It is very interesting that it was immediately decided to fight the influence of the Soviet Union, which was just then recovering from gigantic losses from the Second World War, by military means, and nothing else. The first members of the organization in 1949 were 12 countries: the USA, Canada, Iceland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Portugal. Greece and Turkey joined NATO in 1952 (First NATO enlargement). In 1954, the USSR also submitted an application for membership, since the organization officially declared itself to be the guarantor of peace in the Northern Hemisphere, but did not explicitly state its exclusively anti-Soviet orientation. The official refusal to join the Soviet Union has actually already openly "dotted the I", defining the position of the main enemy for NATO. In 1955, by internationally recognized documents, West Germany was actually allowed to again have its own army, which had not been the case since May 1945, and, almost simultaneously, the country became a new member of the military Alliance (NATO's Second Expansion), which was de facto under direct US control. Only after that, the USSR also began to create "its own" military bloc, consisting, in addition to itself, of the states of Eastern Europe, which after the end of the Second World War entered the "orbit of influence" of the Soviet Union. The association is known under the name "Warsaw Pact".
Thus, on the territory of Europe, and in fact in the world, two large and already officially declared themselves mutually antagonistic, powerful military blocs arose. The base of confrontation, according to the statements of the parties, was then fundamentally ideological, that is, the "capitalist West" against the "socialist East". This situation was later called the Cold War. And this very "war" lasted in fact until the collapse of the USSR in 1991, and the subsequent "self-disintegration" of the entire "Warsaw Pact" he led. It is noteworthy that during all this time of the East-West confrontation, NATO forces did not officially participate in any military operation. Apparently, this happened because NATO, being, according to its own statement, an exclusively defensive bloc, worked on the principle that aggression against one of the members is aggression against the whole organization, and no member, respectively, has ever been attacked.
It would seem that that's all, the confrontation is over. Neither the main enemy of the West in the person of the Soviet Union, nor its military bloc, nor the very ideology on which it was built in Europe no longer exists. The states that emerged in the place of the USSR and its former allies in the "socialist camp" have completely integrated into all "Western" international systems and organizations, and also have completely stopped showing any form of hostility towards their former "capitalist" opponents. Rather, on the contrary, they tried with all their might to join the "capitalist" system of international trade and political relations, as if recognizing thereby its supremacy and the "victory" won over European socialism. The very existence of an initially anti-Soviet military bloc, in such a situation, should have become an absurd anachronism by all the laws of logic, but ...
For some reason, NATO has not gone anywhere, but on the contrary, from 1991 to the present day it has carried out several more "expansions". As a result, it now includes 29 states, including all the former members of the "Warsaw Pact" and three that have become independent, the former Soviet Baltic republics - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The block's defense spending by 2019 showed a new absolutely cosmic amount - $ 989 billion, almost a trillion! The lion's share of which (approximately 70%) is the military budget of the Alliance leader, the United States. At first glance - a stunning success! The main enemy fell without a single shot, NATO is the most powerful organization on the planet, and almost no one is able to threaten its members. But at the congress of the Alliance, timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of its founding, no general joy is at all visible, just as unity is not visible. Moreover, unlike previous years, when the heads of state took part in such events, only foreign ministers gathered for such a serious anniversary. So what happens to the most powerful military bloc of all time?
The last scandal, well-known to everyone and unfolding almost right on the eve of the anniversary, is connected with Turkey's intention to purchase the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from the Russian Federation, giving them preference over the weaker, but more expensive American Patriots. In response to this, the United States actually began to blackmail its ally in the bloc economic sanctions, as well as the fact that they will refuse to sell the latest F-35 fighters to the Turks, in the amount of about a hundred pieces, in the production of which Turkey itself is involved (!), and also threatened to deprive this country of the possibility of maintaining the existing ones in service such aircraft. A somewhat strange relationship between the two largest members of the military alliance, isn't it? Turkey has the largest and most efficient army in NATO, after the US itself.
But I will say more. It's not just a strange relationship. This is the beginning of the end of the entire organization. And if Turkey in this situation really stands under pressure from the United States and buys the S-400 no matter what, then NATO will not live to see the next round anniversary. At least in its current form and strength. And it's not just Turkey, although it is with her that America and the rest of the bloc members really have the most difficult relations now. And these problems did not arise today, and not because of the Russian air defense systems. Quite legitimate Turkish grievances against the bloc partners have been accumulating for a long time. Turkish-Greek relations are actually a decades-old smoldering conflict within the North Atlantic alliance itself. Moreover, Greece is in service, by the way, there are Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems, but no one makes any claims to the Greeks about this. For the third decade, Turkey has been unsuccessfully “knocking on the door” of the European Union, the overwhelming majority of whose members are its partners in NATO. But the Turks are somehow not allowed into Europe under a variety of pretexts, and this does not in any way improve the interstate atmosphere. Especially considering that the most backward states of the former Eastern Europe, such as Bulgaria and Romania, for example, the level of general development, whose military power and industrial potential are simply not comparable with today's Turkey, have become members of both NATO and the EU during this time. Turkey also has, to put it mildly, very difficult relations with the main US and EU allies in the Middle East - Israel and Saudi Arabia. And finally worsened the position of Turkey in the region, as well as relations with America in particular and NATO in general, everything that began to happen right on the Turkish borders during the war in Iraq and the development of the Syrian conflict.
