Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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    NATO expansion: a danger to world peace & security

    European countries although seem united, they have huge differences from the very beginning. Some were colonizers in several parts of the world and still have endless interests to control their mineral resources especially Africa. For almost half a century, east Europeans followed a socialist ideology. West Europeans consider themselves better and more civilized nations and privileged in all aspects, from the riches they looted from Africa.  

    The European Union formulated the Schengen visa to have free access to all Europeans. But those who travel from east to west couldn’t get better job opportunity or living standards. Most of them returned to their homelands dissatisfied. In the years to come, this will widen the difference between Europeans and some may even withdraw from the EU like the United Kingdom.  

    On the other hand, Sweden and Finland, highly developed nations, shifted their current status of non-alignment and requested for a NATO membership. Becoming a NATO member is not a safe haven. How can NATO protect them? This will only escalate tensions for both, as well as Europe and the world at large, rather than deescalate.

    The world witnessed during the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) that Russia is a Nuclear power greater than the US. Russia and Finland share borders close to 1000 km and so does Sweden. They had no problems for years, even during or after the second Word War. Especially Finland was parts and parcel of Russia 100 years before it was allowed to be free and an independent state by Vladimir Lenin.

    So, what made them suddenly change their mind to become members of NATO? They must give a chance for their next generation to decide. Russia repeatedly warned both countries not to join NATO. And if so, the worst might come.

    If they join NATO, tensions will rise and would they rather live like Japan and South Korea, controlled by over 70,000 US troops since WWII. Knowing this, how can Sweden and Finland, especially looking at the war in Ukraine, want to join NATO? Once American troops in the name of NATO, land in their country, they will face the same trauma as Japan and South Korea.  

    NATO will deploy as usual all types of military equipment’s and tens of thousands of troops, with a long border to defend. There is a chance of making mistakes on both sides, which will undoubtedly increase the tension between Russia and the two Scandinavian countries. 

    The cause for UK´s withdrawal from the EU may be for losing its leadership role in the Union. But others will withdraw from not having equal status and unfair treatment. As we can see from the war in Ukraine, within the past four months, inflation increased for Europeans by nine percent, while most depend for 40 percent of their energy supply on Russian Oil. EU membership fee and NATO contribution is also another factor. And of course the US will cover most of the cost.

    Former President Trump was fed up of these contributions to NATO, with high expenditure going to forces stationed in Europe and the Far East. He repeatedly said that “he will withdraw American troops from those countries and build American economy to make America great again.” This idea was not supported by congress. I hope one day this may happen because NATO will dissolve bringing a better world order of peace, security, stability and only development.

    Why was the African Union formed? Some African countries were still colonized and most haven’t even tested freedom for long. The OAU was formed to free the whole continent. The organizing members of African leaders had a motto to enhance Pan Africanism, give their people democracy, better life, education, economic development, industrialization and self-reliance. Some achieved that but most led their people into poverty because of selfish reasons and poor leadership quality.   

    The AU must react and be concerned of western politics beyond yearly gathering of Heads of States. Current African governments are worried about their personal dignity, wealth, how to get foreign aid and extend their power. This must stop. The countries must start looking towards their poverty stricken people and exercise true democracy.

    NATO wanted to diminish Russia’s and China’s military strength. Russia needs for generations to come, a nationalist leader like President Putin. The current war in Ukraine is a test of muscle; that is why the west is sending all types of their military equipment’s to Ukraine in the name of assistance.

    Ukraine is destroyed not only by war but also by foreign military aid as well. The people of Ukraine became refugees because of bad leadership. Russia was victim of all wars. During Napoleons invasion and both great wars, Russia paid a big price. This gives it the edge to be ready for any uncertain circumstances.

    NATO has a clear agenda for Russia to kneel. This is clearly understood by President Putin. If you want peace prepare for War is the motto, building their military strength over the years. When NATO started organizing West European countries, Russia started organizing in the form of the Warsaw Pact Powers, to counter for any threats and rebalance military strength.

    In 1985, I was a student at the most distinguished Frunze Military Academy in Moscow. In January of the same year, I was invited to visit Tashkent (Uzbekistan Republic), by Soviet friendship house. This was the time when President Gorbachev wrote the book “perestroika & glasnost.” I was impressed by Gorbachev’s idea. I wondered how that could be implemented in the former USSR.

    I was asked to present a speech to Tashkent University students, on the book “reform & transparency,” and I did it. After my presentation a group of journalists from Vastochnaya Pravda interviewed me and it was published next morning. Unlike today, during the communist era, people only knew socialist ideologies, how can they accept this new ideas, was my question.

    Moscow governor, Yeltsin took the initiative and allowed small businesses to flourish.   Gorbachev´s idea was to give the people a chance to exercise freedom and watch the reaction to decisions. Things went wrong faster than expected and Gorbachev resigned and Yeltsin became the President. Afterwards, the soviet republic divided and formed governments, which was what NATO wanted but was still not satisfied.

    Russia is a super power but NATO is encircling Russia, which is against international law.  Russia is not happy with NATOs advances. The war in Ukraine was triggered by western countries flattering current leader Vladimir Zelenski, inviting him repeatedly to the White House and to other European countries that Ukraine will become a NATO member and will be granted military and economic support.  

    Ukraine signed an agreement with Russia not to become a member of NATO. Knowing this for the past eight years they bombarded their own citizens in the two western republics. Ukraine leaders must stop this war and collaborate with Russia rather than hording military armaments from the west in a war they cannot win. NATO also must change its attitude of encircling Russia and must be dissolved for world safety and security.

    To encounter NATO, Russia needs a strong army and a nationalist leader like president Putin in the years to come as well. NATO member countries must not allow further expansions, adding new members. Sweden and Finland must reverse their request for NATO membership, which will endanger Europe itself and the world must support Russia to stop the aggressive moves by the organization.

    (Gebregziabher can be reached at [email protected])

    Contributed by Gebregziabher Wondaferew (Col.)

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