By M. Benjamin & N. Davies

As NATO holds its Summit in Madrid on June 28-30, the war in Ukraine is taking center stage. During a pre-Summit June 22 talk with Politico, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg bragged about how well-prepared NATO was for this fight because, he said: “This was an invasion that was predicted, foreseen by our intelligence services.”

Stoltenberg was talking about Western intelligence predictions in the months leading up to the February 24 invasion, when Russia insisted it was not going to attack. Stoltenberg, however, could well have been talking about predictions that went back not just months before the invasion, but decades.

Stoltenberg could have looked all the way back to when the U.S.S.R. was dissolving, and highlighted a 1990 State Department memo warning that creating an “anti-Soviet coalition” of NATO countries along the U.S.S.R’s border “would be perceived very negatively by the Soviets.”

Stoltenberg could have reflected on the consequences of all the broken promises by Western officials that NATO would not expand eastward. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous assurance to Soviet President Gorbachev was just one example. Declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted by the National Security Archive reveal multiple assurances by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and 1991.

The NATO Secretary General could have recalled the 1997 letter by 50 prominent foreign policy experts, calling President Clinton’s plans to enlarge NATO a policy error of “historic proportions” that would “unsettle European stability.” But Clinton had already made a commitment to invite Poland into the club, reportedly out of concern that saying “no” to Poland would lose him critical Polish-American votes in the Midwest in the 1996 election.

Stoltenberg could have remembered the prediction made by George Kennan, the intellectual father of US containment policy during the Cold War, when NATO moved ahead and incorporated Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in 1998. In a New York Times interview, Kennan called NATO expansion a “tragic mistake” that marked the beginning of a new Cold War, and warned that the Russians would “gradually react quite adversely.”

After seven more Eastern European countries joined NATO in 2004, including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuaniaich, which had actually been part of the former Soviet Union, the hostility increased further. Stoltenberg could have just considered the words of President Putin himself, who said on many occasions that NATO enlargement represented “a serious provocation.” In 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, Putin asked, “What happened to the assurances our Western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact?”

But it was the 2008 NATO Summit, when NATO ignored Russia’s vehement opposition and promised that Ukraine would join NATO, that really set off alarm bells.

William Burns, then US ambassador to Moscow, sent an urgent memo to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin),” he wrote. “In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.”

Instead of comprehending the danger of crossing “the brightest of all redlines,” President George W. Bush persisted and pushed through internal opposition within NATO to proclaim, in 2008, that Ukraine would indeed be granted membership, but at an unspecified date. Stoltenberg could well have traced the present conflict back to that NATO Summit–a Summit that took place well before the 2014 Euromaidan coup or Russia’s seizure of Crimea or the failure of the Minsk Agreements to end the civil war in the Donbas.

This was indeed a war foretold. Thirty years of warnings and predictions turned out to be all too accurate. But they all went unheeded by an institution that measured its success only in terms of its own endless expansion instead of by the security it promised but repeatedly failed to deliver, most of all to the victims of its own aggression in Serbia, Afghanistan and Libya.

Now Russia has launched a brutal, illegal war that has uprooted millions of innocent Ukrainians from their homes, killed and injured thousands of civilians and is taking the lives of more than a hundred Ukrainian soldiers every day. NATO is determined to keep sending massive amounts of weapons to fuel the war, while millions around the world suffer from the growing economic fallout of the conflict.

We can’t go back and undo Russia’s catastrophic decision to invade Ukraine or NATO’s historic blunders. But Western leaders can make wiser strategic decisions going forward. Those should include a commitment to allow Ukraine to become a neutral, non-NATO state, something that President Zelenskyy himself agreed to in principle early on in the war.

And, instead of exploiting this crisis to expand even further, NATO should suspend all new or pending membership applications until the current crisis has been resolved. That is what a genuine mutual security organization would do, in sharp contrast to the opportunistic behavior of this aggressive military alliance.

But we’ll make our own prediction based on NATO’s past behavior. Instead of calling for compromises on all sides to end the bloodshed, this dangerous Alliance will instead promise an endless supply of weapons to help Ukraine “win” an unwinnable war, and will continue to seek out and seize every chance to engorge itself at the expense of human life and global security.

While the world determines how to hold Russia accountable for the horrors it is committing in Ukraine, the members of NATO should do some honest self-reflection. They should realize that the only permanent solution to the hostility generated by this exclusive, divisive alliance is to dismantle NATO and replace it with an inclusive framework that provides security to all of Europe’s countries and people, without threatening Russia or blindly following the United States in its insatiable and anachronistic, hegemonic ambitions.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and author of several books, including Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is a researcher with CODEPINK, and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.

