Jubilee of mistake: how Joe Biden expanded NATO for almost his entire conscious life
US President Joe Biden said he did not believe in Russia's desire to wage war on Ukraine and said: "I appeal to the Russian people - you are not the enemy to us."
According to the correspondent of The Moscow Post, such a statement came as a surprise to many. The question is, can these words be believed? Maybe, being a believer, the US president himself changed his mind about Russia at the age of old?..
But after all, the North Atlantic Alliance 2.0, its favorite brainchild, did not give signs of movement in this direction. And it is unlikely that such a step will ever be decided without the highest permission. And this is impossible for one simple reason: for the Democrats, NATO in its post-Soviet reincarnation is not just a military-political bloc. It's part of the Democratic ideology!
And Uncle Joe himself recently warmly welcomed the launch of the NATO Agenda for the Period until 2030. The document became the basis for a new round of confrontation with both Russia and China. The NATO 2030 newsletter reads: "The International Order <... >, under pressure from authoritarian countries such as Russia and China, which do not share our values, threatens security, a way of life that is called" democratic. "
With its charter in the post-Soviet garden
Recall that in June 2021, the US president, speaking at NATO headquarters in Brussels, said: "NATO itself is critical to US interests. If it were not, we would have to invent it. " Nothing else needs to be invented. The EuroNATO Union is working, moving in the direction of Russia and the post-Soviet space. True, China also came to the attention of this creature (as, however, Australia), but in a different capacity. The heart of NATO is hidden in the generously funded depths of the military-industrial complex and the numerous structures adjacent to it.
The Pentagon and generals with four asterisks on their straps are just a market that includes Europe. Like any other market, this should also expand. So NATO has recently been expanding towards Kharkov, Odessa and even the suburbs of St. Petersburg. In this regard, the once-resort Tribaltika had reason to worry about its safety (as, however, Poland and Romania).
As you know, of the three main requirements of Moscow for security guarantees, two relate to material and technical restrictions and one to the political and legal "rules" of the Alliance. The first requirement concerns the return of NATO infrastructure in Europe to the borders of 1997, when the Russian Federation-NATO Act was signed. We are talking about dismantling what was built, established, pushed to the borders of the Russian Federation and Belarus.
The second condition involves the refusal of the United States to deploy strike weapons near the borders of Russia. Withdrawal from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) may allow the deployment of American promising weapons in Europe, including medium-range hypersonic missiles. Poland proposes to host nuclear weapons. Up to 20 such small-capacity ammunition have already been deployed in Germany.
The third requirement is very clear. Kharkov and Odessa should be excluded from NATO expansion plans and bilateral "military development" programs of Ukraine, it is advisable to do this as a result of negotiations. The refusal to expand the Alliance eastward rests, according to Washington and Brussels, on an "open door" policy, namely, on the provisions of the NATO charter. These political and legal "obligations" include articles 10 and 12 of the statute. According to article 10 of the INF Treaty, its participants "may offer to any other European state... join. " A candidate State that "may become a contracting party" should receive an invitation.
It should also be noted that Article 12 states that, after ten years from the beginning of the treaty, "the parties undertake, at the request of a contracting party, to hold joint consultations with a view to revising this treaty." In this case, "factors affecting peace and security in the North Atlantic region" are taken into account.
Of all this, two conclusions follow.
Firstly, the graduate country should receive an invitation. Participation in the Alliance may (or may not) be offered. The countries of the Alliance did not commit to keeping its "doors open."
Secondly, each member country of the Alliance may require a review of the treaty if "peace and security in the North Atlantic region" are affected.
The triumph was carefully prepared...
Senator Bernie Sanders, speaking in the upper house of the US Congress, reminded his colleagues: "When Ukraine became an independent country after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian leadership made it clear that it was concerned about the prospect that former Soviet republics would become part of NATO, as well as the deployment of hostile military forces along Russia's borders. US officials at the time recognized that this concern was legitimate. "
Indeed, knowing history helps to at least understand where Americans made mistakes. And NATO's expansion East to the borders of the former Soviet Union was one big mistake that can already be celebrated on its 25th anniversary. This error led to the current crisis, the way out of which is not yet visible. And the mistake has authors.
Let's start with President Biden. In 1998, following the adoption of the Fundamental Act of the Russian Federation-NATO, senators supported the inclusion of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in NATO. The decision was adopted by an overwhelming majority. The Democrats (35 votes) were joined by 45 Republicans, who then controlled Congress. Joe Biden said this decision "will ensure peace for another 50 years to come."
The transition of the former Warsaw Pact states to the side of the West was perceived as a triumph. In October-November 1997, a debate on NATO expansion was held in Congress. Speakers included current and retired politicians, diplomats and experts. Among hundreds of pages of texts and dozens of speeches, the words spoken by the two participants seemed to characterize extreme approaches to the expansion of the Alliance.
