Original Title: US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia: Risking Nuclear War
by Michael Hudson – Jessica Desvarieux
Il presidente Obama
nell'incontro con i leader della NATO a Varsavia lo scorso fine
settimana ribadiva il costante impegno degli Stati Uniti per la
sicurezza e la difesa dell'Europa, per il rapporto transatlantico,
per una difesa comune, sottolineando che gli Stati Uniti avevano
aumentato la loro presenza qui in Europa e che la NATO era forte,
agile, e pronta come mai.
A Michael Hudson, professore emerito
di Ricerca di Economia presso l'Università del Missouri, Kansas
City, Jessica Desvarieux chiede se l'Europa ha davvero bisogno di
Photo: Rokas Tenys | Shutterstock.com
Hudson sottolinea che una volta che Obama pronunciò
quelle parole ci fu una raffica di dichiarazioni degli europei che
dicevano che Obama e la NATO rendevano l'Europa meno sicura. Per il
primo ministro francese, François Hollande, non abbiamo bisogno
della NATO. La NATO non ha alcun ruolo da svolgere nelle nostre
relazioni con i russi. Poi i leader dei due maggiori partiti
tedeschi, sia i socialdemocratici che i cristiano-democratici, hanno
detto che la NATO è stata causa di guerre. Gorbaciov è venuto fuori
e ha detto che il mondo non è mai stato più vicino alla guerra
nucleare di oggi. William Perry, l'ex capo del Pentagono a metà
degli anni '90, ha detto che la NATO stava minacciando e cercando di
provocare una guerra atomica in Europa.
Uno dei principali
strateghi militari della Russia ha detto, ecco qual è il problema:
la NATO vuole muovere bombardieri e armi atomiche fino al confine con
la Russia. Ciò significa che se lanciano un missile su di noi,
abbiamo solo pochi secondi per reagire. Il Presidente Putin poco
tempo fa aveva detto che la Russia non ha un vero esercito di terra.
In realtà oggi, nessun paese al mondo - nell'emisfero settentrionale
ha un esercito di terra che possa invadere chiunque.
democrazia può permettersi un esercito di terra perché i costi sono
E ciò che la NATO vuole fare è quello di pungolare la
Russia nella costruzione di un esercito così da minare la sua
economia deviando sempre più risorse verso le spese militari. La
Russia non è caduta in trappola. Putin ha detto che la Russia non ha
alcuna intenzione di costruire un esercito di terra. Ma ha anche
aggiunto che la Russia ha un mezzo di ritorsione: le bombe atomiche.
Le armi atomiche sono fondamentalmente un mezzo difensivo.
sembra sempre più terrorizzata che Obama possa destabilizzare
l'Eurasia. Ancora più terrorizzata dal fatto che Hillary stia per
nominare un supeerfalco, il protetto Cheney Michèle Flournoy, come
Segretario della Difesa, e nominare Victoria Nuland come Segretario
La NATO ha esortato i paesi dell'alleanza a non fare
affidamento sulle armi russe. C'è un'insistenza di Obama affinché i
paesi della NATO spendano il 2 per cento del loro PIL per la NATO,
soprattutto con l'acquisto di armi dai produttori militari americani,
Raytheon, Boeing e gli altri.
Ora l'Europa non ha nemmeno una
crescita del 2 per cento, a causa del rigore che viene imposto.
Quindi, il 2 per cento è l'intera crescita economica annuale in
Europa che deve essere però spesa in armi americane. Così si scopre
che questa minaccia di guerra con la Russia è un mezzo per obbligare
i paesi europei a pagare i produttori di armi degli Stati Uniti per
L'Europa sta dicendo, beh, non abbiamo bisogno di
difesa. Preferiamo avere un rapporto economico con la Russia.
