America’s Brobdingnagian $1.3 trillion national security budget thrives on manufactured threats and falsely demonized foes. And nothing could be more demonstrative of that proposition than the utter villainy which emanated from the NATO summit in Vilnius.
For crying out loud. Since the Munich Security Conference in 2007, the man (Putin) has said over and over, and then over again, that Ukraine’s ascension to NATO is an absolute red line. And anyone with their head screwed on right would have no trouble accepting that declaration by answering one simple question.
To wit, how would Washington react if Russia put missiles and nukes in Mexico, or Cuba, or Nicaragua, or Granada or Venezuela or even Tierra Del Fuego?
Of course, President John F. Kennedy resolved that matter 61 years ago. Yet the whole Vilnius confab amounts to a wink and nod pageant telling the world that exactly what JFK said could not stand on our own doorstep back then, in fact, must stand on Russia’s now. One day soon the Great Hegemon on the Potomac will plant US/NATO missiles 40 minutes from the Kremlin and the purported “aggressor” domiciled there needs to shut-up and eat his geopolitical spinach.
Holy moly. The very idea is an affront to rationality and is a reckless invitation to permanent friction between two nations holding upwards of 12,000 nukes between them. Yet the miscreants gathered in Vilnius left no room for doubt in their declaration:
Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We reaffirm the commitment we made at the 2008 Summit in Bucharest that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, and today we recognize that Ukraine’s path to full Euro-Atlantic integration has moved beyond the need for the Membership Action Plan. Ukraine has become increasingly interoperable and politically integrated with the Alliance, and has made substantial progress on its reform path.
So the question recurs. How in the whole fricking big wide world would adding the parts and pieces of Novorossiya, Poland, Lithuania, Rumania, the Cossack Hetmanates, the Crimean Khanate, the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria and many other historical footnotes that were slapped together by the Soviet Tyrants after 1920 to form the current unnatural borders of Ukraine contribute to the Homeland Security of America, way over here on the far sides of the Atlantic and Pacific moats?
The answer of course is that it contributes nothing, as in nichts, nada and nugatory. NATO isn’t about security, collective or otherwise, anyway. It’s an utterly vestigial relic of the Cold War that was stood-up to contain a totalitarian Soviet Empire which was armed to the teeth, but which has long since disappeared into the dustbin of history. So George Bush the Elder should have parachuted into the Ramstein Germany air base in 1991, declared victory and dismantled NATO then and there.
As it has transpired, however, the bloated now 31-nation NATO of today has actually become an enemy of peace and security. That’s because it exists mainly as a marketing forum for western arms manufacturers and a think tank for generating phony threats and scary stories designed to keep military budgets amply stocked with fiscal wherewithal and vastly over-sized military establishments well provisioned with missions, mandates, war games and busy work.
There is no need for Washington’s gigantic military establishment or its extensions in NATO because there are no true threats to the liberty and security of the American homeland anywhere on the planet today that even remotely justify it.
The cold war style mega-threat ended with the Soviet Union. Today, Russia’s $1.8 trillion GDP is a veritable joke when arrayed against the $45 trillion of GDP resources embedded in the US and the balance of NATO; and its $85 billion defense budget amounts to not even 7% of the $1.25 trillion combined NATO defense budgets.
Stated differently, serious military threats in today’s world of advanced weaponry require either an overwhelming nuclear first strike checkmate capacity or the vast industrial might and $50 trillion of GDP that would be necessary to breach the great ocean moats and deliver an invasionary armada of massive conventional forces to the New Jersey shores—backed-up with vast air- and sea-lift capacity and gigantic logistics arrangements that have scarcely been imagined by even the most fervent writers of futuristic war fiction.
As it happens, of course, Russia has no nuclear checkmate capacity at all, and has now thoroughly demonstrated that it doesn’t have the industrial and conventional military capacity to conquer and occupy even what has been its own borderlands and vassals—lands with a pre-February 2022 GDP of, well, barely $200 billion.
So what is percolating out of Vilnius, therefore, is not a rational calculation about tangible security threats posed by Russia. Instead, what we have is a witches brew of the standard lies, rationalizations, excuses and hypocrisies which keep the Washington Hegemon busy on a 24/7 basis all around the planet. These groupthink bromides and ideological nostrums include such favorites as the Rule of Law, the Post-War International Order, the Sanctity of Borders, the Responsibility to Protect and Collective Security.
But all are just cover stories for what amounts to the Washington Imperium, and in the current case the alleged sanctity of borders and requirements for “collective security” are especially egregious.
Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.
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