Whatever else might be said about Donald Trump, the fact is that he has provided a valuable service in producing a national and international discussion of NATO, the old Cold War organization whose mission was to protect Western Europe from an attack from the Soviet Union, which had been America’s partner and ally during World War II.
The obvious question arises: Given that NATO was a Cold War institution, why didn’t it go out of existence when the Cold War ended, as its counterpart, the Warsaw Pact, did? Indeed, let’s not forget that that’s precisely what U.S. officials assured Soviet officials would happen as the Cold War was ending. Shut down the Warsaw Pact and we’ll shut down NATO.
But U.S. officials double-crossed the Russians. Even though the Warsaw Pact, which consisted of the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, dismantled, NATO didn’t.
Yesterday, the New York Times said reminded readers that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates had expressed a concern back in 2011 that young Americans would have no memory of the Cold War and would consider NATO to be just an artifact.
If only NATO was only an artifact, one in which people just sat around collecting tax-funded paychecks. Instead, after double-crossing the Russians, it continued operating as if the Cold War had never ended, moving ever close to Russia’s border by absorbing former members of the Warsaw Pact.
When NATO forces ultimately reached Ukraine, which is on Russia’s border, how could anyone be surprised over Russia’s reaction? The U.S. would have reacted the same way. In fact, it did in 1961, when the Soviets installed defensive missiles in Cuba.
There is no way U.S. national-security state officials could have been shocked over Russia’s reaction to NATO’s plan to absorb Ukraine. U.S. officials had to know from the get-go that Russia would never permit NATO to take control over its longtime military base in Crimea, which is precisely what would have happened if NATO had absorbed Ukraine.
The same New York Times article quotes Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, former supreme allied commander for Europe: “The United States absolutely needs NATO — a NATO that is strong, resilient and united.” According to the article, “Five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made a similar set of arguments at the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, also avoiding any mention of Mr. Trump’s name.”
Well, duh! Of course, they favor NATO! What better way to ignite more crises and more Cold War than with NATO? After all, what if Americans demand that U.S. troops come home from the Middle East, thereby eliminating any more threat of anti-American terrorism? What better new official enemy than the old Cold War official enemy, Russia? What better way to keep the entire national-security establishment in high cotton with ever-increasing budgets?
The Times article also expressed the concern among many that Trump intends to establish good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Heaven forbid! Why, that’s heresy to any advocate of the national-security state! Everyone knows that Putin is a former KGB official. Everyone knows that the KGB was composed of communists. Everyone knows that a communist can never be trusted. The war on communism is on, once again.
All this should give everyone, including young people, a much keener insight into how the right-wing, including the U.S. national-security establishment, was viewing President Kennedy, whose vision for America’s future was diametrically different from that of the Pentagon and the CIA. Just think: At the time he was assassinated, Kennedy was secretly negotiating with both Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban President Fidel Castro with the aim of ending the Cold War and establishing normal relations with those two countries. By that time, he was shunning both the military and the CIA, who were convinced that he was naïve and that his policies posed a grave threat to “national security.”
In fact, as I pointed out in my ebook Regime Change: The JFK Assassination, it has never made any sense that a purported communist (i.e., Lee Harvey Oswald) would want to kill Kennedy, since it was Kennedy who was reaching out to the communists with the aim of ending the Cold War and establishing peaceful coexistence with the communist world. That’s why the Warren Commission could never come up with a motive for Oswald — there simply wasn’t one. (See The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger.)
The people who always had the motive to target Kennedy in a regime-change operation were those who believed that his outreach to the communist world posed a grave threat to the “national security” of the United States — i.e., the U.S. national-security establishment, the apparatus whose existence and well-being necessarily depended on a continuation of the Cold War and never-ending crises with Russia. See JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne. Also see The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger (which, about a year and a half after publication, is still ranked #11 on Amazon’s list of 100 top-selling ebooks on 20th-century U.S. history).
In fact, it’s revealing that during the Cold War, the Pentagon was teaching Latin American military officials at the School of the Americas that in cases of covert state-sanctioned assassinations, always blame them on a communist. That’s because there was so much prejudice against communists during that time that people would be reluctant to question the frame-up out of fear of being labeled a communist sympathizer.
The fact is that NATO is much worse than a Cold War artifact. After all, don’t forget that the Libya regime-change operation, which has left that nation wracked with a violent civil war, was ostensibly a NATO operation. The true purpose of NATO’s continuation is to provide a justification for a much bigger Cold War apparatus, one that is the root of America’s foreign-policy woes: the Cold War dinosaur known as the national-security state.