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Does a country that leaves NATO become defenseless? Does a country, that is part of NATO, lose its independence?

IbnAbdullah

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I read something that I felt was somewhat pertinent to us as well even though we aren't part of the NATO alliance. I posted it here because I can't post in the strategic and foreign affairs forum.


Source: Quora

It was posted as an answer to the question: Does a country that leaves NATO become defenseless? Does a country, that is part of NATO, lose its independence? By user Luke Trkanjec. His answer is as follows:

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To begin with a well-known quote of one American Founding Father, namely —

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.[1]
— it would follow that a country which joins NATO looses both its independence and its defenses. Paying protection money to mafia doesn’t actually ensure your protection, you understand, and that’s what NATO essentially is: US weapons cartel mafia. It’s not, nor it ever really was a defensive alliance - after all, it was the Warsaw pact which was formed in 1955 in response to NATO first rejecting USSR’s proposals to join it, and then proceeding to rearm Western Germany against it - but rather, a military arm of Anglo-American Transatlantic empire, whose primary purpose was and is to pummel its European dominions into submision.

The most prominent of NATO operations during the Cold War - or the Years of Lead, as the Italians like to call those decades between 1960 and 1980 - had little to do with any kind of collective defense, and more with, to put it bluntly, state-sponsored terrorism. These included the 1967 Colonel’s coup and succeeding military junta rule in Greece; the 1968 color revolution against French president Charles de Gaulle after he kicked out NATO from his country a year earlier; the 1978 murder of Italian prime minister Aldo Moro after he tried to form a government with Italian Communist party; and the entire network of far-right militias and terrorist groups sown across the old continent, known under the general code-name of “Operation Gladio”. Really, the stuff that’s been happening in Ukraine for more than a decade by now - with coups against democratically elected leadership, arming and financing of radical extremist groups, and the overall “strategy of tension” - is a textbook typical example of how NATO (and more globally, USA) operates.

Anyhow, half a century of such “training of toughness” over much of Europe turned its political elites into the best little Americans there can be, whose almost Pavlovian reaction to anything by now is “Whatever Uncle Sam wants!” As this current crisis amply demonstrates, they would rather deprive their own people of cheap energy and food by imposing pointless sanctions against Russia, than risk ending like poor Aldo Moro again (murdered, you understand, by “Russian terrorists”). Thus, after the fall of the Soviet Union, hardly anyone in Europe dared to seriously challenge the new American ”Wolfowitz doctrine” formulated in 1992 - which basically stated that USA now has to wage endless wars all across the globe to prevent anyone from ever challenging its status as the world’s sole superpower.

And in that regard, the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe during the 2000s - at the same time America was bombing its way across the Middle East (I mean, talk about overextension) - was really the US military-industrial complex equivalent of Wall Street housing bubble, that was being inflated at that same time. Essentially: “We’re making so much money out of war and arms sales, we have to expand the market even further!” Most thinking persons in the West warned this would eventually lead to disaster - as they did about the financial orgy preceding the 2008 economic crash - but, y’know, that’s because they were loser cucks belonging to what all alpha-male chads at the time mocked as “reality-based community”.

The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' [...] 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'.[2]
main-qimg-52849355686eaecf041124c1e1c81f27-lq

^ Procession of nations on the gates of ancient Persepolis, depicting various people of Persian empire obediently bringing tribute to its Great King. This artwork was made, mind you, about the same time as Xerxes was overextending the empire with his wars in mainland Greece.

Which brings us to the second point of this question, that of defense(lessness). To give an example of my own little country: Croatia used to have quite a formidable little army of its own, which successfully defended our homeland during our Independence War in 1990s. Then, after we became part of NATO in 2009 - without an actual referendum on such an important question of national policy, because, y’know, we’re a democracy now - the conscription was abolished, the funding for the army slashed, the air-force fell into shambles, air-defenses as well, the navy is hardly in the best of shape either… and all of that under the implicit understanding of “We’re part of NATO now, so we can rely on others to come to our defenses!” Fast-forward to 2022, and old Soviet pieces of junk strayed from Ukrainian war space are now crashing down onto our capital with nobody being either able or willing to intercept them - and this at the time when Russians are testing their newest hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, which no less person than the POTUS openly admits are practically impossible to defend against. But, luckily for us, Americans can create their own realities, in which we hopefully won’t all die should one of those things hit us.

In other words, NATO can’t really defend against much of anything, and more importantly, it doesn’t really want to. As the history of the WWII teaches us, to mobilize any serious Transatlantic army for an all-out war in Europe takes years; while as this current Russo-Ukrainian war demonstrates, Russians can seize a Baltic-states sized chunk of territory across their border within weeks. So the entire idea of collective defense of Europe boils down to a fool’s hope that Americans would be willing to start a nuclear world war for the sake of countries many of them quite frankly can’t find on a map. But again, as the Cold War history shows, Americans weren’t willing to risk that for countries such as France and UK, their closest transatlantic allies. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, when Britain and France together with Israel attacked Soviet-allied Egypt to take back control of the Suez Canal which the Egyptian leader Nasser previously nationalized, they were arm-twisted into backing off immediately by the US itself, who didn’t want to be dragged further into that conflict by its NATO allies.

When the British-French-Israeli invasion forced them to choose, Eisenhower and Dulles came down, with instant decisiveness, on the side of the Egyptians. They preferred alignment with Arab nationalism, even if it meant alienating pro-Israeli constituencies on the eve of a presidential election in the United States, even if it meant throwing the NATO alliance into its most divisive crisis yet, even if it meant risking whatever was left of the Anglo-American 'special relationship', even if it meant voting with the Soviet Union in the United Nations Security Council at a time when the Russians, themselves, were invading Hungary and crushing—far more brutally than anything that happened in Egypt—a rebellion against their own authority there. The fact that the Eisenhower administration itself applied crushing economic pressure to the British and French to disengage from Suez, and that it subsequently forced an Israeli pull-back from the Sinai as well—all of this, one might thought, would won the United States the lasting gratitude of Nasser, the Egyptians and the Arab world. Instead, the Americans lost influence in the Middle East as a result of Suez, while the Russians gained it.[3]
Of course, Americans back then weren’t so much into being best buddies with Arabs, as they were against getting into WWIII with Russia for the sake of old European colonial powers. So countries today who bet all of their national security on the idea that a hegemon halfway across the world will honor its commitment to them - when its stated policy for 21st century is literal “We’ll **** whomever we want, and all you can do is stand by and watch!” - should really stop and ask themselves if they mean more to USA than Britain and France did back in 1950s. The ugly answer, of course, will be the realization that all of NATO is there to be sacrificed for the geopolitical interests of USA - and not the other way around.

main-qimg-f41861646ac82241e83eccb22758bff3-lq

^ The Battle of Isus, during which the Persian king Darius III famously fled and abandoned his troops, as soon as the Greeks under Alexander started closing in on him.

Footnotes

[1] Founders Online: Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, 11 November 1755
[2] Reality-based community - Wikipedia
[3] Suez Crisis - Wikipedia
 

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