Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

France Pretends NATO is About the North Atlantic

Jun 25, 2023

by James Corbett
June 25, 2023

Someone must have bought Emmanuel Macron a map. How else to explain his amazing geographical discovery that Japan is not, in fact, located in the North Atlantic?

For those not keeping up with the wild, wooly world of geopolitricks, this latest round of cartographic confusion began to unfold last month when the increasingly inaccurately named North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced it was planning to open a “liaison office” in Japan despite the fact that (by all accounts) the Japanese archipelago remains firmly situated in the Pacific. Earlier this month, French president Macron lodged his reservations about the plan, warning that if NATO enlarges its geographic reach too much, “we will make a big mistake.”

That NATO would seek to extend its reach beyond its supposed North Atlantic regional remit is hardly surprising. In fact, as anyone following the rise of the Evil Empire will know all too well, NATO has been involved in a process of truly global expansion for decades now. But still, France’s objection to this brazen attempt by NATO to stray from its nominal North Atlantic confines presents a new twist on the story.

So, what does all of this mean? And if it isn’t reined in, where will NATO be heading next? Let’s find out, shall we? . . .

NATO: The Myth

In April 1949, as the Iron Curtain descended across Europe and the Western powers geared up to fight the (phoney, engineered) Cold War, representatives of Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States came together to sign The North Atlantic Treaty. The signing of that treaty gave birth to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the intergovernmental military alliance we now know as NATO.

The preamble to the treaty affirms the signatories’ “faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments” and their desire “to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area” before resolving “to unite their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security.” It then goes on in 14 short articles (seriously, you can read the entire treaty for yourself in under 10 minutes) to commit its members to a number of flowery, noble-sounding ideals, including:

“to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means” (Article 1);

to “contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions” (Article 2);

to assist other member states in the event of an attack on Europe or North America, but only until such time as the United Nations Security Council “has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security” (Article 5);


Of course, as we all know by now, every word of the document is a lie.

NATO’s reign of terror and bloodshed during its 1999 bombing of the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia—a military intervention that did not have the authorization of the UN Security Council and that included the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure, untold environmental damage, and, oh yeah, by the way, hundreds of civilian deaths—gave the lie to assurances that NATO is committed to peaceful conflict resolution and that it is subordinate to the determinations of the UN Security Council.

NATO’s invasion and nearly two-decades-long occupation of Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks—an operation based on a single briefing containing no actual proof of Osama bin Laden’s complicity in 9/11 and no justification for invading Afghanistan—gave the lie to NATO’s promise to act militarily only in the name of “collective self-defense” and only until such time as the immediate threat is contained.

NATO’s campaign of carnage in Libya in 2011—a campaign that, once again, was based on utterly fictitious grounds and that resulted in chaos, bloodshed and open-air slave markets—gave the lie to the vow that NATO’s military power would be used only to defend member states from armed attack.

And NATO’s relentless expansion in recent decades—including its “Mediterranean Dialogue” and its “global partners” program and its signing of security agreements with non-NATO members like Qatar and, infamously, Ukraine—gives the lie to the pretense that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is really about the North Atlantic (not to mention the lie that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east” after the fall of the Soviet Union).

But now that we sit here in 2023, in the shell holes of NATO’s bloody bombing campaigns and in the wake of its trail of lies and broken promises, no one can deny the self-evident truth any longer. Far from a “mutual self-defense” organization committed to defending the North Atlantic region from outside attack, NATO is the military tool of the American Empire, willing and able to wage aggressive wars around the world at the behest of its Washington string-pullers.

So, where does that leave us today?

NATO: The Reality

No, no one who is being honest could look at the world-bestriding military aggressor that NATO is today and maintain that it is the same European/North American defensive alliance that was sold to the public in 1949.

Why, then, is Macron now suddenly pretending that NATO is about North Atlantic security and that the organization should avoid geographic overreach? In a word: China.

You see, just as NATO was originally sold to the public as the answer to the (engineered) threat of the (Western-backed) Soviet bogeyman, the new, global militarily alliance currently masquerading under the NATO moniker is being sold to the public as the answer to the (engineered) threat of the (Western-backed) Chinese bogeyman.

In fact, NATO is no longer even bothering to hide the fact that it’s gearing up for a confrontation with China. As I reported three years ago, NATO’s (outgoing?) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg turned the corner on NATO’s Pacific ambitions in 2020 when he made a speech laying out his 10-year vision for the military alliance. In his remarks, the NATO leader explicitly called on the alliance’s members to take a more “global approach” and to stand up to China’s “bullying and coercion.”

