Is it me, or is 21st century NATO beginning to look a lot like the 20th century Warsaw Pact?

The accession of Montenegro to NATO is expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year.

Seriously, I’m beginning to* wonder when the perils of inviting former Warsaw pact countries into NATO will dawn on western leaders.

But I shall refrain from insulting my readership’s intellect by explaining why. Suffice it to say we’re dealing with countries for whom democracy remains terra incognita.

*Truth be told I’ve been asking myself for quite a while (the last time being last December).

@NATO expansion or Warsaw pact takeover?

Consider the following countries:

  • The Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Albania
  • Croatia

NATO immediately springs to mind, no?

No?

No. Of course not. And much like you I am inclined to consider the member states up to (and including) 1982 the essence of western democracy, with an exception for Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Greece, as we all know. Text continued below map.

Natoland Nato
NATO members from 1949 to 2009. Source: Wikipedia

While three of the afore-mentioned member states have since got their act together, Turkey remains severely unqualified for its membership, as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions.

Also, this tweet inspired me to make the above bullet point list:

You have to admit that it’s hard not to think of former Soviet imagery, and in all honesty, is expansion at all cost really worth it? When will it end? Judging by NATO’s careless expansion thus far, it won’t stop until we consider these soldiers NATO troops:

Sovjetisk propaganda
Soviet troops parading.

Which is fine by me, but please, what some consider a NATO expansion may in reality turn out to be a full-blown Warsaw pact takeover.

Now there’s a thought …

An era nearing its end?

As NATO’s top officials convene for the NATO 2016 Summit in Warsaw tomorrow, in a bid to address the escalating threat from Vladimir Putin’s Russia, it would be safe to say that the deployment of four «robust» battalions (the sum total of approximately 4000 troops) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland serve as little more than a symbolic act, even if it doesn’t even begin to describe the trouble in which the alliance – and the world – finds itself.

With all probability nationalism, as we know it from the 20th century’s interwar period, has yet to peak, both in Europe and America, with an ensuing dissolution of international solidarity, as we’ve already seen in several former East Block countries, refusing to take their share of responsibility, as refugees pour into Europe, and, lately, with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, fuelling far right parties everywhere. Neither of which bode well for international cooperation, such as NATO, the EU or the United Nations.

Also, we need to acknowledge that most of the former East Block countries, now full NATO members have limited experience with democratic procedures, none whatsoever when it comes to a Western mindset, which, in all honesty, poses a bit of a problem, in terms of NATO’s policymaking – at least if all member states are supposed to have a say.

Natoland Nato
European (except most of Turkey) NATO countries between 1949 and 2009. Source: Wikipedia

This blogger, of a certain age, needs only go back a quarter of a century to revive vivid memories of Polish intelligence officers in their diplomatic Ladas, prancing around us as my Home Guard company assembled for its annual manœuvres, with poles (hah) resembling fishing rods in hand. To think that the same operatives may still be active, albeit in NATO’s service, makes you realise how quickly, and easily, allegiances may shift (insofar that they indeed have).

Which is also why I’m reluctant to approve of the NATO expansion between 1990 and today (the green countries in above map). They may very well be NATO countries in name, but in truth, I fear they are very much eastern, in body as well as soul, although just as afraid of Mother Russia as you and I.

But you know what they say about alliances forged in fear, with fear their only common denominator. Let me rephrase, as I actually do not know what they say, but I think we can safely say they’re weak.

During the two-day NATO summit in Warsaw, new and hitherto unnamed declarations are to be signed.

May I suggest the «Warsaw Pact»?

What ever the outcome, there’s much cause to fear the ultimate breakdown of NATO, as well as the European Union (the latter, too, as a result of the eastward expansion).

On the whole, things simply do not promise very well.

P.S. Of course I’m equally doubtful with respect to Turkey’s NATO membership, granted solely on the basis of the Bosphorus strait’s existence.