Pentagon-led politico-military alliance continues to serve as major impediment to peace, liberation and a just world system
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Note: This paper was prepared and delivered in part to a webinar entitled: “The Case Against NATO” which featured presentations from various scholars and activists around the world. The speakers, in addition to Abayomi Azikiwe, were Carlos Run, the Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America and the President of the Simon Bolivar Institute for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples; Kate Hudson, the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Jenny Clegg, former lecturer in International Studies and long-time China specialist; Chris Matlhako, the 2nd Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the General Secretary of the Friends of Cuba Society and member of the South African Peace Initiative; Prof. Qingsi of the Renmin University in China; and moderator Prof. Radhika Desai of the Department of Political Studies and the Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. The entire webinar can be viewed at the following website:
While the Pentagon and the United States State Department continues to provide a distorted rationale for the instigation of a major military conflict in Eastern Europe, billions of dollars are being utilized to transfer offensive weapons aimed at preventing a peaceful resolution to the current war in Ukraine.
Although the corporate and government-controlled media outlets in Western Europe and North America have reported to the public on a daily basis that their own administrations cannot be blamed for the current war in Ukraine, for any serious observer, the culpability for the tensions now existence on an international level can be traced back to the desire by imperialism to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
NATO was formed in 1949 in the aftermath of the Second World War and the initiation of the Cold War by Washington against the rising socialist and national liberation movements around the world. In 1949, only two countries on the African continent were independent, Ethiopia and Liberia. Both of these countries in 1949 were highly compromised due to the intervention of the United States and Britain in their internal affairs stemming from the legacy of African enslavement and the rise of imperialist fascism during the 1920s and 1930s. The founding members of NATO were all in North America and Western Europe being Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.
Many of these states were involved in the Atlantic Slave Trade and colonialism. All of them benefited from the super-exploitation of African and other oppressed peoples after the transformation of the world economic system beginning in the 15th century. The outcomes of the World War I and World War II left the U.S. as the dominant imperialist power in the world.
The only real and effective challenge to the hegemony of the U.S. and its allies during the post WWII period were the socialist states of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the People’s Republic of China (PRC) founded in 1949 after more than two decades of armed struggle, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) consolidated in 1948, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north which declared independence in August 1945, along with the other anti-capitalist, anti-colonial and anti-neo-colonial movements arising in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, which were objectively bolstered by the burgeoning African American and workers’ struggles which developed during the late 1940s and 1950s.
The position of the U.S. during the 1950s and 1960s represented the height of political hypocrisy. African Americans were being denied fundamental civil rights protections which were originally put in place during the period after the Civil War (1861-1865). There were Civil Acts and amendments to the U.S. Constitution between 1866-1875 ostensibly designed to reconstruct some semblance of democratic governance. Nonetheless, the Reconstruction process was overthrown during the latter decades of the 19th century placing African Americans in the social position of neo-slavery at worst and second-class citizenship at best.
Participants in the leading civil rights organizations after WWII were pressured to denounce the socialist camp and pledge allegiance to U.S. imperialism as the only legitimate system of governance not only domestically but internationally. Those leading activists and public figures who refused to adopt the Cold War policies of Washington were subjected to investigations, prosecution, imprisonment, economic isolation and exile. All the while African Americans were being lynched by mobs, killed without justification by police, executed by the state and denied fundamental due process and equal protection under the law.
Military Interventions to Halt National Liberation
Two examples of repression and mass killings by countries in the aftermath of WWII were carried out in French-controlled Algeria and the British-dominated Gold Coast (later known as Ghana after independence in 1957). These acts by the colonial powers were designed to preserve imperialist rule in Africa. Both Britain and France were founding members of NATO.
In Algeria on the same day as Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied forces, French troops massacred thousands of people across the North African state for merely demonstrating against the racist and repressive policies of Paris. France had colonized Algeria since 1830 and would not relinquish control until the people waged an eight-year armed and diplomatic struggle aimed at national liberation.
Even France24 in a report published during 2021 said of the historical event: “On May 8, 1945, thousands had rallied in Setif as allied powers, including colonial ruler France, marked a hard-won victory in Europe over Nazi Germany. ‘Long live the allied victory,’ demonstrators shouted.
