ANTONOPOULOS: NATO Looks to Latin America

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Originally published on Geopolitica – Mr. Paul Antonopoulos is a geopolitical expert and an accomplished author. This is his latest take on NATO involvement in Latin America.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or more commonly known as NATO, seems to be readjusting its focus, especially when considering Colombia is already part of the organization as a partner – and both NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US President Donald Trump already announced in April 2019 that Brazil had many options to be the next country to obtain the status of “global partner” of the Alliance. The US with Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have already made an agreement in anti-terrorism matters. Decidedly, NATO and the US have turned to South America.

In this movement for the integration of Latin American countries into NATO remains an important issue: the obligation to defend all members. This is Article 5 of the Atlantic Treaty, which allows member countries to request support to defend themselves. It must be remembered that “global partner” is a status inferior to that of “member,” a position  already held by countries such as Japan and Australia, but superior to the bilateral agreement between NATO and other countries, such as the case of Argentina, which became an important NATO ally in 1997, so in theory the invocation of article 5 would not be possible.

However, it is not unreasonable that, if necessary, this theoretical difficulty is drawn with a deepening of the status of a “global partner” towards a new position. This position without reaching the category of “member”, which for geographical reasons Latin American countries cannot hold, allows a global integration. It is also not unreasonable to predict a modification of the treaty or the creation of a new international organization that exceeds the geographic fences that contain the Atlantic Alliance.

It is not the first time that NATO is heading towards territories in theory far from the coordinates and missions in which it should maneuver, and this is no accident.

In the early 1990s, when the Soviet bloc was destroyed, it seemed that the organization was doomed to dissolution, but a rudder directed it towards a new objective: terrorism. The turn was not casual, it never is. The war, even after the economic defeat of the Soviet enemy, had to continue because the business was never freedom, much less democracy – remember Kissinger – the business was the buying and selling of weapons and the colonial submission of Europeans- called ‘allies’. The thirty-fourth president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned in his presidential farewell address on January 17, 1961: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

It was then that, in the first decade of the 21st century, the families of supposed great enemies – Bush and Bin Laden – were reunited in an industrial company and in the same luxury hotel while the twin towers collapsed. This allowed these families to earn millions of dollars with the sale of a multitude of weapons, such as the Bradley armored vehicles, and NATO to underpin their survival.

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In addition, the war on terrorism had the effect of flooding Wall Street, the arms industry, tax havens and the black market for dollars and weapons, as appropriate. It also had a worldwide effect: millions of deaths and tens of millions of displaced persons and refugees.

However – or precisely because of this – the circulation of weapons, capital extraction and the humanitarian crisis did not prevent the crisis. With it came the awakening of the Russian Bear and the dawn of China, which together with the foreseeable extinction of oil in a few decades meant an earthquake on the geopolitical board. In this new context, NATO – which had gone from war to freedom and democracy, while its masters overthrew governments to become the world’s police and their masters continued to overthrow governments – again lost its meaning. The North Atlantic was quite distant from almost everything, even from Russia, which far from being an enemy, most of the countries of Europe and NATO members, consider it strategic. A potential strategic partner.

With the end of the predominance of oil, which at the commercial level should occur between 2040 and 2050, and the European ‘partners’ threatening rebellion of American behavior against Russia and Iran, NATO needed a new meaning, a new metamorphosis, and it decided that its new goal would be Latin America. 

The lost influence in the Middle East, where Russia and China already openly discuss the leadership of the region – especially since the destruction of the so-called Islamic State and the strengthening of Syria -, and Europe rebelled, as China struggles for economic control and Russia is essential in the energy supply business and articulation of Eurasia, to re-control American influence seemed critical, especially since in the last two decades a progressive spring threatened to make the region definitively independent. Losing the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean would be dramatic and definitive for the United States.

For all these reasons, the withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East, the concentration of efforts to overthrow the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela and the suffocation of Cuba in a mini Cold War seems to have become the next objective. First it was Colombia that adhered to NATO, then Brazil was tempted by the far-right Bolsonaro, and finally the anti-terrorist agreement with Argentina, Paraguay and the aforementioned Brazil has arrived. The struggle for freedom, which ended with the martyrdom of Chilean President Allende’s in favour of genocidal US-puppet Pinochet, has resurfaced strongly in Latin America.

The freedom to put and remove governments based on American business interests is at stake; the freedom to plunder countries and peoples so that the concentration of capital is increased; the freedom to force countries to spend 2% of their GDP on arms, 4% or whatever, always for the greater benefit of the US military-industrial complex; the freedom to turn Venezuela into a failed state to keep its oil and wealth ; the freedom to condemn Assange and protect allies like Saudi Arabia who cut up journalists; the freedom to submit and pervert democracies to transform them into modern authoritarian regimes… Ultimately, the defense of Neoliberalism and globalization.

Latin America and the Caribbean is at stake, as is its future.

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