DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.

 

 

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Wednesday
Jan162019

HAS SUCCESS DESTROYED NATO ■ PUTIN’S NATO GAMBIT

GRAPHIC/IMAGE COURTESY OF GEO AWESOMENESS

Donald Trump, America’s Manchurian Candidate, has been elected, inaugurated and is now President of the United States. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, after the successful annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, is implementing his NATO gambit egging Trump to abandon NATO. Will the gambit succeed?

In 1945 at the end of the war, with colonial empires in taters, with the world order disrupted beyond repair, the boys in the halls of power - Whitehall and Westminster, the Quai d’Orsay and the Élysėe Palace, the Capital and the White House, with the complicity of Russia’s Kremlin and China’s Kuomintang - devised a new “Great Game”, a game by which they would continue to run the world. They called it the United Nations.

Like all casino games of chance, the United Nations was rigged, it was fixed from the outset. The real levers of power were vested in a private cabal to which only the boys with all the marbles belonged – the permanent members of the Security Council, each with unfettered veto power. Any country could play in that glass and concrete sandbox on New York’s East River, but the marbles never left the hands of the Security Council’s permanent members.

The Security Council’s veto power proved effective in shaping the course of events but did not allow for unfettered action absent unanimous consent. What do you do when the Great Game has to accommodate the wishes and aspirations of former colonial states, countries with teeming “not quite white” masses, inconsequential banana republics and powers with contrary political aspirations? You stay in the Great Game, you remain a member state of the United Nations but you set up an alternative, parallel game correcting the original mistake by making membership by invitation only.

The new game NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was invented in 1949. It was an alliance of member states bordering the Atlantic with Italy, surrounded by the Mediterranean, thrown in for good measure. This was a “whites only need apply, no third world countries invited” club dominated by the old pre-war world powers. It was a new world-wide military power that soon transcended its geographical roots with the accession of Greece and Turkey in 1952.

The Soviet Union threatened by this show of force responded in 1955 with the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, also known as the Warsaw Pact, dragooning the likes of Albania, Bulgaria and Romania into an uneasy military alliance.

You know the rest of the story - the cold war ended, Germany united, the Soviet Union exploded, the Warsaw Pact imploded, the field of battle was abandoned to NATO, dominated and financed by the United States.

Many promises were made that NATO would remain a local, regional coalition, promises that proved patently false. In 1991 Poland and land-locked Hungary and the Czech Republic petitioned to join the European Union and NATO. In 2004 six countries were added to NATO rolls. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were North Sea countries but that could not be said for Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Recently Albania, Croatia and Montenegro were welcomed aboard tightening a constricting noose of military power around Russia.

NATO proved to be the vehicle with which “Western Powers” exercised military intervention without United Nations approval. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait allowed deployment of aircraft in a war zone. The breakup of Yugoslavia allowed military forces to be deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as later in Kosovo. NATO deployments in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and the Gulf of Aden followed.

Compared to earlier models, the Triple Alliance [Germany, Austro-Hungary, Italy 1882], the Balkan League [Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria and Montenegro 1912] the Entente and its allies [World War I], the Axis [the enemy in World War II], NATO has been a resounding success. It has expanded beyond all expectations with a 50 year and counting shelf life.

NATO expanded its mission from one of collective defensive security to one of offensive use of force securing global objectives far from the North Atlantic. No wonder Vladimir Putin is now deploying his latest gambit to defeat and destroy NATO, or at the very least deprive it of United States financing, support and influence.

Vladimir Putin’s end game is to install a Manchurian Candidate to do his bidding willingly, or unwillingly under duress of kompromat. The national security agencies are unanimous in their assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election. Will our elected officials, our Senators and Members of the House of Representatives heed the words of the patriot Patrick Henry “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country” and impeach and, if necessary, indict Donald Trump? To do otherwise would allow the Putin gambit to checkmate democracy.

 

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