But the festive gathering soon turned into a demonstration for an end to colonial rule, with cries of ‘Long live independent Algeria!’ That was a provocation for French police, incensed by the appearance, for the first time, of Algerian flags. As they ordered the removal of the green and white standards, scuffles broke out. Demonstrator Bouzid Saal, 22, refused to drop his flag — so a French policeman shot him dead. Outrage tore through the massive crowd. The ensuing riots and revenge attacks on Europeans sparked a wave of repression by French authorities that left as many as 45,000 dead, according to Algerian official figures. French historians put the toll at up to 20,000, including 86 European civilians and 16 soldiers. The killings would have a transformative impact on the nascent anti-colonial movement. A full-blown independence war broke out nine years later, finally leading to the country’s independence in 1962…. The French launched a 15-day campaign of violence, targeting Setif and the surrounding rural region, bombing villages and hamlets indiscriminately. General Raymond Duval led French authorities’ ruthless clampdown, imposing martial law and a curfew on a patch of territory stretching from Setif to the sea, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north. Nationalist leaders were detained on pure suspicion, and villages suspected of harboring separatists were strafed by the air force and set ablaze. Women, children and the elderly were massacred, and some 44 villages were destroyed in 15 days of retribution. Executions continued until November 1945, and some 4,000 people were arrested.” (https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20210508-algeria-marks-first-national-day-of-remembrance-over-mass-killings-under-french-rule)
Of course, the official propaganda of the U.S. is that the purpose of their intervention in WWII was to fight against fascism and spread democracy in Europe. Yet the Allies utilized repression in an attempt to prevent the majority of people around the globe suffering under the yoke of western domination from achieving freedom and national independence.
In recent months the Algerian government has been involved in a diplomatic row with France as well as Spain over the legacy of colonialism and the status of the Western Sahara, which remains under the control of the Kingdom of Morocco with the support of the imperialist centers of authority in Europe and North America. French President Emmanuel Macron made statements suggesting that Algeria as a country did not exist prior to 1830 and the history of the anti-colonial movement, as told by Algiers, were a fabrication. These provocative comments by Macron and the role of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez who endorsed the continued colonization of the Western Sahara under Moroccan tutelage, represents the contemporary attitude of NATO member-states.
The second example related to the founding NATO member-states’ historic repression against anti-colonial movements occurred in the Gold Coast on February 28, 1948. African veterans of the war combined with traditional leaders boycotting the inflated prices of British-controlled goods, held peaceful protests to request adequate pensions and benefits for their military service for London as well as reasonable costs for commodities. British security forces opened fire on the demonstrators marching to Christiansborg Castle (Osu) to present their petition to colonial authorities when three leaders of the protest were assassinated. Later as the African masses rose up in rebellion against the massacre, the British arrested scores of people deemed as the organizers of the unrest. This series of events in 1948 led to the independence struggle headed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who founded the Convention People’s Party in June 1949, just over one year later, creating the conditions for another eight-year campaign to achieve freedom from Britain on March 6, 1957.
Nkrumah had been brought back to the Gold Coast in late 1947 to work as an organizer for the then United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), an anti-colonial grouping. In the aftermath of the event of February 1948, sharp differences would surface between Nkrumah and other leading UGCC officials.
A source on the events of 1948 in the Gold Coast notes: “The people’s protests lasted five days. By 1st March the colonial governor had declared a state of emergency and put in place a new Riot Act. On 12th March the governor ordered the arrest of ‘The Big Six,’ leading members of the UGCC, which included Kwame Nkrumah, as he believed they were responsible for orchestrating the disturbances. The Big Six were incarcerated in remote northern parts of the country. It was around this time that Nkrumah and the other five began to have significant disagreements over the direction of the movement for independence. By 1949 Nkrumah had broken away from the UGCC to form the Convention People’s Party (CPP) taking the masses of the people with him. The CPP, through a campaign of ‘Positive Action,’ achieved an end to the Gold Coast colony and brought the new dawn of independent Ghana on 6th March 1957.” (https://praad.gov.gh/index.php/the-riots-of-28th-february-1948/)
The independence movements in Africa utilized various forms of organizational tactics aimed achieving victory over colonialism. In the former Portuguese colonies of Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Angola, Africans had no other choice than to resort to arms in their fight against Lisbon. Portugal received maximum logistical and diplomatic support from NATO in their war against the national liberation movements of the PAIGC, MPLA and FRELIMO in Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique respectively.
