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NATO’s Hairline Fissures Part 1: Ukraine Membership?

NATO’s Hairline Fissures Part 1: Ukraine Membership?

Authored by Thaddeus G. McCotter via American Greatness,

[This is the first in a two-part series about a pair of divisive issues within NATO regarding Ukraine.]

In response to an earlier instance of Russian aggression, in his July 25, 1961, “Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis,” President John F. Kennedy warned: “If there is one path above all others to war, it is the path of weakness and disunity.”

Today, it is a warning that must not go unheeded by NATO, as the alliance sees hairline cracks within its unity over how to defend Ukraine, and the Russian aggressor threatens to widen the war beyond its current boundaries and conventional weaponry.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded after World War II to defend the United States and our Western European allies against Soviet aggression and prospective invasion. After the fall of the communist regime, NATO spent the next three decades or so expanding its membership ranks into Eastern Europe, combating terrorism, and engaging in an existential search for a new role in defending the free world.

Yet, Russian revanchism has never rendered NATO’s primary purpose antiquated. Under Mr. Putin’s direction, Russia has invaded Georgia, Crimea, and now Ukraine—all in what the Russian Vozhd has designated his nation’s “near abroad.” Such Russian aggressions and further territorial ambitions have had a roborant effect upon NATO, refocusing it upon its original and never-discarded mission of defending its members from the self-perceived once-and-future eastern imperial empire.

As for the Russian perspective, be it during the Soviet Union or the present Russian Federation, NATO has always remained the primary and immediate obstacle to its expansionist aims. It is no exaggeration to assert that if Mr. Putin could accomplish one goal to ensure the security of Russia and the implementation of its imperial aims, it would be the destruction of NATO.

As a military matter, however, it is not within Russia’s military power to defeat NATO. Echoing what President Lincoln said about the military defeat of the United States, only NATO can defeat NATO. Again, it will not be because of Russian military arms. It will be because NATO is not only a military alliance. NATO is also a political alliance. In the current response to Russia’s criminal invasion of Ukraine, politics appears to be NATO’s Achilles heel.

Mr. Putin knows it and is cagily pitting his NATO antagonists against each other.

The first hairline fracture in NATO’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the decision not to offer the besieged nation membership in the western alliance. The reason is elementary: under the NATO treaty’s Article 5, “collective defence means that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.” Thus, if the Russian invasion is still occurring during Ukraine’s ascension into the NATO alliance, its other members would be considered at war with Russia. Little wonder NATO prefers to continue to collectively defend Ukraine in a proxy war against Russia rather than issuing a catastrophic collective declaration that the allied nations are being attacked by and in a state of war with Russia.

Not wanting to declare World War III, NATO is less than enthralled with Ukraine’s request for membership. As the Kyiv Post headline reports, “some in the West have asked President Zelensky not to pressure individual allies to support a definitive, prescribed timetable for Ukrainian accession.”

In NATO’s membership, the “some” would be the U.S. and Germany:

“The United States and Germany are urging President Volodymyr Zelensky not to demand the ‘impossible’ – a clear timeframe for Ukraine’s acceptance into NATO at the Alliance’s summit, the British newspaper The Telegraph reported on May 28, citing its own sources.

Of course, where there are “some,” there are “some others.” Per the Kyiv Post: “Several member countries, including Estonia, the UK, Poland, Canada, Lithuania, and France, are advocating for increased support for Kyiv, potentially extending into Ukrainian territory.”

In a military and political alliance where there are “some” and there are “some others,” the inevitable occurs: “However, according to [The Telegraph’s] sources, before the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023, countries that support Ukraine’s accession to the alliance put strong pressure on other members on this issue, which led to a split in the military bloc.” [Italics, mine.]

On cue, up slithers Mr. Putin to ratchet up the pressure on this hairline fracture in the NATO alliance: “Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kyiv’s accession to the Alliance would threaten Moscow and not increase Ukraine’s security, as it would create ‘additional tension in the international arena.’”

Why, again, is NATO wary of Ukraine joining the alliance?

“At the NATO summit in Washington, which will be held from July 9 to 11, Ukraine will not be offered anything that would allow the country to move forward on the path to membership because of fears that the alliance could be drawn into a war with Russia.”

As both a military and political organization, NATO was able to diplomatically paper over the dispute and place in abeyance an ultimate determination regarding Ukraine’s membership.

The Telegraph writes that at the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., alliance leaders will offer Ukraine what is now being called a ‘bridge’ or ‘path’ to membership to demonstrate support for the process. The support package being discussed now will emphasize ‘Ukraine’s ability to choose its own future’ and demonstrate that the ‘path to membership is getting shorter….’”

While temporarily papering over this hairline fracture in NATO’s alliance, what is not getting shorter but is widening is another fissure over Ukraine, one that is even more pressing and dangerous: Ukraine’s use of NATO weapons on enemy targets in Russia.

We will explore this issue next week in the second and final part of our series on NATO’s divisive debates over Ukraine.

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) served Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.


Thu, 06/06/2024 – 05:00

Source: ZeroHedge


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TruthPukes Take:

  • Little wonder NATO prefers to continue to collectively defend Ukraine in a proxy war against Russia rather than issuing a catastrophic collective declaration that the allied nations are being attacked by and in a state of war with Russia.
  • Today, it is a warning that must not go unheeded by NATO, as the alliance sees hairline cracks within its unity over how to defend Ukraine, and the Russian aggressor threatens to widen the war beyond its current boundaries and conventional weaponry.
  • After the fall of the communist regime, NATO spent the next three decades or so expanding its membership ranks into Eastern Europe, combating terrorism, and engaging in an existential search for a new role in defending the free world.
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