Soprattutto i tedeschi dicono che non vogliono le sanzioni. Gli
italiani dicono che non vogliono le sanzioni. Gli americani dicono
acquista da noi, non dalla Russia. Acquista i prodotti agricoli e gli
altri beni da noi, o almeno da paesi nell'orbita dollaro, non
Questo, in sostanza, è ciò che Obama
intende con reset. Significa una nuova guerra fredda. Ma l'essenza di
questa nuova guerra fredda è quello di combatterla in modo nuovo con
una guerra finanziaria. I militari sono ora solo un catalizzatore per
la guerra finanziaria da parte degli Stati Uniti. Il primo effetto
del reset è stato quello di spingere la Russia in una alleanza con
US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia: Risking Nuclear War
Jessica Desvarieux: President Obama met with
NATO leaders in Warsaw last weekend to what seemed like a restatement of
vows to protect Europe. Let’s take a listen to what the president had
BARACK OBAMA: In this challenging moment, I want to take
this opportunity to state clearly what will never change. And that is
the unwavering commitment of the United States to the security and
defense of Europe, to our transatlantic relationship, to our commitment
to our common defense. Throughout my time in office, one of my top
foreign policy priorities has been to strengthen our alliances,
especially with NATO. And as I reflect on the past eight years, both the
progress and the challenges, I can say with confidence that we’ve
delivered on that promise. The United States has increased our presence
here in Europe. NATO is as strong, as nimble, and as ready as ever.
So ready that the president will be sending 1,000 troops to
Poland as one of four battalions that are being sent to countries
bordering Russia. But what is really at the heart of this matter? Are
these just tactics by the U.S. leading to an escalation of tensions
between the U.S. and Russia? And what role should NATO be playing in
maintaining a balanced Europe?
Now joining us to help us answer these questions is our guest,
Michael Hudson. Michael is a Distinguished Research Professor of
Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He’s also the
author of many books, including his latest, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy….Michael,
we just heard President Obama pledging his allegiance to protecting
Europe. Does Europe really need protecting, though?
MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, as soon as Obama said those words, there was a
flurry of European statements saying that Obama and NATO were making
Europe less secure. The French prime minister, François
Hollande, says that we don’t need NATO. NATO has no role to play in our
Russian relations. Then leaders of the two major German parties,
both the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, said that NATO
was warmongering. Gorbachev came out and said the world has never been
closer to nuclear war than it is at present. William Perry, the former
head of the Pentagon in the mid-90s, said that NATO was threatening and
trying to provoke atomic war in Europe.
One of Russia’s leading military strategists said, here’s what the
problem is: NATO wants to move bombers and atomic weapons right up to
the border of Russia. That means that if they launch a missile over us,
we have only a few seconds to retaliate. President Putin a little while
ago had given a speech saying that Russia doesn’t really have a land
army. In fact, today, no country in the world – in the Northern
Hemisphere, at least – has a land army that can invade anywhere.
Try to imagine America being invaded by Canada, or by Mexico on its
borders. You can’t imagine it. Impossible. No democracy can afford a
land army anymore because the costs are so high that the costs of
mounting a land war will just impoverish the economy.
As a matter of fact, what NATO is trying to do is to goad Russia into
building up an army so the US can undercut its economy by diverting
more and more resources away from the economy towards the military.
Russia’s not falling for it. Putin said that Russia has no intention of
mounting a land army. It is unthinkable that it could even want to
invade the Baltics or Poland.
But Putin did say that Russia has one means of retaliation. That’s
atomic bombs. Atomic weapons are basically defensive. They’re saying
that they don’t need an army anymore. Nor does any country need an army
if they have an atomic weapon, because if you attack them, then can wipe
you out. And they’ll be wiped out, too, but no nation is going to be
able to conquer them. No country, really, can conquer any other country
in today’s world. That means that Russia can’t conquer Europe by
invading and occupying it.
In effect, Putin and the Russian leaders have said, look, if an
American plane goes a little bit off into Russian territory, like ships
often try to provoke things, they don’t know whether it’s an atomic
attack at all. Russia can’t take a risk. If there’s a little bit of a
movement against them, they’re going to launch the hydrogen bombs, and
there goes Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Brussels. That’s why
you’re having all of these warnings.
Europe seems increasingly terrified that Obama is going to
destabilize Eurasia. Even more terrified of Hillary getting in, who’s
indicated she’s going to appoint a superhawk, the Cheney protege Michele
Flournoy, as Secretary of Defense, and appoint Victoria Nuland as
Secretary of State.