Azores island in the Atlantic served as a NATO base of operations against the guerrilla movements in Africa. Under the U.S. administration of President Richard Nixon from 1969-1974, the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger even wrote memorandums encouraging the Pentagon and NATO unconditional support for fascist-colonial Portugal. These memoranda were also designed to undermine the morale of the liberation movements and solidarity efforts in the West seeking to end colonial rule of tens of millions of African people.
After the failure of the war by Lisbon to defeat the liberation movements, a military coup occurred in Portugal in April 1974. Although the question of NATO membership did not initially arise, a debate would erupt over the future role of the country within the military alliance. Portugal relinquished control over its African colonies, however, the European country remained within the western sphere of influence including membership in NATO.
NATO and Imperialism in the 21st Century
Over the last two decades, NATO has enhanced its profile through participation in numerous U.S.-coordinated military operations in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya. These interventions have left untold numbers of civilians and government personnel dead, injured and displaced.
After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Yugoslavia erupted in micro-nationalist warfare which lasted until the conclusion of the decade. The 1999 bombing of Serbia, including the capital of Belgrade, was designed to solidify the dominance of the Pentagon-NATO alliance in Europe and consequently throughout broader geo-political regions of the world. Serbia was subjected to massive airstrikes for over two months. The following year, even after the government in Belgrade had been functionally neutralized, then President Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown, kidnapped and brought to the Netherlands to stand trial in a U.S.-engineered special tribunal on war crimes. Milosevic later died in detention while in subsequent years, several of the newly-independent states in the area were recruited into NATO.
Afghanistan in 2001 was bombed, invaded and occupied by the U.S. which mobilized other NATO states to engage in the 20-year war ostensibly aimed at ending jihadist terrorism in Central Asia. After eight months in office President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of Pentagon forces from Afghanistan. Other NATO states had already exited the country. The character of the pullout from Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of 13 Marines stationed outside the airport at Kabul during the evacuation.
In retaliation, the U.S. launched a drone strike on innocent people in Kabul killing members of a family which had cooperated with the NATO occupation. At present, there is a widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan leaving millions displaced, impoverished and hungry. To add even more distress to the Afghan people, Biden expropriated $3.5 billion in assets being held in U.S. banks. Consequently, the White House has turned its back on the victims of a disastrous NATO intervention and occupation leaving tens of millions without employment, food, medicines and the capacity to generate income and international trade. (https://www.dw.com/en/us-to-split-7-billion-in-afghan-assets-between-relief-9-11-victims/a-60748785)
This humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan by the Pentagon and NATO has served to further damage the popular standing of the Biden presidency. Nonetheless, there has been no reduction in the Pentagon budget which strangles the working and oppressed masses in the U.S. At present the war in Ukraine has taken center stage in regard foreign and domestic policy. Countries around the world are being pressured into rallying alongside imperialism in its war drive to expand the NATO project through the destabilization of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China in the Far East.
In the North African state of Libya during the early months of 2011, the U.S. backed counter-revolutionary rebel elements sought to overthrow the Jamahiriya government led by Col. Muammar Gaddafi. The United Nations Security Council at the time voted to pass two resolutions which authorized a total arms and economic blockade against Libya as well as the establishment of a so-called no-fly zone which is merely another form of war declaration. A similar no-fly zone had been imposed over Iraq during the 1990s accompanied by draconian sanctions which killed an estimated one million people, many of whom were women, children and seniors. (https://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_03/20110927_110311-UNSCR-1973.pdf)
After the ground operations in Libya, which began on February 17 were not reaping the desired results by imperialism, a massive blanket bombing of the oil-rich country by the Pentagon and NATO was launched on March 19 which lasted for seven months. There were reports that anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 people were killed and two million displaced. The longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was targeted and assassinated as he was attempting to exit the areas around Sirte.
The impact of the destruction of Libya as in the cases of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan had regional and international implications. Instability due to the dislocation of millions during and after the air campaign fueled further destabilization in neighboring Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.
Libya since 2011 has become a notorious center for human trafficking and internecine conflict that has spilled over into other states prompting migration across the Mediterranean into Southern Europe. The human traffickers engage in dangerous methods of transportation across North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands die every year seeking to escape the detention centers and continuing sectarian battles in Libya.
