On September 22, 2014 NATO publicly announced the creation of a new “spearhead” Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The troops will consist of several thousand men, deployable to any place of action within two days.
NATO expansion 1990-2009
NATO already has a high-readiness force, but Barack Obama and other leading officials of the 28-nation alliance decided in the course of a recent NATO summit in Wales (September 4-5, 2014) to create yet another, more quickly deployable army with headquarters in Poland. Britain will contribute a quarter of the troops for the rapid reaction unit.1
On 18 September, Alexander Vershbow, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General, said that he expected the Spearhead Force to reach operating capability by the Fall of 2015 and that military planners were now “working seven days a week” to finalize details of the force.2
As decisive reason NATO refers to the Russian takeover of Crimea, mechanically reciting its worn-out legitimation phrase that “an attack on one NATO member is considered an attack on all and that it would come to the aid of any NATO ally if it faced aggression”.3
The most appalling aspect of this statement is the fact that Ukraine is not even a NATO member, despite the sheer unbelievable efforts that have been made in this regard by all sides: from the dark onset with CIA projects such as AERODYNAMIC in the 1950s, employing former Ukrainian Nazis in a tight-knit web of anti-communist organizations, espionage and covert paramilitary operations, the sequential installment of color “Revolutions” and of US-puppets as heads of state to the vast range and volume of donations of the National Endowment for Democracy in Ukraine – all trying to tear the country on the European boat. The background for this tug of war is manifold, reaching from Ukraine’s natural resources, its network of pipelines vital to Europe, to the fact that it’s practically the last piece of cake in the Eurasian region unclaimed by the octopus arms of the antagonist empires reaching out from both East and West.
Network of Pipelines passing through Ukraine
That NATO has cast a greedy eye on Ukraine became evident with the accession of the country to NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in February 1994, a sort of NATO kindergarten, where future stooges learn to comply to the rules of the big boys, followed by the establishment of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC), formed by Ukrainian and allied heads of state in Madrid on 9 July 1997.4 Between 1997 and 2002 the so-called NATO-Ukraine Action Plan was responsible for keeping “under review cooperative activities developed in the framework of Ukraine’s participation in the Partnership for Peace”. But the Ukrainians had their own opinion about their country’s accession to the alliance. In January 2008 the second Yulia Tymoshenko cabinet’s proposal for Ukraine to join NATO’s Membership Action Plan was met with great opposition. A petition of over 2 million signatures called for a referendum on Ukraine’s membership proposal. Finally Ukrainian membership to NATO was shelved following the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election in which Viktor Yanukovych was elected. President Yanukovych opted to keep Ukraine a non-aligned state. This materialized on June 3, 2010 when the Ukrainian parliament excluded, with 226 votes, the goal of “integration into Euro-Atlantic security and NATO membership” from the country’s national security strategy.
What followed was a meticulously planned toppling of the Yanukovych government and his NATO-adversaries in the framework of the Euromaidan project, including dirty warfare stratagems such as mobilizing old Nazi networks prepped over decades (OUN, Right Sector, UNA-UNSO) to fight against pro-Russian activists.
Sea Breeze 2014
Foto: Reuters © 2014, Stoyan Nenov
Notwithstanding, NATO has recently been treating Ukraine as allied property. Two multinational military exercises took place in Ukraine under the umbrella of the alliance, “Sea Breeze 2014” from September 8-10, and “Rapid Trident” from September 16-26, both of which were perceived as a clear provocation of Moscow. NATO acted as if its own territory was touched upon, reaching far beyond the explicit scope of aiming merely for an increased deterrence strategy, and proves the country’s unlawful inclusion into the alliance within the framework of Article 55 of the NATO Washington treaty.
The recently revamped website of the alliance also points to a truly heightened interest in Ukraine, and already features a Ukrainian translation whilst long-standing members will search in vain for versions in German, Italian or Spanish.
According to NATO’s press release, Eastern European alliance members, such as Poland, have appealed to the alliance in the past, asking for the permanent stationing of troops on its territory to “deter any possible Russian attack”, but NATO had hesitated so far out of financial and political considerations.3
The following numbers should prove that such a scenario is highly unlikely. NATO’s last year expenditures amounted to 945 billion USD, Russia in comparison spent only 88 billion USD for defense purposes.6 The budget is comprised of the “NATO membership fee”, the commitment of every ally to spend at least 2% of its GDP on defense. There are certain hints that the percentage may even be increased in the future. Threats from high-ranking places such as the Atlantic Council in this regard border to blackmail.7
‘travel light but strike hard’
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spelled out what the newly forged deal entails, in a news conference during the Wales summit:
“We will develop what I would call a spearhead … a very high-readiness force able to deploy at very short notice. This spearhead would be provided by allies in rotation, and could include several thousand troops, ready to respond where needed with air, sea and special forces support.”
