europe beyond nato: this, but based

Europe Beyond NATO

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For the past seven months, the US had stopped providing aid to Ukraine for its defence against Russian aggression, until a $61 billion aid package was finally voted on by the US Congress. Tellingly, the package passed with overwhelming majorities in both houses and was only held up because Speaker Mike Johnson refused to put Ukraine aid on the agenda under pressure from Donald Trump and the MAGA group. In the 7 months without US assistance, Ukraine managed to defend itself, but severe shell hunger and a lack of anti-air interceptor missiles allowed the aggressor state greater leeway on the ground and in the air, leading to the Russian conquest of the frontier town of Avdiivka. However, we won’t be discussing the front lines today, but rather the broader implications of the US congress’ delays and inaction for US overseas commitments and especially NATO as well as actions that Eastern European states should take in order to safeguard their security in the future. We’ll be discussing the possibility of building a new security paradigm for Europe beyond NATO and without America. 

Before we proceed, we must first delineate some differences between US commitments to Ukraine and US commitments to NATO. The US commitment to aiding Ukraine is based on the Budapest Memorandum, as well as bilateral treaties and agreements between Ukraine and America. However, the “security guarantees” in the Budapest memorandum, which Ukraine signed in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons are weaker than the NATO charter, whose famous Article 5 states that “an attack on one is an attack on all.” This means that while we may consider the US morally obligated to support Ukraine due to various historical reasons, the US is not legally obligated to support Ukraine the way it is legally obligated to defend NATO member states if they are attacked by hostile powers. 

Having gotten that detail out of the way, we must nevertheless acknowledge the similarity between providing aid to Ukraine and joining the hypothetical defence of a NATO member state. Likewise, we must also acknowledge the undoubtable similarity between the US congress dithering on aid for Ukraine for seven months under pressure from the MAGA coalition of freaks and whores and the US failing to honour its article 5 obligations in a hypothetical conflict where a NATO member state found itself under attack and invoking article 5. 7 months is a long time in war. While Ukraine is a large country which has its own, domestic arms industry and could fall back on support from European allies to hold out for seven months, the same could not be said of smaller NATO countries, such as the Baltic states. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have a combined population of just over 6 million (compared to Ukraine, 44 million), small armies and no strategic depth. 

The Baltic states and others that share their security concerns must now take into account the fact that the US has proven itself an unreliable ally. Biden’s promise to support Ukraine “as long as it takes” rings hollow if the entire apparatus of US state capacity can be derailed by hysterical women like Marjorie Taylor Greene. If the commitment to Ukraine, which consisted solely of transferring weapons and ammunition could be so easily disrupted, would a far more substantial commitment, in the form of declaring war on an aggressor state be prompt, or would the Baltic nations be expected to accept conquest and genocide by the Neo-Bolshevik Russian regime in the name of “preventing escalation?” 

Of course, I’m not the only one asking myself this question. Danish military analyst and officer Anders Puck Nielsen believes that the Putin regime’s plan with regard to NATO would be to engage in a provocation against the Baltic states precisely to stress-test Article 5. A failure by the NATO member states and especially the US as the central alliance member to respond to such a provocation would demonstrate once and for all that NATO is not a functional alliance and its member states can no longer rely on NATO to guarantee their own security. Of course, we’ll never know this unless there is such an attack, followed by an invocation of Article 5, followed by a failure of the US and other key member states to react. 

Since we cannot know in advance if the US would honour its NATO commitments, I propose that Eastern European states adopt policies and positions that would eliminate the uncertainty or the need to know. Rather than take the gamble of whether the US is gridlocked or run by mentally unstable Qanon cultists, Eastern European states should forge their own security framework which will be smaller but more politically united than NATO and logistically easier to organise. If Eastern Europe cannot count on the US, or for that matter Germany for its defence, then it shouldn’t have to. 

I propose that a new defensive alliance be formed out of states which a) share Russia as the primary security threat and b) have proven themselves willing to commit resources to common defence in the wake of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. A short list of these states would be thus: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Czechia and Romania. In the fullness of time and after the war is over, Ukraine could also be invited to join. The purpose of this alliance would be to defend the member states against aggression, just as NATO is supposed to do. The idea of this mini-NATO, or perhaps we should call it BTO (Baltic Treaty Organisation, as all member states save Norway, Czechia and Romania border the Baltic Sea).

I’ve spoken about a similar concept in the past when I outlined a new vision for the old concept of the Intermarium. However, while my vision for the Intermarium proposes an alliance which would push out from its current borders in order to integrate (post) Russian territory and is a project that’d have to be completed over the next 50 to 100 years, the smaller alliance I propose here would be strictly defensive and crucially, it could be implemented tomorrow if the political will were to be found in the capitals of the proposed member states. The proposed smaller alliance would also exclude states which cannot be counted on to reliably oppose Russian aggression, such as Hungary and Slovakia, both of whom have pro-Russian governments. 

Alliances exist to concentrate military power, and as a general rule, it’s good if they’re big, because that means that the military power of more states can be concentrated. But there is such as an alliance that is too big. NATO, I believe, has become too big to effectively concentrate. Of course, the US dithering and delays weren’t caused only by the size of its commitments, but the size is indeed a factor. The MAGA faction which delayed aid to Ukraine, for example, are die-hard Zionists and would support throwing literal trillions at Israel. The reluctance to support Ukraine is partially born out of worry that not enough may be left for Israel, Taiwan or other frontiers. For this reason, a smaller alliance, consisting only of countries which are committed, have skin in the game and have no or little other security concerns would be preferable to the sprawling and unwieldy NATO. 

Such an alliance would also be less afraid of escalation. If Latvia were attacked by Russia, for example, the other Baltic states, Finland and Poland would have no reason to believe that they’d be spared future Russian aggression. They’d have a vested interest in defeating Russia in Latvia and inflicting as much damage as possible on the Russian armed forces, whether by defending sovereign Latvian territory or by launching incursions into Russian territory to destroy state and military capacity. The very existence of such an alliance would serve to reduce the probability of war. Indeed, we are at the juncture where a Russian attack on the Baltics is probable precisely because NATO members such as the US and Germany have been reluctant to commit to aiding Ukraine. However, an alliance of proven states, such as the ones listed, would be far less likely to be attacked, regardless of their smaller size. 

Overall, Europe needs to reduce its expectations of American aid and its reliance on American military might for its own security. However, Western Europe can be a little more relaxed, as it has no serious military threat in its immediate neighbourhood. Eastern Europe, as well as the Scandinavian countries don’t have this luxury. They share a border with an aggressive, imperialist and Neo-bolshevik state which has already waged wars of aggression against independent Chechnya, Georgia and Ukraine in just the past 25 years. While the Intermarium as I envision it is an ambitious project for the future, this smaller alliance can be implemented today and appears to be sorely needed as American power wanes and the world re-enters the era of global conflict. Recognising that the US is no longer a reliable ally is the first step towards building a Europe beyond NATO. 

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Very interesting take. It seems the countries involved are fine with having, on their soil, us bases on top of nato bases dictating their security policies.
It looks to me that Russia and Nato are working hand in hand.
The invasion of Ukraine because of nato bases was always bogus to me, later confirmed by Putin himself.
Yet it’s still the narrarive reinforcing other countries to have more nato.
Some commenters have argued that Russia would push west after Ukraine.
It will if allowed by the powers that be.

Russia invades, Blackrock buys the land.

Still, what a clusterfuck.

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