Ukraine And The End Of World Militarism
The list of failures of the EU and NATO gets longer by the week
The European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) sail in troubled waters. In the field of external relations, the EU has never realised its Lisbon Treaty about making peace and speaking with one voice.
The NATO violates its Treaty 24/7 for it is basically a copy of the United Nations-Charter. And the United States conducts an economic war against Europe through the Nord Stream destruction, the costs of reacting to the Ukraine war, including energy prices.
President Macron and EU President Von der Leyen showed rather different attitudes and abilities to listen, during their recent visit to China. But, strangely defeatist, both appealed to China to help solve the Ukraine conflict while the US has turned down every negotiation, mediation and diplomatic initiatives. Rejection of any good idea now being a US standard.
The list of failures of the EU and NATO gets longer by the week. Ukraine is the catchword of both organisations’ fragmentation and decline: NATO’s uniquely wrongheaded expansion policy in violation of promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev, all Russia’s presidents’ criticism and a series of Western diplomats and scholars warnings while NATO remained autistic.
This de facto NATO-Russia conflict, the West’s attempt to use Ukraine to ”weaken” Russia once and for all and then turn on China, is, of course, way more than it will be able to handle intellectually and economically; NATO even states that it is not a party to that conflict. The EU/NATO has done nothing but knee-jerk reactive policies, cancelled everything Russia, made no analyses of consequences and argued hawkishly that there shall be no negotiations. Ukraine shall win this war.
Nobody asks: What does winning mean? And who shall pay the price for this anti-intellectual, militarist policy that stands no chance to succeed quickly or after years of fighting. The EU and NATO will, I predict, lose and cause more harm to Ukraine’s innocent citizens than the Russian invasion.
Two things could have prevented and also stop it now: A declaration that Ukraine shall be secured by creative neutrality, not by NATO membership, and that diplomacy, not weapons, will be the main tool to co-existence.
The EU/NATO narrative falsely frees the US, Europe and Ukraine from every responsibility making Russia guilty of everything. Conducting policies on such intellectual banality and self-deception by definition cannot succeed.
Ukraine itself it not without blame: The manifest historical nationalism, authoritarianism and politico-military connections with neo-Nazi attitudes and symbols (although suddenly deleted from the West’s perception).
President Bush Senior wisely worried in his speech in Kiev in August 1991: ”The Americans will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred.” Obama and Biden played it conveniently ignorant since 2014.
In 1995, Kiev re-took Crimea that was autonomous at Ukraine’s independence and in 2014 came the US-orchestrated and largely financed (US$ 5 billion) regime change followed by eight years of civil war that killed 14 000 citizens. Then the abolition of Russian as official language, the clamping down on minority rights, cancellation of opposition parties and closing down of critical media, newly criticised even by the US State Department.
Furthermore, up to the Russian invasion, all Ukrainian opinion polls showed very small minorities for NATO membership; the people wanted cooperation with Russia and that the country’s future orientation should be decided by referendum. President Poroshenko has stated that the army was as his ’child’ growing strong, and he also managed to declare that NATO membership should be written into Ukraine’s constitution.
We know now that the Minsk agreements was just a way to fool Russia and buy time for Ukrainian re-armament. And then came the special US-Ukrainian military Strategic Partnership from November 2021.
Mentioning these Ukraine’s self-harming insecurity policies amounts to explaining the conflict, not defending, Russia’s invasion.
All Western baseless black-and-white narratives, including China as a threat, deserve scrutiny and de-construction. But mainstream ’free’ media promote them. Realpolitik must stop being deceptive, dishonest and irrational before humanity’s existence is at stake.
Ukraine is the war that will have no winners. This Western tragedy is significant because it grows out of the dangerous combination of intellectual and moral disarmament coupled with extreme re-armament and because all participants lose because of their own actions, not because of what others did to them.
If Ukraine would become the last major war and the end of the dangerous Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAC), it may be said that it served a purpose. With the decline and fall of the unipolar world, NATO and the worldwide national MIMACs will become redundant.
Peace is incompatible with deterrence by conventional and nuclear weapons. But it is possible through common security thinking, civil conflict management and mutual beneficial cooperation that makes war and other violence unattractive. Peace can be learned through education.
In contrast to the West, China’s global peace initiatives are promising from a professional peace point of view: The Belt and Road Initiative has a built-in win-win philosophy. A principled UN-Charter-based approach to mediation and conflict-resolution must be the basis of worldwide brainstorming about better futures.
A Security Initiative must build on purely defensive military with a heavy emphasis on civilian conflict-resolution aiming at co-existence in diversity. Wang Yi’s Safer World speech at the militarist Munich Conference brilliantly illustrated the differences.
The human race must stop its short circuit arms race. The history of the two Wests, the Soviet Union and now the US/NATO/EU, proves that imperial dominance and militarism are self- and other-destructive.
What is dearly needed is intensive research, creativity and dialogue to secure peace with peaceful means and free human civilisation from fake peace by militarised ’security.’
Jan Oberg, PhD, is the Director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, in Sweden. Views expressed are the writer’s own.