G.Zyuganov”s Article about NATO

Gennady Zyuganov
Chairman CC CPRF
NATO: Wolf in a Sheep’s Skin
Why should Russia join the North Atlantic Alliance?
Against the background of the global crisis into which Russia was sucked deeper than other leading countries dangerous new phenomena can be observed in the policy of our country’s leadership. I am referring to plans of further sell-off of strategic enterprises, commercialization of education, healthcare and culture and the drive to bring Russia into the World Trade Organization.
Recently, the long stalled negotiations on Russia’s entry into NATO were suddenly resumed. Pro-government experts and journalists are at pains to prove that it is a necessary step. Chairman of the Board of the Modern Development Institute (INSOR), Mr Yurgens, publicly aired the idea of dragging Russia into NATO at an international forum in Yaroslavl in September. The Chairman of INSOR’s Board of Trustees is the Russian President. Could it mean that Mr Yurgens launched his initiative with a nod from the Presidential Administration? The Russian President himself intends to take part in the NATO summit in Lisbon on November 19-20. During a recent meeting with NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen, Dmitry Medvedev said that the Lisbon meeting would not only “give a fresh start to the relations between NATO and Russia but will mark modernization of the mutual relations”. There is nothing new about these “fresh starts”. The road to rapprochement with the West on capitulation terms was opened by Mikhail Gorbachev with his “universal human values”. Flirting with the US and its allies had dire consequences for our country. However, Russian leaders have failed to draw any lessons from that.
Yeltsin agreed to the first wave of NATO expansion towards the Russian borders. He backed NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, our own ally in Europe. But towards the end of Yeltsin’s rule it became clear that the “partners” had been cynically leading us by our noses. Incensed, Yeltsin sanctioned the famous march of a Russian airborne troops company towards Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, but that was it. Before long Mr Putin started everything from scratch.
One of the first steps of the new President was to have the State Duma ratify the infamous START-II Treaty that could lead to the dismantling of our heavy missiles. Russia’s strategic nuclear forces were only saved because the US Congress refused to ratify the Treaty. The Russian authorities then gave a virtual consent to the second wave of NATO expansion, this time to the Baltic countries. Soon, under the pretext of taking part in an international anti-terrorist coalition, Mr Putin effectively contributed to the establishment of NATO bases in Central Asia. Simultaneously vital Russian bases on Cuba and in Vietnam were liquidated.
However, after six years of tireless efforts aimed at strengthening the relations with NATO, Mr Putin suddenly discovered that the West did not intend to reciprocate but continued to present ever new demands, threatening to take the Russian leadership to international court over its war in Chechnya. So in February 2007 the Russian President delivered his famous anti-NATO Munich speech in which he expressed profound indignation over the perfidy of the “partners”. Now President Medvedev is being egged on to follow the same path. Some major preparatory steps have been taken on the eve of NATO’s Lisbon session. Another “disarmament” treaty with the US has been signed. Moscow has backed tougher sanctions against Iran and tore up the contract to supply defensive anti-aircraft systems to Teheran. Some ill-advised verbal attacks were made on North Korea. The relations with Belarus were aggravated without any cause. A big gift was presented to Norway, the closest US NATO ally, which was given control over large parts of the Barents Sea over which our country has never recognized foreign sovereignty. Now it looks as if the relations between Russia and NATO are going to be taken to a new level as a step towards joining that aggressive bloc.
NATO: From European to Global Policeman
It will be recalled that the Alliance was created on April 4, 1949 allegedly to protect Europe against an invasion of the “Red hordes” from the East. And yet one of NATO’s leaders admitted at the time that the bloc’s true aim was “to keep America in, Germany down and Russia out”.
The Soviet Union has been destroyed. It would seem that there was no reason for NATO to exist any more. But the alliance lives on and indeed is expanding and building up its muscle. The true meaning of the preservation of NATO was highlighted by the brazen interventions against friendly Yugoslavia and then in Iraq and Afghanistan. It became clear that NATO is still an instrument that promotes the global ambitions of the US and its allies. As a matter of fact Western strategists agree that NATO’s role is growing.
