Not putting Europe under US tutelage

Former high-ranking French military officials criticise “NATO 2030” scathingly

Open letter of the French “Cercle de Réflexion Interarmées” to NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg

Geopragma/cc. Should the plan “Nato 2030” be approved by the members of the alliance as it was proposed by NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in February 2021 this would amount to an almost irreversible step towards strategic submission of Europe and France under American hegemony. The main argument which is presented in this document in several variations claims an allegedly unavoidable confrontation against two natural “enemies”, Russia and China, justifying total NATO solidarity and further concentration of all lines of command in American hands. As a reaction to this plan the “Cercle de Réflexion Interarmées” publishes this open letter.
  As an organisation, the Cercle de Réflexion Interarmées (CRI) is independent from both government agencies and military hierarchy. It brings together former generals and high-ranking officers retired from service in all three branches of the armed forces (army, navy and airforce) as well as several civilians. Their goal is to putting the Army back in the spotlight heart of the nation from which it is the emanation and to mobilise energies in order to be better heard by political decision makers and the public opinion.
  It is high time, the signees of the letter point out, to open out eyes and resist machinations which are not in our national interests but would render all efforts towards European strategic autonomy futile. In this article we present a translation of the letter.

Orientation of NATO towards a Russian and Chinese “threat”

On Thursday, 18 February 2021, the study “Nato 2030” which you had commissioned was made public. It outlines the strategic goals of NATO over the next ten years. From the outset it appears that NATO’s entire orientation is based on the paradigm of a dual threat, one from Russia, presented as being active today, and the other from China, a potential threat to come. Two major ideas emerge from this study.
  The first is the enlistment of Europeans against China’s global domination, in exchange for American protection of Europe against the Russian threat.
  The second is the circumvention of the consensus rule [in NATO’s line of command]1, in several ways: operations in coalitions of the willing; implementation of decisions that no longer require consensus; and above all the delegation of authority to SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe, always an American general) on the grounds of efficiency and speeding up decision making.
  Studying this “Nato 2030” project clearly reveals a document of tranquil bad faith, of quiet disinformation and of instrumentalisation of this ‘Russian threat,’ a ‘threat’ patiently created and then maintained, so as to ‘bring to heel’ the European allies behind the United States, in the perspective of an forthcoming battle with China for world hegemony.

History lesson about NATO: worse than just threats

Therefore, Mr. Secretary General, it is crucial to remember certain historical facts to shed some light on reasons and reality of this Russian threat prior to any consideration of the future according to the “Nato 2030” project. Indeed, history does not start in 2014 and jumping in a single sentence from invoking the “constructive partnership” allegedly launched by NATO in the early 1990ies directly to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 (right at the beginning of the chapter entitled “Russia”) as if nothing had happened between the “kind Russia of the day” and the evil “Russian Bear” of today is a sign of blatant historical malevolance regarding the European-American-Russian relations.

NATO’s eastward enlargement
In reality it had been NATO who enlarged their territory up to the Russian borders since the 1990ies, certainly according to the wish of the joining countries but contrary to the assurances given in the Moscow treaty of 19912 – a movement which brought NATO armies ever closer to Russia year by year, making NATO the beneficiary of the crumbling Soviet Union.

War of aggression against Serbia
It had also been NATO which, without any UN mandate, bombed Serbia for 78 days3, with more than 58,000 air sorties, staging an extensive intelligence operation of manipulation and incitement of hate among important members of the treaty organisation (by the alleged Serbian “Potkova” plan and the Racak affair) thereby promoting the creation of an independent Kosovo, forcing a sovereign state to accept the secession of one of its provinces in violation of international law which was justified with the people’s right of self-determination, thus humiliating Russia through its Serbian ally. Could the same principle be applied to Crimea in parallel, which is inhabited by more than 90 % Russians and which joined Russia without a single shot being fired?

“Conquest of the East” and rejection of the “European Security Pact”
Again, it was NATO which pursued its dynamic “conquest of the East” and rejected the Russian offer for a renewed “European security pact” in 2008 which was meant to trade the settlement of several unresolved conflicts in Eastern Europe (Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia) in exchange for certain neutrality of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova towards NATO, in other words the immediate Russian “hinterland”.