SOURCEAnti War

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Did I miss something?
    “Now Russia has launched a brutal, illegal war that has uprooted millions of innocent Ukrainians from their homes, killed and injured thousands of civilians and is taking the lives of more than a hundred Ukrainian soldiers every day.“
    Russia didn’t launch the war. Kiev did. They’ve been shelling the residents and buildings of both the LPR and the DPR of the Donbas region that borders Russia for 8 years.
    Russia came to the aid of the residents of Donbas to help them.
    Russia didn’t launch a brutal, illegal war. It’s western-controlled and funded zioglobalist Kiev that has launched the brutal , illegal war against the innocent civilians of Donbas.

    Mmmmm

  2. Surprise of the West: Their former colonies do not support the “exclusion” of Russia from the world economy due to the events in Ukraine.
    ***https://en.topwar.ru/198387-udivlenie-zapada-ih-byvshie-kolonii-ne-podderzhivajut-iskljuchenie-rossii-iz-mirovoj-jekonomiki-iz-za-sobytij-na-ukraine.html

    • They never supported, only violent assassinations like Lumumba´s, Saddam or Gaddafi´s one´s were the weapon against them. With Russia back in the arena, Liberty of choice is there again since africans new can get the weapons to fight the parasitism that have been plaguing África since 1484.

  3. Syria announced the recognition of the independence and sovereignty of the DNR and LNR
    Today, 17: 20
    18

    The Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics are beginning to receive international recognition, the Syrian Arab Republic was the first to declare its readiness to recognize the independence and sovereignty of the republics of Donbass. The decision was announced by the Syrian state news SANA agency with reference to the country’s Foreign Ministry.

  4. The Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the possibility of a referendum in the liberated territories of Ukraine.
    Alexey Polishchuk , director of the second department of the CIS countries of the Russian Foreign Ministry , believes that residents of the liberated territories of Ukraine should be able to determine their own future. He stated this to RIA Novosti, commenting on the possibility of joining the Ukrainian liberated settlements to Russia .
    The diplomat believes that the future of Ukraine and the liberated territories of the country, as well as the future of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, is in the hands of their residents. At the same time, Polishchuk noted that people do not want the return of the Kyiv.
    “Citizens living on the lands of Kherson, Zaporozhye and Kharkiv regions liberated from the Nazis do not want the return of the Kyiv authorities, which threaten them with reprisals for alleged betrayal and collaborationism with Russia, for belonging to Russian culture and the desire to speak Russian,” he said..

  5. There is only one remaining death cult on this world whose long dead god Satan Jehovah is still worshiped with human blood sacrifice. If these tribals with their deep latent death wish can not own and control this Earth, nobody can.

    • Seventieth Contact
      Thursday, 6th January 1977, 00:01 hrs

      143. In truth, the Hebraons were the real scum and outcasts of Earth humanity, because through them fights and quarrels within the whole world were constantly stirred up and yet further spread, which has been maintained until the present day.
      144. Earth will only finally be at peace, then, when this power-hungry and bloodthirsty Hebraon alliance, which has declared themselves as a people, and which has split into various sects addicted to world control, and so forth, has been fully dissolved.

  6. What the west has failed to realize is that China paid for the Russian cleanup of Ukraine. While all the attention on Ukraine, is the west giving any attention to what is happening in Asia?

    Nyet. The west is a lapdog for NATO and NATO is nyet. Done. Gone.

    BRICS is the way of the future, and hopefully the west will not interfere in Taiwan. If they do, China will demolish the USA, with the help of Russia of course.

  7. Much as I admire Code Pink’s opposition to the 9/11 wars, those wars of aggression can’t be understood without first acknowledging who the real perps of 9/11 are. They were not 19 Arabs led by Osama bin Laden who was supposedly holed up in a cave in Afghanistan. The real perps of 9/11 were Israel and traitorous US sayanim. Their goal was to ultimately bankrupt the USA both financially and morally. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams as we are $30 trillion in debt and are guilty of war crimes to numerous to mention. We are being pushed into a catastrophic war with Russia over Ukraine by the very same people that did 9/11.

    • Let me say that again, we are being pushed into a catastrophic war with Russia by the same people who did 9/11 in conjunction with 50 million US so-called Christian Zionists who also want to destroy the USA and turn it into some kind of Bannon-style Christo-fascist theocracy.