As a result of the fighting, literally millions of refugees poured into the country. Using various ethnic, political and even terrorist groups for their own purposes, the United States and NATO have created absolute chaos in the region, which has allowed the development of the most powerful terrorist formation in the history of mankind - the so-called Islamic State. By supporting and arming Kurdish detachments, seemingly to fight the regime of the legitimate Syrian President Assad, the Americans actually entered into direct conflict with the interests of Turkey, which considers the Kurdish armed movement for independence to be terrorist, and for many years has been fighting it openly, as on its territory. and in the border areas of neighboring states. After the tragic incident in which a Turkish fighter on November 24.11.2015, 24 shot down a Russian Su-XNUMX bomber in the Syrian-Turkish border, which took part in the anti-terrorist operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, Turkey, in fear of possible consequences, immediately turned to its partners for support. according to NATO, citing the incident by the fact that, in the opinion of the Turks, a Russian combat aircraft had invaded Turkish airspace. But the reaction of the allies turned out to be extremely cold - no one, as it turned out, was going to enter into a conflict with Russia over the Turkish problems. Erdogan at NATO headquarters was politely advised to deal with Putin on this matter completely independently, which he soon had to do. Moreover, in Russia, apparently even unexpectedly for himself, the Turkish leader clearly met with a much better understanding of Turkish problems and national interests, as well as the situation in the region as a whole, than his own partners in the military-political bloc. Roughly the same thing happened during the negotiations of the Turks with the top leadership of Iran. At the same time, again, both Moscow and Tehran are currently the main officially recognized opponents of Washington, and thus, as it were, NATO as a whole. That is, in Turkish interests, there is a kind of dichotomy, which does not fit in with the general policy of the North Atlantic Alliance. But that's not all.
The next and quite natural "nails in the coffin" of Turkish-American relations was, firstly, a serious coup attempt in Turkey with a plan to physically destroy the country's leadership, which, as it turned out, was led by the Turkish opposition preacher Gulen, who was in the United States. There were real clashes in the country and there were casualties. At the same time, at the request of Turkey, the States refused to extradite the main organizer and inspirer of all these events. And this is on charges of attempted coup and terrorism. Somehow not allied at all ... And secondly, the brutal murder by the Saudi special services of an opposition Saudi journalist, an employee of the American Washington Post Jamal Hashukji, right on the territory of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, and all this with the full connivance of American administration. In addition to all this, Turkey agreed to launch a gas pipeline from Russia to Europe through its territory, the Turkish Stream. This is the one that was previously called "South Stream", and was supposed to go directly to the European Union, but the US made every conceivable effort to stop this plan. The Americans simply forced the leadership of Bulgaria, where the pipe was supposed to go ashore, to refuse to participate in the project. This was done for exactly the same reason that the US is trying with all its might to stop Nord Stream 2 in the Baltic, that is, to force Europe, instead of Russia, to buy American liquefied gas. And the Turks took it and agreed, because they saw a huge personal benefit in this gas pipeline. Directly contrary to all the wishes of America. And they also concluded with the Russian Federation, and not with the Americans, an agreement on the construction of a nuclear power plant, work on which is already in full swing, also forcing people overseas to “grind their teeth”. And the Russians here, too, really offered the Turks such better terms of the contract that it would be simply stupid to refuse.
But it is not only with Turkey that NATO has internal problems today. If you look at other European countries of the Alliance, there is absolutely no unity here either. This is especially noticeable when comparing the sentiments of the majority of the old - Western and new - Eastern European members. After the collapse of the USSR and its "socialist camp", in principle, quite rich, comfortable and, in reality, quite peace-loving "old" Western Europe already seems to have finally "breathed a sigh of relief" in the hope that the threat of conflict hanging in the air for almost half a century between the East and the West, the scene of which inevitably should have been the European continent, seems to have finally "absorbed" by itself. And instead, in the east, an endless field of work for European business suddenly opened up: new huge and eager for goods from the west, sales markets, access to cheap resources, the possibility of investments that could be limited solely by the abilities and scope of imagination of the investors themselves, and so on ... And all this is not somewhere in an unsafe and unstable Africa or distant and poorly understood Southeast Asia, but right here, at its borders, literally "a stone's throw", as they say ... And the West Europeans, grasping for work, of course, are here they also began to actively develop business cooperation, simply reveling in the new economic opportunities that had "fallen down" on them. And at the same time, "as unnecessary", they began to gradually reduce their own spending on armaments, curtail military programs, reduce the size of the armed forces and equipment in them, translating all this already, so to speak, onto peaceful tracks.