The migration of Africans and Asians to Southern Europe has provided a political rationale for the growth of ultra-right groupings and governments committed to ending entry into their countries by people of color. European Union (EU) coast guard units routinely intercept migrants at sea to repatriate them back to Africa. In Europe, migrants are often confined to detention centers where they are harassed by the authorities.
Moreover, on a political electoral level, the migration question has become a major wedge issue in Europe and the U.S. Successive administrations in Washington led by Democrats and Republican have failed to develop a comprehensive immigration policy. At least part of this inability to adequately address the issue lies in the refusal to abandon the imperialist foreign policy of Washington and Wall Street.
Imperialist wars of occupation since 2001 involving Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Syria, Yemen, Libya, among other states, are at the root of the dislocation of tens of millions. This is the largest number of refugees and internally displaced persons since the conclusion of WWII.
The UN Refugee Agency reports on its website that: “At least 82.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 26.4 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and lack access to basic rights such as education, health care, employment and freedom of movement. At a time when 1 in every 95 people on earth has fled their home as a result of conflict or persecution, our work at UNHCR is more important than ever before.” (https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/figures-at-a-glance.html)
These figures are rarely reported on in the U.S. media, and when they are, it is not done in a manner which links the unprecedented levels of displacement with imperialist wars waged by the Pentagon, NATO and its allies around the globe. Absent of a social and historical context in which to explain the origins of the crisis, people are encouraged to believe that the refugee, IDP and migrant situations are somehow a result of the purported moral deficiencies of people in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Yet the African, Latin American and Asian geo-political regions are still being targeted by NATO for containment, exploitation and conquest.
By absolving itself of culpability, the U.S. can attempt to justify its denial of entry to migrants and refugees and their discriminatory treatment while awaiting a decision on whether they can legally live in the country. Within the immigration laws and policies of the U.S., racism is often utilized to limit the number of peoples of African, Asian and Latin American descent into the U.S.
In the Horn of Africa state of Somalia there has been instability for the last three decades due to the political and military interference of the U.S. and NATO. More recently in 2006-2007, the administration of President George W. Bush encouraged troops from Ethiopia under the TPLF-EPRDF leadership of Meles Zenawi to invade Somalia in order to prevent the consolidation of power by the Islamic Courts Union.
Airstrikes by the Pentagon and the British Royal Air Force were initiated on a regular base in Somalia under the guise of preventing terrorism. Numerous attempts to form a unified civilian transitional government has not been able to include the Al-Shabaab underground armed guerrillas. Al-Shabaab has since its emergence as the major opponents to the western-backed federal government, has split into at least two identifiable factions.
For the last fifteen years, the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), which included troops from several regional states including Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda, has failed to military defeat al-Shabaab. Once again in recent weeks, the mandate of AMISOM was extended for another year with no real prospect of a final resolution to the conflict in Somalia.
Much of the military training and weaponry are supplied by the U.S. and its NATO allies for AMISOM. The putative peacekeeping operations also maintains UN Security Council diplomatic backing and funding. U.S. soldiers and other personnel working with intelligence agencies have been killed in action in Somalia. Suicide bombings and other armed attacks take place in several areas of the country including the capital of Mogadishu.
Relationships developed between AU member states with the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and NATO are not just on a bilateral basis. NATO itself has outlined an extensive program of engagement, training and collaboration with the AU Secretariat in Addis Ababa. The same reasons cited by AFRICOM for its deployments of thousands of troops on the continent mirrors the language of NATO. Both institutions claim that they are invited to participate in joint training exercises with African military forces from various regions.
In addition, a significant number of African officers are trained in Pentagon war colleges in the U.S. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, some of these ranking soldiers have been involved in military coups against elected governments. This has been the case in Mali, Guinea and Libya where internal conflict and lack of democratization is objectively underwritten by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
AU-affiliated regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been unable to reverse a series of military coups taking place in Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad. ECOWAS along with France and the U.S. have issued statements opposing the military usurpation of power yet these coup regimes remain in office with absolute impunity.
Therefore, the training supplied by the Pentagon and NATO cannot ensure stability and security on the African continent. In order for AU member-states to achieve genuine independence and sovereignty it must come from the internal dynamics within the political structures established by the democratic forces operating inside these countries. The western bourgeois democracies represented by NATO have never extended the notions of self-determination and independent foreign policies to the underdeveloped nations and regions of the world.
