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article imageNATO names China explicitly as a foe of the alliance

By Ken Hanly     Dec 4, 2019 in Politics
The treaty that formed NATO in 1949 never singled out a single enemy for the alliance to counter but it was clear at the time that the Soviet Union was the main target. There have been numerous attempts since to add new enemies or new functions to NATO.
This was particularly true with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However of late Russia has regained its status as a target.
Wikipedia describes NATO briefly: "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO /ˈneɪtoʊ/; French: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.[3][4] NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Evere, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29. ..An additional 21 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.[6] Members agreed that their aim is to reach or maintain the target defense spending of at least 2% of GDP by 2024[7][8]"
In spite of the title North Atlantic its was directed at defending European countries from the Soviet Union. Many European Countries belong to NATO. In Europe NATO has intervened in Bosnia and Herzegovina and also Kosovo. However many of its interventions such as in Afghanistan, and Iraq have no relation to either the North Atlantic or event the European area.
Some critics believe that NATO is to a considerable degree an instrument of US policy as claimed by Stephen Lendman: "The North Atlantic Alliance functions as an arm of US imperial policy – intended for offense, not defense, especially after Soviet Russia dissolved. World peace and stability are unattainable as long as this killing machine exists, waging endless wars of aggression, raping and destroying one country after another, responsible for countless millions of casualties and vast destruction.Washington controls NATO, defraying 75% of its budget, calling the shots, subservient alliance officials installed to serve its agenda.At a time when no alliance enemies exist, they’re invented to justify NATO’s existence, including ISIS and other terrorist groups Washington created and supports, along with all nations on America’s target list for regime change – notably Russia, considered public enemy number one despite threatening no one. " This may be exaggerated but nevertheless it does appear that the US is dominant in the organization and use NATO as much as it can to further its own goals. NATO often serves as a way of internationalizing US goals and obtains support for the US rather than forcing the country to go it alone.
The original text of the 1949 NATO agreement can be found here.
NATO targets China specifically
A recent article
reports: "During this week’s NATO meeting, they are going to officially add a new nation to the list of “challenges,” in the form of China, with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg saying NATO has to “tackle the issue” of China’s growing capabilities." This fits in well with US goals to prevent China from extending its power in Asia and with the US pivot to Asia which started under Obama but it is continuing under Trump.
For an alliance called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization it passing strange to classify as an enemy a nation that is as far as it could be from the North Atlantic. However, as an instrument of US policy NATO has taken on a function of its own in serving often as a help of the US in its role as global policeman. China is challenging the US role as global hegemon as does Russia. However, the US reacts to any challenge to its power as in support of the recent coup in Bolivia and its constant attempt to overthrow the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
NATO wants funds for new technological challenges
A recent article notes:
"NATO will agree on a plan to respond to the new weapons and tactical threat posed by Russia and others when alliance leaders meet here on Dec. 4, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said opening the NATO Engages think tank event in London."When‎ leaders meet tomorrow they will agree a plan for NATO's response to emerging and disruptive technology, recognizing two new operational domains in space and cyber, and develop plans to confront and deter hybrid tactics," Wallace told an international audience of defense analysts and policymakers.Emerging technologies like hypersonic missiles and quantum‎ computing are changing the threat landscape, the defense secretary said, urging that NATO must to understand the challenges and adapt accordingly."
Wallace had no response to the remark of French President Emmanuel Macron's sarcastic remark that NATO was "brain dead|"
NATO still uses the war on terror and its operations against terrorists as justification for its existence but it is clear there are increasing plans to confront Russia and now China. Such actions make increase the likelihood of extensive warfare if not a new global war in the future. NATO will consider to serve US goals as well.
More about Nato, Nato's function, China
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