But the hegemon overseas, which is part-time and the actual chief of all NATO, had plans for this organization were somewhat different. Even after the disappearance of what seemed to be the main enemy, no one was going to dissolve this "defense" organization. On the contrary, immediately after the collapse of the USSR, the troops of the NATO states suddenly began to participate in various armed conflicts, which at the same time did not directly concern the member states, that is, they had nothing to do with their defense. The bloc, thus, under various pretexts, began to perform the purely aggressive function of the "world gendarme" under the complete dictation of the United States, and exclusively in their own interests. So in 1991, NATO troops entered Kuwait, and then into Iraq. After that, in the period from 1995 to 2004. Alliance troops constantly participated in various wars in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, as a result of completely destroying this country as a single state formation. In 2001, NATO invaded Afghanistan, in 2003 again to Iraq, in both countries the Alliance troops under the leadership of the United States are still, without achieving any positive results. A bloody civil war has been going on in Afghanistan all this time, and the country itself has become the world's leading supplier of opium and heroin during this period. Iraq practically ceased to exist as a single state, and the largest terrorist gang in the history of mankind, ISIS, arose on its territory. In 2011, an unreasonable intervention took place in Libya, which also completely destroyed statehood in this country, a bloody civil war and anarchy continue to this day. In Europe, first of all, in Western countries, the discontent of the population has been growing all this time with such a clear reformatting of the activity of the structure, which was initially created as if exclusively for their protection from a possible Soviet threat. The threat has disappeared, and the costs of hostilities somewhere far from their borders are increasing, and coffins even periodically come back from there, it’s not known where and for what fallen fellow citizens. Moreover, as a result of all this, a huge stream of refugees rushed to Europe from the countries devastated by NATO forces, creating problems for Europeans directly and literally at their place. A bloody wave of Islamic terrorism swept across Europe. But for some reason, the all-powerful North Atlantic Alliance of the citizens of their countries does not protect it, and does not even do anything to strengthen, for example, the protection of external borders. And in order to somehow explain the continued existence of a huge military bloc, it became urgently necessary to either find or invent an enemy adequate in strength. Well, not with refugees to fight the valiant NATO warriors? At first, Iran was officially assigned the role of enemy number 1, developing its own nuclear and missile industries, but the military power of this country and its position in the world clearly did not correspond to the already existing "defensive" structure of the West. And after the collapse of the USSR, the only suitable candidate for the role of a strong and dangerous enemy was his successor - the Russian Federation, still a huge country that possesses nuclear weapons, but, naturally, far from being as powerful militarily as the Soviet Union once. I'm not even talking about the absence of a fundamental ideological antagonism, which everyone seems to have forgotten about ...
And here, again, there is a fundamental difference in attitude to the situation between the "old" and "new" NATO members. If the overwhelming majority of Western nations still do not like and do not want to fight historically, and they are primarily interested in maintaining their own comfort and the achieved high standard of living, then in the east everything looks somewhat different. Here there are a number of quite belligerent countries, which also have some complexes of "grievances of the past", which they try to "cure" precisely by joining the NATO military bloc. The most prominent representatives of such peoples are, for example, Poland, Romania, the Baltic states. And do not be fooled by the fact that some of these countries, by world standards, have microscopic armed forces. As part of large and well-equipped foreign armies, for example, the German Waffen-SS during the Second World War, the same Balts have already shown themselves to be excellent soldiers, in battles against Soviet troops. They really have the untapped potential of aggression, and they are often much more willing to participate in various foreign "missions" of NATO, unlike their Western counterparts. And some financial handouts issued by the United States to its new East European satellites are perceived by them with more gratitude than in the more prosperous west. Even despite the fact that these same US handouts are ultimately used to purchase the same weapons or something else from the Americans themselves. Demanding an increase in military spending from its European partners in NATO, the United States at the same time complicates this very task, dragging them into fulfilling the terms of various “sanctions packages” directed against third countries, such as Russia, Iran or China. Along with this, expanding its own spheres of influence, and simultaneously provoking the Russian Federation militarily, the United States unleashes various armed conflicts already in the territory of the post-Soviet space or in its immediate vicinity. And an adequate and natural reaction of Russia to all this is presented to its partners in the Alliance and the rest of the world as proof of the aggressive intentions of the Russian Federation and its leadership. But here, most, again, Western Europeans already include historical memory related to the relatively recent, on a historical scale, events of the last two World Wars. And if, under the pressure of America, they gritting their teeth and causing multibillion-dollar damage to their own economies, are joining in observing various American economic sanctions imposed on Russia and other states, often under fictitious and absolutely inadequate pretexts, then they openly refuse to go on frank military provocations . There are also more complex political contradictions. For example, Germany and France are participants in the "Normandy format" - a contractual platform whose goal is officially to resolve the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. The vast majority of European countries, however, are also not interested in the escalation of hostilities with absolutely unpredictable consequences right at the borders of the European Union. The United States, on the contrary, constantly provokes this conflict either with international support of the Ukrainian "Maidan" government, or with the supply of weapons, or with the introduction of its warships in the Black Sea, in close proximity to the conflict zone.