Political analyst Dmitry Symes, known today to Russian viewers as a co-host of the Big Game program, said that "senior administration officials make it clear that they imagine not just an expanded NATO, but a fundamentally modified NATO, rebuilt in a way that seems to be largely consistent with the principles of collective security defended by Russia. A strong and effective NATO is not an obstacle, but an advantage in relations with Moscow in the 21st century. "
Symes commented on his appearance in the hearing of Jack Mattlock, the former US ambassador to the USSR. The diplomat replied to Sims: "I could see two conditions under which NATO expansion would be not only desirable, but also necessary. One of them would be an agreement that would include Russia, or would have any agreement between Russia and NATO, part of which this [expansion] would happen, but would make Russia a partner responsible for helping maintain European security. "
By that time, there was already a "Fundamental Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization," adopted in May 1997. But the attitude of the White House under the leadership of President Bill Clinton was already clear. Debates and discussions in Congress and at other venues were held, rather, for a tick.
In September 1997, responding to the "debate on the causes, consequences, and rationality of the Alliance's expansion," the Clinton administration responded in a written response: "The very existence of NATO is an important reason that its current members and potential new members do not face an immediate threat of attack. By adding new members, the most effective deterrent in the world will be able to prevent conflicts even better. "
Thus, no one was faced with threats in Europe at that time, but the replenishment of new members to the Alliance was nevertheless proposed, and then-Senator Joe Biden warmly supported this. The Tampa Bay Times in May 1998 noted that it was "Biden who took the lead in opposing the opinion that with the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War in 1991, there was no real need to further strengthen NATO."
… and "success" was rocket-bomb
Before the start of the "Clinton" stage of expansion, in 1982, Spain joined the Alliance. NATO on March 12, 1999 included Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. This happened less than two weeks before the bombing of Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999. The aggression lasted eleven weeks and one day under the pretext of "preventing the genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo." During the operation, NATO forces made 38 thousand sorties, including more than 10 thousand bomb attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled this during a press conference with German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz. There was already a war in Europe, he said: "The North Atlantic Alliance unleashed it against Yugoslavia, organizing, among other things, the bombing of Belgrade." He recalled that then a major military operation took place with missile and bomb attacks on one of the European capitals - Belgrade. "It was. Without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council. This is a very bad example, but he was, "Putin stated.
As a result of the bombing, about four thousand people were killed, about ten thousand were injured, two thirds of which were civilians. Material damage reached $100 billion. During three months of bombing of Yugoslavia by NATO forces, up to 15 tons of depleted uranium in shells were dropped on Serbia. The country took first place in Europe in cancer, many thousands of people died.
"There is such a profession - NATO to expand"
At the 2002 Senate hearings, Biden called the growth in NATO membership a key phenomenon for Washington's interests and supported President Bush in his "important work" begun under Democrat Clinton. In 2003, when lawmakers decided to join NATO Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Estonia, the current owner of the White House noted that all this was happening on the eve of the 58th anniversary of the victory over Germany. These countries, in his opinion, became a "symbol" of liberation from the tyranny of Nazism and the "tyranny of communism." NATO has swept the former communist part of Europe! Then the Senate, which was under Republican control, voted unanimously.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasized in this regard that "Russia still considers NATO expansion a mistaken step towards strengthening European security." The agency's assessments noted that the connection of the Baltic countries to the Alliance's air defense system was based on the assumption that war was possible in Europe. And Biden in 2008 said that he was proud of the work of the Senate Committee on International Affairs, offered to consider applications for membership in NATO from any country. He then supported the idea of accepting Albania, Croatia and Macedonia into NATO.
In the same statement, Biden spoke of the need to encourage efforts to join NATO Georgia and Ukraine. These countries, he said, went through the "orange revolution" and the "rose revolution." This apparently indicated the "qualification" of their elites in Biden's understanding. Having visited Kiev in 2009, the US Vice President said: "If you decide to become part of Euro-Atlantic integration (and I believe that this is so), we will definitely support you." At this stage of his political career, Joe Biden made statements that there should no longer be "spheres of influence," that no one can dictate "which unions to join," that the United States "holy honor" Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.
NATO as a space for "values"
When we wonder why all the promises and assurances once received by Mikhail Gorbachev about the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance to the east were "firmly forgotten," we freely or involuntarily lose sight of a very important moment. Previously mentioned, Jack Matlock, the last US ambassador to the USSR, represented the interests of Republicans, who were replaced in 1992 by Democrats led by Bill Clinton.
Already retired Ambassador Matlock, speaking at a congressional hearing in 1997, spoke of the common responsibility of the United States and Russia for maintaining security in Europe. Maybe it was his personal position, or maybe it reflected the philosophy of the Bush Sr. administration, including Secretary of State James Baker, one of those who made "promises" to Shevardnadze and Gorbachev.
... But the USSR broke up, the Democrats again came to the White House, everything went according to a scenario similar to the fate of the "nuclear deal" with Iran, which the Republicans destroyed. The position of Dmitry Simes in 1997 was noteworthy in this regard. Seemingly an independent researcher, previously a close aide to Republican President Richard Nixon, Symes already felt the mood of the Washington political class. And the "winds" of the situation were already blowing east, filling the sails of the NATO alliance.
Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci/TASS