According to a senior NATO official interviewed by Reuters, who wants to remain anonymous, spearhead troops could range from “a very small size up to something potentially as large as a brigade size”. A NATO brigade is comprised of 3,000 to 5,000 troops, and currently it takes up to five days to deploy the alliance’s existing rapid reaction force. According to the anonymous source, in the future this should be feasible within 2 days.
In addition, there will be a “pre-positioning” of equipment at existing army bases in Eastern European countries, capable of receiving such rapid reaction force, including fuel and ammunition. Next to the stashing of equipment, certain infrastructures such as ports and airfields in Poland and the Baltic states shall be upgraded to be able to cope with the quick deployment of the newly established forces. NATO also wants to “enhance the breadth and depth” of the naval forces on standby, to which allies contribute in turns.
The new Cold War efforts also seek to improve alliance intelligence capabilities and its ability to respond to the type of “hybrid” warfare that Russia is being accused of utilizing in Ukraine, which, according to NATO officials, includes disinformation, subversion and cyber attack, all phenomena the alliance itself has been busy with since the day of its inception. In military terms, this means NATO will now officially be engaged in unconventional warfare dealing with “the funding of separatist groups to the use of social media, intimidation and black propaganda.”8
The range of measures is formulated in the so-called “readiness action plan”, that was also adopted during the summit.
The establishment of the rapid action force is a provocation in all directions. Besides the fact that NATO has no authority in the Ukraine conflict, it virtually breaks the 1997 agreement with Russia, forbidding NATO to permanently station larger troops in Eastern European countries.9
To circumvent the restrictions imposed by the agreement, NATO plays with words. Officials said that troops would be constantly rotated, in order not to violate the 1997 agreement. However, the constant rotation will in effect mean NATO will have a permanent presence in the Baltic states.
But that’s not all what the alliance has up its sleeve.
As if the “rapid action force” is not enough, plans for another 10000-strong “joint expeditionary force” are on the table, which Britain and six other NATO allies are about to set up.
“What the UK is doing … is establishing this joint expeditionary force which could be used for NATO but could be used for other things as well, whether a European Union operation, a U.N. operation or indeed national operations”, said the previously quoted anonymous Reuter source, adding that British-led forces could be deployed together with the spearhead force in times of crisis.10
What to make of this potential overlap of diverging areas of responsibility we probably will have to ask a future sacked chief of Academi turned whistleblower…
In times where the NATO has been normalized like drones targeting donkeys, where law is always the law of the mightiest, there is no critical mass questioning the legitimacy of NATO itself. As an alliance forged in the Cold War, NATO lost its raison d’être at the latest with the crumbling of the USSR, not to mentions the many scandals the alliance was involved in, such as Operation Gladio. NATO and the ideology it defends demonstrates nothing but servitude to, and propagation of a system that spread warfare like a contagious disease.
That alliance, fed by taxpayers money to outsource the war out of sight of the North-Atlantic territory, has become that sprawling octopus that it accuses its arch-enemy to be.
Because peace is when the bombs fall somewhere else.
1. “Britain to send 1,000 troops to lead new Nato ‘spearhead’ force based in Poland amid growing threat from Russia”, Daily Mail, 6 Sept 2014
2. “DSACEUR discusses ‘spearhead’ force during official visit to Estonia”, NATO, 23 Sept 2014
3.a. b. NATO to create new ‘spearhead’ force to respond to crises. Reuters. 1 Sept 2014
4.Charter on a Distinctive Partnership Between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine (Madrid, 9 July 1997)
5. Article 5 reads: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”
6. according to the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database for the fiscal year 2013
7. Andrew Roberts, “Should NATO’s Article 5 Only Protect Allies that Bear Fair Part of Defense Burden?” Atlantic Council. 11 Oct 2013
8.Nato to create high-readiness force to counter Russian threat. The Guardian. 1 Sept 2014
9.Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation Paris, 27 May 1997
10.NATO to create new ‘spearhead’ force to respond to crises. Reuters. 1 Sept 2014