The balance of forces in the world is changing rapidly. In 1999 when the NATO members enthusiastically adopted a new Strategic Concept which turned NATO from a defensive European alliance into an offensive bloc with a world-wide zone of action there was no resistance to this, and it had never been expected. Russia lay in the ruins of “reforms”, while China had yet to assert its political and economic might.
Today, as the crisis has shown, the writ of the world oligarchy whose centers are North America and Europe, is shrinking. Under the influence of Communist China the countries of Asia, whose role until recently has been to supply natural resources and cheap labour for Europe and the US, are emerging as key factors in world politics. Similar processes are taking place in Latin America. The countries of the “black continent” until recently a boundless field for plunder by transnational corporations (TNCs) are uniting in an anti-colonial African Union. The Middle East and the Islamic world as a whole are locked in tough confrontation with the West.
The fight for leadership is intensifying. The economic crisis further weakens the capitalist system. The international oligarchy comprises the planet’s wealthiest people, more than 500 powerful TNCs which have a capital of 16 trillion dollars and account for more than 25% of the world industrial output. That “elite” has no intention of relinquishing its hegemony over the planet gained during centuries of wars of conquest. Hence the new series of military conflicts, an aggressive stance with regard to Iran and the DPRK and the growing pressure on China.
The West seeks greater consolidation in order to perpetuate its dominance. While in the 1990s the issue of whether NATO had any meaning was debated, today the oligarchy, concerned about the changing balance of forces in the world, is vigorously building up NATO as world policeman. It sets the task of deploying systems of global control over land and sea surfaces and being able to deliver strikes on any spot in the planet. NATO is emerging as a supranational body which seeks to overturn the system of international law that took shape after the Second World War and subjugate the UN.
Back in 1993 Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book “Out of Control” openly declared that if America wanted to control the world, as it did, then it must establish its preeminence over Eurasia, especially over the ‘Western periphery’ (the European Union), its heartland (Russia), the Middle East, Central Asia and its oil reserves. According to prominent American analyst John Kaminski, American troops are not fighting for freedom. This is a fight for corporate profits… the army exists to capture and plunder other countries and peoples.
At the Lisbon meeting its participants are to approve a new NATO strategic concept to replace the one adopted in May 1999 when the bloc declared it had the right to global interventions. The new concept is likely to confirm that NATO will continue its expansion to the East. It will keep the American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. It will create a European missile defense system together with the US which obviously is directed against Russia.
The oligarchic capital, aware of the threat to its world hegemony coming from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, is trying to counterattack. But its resources continue to shrink.
Russia is being dragged into the war in Afghanistan
What is NATO’s greatest worry? The fact that it does not have enough “cannon fodder” for its colonial expeditions. NATO is feverishly casting about for allies. There are today about 150,000 troops from 47 countries deployed in Afghanistan. Many former Soviet republics have been dragged in: Estonia has sent 160 troops, Latvia 170, Lithuania 245, Azerbaijan 90, Armenia 40, Ukraine 15 and Georgia 925.
Our recent Warsaw Treaty allies have been presented with demands to increase their contribution. Thus, Poland has 2630 troops in Afghanistan, Romania has 1750, Hungary 360, Bulgaria 540, the Czech Republic 500 and Slovakia 300. Even Mongolia has been made to send almost 200 of its soldiers there. Is there any doubt that Russia would be asked to make a more “worthy” contribution to the “fight for democracy” in Afghanistan?
What is the meaning of Article 5 of the NATO Charter? It means that all the bloc’s members must come to the defense of any other member that has been attacked. The nature of the attack is not spelled out. It could well mean the “terrorist threat” which is being made such great play of in the West. Those who are dragging Russia into NATO must understand that Russia will be obliged to protect the alliance’s collective interests. And not only in Afghanistan…
Apparently Washington reasonably believes it inadmissible that the Russian government is still evading doing what is the “sacred duty” of all the US partners, i.e. fighting for American interests. Ever louder calls for intervention in Iran are heard in Washington. More and more “cannon fodder” will be needed.
The Western public rejects the futile war in the Middle East, especially since the “noble” goals of “fighting international terrorism” are fast losing their luster and the cost and the number of coffins flown from Afghanistan are soaring. It is therefore extremely important for the NATO leaders to create the impression that this war has broad international support. In general, this is a favourite American trick: having its allies share responsibility for its colonial adventures. This was the case in Korea in the 1950s and in Vietnam in the 1960s. This is what is happening in Afghanistan.