I’ve been in Germany twice in the last two months, and they’re really
worried that somehow America is telling Europe, let’s you and Russia
fight. And basically it’s a crisis.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Michael, I want to get back to your point about
how we’re seeing this narrative develop about a potential nuclear war
on the horizon. And it seems like it’s quite real. This is not just
conjecture, here. We have U.S. and Russia’s military forces warning that
a nuclear war is nearer than ever before.
So let’s talk about interests, here. On either side, let’s be as
specific as possible, and call a spade a spade. In whose interest is it
to keep up this narrative? Because I’m sure there are people not just in
the United States that profit from this, but also in Russia. Can you
speak to that?
HUDSON: Well, one of the points made at the NATO meetings was NATO
urged countries not to rely on Russian weaponry. There was an insistence
by Obama that the NATO countries spend 2 percent of their GDP on NATO,
on arms, mainly by buying arms from American military manufacturers,
Raytheon, Boeing and the others.
Now, look at what’s happening in Europe. It’s not even growing 2
percent, because of the austerity that’s being imposed on it. So 2
percent is the entire annual economic growth in Europe. This large
amount has to be spent on American arms. So it turns out that this
sabre-rattling to Russia is a means of obliging the European countries
to pay the United States arms manufacturers for goods, and to basically
hold Europe up for ransom, saying if you don’t become a part of this,
we’re not going to defend you.
Europe is saying, well we really don’t need defense. We’d rather have
an economic relationship with Russia. Especially the Germans say they
don’t want the sanctions. The Italians say they don’t want the
sanctions. The Americans say, we don’t want you to make money off
Russia. Buy from us, not from Russia. Buy your agricultural goods and
your other goods from us, or at least from countries in the dollar
orbit, not from the Russian orbit.
That, essentially, is what Obama meant by the reset. It meant a new
Cold War. But the essence of this new Cold War is to fight in the new
way, which is a financial war. The military are now only a catalyst for
the financial warfare by the United States.
The first effect of the reset was to drive Russia into an alliance
with China. And now, NATO may be overplaying this right-wing hand so
much that it’s driving Germany and Italy and France out of NATO. That is
the effect…what it’s doing is counter-effective.
DESVARIEUX: Michael, what about on the Russian side? There are interests that are encouraging this reset?
HUDSON: They had hoped that the reset would mean a winding down of
military spending. Russia and almost every country would like to use
more of its resources for the domestic economy, not for military
overhead. America is trying to force Russia to spend more on overhead as
part of its economic warfare with Russia.
This was Brzezinski’s plan in Afghanistan, you know, under the Carter
administration. The idea was that if you could force Russia to pay more
for its military to defend Afghanistan, then its economy would buckle
and discontent would spread. This is the essence of American strategy:
to spread chaos. Then the Americans can come in and promote nationalist
and other localist breakups, and try to break up Russia, just as America
is trying to push a breakup of China as a long-term strategy. There’s
no way that this cannot backfire on the United States.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Let’s talk about what everyday people could do
to move away from accepting this narrative, or move away from this
potential reset that President Obama is proposing? What policy decisions
could be made to de-escalate this tension?
HUDSON: Essentially to dissolve NATO, which France has been pushing
now for many years. There’s no need for NATO now that there’s no threat
of any military invasion anymore. Remember after World War II, NATO was
put up when there was an idea that European countries should never go to
war with each other again. There will never be war between France,
Germany, Italy. That’s been solved. There’s no way in which European
countries will go to war with each other.
The second thing was, what if Russia would re-invade like it did when
it fought against Hitler? Well, there’s no danger of Russia invading
anymore. In fact, in 1990, when the Soviet-Union broke up, the Ukraine
passed a resolution that it wanted to remain neutral and benefit from
its neutral buffer, pivoting between Russia and Europe. The United
States then put $5 billion into Ukraine, and spurred a
nationalist-ethnic revolution. It took the United States 20 years to
turn that around and break up this neutrality.
The U.S. strategy is to prevent neutrality. Europe’s economic
interest is to achieve neutrality with Russia, and have economic unity
so that there’s little chance of any confrontation with Russia as there
is among the European countries themselves.
This is an edited transcript of an interview that ran on The Real News Network.