And in general, the Zakoian hegemon himself and the leader of NATO in one person - the United States of America, especially after the Donald Trump administration came to power, began to behave with its European partners less and less respectfully. Showing less and less sympathy for the national interests of their allies, and communicating with them more and more as with vassals than with equal partners in the military bloc. And this also causes a clear negative reaction, primarily from large European states that are members of NATO. And all this at the same time against the background of the fact that the overwhelming majority of all European countries today, despite all the propaganda hype, do not believe in the real possibility of Russian aggression on the continent. On the contrary, Europeans view the consequences of confrontation with their huge eastern neighbor as directly detrimental to their own development, welfare and even security. This is a look at the need for cooperation with the Russian Federation on illegal migration, as well as the fight against international terrorism and crime. The only exception to all of the above is, probably, Great Britain, absolutely unquestioningly following "in the wake" of the United States. And there, in turn, recently new ideas have been emerging to expand the bloc of countries in their full military subordination, the last of which is the inclusion of Brazil in NATO. Although it is not very clear what relation this South American state has to the North Atlantic, and with it a geographically directly connected military alliance. Then you can already be admitted to NATO and Australia and Japan, for example. At the same time, the choice of possible opponents of the Alliance, so necessary to justify its protracted existence, will already be wider - you can write in them, say, China and North Korea ...
All of the above, of course, is an extremely interesting development of events, but the result of all this, nevertheless, steadily leads to the growth of insoluble contradictions within the largest military bloc in the world, and thus to the weakening of its unity and real military power. And the United States, as the initially leading force of the Alliance, cannot, and does not want to at this stage again engage in some kind of consolidation of all members. In contrast to the times of the beginning of the existence of the Alliance, today, consisting of 29 member countries, NATO is an extremely diverse community of states with very different levels of development, economic, social, religious and political order, and even different strategic goals. The entry of new members into the bloc is due to a variety of reasons - political and even economic, of which, in fact, the real provision of one's own security is far from the first place. Modern NATO in its structure and composition is somewhat reminiscent of Hitler's Germany and its satellites in the early forties of the last century. It was also a rather motley structure, which outwardly was even a very impressive military force, based solely on the power of the Third Reich. But as soon as the latter started real problems, mainly in the war against the USSR on the Eastern Front, the overwhelming majority of Germany's so-called allies turned away from the Germans, at best, and at worst even deployed their own, often from Germany itself, the weapons they received. against her. The most striking examples of this are just the current members of NATO - for example, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria. And in general, we can say that the overwhelming majority of the "new" NATO members are such "weathervane states" on whose loyalty even the Americans themselves can hardly be counted on in a really difficult situation ...
But, perhaps, the most important nonsense in the existence of the NATO bloc, in fact from the very beginning directed against the USSR, and now Russia, is that in reality, militarily, NATO is a useless structure for confrontation with our country. And almost all of its members now understand this. Simply because Russia is one of those few states on the planet that cannot be conquered or defeated by military force from the outside. And in the event of such an attempt, it threatens the complete destruction of both the most possible aggressor and life on Earth in general. Russia can only be destroyed from within. As in its time its predecessor, the Russian Empire 100 years ago, and again the USSR 70 years later. No one ever defeated these empires by force, but these huge states were completely destroyed from the inside. That is, we should beware, mainly, not of NATO armies, but of "soft power" creeping towards us from the West. But, on the other hand, it is precisely on the Western technocrats and pragmatists that only brute force acts, or at least the threat of its real use, and with guaranteed fatal consequences for the enemy. That is why, in order to build any kind of equal dialogue with the consolidated West, we must constantly develop and improve our armed forces. And if they are strong enough and technically equipped, then this is the best guarantee that they will not have to be applied in practice in a real big war. At the same time, no less attention should be paid to internal security, control over the activities of the media, NGOs, and reasonable patriotic education of youth. And also, and this is the main thing, to create such living conditions in the state so that people really love their country and believe in its future. Then we will very quickly see the decline of the North Atlantic Alliance, and the allies, again themselves, will voluntarily reach out to us.