The NATO Secretary General is openly speaking about sending Russian helicopter pilots to that country and in a meeting at the Pentagon several months ago the US Secretary of Defense raised with Mr Serdyukov, the Russian Defense Minister, the question of sending Russian airborne and special units to Afghanistan. We have not heard a resolute refusal of the Russian side to do so.
On the other hand, we know that Russia-NATO military ties were fully restored during the trip to the bloc’s Brussels headquarters by the chief of the General Staff N.Makarov early this year. Several agreements were signed on regular command-and-staff exercises to practice troop compatibility and interoperability, to exchange servicemen for training and other activities aimed at integrating the Russian armed forces into NATO structures.
Western strategists agree to admit Russia to the alliance only as a rank-and-file member, making it clear that the bloc has only one boss, the US. Russia would turn from a dangerous rival to be kept out of Europe into a docile vassal. In other words, the formula is changing. Now NATO’s main purpose is “to keep the US in and Germany and Russia down”.
Consequences of Russia’s entry into NATO
If our country joins the alliance its independence in world affairs will be dramatically diminished. It will have to coordinate its actions with the NATO top brass, or, in practical terms, seek its permission for every international initiative. It will get a “common enemy”. We should all be aware that in the event Russia joins NATO our southern and far eastern borders may first become zones of high tension and then a field of battle.
Like all other members of the alliance, Russia will face “friendly occupation” with the appearance on our territory of NATO bases and rapid deployment forces, and free transportation of NATO military supplies across its territory. As a result of this transformation Russia’s Eurasian geopolitical role will change. So for Russia to join NATO would mean a prologue to its self-destruction.
For the Russian economy the move would sound the death knell for our military-industrial complex which has long been the mainspring of spectacular scientific and technological achievements and had the most advanced forms of organization of labour. We will inevitably be forced to switch to NATO standards and to buy foreign military hardware. The process is in full swing. We have already bought English rifles, Israeli drones, Italian armored vehicles and a “contract of the century” will see the Russian Navy buy French helicopter carriers that it has absolutely no need for. General Ivashov estimates that in the coming years Russia will get at least 30% of its military hardware from NATO countries and from Israel.
Meanwhile the virtual halt of the production of TU-2004 and IL-96 planes means that we are not only becoming totally dependent on the West for passenger planes, but also that we will soon be unable to produce our military transport planes. In the event of conflict we will have no spare parts or capacity to repair passenger planes which have always been a standby reserve.
The destructive “reform” of the Armed Forces falls into the same pattern. It is associated with the name of Mr Serdyukov. But apparently his activity has the support of the country’s leadership. Sad experience of such “reforms” exists. The once strong armies of the former Warsaw Treaty countries – Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania – have now been turned into “contingents” totally incapable of defending their countries and their populations but providing mercenaries for America’s colonial wars.
The same fate was suffered by the once powerful People’s Army of Yugoslavia. After the government coup in October 2000 when power in Belgrade was seized by the pro-Western forces a series of “reforms” of the Yugoslavian Army turned it into a pale shadow of the real force which only recently was capable of repelling NATO’s land invasion.
The Russian authorities have destroyed the science and the defense industry they had inherited from the USSR to such an extent that we have lost the capacity to produce enough of our own armaments, let alone develop new ones. The army which was once feared by its enemies, demoralized and disarmed by the “reformers”, is no longer able to defend Russia.
Reorganization of the Armed Forces structure, the adoption of the brigade system, purchases of foreign military hardware, joint exercises in the US and Europe, refusal to admit cadets and attendees to military higher education institutions is nothing if not a drive to prepare a military module for docking whatever remains of the Russian Army and Navy with the expeditionary forces of the US and NATO.
The message is clear: Russia voluntarily forfeits its status of a leading world power and becomes subordinate to the most aggressive forces. Does our victorious people deserve such treatment?
Can one trust NATO’s friendliness?
Facts are stubborn things. They attest that NATO is quietly continuing to prepare an invasion of Russia. Our troops on the European theatre are outnumbered by 10-12 times by those of NATO. In Europe alone NATO has 36 divisions, 120 brigades, 11,000 tanks, 23,000 pieces of ordinance and 4500 war planes. What is the purpose of having such huge military might? To fight international terror which today is held up as the main justification for the existence of NATO?