Coup d’etat in Ukraine
And with the same spirit of conquest, perceived as a real strangulation by Russia, the violent protests of the “Euro-Maidan” were promoted in 2013, a textbook coup d’état which ousted the legitimate elected Ukrainian president because he was considered too pro-Russian to continue the policies of tying Ukraine with NATO. We know what happened next, with the secessions of Crimea and Donbas.

Missiles against Russia
After NATO had included Russia in their Theatre missile defence system4 in the early 2000s which was meant to protect “the United States and its allies, including Russia” from a fired missile attack by «rogue states», mainly Iran and North Korea [sic], this system was transformed into a global ballistic missile defense architecture in Europe (BMDE) at the Lisbon NATO summit of 2010, now no longer a theatre system but a real protective shield, turned against Russia and not protecting it. Again, it was NATO who assured Russia that this anti-ballistic missile system built right at Russian doorsteps was purely defensive in nature, but they neglected to specify that in reality these ABM missile launchers (MK41) could just as well be used to fire Tomahawk offensive missiles against Russian territory (nuclear or conventional missiles with ranges greater than 2000km, depending on the version). This clearly violated the INF treaty, in force at the time of their deployment; it went far beyond the controversy whether Russian 9M729 missiles had a firing range of 520 or only 480km!

Russia responded

As a result, the potential threat thus created to Russia’s second-strike-capability, the basis of its nuclear deterrent, challenged the American-Russian power balance and pushed Russia to suspend all cooperation within the NRC (NATO-Russia Council) at the end of 2013, thus even before the 2014 Crimea affair, an action then used by NATO to justify – a posteriori – the BMDE protection of Europe in the face of the new ‘Russian threat’.

Twenty years of painting the Russian threat in-order to separate Russia from Europe

So yes, Mr. Secretary General, at the end of these twenty years of sustained efforts on the part of NATO to recreate the ‘Russian enemy,’ which is indispensable for the survival of an organisation that is theoretically purely defensive, yes, Russia has finally stiffened, and sought in the East the cooperation that the West refused it. The effort to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe, patiently carried out over the years by your predecessors and by yourself under the constant authority of the United States, is today well under way, since Russia, at last, once again ‘the Russian threat,’ justifies the most provocative exercises, such as Defender 2020, postponed to 2021, increasingly close to its borders, as well as the most insane new mini-nuclear employment concepts on the theatre European under the authority of the American ally, which alone holds the key.

One thousand billion dollars of NATO spending on armament against 70 billion in Russia

But no, Mr. Secretary General, today, and despite all your efforts, Russia with its military budget of 70 billion Euros (barely double that of France), does not constitute a threat to NATO with its 1 trillion Euros, 250 billion Euros of which is for all the European countries in the Alliance! But that is not your concern, because what is being aimed at through this new NATO 2030 concept is a much larger project: to involve the Atlantic Alliance in the struggle for world hegemony that is taking place between China and the United States.

Terrorism – the real threat

The actual threat is that of terrorism. The study does devote a section to this, but without ever abandoning the word ‘terrorism,’ nor characterising its sources, its motives, its ideological and political foundations. In other words: this narrative alleges that the only threat was a mode of action, because that is the essence of “terrorism”. This way a disturbing reality is shied away from, which is radical islamism and its messianism, which is by no means less dangerous than communism used to be. The problem is, that this very mechanism is maintained by the tremendous chaos resulting from the post-cold war US campaigns and that terrorism is even supported ideologically by Erdogan’s Turkey, a member of NATO, as well as by Saudi Arabia, a staunch ally of the United States.

NATO: Transformation into an organisation with a global political mission

Predictably, from the first lines it gets very clear that this document is up to no good for the strategic independence of Europe because it aims quite bluntly to bring the European allies who had entertained just the faintest ambition of something like European autonomy back in line with US hegemonial interests. But that’s not all, because NATO, initially a defensive alliance against an enemy which no longer exists, is meant to be transformed into an offensive alliance against an enemy that does not exist for Europe (even if we are not fooled by China’s territorial ambitions, the impact of its economic power and the totalitarian character of its regime). But this plan goes even further towards an organisation with a global political mission that stands above any other international organisation.