In language provided by NATO in regard to its cooperation with AU member-states, the military alliance says: “Since 2005, NATO has been cooperating with the African Union (AU) – a regional organization with 55 members created in 2002. The NATO-AU relationship started modestly with AU requests for logistics and airlift support for its mission in Sudan. The cooperation has evolved over time and, although primarily based on ad-hoc military-technical cooperation, NATO Allies are committed to expanding cooperation with the AU to make it an integral part of NATO’s efforts to work more closely with partners in tackling security challenges emanating from the south.” (https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_8191.htm)
However, over the last 17 years the degree of instability in Africa has heightened substantially particularly since the Pentagon-NATO engineered counter-revolution in Libya during 2011. Conditions have deteriorated in some countries such as the Central African Republic and Mali that the governments of these states, even the military juntas, are turning towards Moscow for security assistance and training. (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2022/02/08/russias-wagner-group-in-africa-influence-commercial-concessions-rights-violations-and-counterinsurgency-failure/)
France and the U.S. have taken great exception to the presence of Russian-based military advisors in the CAR and Mali. The Wagner group, a defense services corporation which operates as a private enterprise, has been present in Mali in recent months prompting threats by Paris to withdraw its military assistance to Bamako. In response, the military junta in Mali ordered the French ambassador to leave the West African state within 72 hours. (https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220131-mali-authorities-give-french-ambassador-72-hours-to-leave-the-country)
In the same above-quoted NATO document on AU cooperation, it goes on to emphasize: “In January 2007, the AU made a general request to all partners, including NATO, for financial and logistical support to AMISOM. It later made a specific request to NATO in May 2007, requesting strategic airlift support for AU member states willing to deploy in Somalia under AMISOM. In June 2007, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) agreed, in principle, to support this request and NATO’s support was initially authorized until August 2007. Strategic sealift support was requested at a later stage and agreed in principle by the NAC in September 2009. The AU’s strategic airlift and sealift support requests for AMISOM have been renewed on an annual basis. The current NAC agreement to support the AU with strategic air- and sealift for AMISOM extends until January 2022…. NATO has a liaison office at the headquarters of the AU. The liaison office is comprised of a Senior Military Liaison Officer, a Deputy and one support staff. The liaison office provides, at the AU’s request, subject matter experts, who work in the AU’s Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department alongside African counterparts. The NATO Senior Military Liaison Officer is the primary coordinator for the Alliance’s activities with the AU. The size of NATO’s presence on the ground in Addis Ababa is based upon the requests from the AU and the availability of resources from Allies.”
How can the AU member-states secure and protect the interests of the 1.3 billion people on the continent with these levels of penetration by NATO within its military structures? These contradictions must be corrected in order to build viable internal defense mechanisms, combined with strategies and tactics which are compatible with the needs of the workers, youth and farmers in Africa. Neo-colonialism is manifested in the economic and subsequent military policies of contemporary African states. The source of what is described as “Islamic terrorism” has its origins in the counterinsurgency efforts by Washington to undermine those governments seeking to build genuine independence, unity and socialism. The jihadist groupings founded and funded by Washington and its allies serve the interests of the Pentagon and NATO by providing a rationale for sanctions, bombings, invasions and the installation of puppet regimes beholden to the interests of imperialism.
Global Impact of NATO Expansion in Eastern Europe: Food Deficits and Energy Crises
One of the most alarming aspects of the war in Ukraine and the ongoing sanctions against the Russian Federation are the sharp rise in prices for consumer goods and energy. Fuel prices in the state of California in the U.S. have gone up to as high as $6 per gallon. In other regions of the country, prices are coming down slightly perhaps due to the release by the Biden administration of millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), a tactic which has been used by other presidents in the past.
The U.S. has witnessed the highest inflation rate in over 40 years. The 7-8% rate noted by the federal government does not tell the complete story. Costs related to living expenses such as rents, taxes, car prices, food and other commodities have increased substantially. Since there has not been a raise in the minimum wage means that working people are losing income every single quarter of the year.
