities, polls showed even less support for British intervention in Libya than for the Iraq war at the same time in 2003. Britain’s two largest trade unions, Unite and Unison, both issued statements in April calling for a cessation of military action. The responsibility to protect civilians from war crimes or other atrocities has degenerated into a convenient excuse for selected acts of aggression, while other equally pressing human rights crises go untouched. Nato is not a benign force for peace in the world but a coalition whose leaders take military action for their own political and strategic ends. John Hilary, War on Want, Red Pepper.