… above any other international organisation

According to this report:

  • NATO should introduce “mechanisms of consultation” with their allies prior to meetings of other international organisations (UN, G20, etc.), in other words “come and take instructions the day before” on how to impose them in the plenum on the next day!
  • NATO intend to “bolster the political dimension of NATO” as it had “adapted its military structures and posture”. “NATO should consider increasing the delegated authorities of the Secretary General to make meaningful decisions on personnel and certain budgetary matters, as well as encouraging him/her to make the fullest use of his/her existing authorities.”
  • “NATO should create a more structured mechanism to support the establishment of coalitions inside existing Alliance structures and should examine ways to time-limit decision making in crisis”. The aim would be for the Allies to be able to place new operations under the NATO banner even if not all were willing to participate in a possible mission.
  • Or in other words: “To deal with the growing frequency of single-country blockages involving external bilateral disputes, it should consider raising the threshold for such blockages to the Ministerial level”.
  • “NATO should deepen consultation and cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners – Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.“
  • „NATO should begin internal discussions about a possible future partnership with India.“

A threat to peace in Europe

Mr. Secretary General, since this organisation, after it had lost its external enemy, did not stop searching for a new political justification to maintain their military equipment but kept making-up its new Russian enemy, that today NATO tends to become a danger for Europe.
  For, not content with having denied Europe the opportunity of a truly sustainable peace desired by all, including Russia, NATO, driven by the sole concern for its survival, and its justification by expansion, has only provoked a vast rearmament on both sides of Russia’s borders, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, endangering peace in this Europe, which it now considers only as its future battlefield.

“NATO 2030” defies basic logic

And now, through this document which defies basic logic by claiming that the end does not have to justify the means but rather the other way round – although even the ancient Romans stated “Cedant arma togae” (let arms yield to the toga, the garment of the senators) – you would like to justify the military tools of this alliance in the future by transforming it into an inescapable political instrument for the management of large-scale international coalitions for the benefit of a true global governance, even going so far as to override the decisions of the UN and crushing national sovereignties! So no, this is not to happen, Mr. Secretary General! We must stop this runaway train before it is too late! As for France, in line with the principles enunciated more than half a century ago by General de Gaulle, it cannot, without serious failure, lend itself to this adventurous agreement of American tutelage over Europe”.  •

For the „Cercle de Réflexion Interarmées“
Air-Brigade General Grégoire Diamantidis* 

Grégoire Diamantidis is 75 years old, was a fighter pilot, an Air Force general, and former mayor of Lédignan in southern France. Following his military career he served as a diplomat in the OSCE, participating in the disarmament of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, as well as the former Yugoslavia.

1 Until now, all decisions in Nato’s highest political decision-making body, the Nato Council, have had to be taken unanimously. The Nato Council has its seat in Brussels and is composed of the permanent representatives (ambassadors) of the Nato member states. (Editor’s note)
2 Treaty of Moscow: or “treaty two plus four”, signed on September 12, 1990, in Moscow, between the representatives of the two Germanies and those of the four allied powers of the Second World War, is the "treaty bearing final settlement concerning the Germany “which paved the way for German reunification and established the international status of united Germany”.
3 Operation Allied Force. This operation, decided by NATO, after the failure of negotiations between the Kosovar separatists and Serbia under the aegis of the OSCE (Rambouillet Conference 6 February - 19 March 1999), was launched without a UN mandate, on March 24 on the basis of a vast campaign in the Western media, concerning a plan of ethnic cleansing (Potkova plan) carried out on a large scale in Kosovo by Serbia. Plan which later turned out to have been fabricated from scratch by the Bulgarian and German secret services.
4 Theatre missile defense (TMD), also called theatre ballistic missile defense (TBMD), deployment of nuclear and conventional missiles for the purpose of maintaining security in a specific region, or theatre, officially a missile defence system to intercept enemy missiles. (Editor’s note)

Source: of 12 March 2021

(Translation Current Concerns)

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