On an international scale, food supplies to various geo-political regions have been seriously curtailed because Russian and Ukraine are considered two of the largest agricultural producers in the world. In various African and Middle Eastern states, the potential for enormous food deficits is more than apparent. These countries are attempting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020 which caused serious disruptions in industrial and agricultural production. Lockdowns and the rapid spread of the coronavirus has caused millions of deaths and many more severe illnesses which often have long term public health, economic and social consequences.
One report on the escalating crisis in food supplies published by the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington pointed out that: “Russia and Ukraine are considered the breadbasket of the world. In 2021, the two countries exported more than one-quarter of the world’s wheat. They are both major suppliers of corn, sunflower seed oil, and barley; Russia is also a major supplier of fertilizer, which is critical for agricultural production. Food prices are soaring, exacerbating inflation rates and reducing the purchasing power of populations across the Middle East and Africa, where 70% of Russian wheat exports went in 2021. These escalating costs, fed by actual and anticipated scarcity, are exacerbating economic crises for Egypt and Lebanon, with a heavy reliance on Russian and Ukrainian wheat imports, and imperiling vulnerable populations in conflict zones, including Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, which heavily rely on emergency food aid.” (https://agsiw.org/the-ukraine-crisis-deepens-food-insecurity-across-the-middle-east-and-africa/)
In the energy sector the banning of Russian oil and natural gas in Western Europe are inevitably causing disruptions in supply. Opportunistically the U.S. has proposed a plan to redirect its energy supplies to NATO countries in Eastern and Western Europe. However, this process. which is highly unfeasible, will take time to develop the necessary supplies of oil and natural gas to those states which have adopted Washington’s foreign policy.
Sanctions above all else are acts of war. The attempted strangulation of countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Russia and China, etc. are designed to destabilize these states and to make them susceptible to regime change in favor of the U.S. and other NATO governments. Russia, China and a host of other states have vowed to resist these efforts to isolate them from world trade and international relations.
The New York-based think tank, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), acknowledged the strategic role of Russia in providing energy resources to European states. An article on the CFR website reveals: “Overall, Russia supplies about one-third of European natural gas consumption, used for winter heating as well as electricity generation and industrial production. The European Union (EU) also turns to Russia for more than one-quarter of its crude oil imports, the bloc’s largest single energy source. Some EU states are far more dependent than others. Portugal and Spain use little Russian energy, while Germany, the largest European economy, gets more than half of its natural gas and more than 30 percent of its crude oil supplies from Russia. France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power but still relies on Russian imports to meet its fossil fuel needs. Analysts say plans in Germany and other countries to phase out nuclear and coal power could increase this dependence.” (https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/russias-energy-role-europe-whats-stake-ukraine-crisis?gclid=CjwKCAjw9e6SBhB2EiwA5myr9mQXtnhE8l2nWlzuul9zpCJvZC1cIqzYGnhaBZ9K_EvLfQKszq2T0xoCLWEQAvD_BwE)
These factors portend much for the economic and consequent political future of the capitalist and imperialist governments in Europe. The disruptions in food and energy supplies perpetuated by the foreign policy imperatives of Washington and Wall Street will have ramifications far beyond the theater of war in Ukraine and Russia.
The Need for a New Security System in Europe
Undoubtedly, the Biden administration is failing again in its efforts to enhance the electoral prospects for the upcoming midterm elections. Can the war propaganda against Russia and China be enough to ensure the maintenance of a majority for the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives and the Senate which will be seated in January 2023?
EU countries would be in a much better position if they rebuffed the pressures exerted by the White House and State Department by initiating its own diplomatic overtures towards Russia and China aimed at developing a more reasonable approach to regional security on that continent. European historians should be fully aware of the dangers of another imperialist war.
The uncertainty generated by the war in Ukraine on an international scale could very well result in a similar and perhaps more costly defeat for U.S. foreign policy. This coupled with the lack of a social spending strategy absent of legislative action by Congress could doom the second half of the Biden administration to a paralyzing gridlock positioning the Republican Right for a resurgence of dominance along with the potential for a second Trump presidency.
Working and oppressed people in the U.S. are compelled to unite on an independent basis to end the war drive of the ruling class and its surrogates in the political superstructure. The actual impediments to the realization of a just and equitable society in the U.S. are not to be found in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran. These U.S.-based class enemies of the majority domestically and globally have a vested interests in maintaining the Pentagon-NATO budget to facilitate the continuing exploitation of the peoples of the world.
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