NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc’s security spending would see its biggest increase since 2014, by 4.3 per cent in 2017. This is a response to US President Donald Trump’s criticism of NATO countries failing to increase military budgets.
Stoltenberg also said the alliance has combat-ready forces along Russia’s border.
“NATO’s four multinational battle groups in the Baltic countries and Poland are now fully operational, a clear demonstration that our alliance stands united in the face of any possible aggression,” Stoltenberg said during a news conference on Wednesday.
RT: Why does NATO feel it necessary to increase its spending? Have new threats developed to the alliance in the last year?
Jan Oberg: There is absolutely no threat that would legitimate this type of increase. NATO with 29 countries are 12 times higher in terms of military spending than Russia which is the alleged main threat. And secondly, terrorism, which is a very legitimate threat to combat, has increased since 2001 80 times, meaning the war on terror is the most counterproductive war ever fought in human history. On Thursday, the defense ministers are meeting in Brussels. And one of the things they are going to discuss is how to combat ISIS in the Middle East. Everybody knows the US and its allies are supporting ISIS and other terrorists and are preventing the struggle of the Syrian government from combating this intrusion, these terrorists on its territory. Facts play no role anymore. It is perception management…Whenever we have a problem – and for 68 years we have failed to create a peaceful world – we need more money. The money Stoltenberg is talking about is citizens’, taxpayers’ money and my serious proposal would be: those who want war and have done such a bad job for 68 years and asking for even more money – they should go and do crowdfunding for their wars because it is unreasonable to ask taxpayers to pay billions of more dollars and getting less and less peace, security and stability.
‘NATO is the part of the US global empire’
NATO is ubiquitous and this has to do with the preservation of corporate interests, not saving or helping people, says Mike Raddie, co-Editor of BSNews.
RT: Why does NATO feel it necessary to increase its spending by such a large amount?
Mike Raddie: I think NATO is still trying to justify itself after 25 years of existence that shouldn’t have happened really – after the Cold War NATO should have been disbanded. It is still being used: it was used in Libya, it is used in Afghanistan, and it is used in Syria, still today. I think the build-up of troops on the Russian borders is extremely dangerous, really provocative. It is not just Russia. China is pretty much surrounded by US troops, US bases, and US aircraft carriers.
A couple of hundred years ago, if a government saw hostile troops on its border, it wouldn’t wait for a declaration of war, it would just see that as an imminent invasion and defend themselves. So, you can say that Russia and China have been amazingly restrained in their attitude to the West and NATO countries in particular. It is part of the US’ global empire. We can’t forget that they’re at least 800 US bases around the world. And the US Special Forces last year were deployed in 138countries. That is 70 percent of the country-states in the world. So, it is ubiquitous; it is everywhere. There are very few countries that don’t have a US presence in their land at the moment. Arguably some of these Special Forces are for training purposes. But they are only to train the local troops, and this is all to do with the preservation of corporate interests. They are not there to save people or help people. They are there to protect corporate interests wherever they may be.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.