The rise of China is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power, heating up the race for economic and technological ­supremacy, multiplying the threats to open societies and individual freedoms and increasing the competition over our values and our way of life. They’re coming closer in cyberspace, we see them in the Arctic, in Africa, we see them ­investigating in our critical infrastructure [sic]. And they’re working more and more with Russia. All of this has security consequences for NATO allies.

Lest there be any doubt about this Sino-centric shift in NATO’s strategic thinking, the organization spelled it out in black and white in its NATO 2022 Strategic Concept—a document issued at irregular intervals to “specif[y] the elements of the Alliance’s approach to security and provides guidelines for its political and military adaptation.” The 2022 edition of the document—the eighth such “Strategic Concept” in the alliance’s history—included for the first time specific references to the Chinese threat, noting that China’s “stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values.”

However, NATO is not a monolith. Stoltenberg may be saying one thing, but the (mis)leaders of the various NATO member states have their own ideas about how best to serve their geopolitical (not to mention economic) interests. The European NATO states, for example, are straddling the line between kowtowing to Washington (and thus maintaining the old Pax Americana world order) and aligning with the Chinese dragon (and thus tipping the balance in favour of the new, multipolar world order).

For the last few years, we have seen Germany moving closer to Washington and inching away from Beijing and Moscow, with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel having identified China as a rising threat on her way out the door in 2021 and current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz having shelved the Nord Stream 2 project in 2022, long before <sarc>the dastardly Russkies blew up their own pipeline for no readily identifiable reason</sarc>.

France, on the other hand, appears to be moving the other direction. French President Macron made waves earlier this year when he visited Xi Jinping in Guandong for some old-style meet-and-greet diplomacy. The trip was ostensibly meant to promote Airbus sales and pork exports, but inevitably included much talk of the “multipolar world” and a joint statement committing both countries to a “strategic global partnership” (along with all the usual globalist nonsense about the importance of the UN’s sustainable development goals and the “climate transition” and health security, etc.). Predictably, the Old Gray Presstitute framed this as France “Undercut[ting] US Efforts to Rein China In.”

And now Macron has the temerity to openly object to NATO’s plan to open a “liaison office” in Japan, calling it a “big mistake.” An anonymous French official went even further after news of Macron’s position broke, stating:

Nato [stands for] north Atlantic, and both article V and article VI [in its statutes] clearly limit the scope to north Atlantic. There is no Nato liaison office in any country in the region. If Nato needs situational awareness in the region it can use the embassies designated as point of contact.

So are NATO’s global ambitions about to be reined in? And what are the next steps from here?

NATO: The Future

As James Evan Pilato and I covered on our latest edition of New World Next Week, NATO’s next summit is due to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, next month, and it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Of course, the China question will be front and centre at the proceedings, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida set to attend the event in person. His presence is presumably meant to coincide with some sort of formal announcement of the creation of NATO’s liaison office in Japan—though, according to The Financial Times, “[t]he resistance from France has complicated months of discussion within NATO to create the alliance’s first outpost in the Indo-Pacific region.”

But it isn’t just the China/Japan/France tension that will be on the table in Vilnius. The Ukraine war on NATO’s (increasingly easterly) doorstep is still the alliance’s largest immediate concern, and the latest developments on that front—including the deployment of nuclear-capable F-16s by NATO countries and the potential thermonuclear Apocalypse that portends spoken of in the aforementioned NWNW episode and the attempted coup in Russia that seems to have fizzled out just as I am writing these words—will doubtless be heavily discussed.

And it isn’t just France that has its reservations about NATO’s endless expansion. For those who have forgotten about the organization’s European enlargement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is signaling that Sweden’s entry into the alliance—a move that requires the unanimous approval of NATO’s existing member states—will not be going ahead at this upcoming summit as planned.

So, yes, there are definite obstacles in the path for those seeking NATO’s total global domination. Unfortunately, those obstacles are not roadblocks being thrown up by people in positions of power who reject NATO itself or who reject the (phoney) Cold War mentality that engendered such a military compact in the first place. Instead, these obstacles are mere speed bumps being placed by political puppets who have calculated that the interest of their elitist friends would be better served by forming different alliances or holding out for a better deal from NATO.

Having said that, given that we do stand on the brink of nuclear war in Ukraine and on a hair trigger for WWIII in Taiwan, and given that NATO has already declared OUTER SPACE ITSELF to be part of its “operational domain,” any obstacle to NATO’s expansion is to be welcomed at this point.

Regardless of how it turns out, the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius should provide plenty of fireworks and perhaps even some clues as to where our world is heading in the next few years. Stay tuned . . .

The Corbett Report is a reader-supported


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