    • Of course it’s the same people. It’s the US Congress and President. Joe Biden wrote the Patriot Act a year before 911, and the Neo-Cons wrote “A Project for a New American Century before Bush Jr was elected, needing a “New Peral Harbor” to get it all moving. “If Your Not With Us Your Against Us” is a treat to anyone asking for a investigation as Senator Paul David Wellstone, Plane Crashed. He demanded a 911 Real Investigation. The Gov. case did not prove a single thing. No photos of any hijackers from the flights, that were proved never to have left the ground. I pay to dig the plane up in Pennsylvania. Never had a monument there until the braindead gathered by themselves. I guess even the Gov. was surprised how stupid the US population is. No planes were used on 911. They don’t even show the “greenscreen plane” today because its a apparent fake inserted. The Fox 5 reporter (in a helicopter) had his own greenscreen company.
      The war with Russia part is in ? We do want a conventional war, but if Russia sees NATO as Hitler and 25,000,000 million dead Russians to come. I would keep a eye open for Satan’s & Hypersonic Nukes in a city near us in the USA.

    • I completely agree, SWAX. If we don’t have WWIII with the Russians the Empire of Lies will collapse on its own. There’s no way we can go back to being a “normal” nation that works for a living and pays its bills. Financial chaos and social anarchy will make us wish for WWIII just to get if over quickly.

  8. Since he is so smart and familliar with the proceding, perhaps he could advice Russia, what should be done instead of this “tragic mistake”, roll over and beg like a puppy till the USA “decolonises” her? And as far as illegality, brutality and all the rest is concerned, it’s the same as USA has been doing since end of WWII! All American citizen should refrain themseves of using such vocabulary when talking about others!

  9. It’s easy to predict an outcome if one is involved in causing it. Lest we forget that Nuland and her team of Neocon reprobates drew first blood by staging a coup in Kiev of recalcitrant Nazis who immediately attacked the Donbas region who had plans of taking over Russia’s only warm water port in the Black Sea. It doesn’t take psychic ability to see what would happen next.

  10. A lot of people, especially here in America, do not understand what NATO and most U.S. agencies are. These are not ‘military assets’, ‘security agencies’, or even ‘national intelligence assets.’ They are not national militaries that protect certain nations. This is all lies and indoctrination.

    Do you want to know the truth? Do you want to know what these organizations really are? They are international Nazi War Criminal syndicates run out of Switzerland and owned and operated by Satanists and Luciferians. Where is the CIA headquartered? It’s not in America. Media lies. It’s located near a town called Geneva in the BIS-controlled country called Switzerland.

    Where is NATO headquartered? It is in Brussels, Belgium. The entire nation of Belgium was created by Luciferians. The Lucifer Project and Le génie du mal directly followed Belgium’s independence.

    U.S. Navy Seals, CIA, DARPA, ICE, SOCOM especially, NATO, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and Royal Secret Service…, all of these are nothing more than privately owned child trafficking companies. To say they are anything else is a lie. They either traffic kids, drugs, etc. directly, or they provide protection for those who do. Anyone who complains about their crimes they seek to eliminate.

  11. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian ridiculed the G7 leaders on his Twitter account, saying that the population of the G7 countries is only part of the world community.
    He published a picture showing that the population of the countries that are part of the BRICS coalition is approximately 3.2 billion people. At the same time, the number of people who live in the G7 countries is much inferior – only 777 million.
    “The next time you talk about the ‘global community’, keep in mind what is really meant,” a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
    Earlier, Vladimir Dzhabarov , First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs , said that the G7 summit has become a symbolic event in recent years. No significant decisions are made during it, and the composition does not correspond to modern reality.

  12. The American commercial satellite operator Maxar Technologies, which filmed the Novoshakhtinsky oil refinery in the Rostov region three days before the drone attack, refused to comment on RIA Novosti about its services for the Ukrainian army .

    Photo:  RIA Novosti
    On June 28, the head of Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin , said that private satellite operators in Western countries, including Maxar, together with state-owned ones, transmit data to Kiev and work in this way “for our enemy.” According to the director of the state corporation, such companies form specific data for the North Atlantic Alliance , which are then transferred to the Ukrainian military.
    As it turned out, Maxar Technologies has a ten-year contract with the US National Office of Military Intelligence (NRO), one of the structures of the Pentagon , worth up to 3.24 billion dollars. From the documents of the company received by RIA Novosti, it follows that this contract was concluded on May 25, 2022 and represents “the largest ever concluded NRO agreement for the acquisition of commercial images.”