Meanwhile specialists believe that 70% of all the operational activities, exercises, command-and-staff games conducted by NATO rehearse entry into the initial period of a large-scale war, waged to gain air superiority and carry out offensive operations. Today NATO has no other enemy against whom large-scale operations could be launched, except Russia. One can safely say therefore that NATO wants to occupy us.
NATO is building up its presence everywhere. Russia is being strategically surrounded. A belt of states unfriendly to Russia is being created. US bases are springing up in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania on the Black Sea coast. The Baltic countries are already under NATO control. Naval bases and military airfields capable of hosting up to 200 war planes at any one time, including nuclear carrying planes, have been modernized there. And yet Estonia is within 200 km of Leningrad. NATO aviation can launch its missiles even without entering our air space.
Ukraine and Moldavia are waiting in the anteroom to join NATO. Georgia is already in NATO’s pocket. Azerbaijan is gradually drifting towards NATO. The bloc’s air bases are located in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The new members of the alliance, including the Baltic countries, are not limited in deploying nuclear weapons on their territories, are not covered by the CFE limitations, which makes it possible to create strike groups on their territories.
There is constant work to establish control over our Northern Fleet, Russia’s most powerful group of marine nuclear forces. NATO uses tracking stations in Norway and the Baltic countries, and radio electronic monitoring posts on Spitzbergen. Acoustic buoys, satellites and Orion reconnaissance planes track all the movements of our nuclear submarines. NATO’s reconnaissance aviation along our borders is becoming more and more active.
What is behind the attempts to drag Russia into NATO?
The Russian elite has long been trying to become part of the world oligarchy. But it has been given to understand that the only pass to the “club” is through the NATO military organization. The message behind it is, first fight for us, spill the blood of your citizens for the sake of Western values and then we will think about admitting you to the “club”.
The “sudden” surge of interest in joining NATO is further proof of the fact that the elites of Russia and the NATO countries have the same class nature. The group that rules Russia today is not so much modernizing as “Westernizing” Russia.
Preparation for “Westernization” has been underway for a long time. Russia’s pro-Western elite keeps saying that Russia has no enemies. With the exception of mythical “international terrorists”. Our foreign policy makers refuse to admit the obvious fact that the West’s historical goals have not changed and that Russia is still seen as a source of cheap commodities and a market for goods that have outlived their sell-buy date.
The march of NATO columns through Red Square on Victory Day on May 9, 2010, a day sacred to all Russians, has shown that NATO and Russian elites are moving towards becoming “soul mates.” They are trying to impress upon us that the people which was the first to send its son – Yuri Gagarin – into outer space is only capable of picking up crumbs off Western tables. The comeback of rabid liberalism when more than 900 enterprises, including some strategic ones, are about to be privatized, means that the country’s national security is sacrificed for the sake of gain and selfish interests.
Incidentally, the Russian elite continues to display inconsistency. While strongly opposing the admission of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO, Moscow suddenly declares that it intends to join the bloc itself. Russia’s Military Doctrine names NATO as our main enemy. Are we going to integrate into our main enemy’s organization? Of course, under Russia’s Yeltsin constitution, the President determines the country’s foreign policy. At the same time, the Russian leaders should not forget the constitutional principle which says that the source of power in Russia is its people. Apparently a sharp change of the country’s historical course requires the consent of the people. The mechanism for getting such consent is well known. It is the referendum.
If the present Russian authorities feel that they are infallible, let them put the question of joining NATO to a referendum. The chances are that they will not do so. They know very well that the people preserve in their genes the memory of the previous “visits” to Russia by our European neighbours, be it in the form of the Polish intervention during the Time of Troubles, Napoleon’s great army or Hitler’s hordes with SS legions which represented almost all the present NATO countries.
Russia has already paid for its security with millions of lives in the Second World War having liberated Europe from fascism. To strengthen Russia’s security we should not beg to be admitted to NATO, but develop our industry, education and science. We must revive our armed forces. We must restore the circle of our friends and allies among the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Above all, we must seek to create a union of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine which would bring together the potential of the three Slavic peoples. This is the most reliable guarantee of our security. This has been the case for centuries in our common state. So it will be in the future.