by Manlio Dinucci
NATO is looking to the future. For this reason, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg summoned students and young leaders of the Alliance countries via video conference on February 4, proposing “new ideas for NATO 2030.” His initiative is part of the growing involvement with universities and schools, also with a competition on the theme: “What will be the greatest threats to peace and security in 2030 and how will NATO adapt to counter them?”
To carry out the theme, young people already have their textbook: “NATO 2030 / United for a New Era.” The report was presented by a group of ten experts appointed by the Secretary-General. Among these experts is Marta Dassù, who, after being a foreign policy advisor to Former Prime Minister D’Alema during the NATO war in Yugoslavia, held important positions in successive governments and was appointed by Former Prime Minister Renzi to the Finmeccanica board of directors (now Leonardo), the largest Italian war industry.
What is the “new era” that the experts group envisages? After defining NATO as “the most successful alliance in history”, that “put an end to two wars” (these wars against Yugoslavia and Libya were instead triggered by NATO), the report painted the picture of a world characterized by «authoritarian States seeking to expand their power and influence», posing to NATO allies «a systemic challenge in all security and economy fields ».
Reversing facts, the report claimed that, while NATO amicably extended its hand to Russia, Russia responded with “aggression in the Euro-Atlantic area” and, in agreements’ violation “brought about the end of the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces “. Russia, the ten experts pointed out, is “the main threat facing NATO in this decade”.
At the same time – they argued – NATO is facing growing “security challenges posed by China”, whose economic activities and technologies may have “an impact on collective defense and military preparation in the area of Supreme Allied Commander’s responsibility in Europe (The Supreme Commander is always a US general appointed by the President of the United States).
After raising the alarm on these and other “threats”, that would also come from the South of the World, the report of the ten experts recommended “cementing the centrality of the transatlantic link”, that is, Europe’s link with the United States in the alliance under US command.
At the same time, he recommended “strengthening the political role of NATO”, underlining that “the Allies must strengthen the North Atlantic Council”, the main political body of the Alliance that meets at Defense and Foreign Ministers level and State and Government leaders. Since the North Atlantic Council takes its decisions, according to NATO rules, not by majority but always “unanimously and by mutual agreement”, it is basically in agreement with what was decided in Washington, the further strengthening of the North Atlantic Council means a further weakening of the European Parliaments, particularly the Italian Parliament, already deprived of real decision-making powers on foreign and military policy.
In this context, the report proposed to strengthen NATO forces in particular on the Eastern flank, providing them with “adequate nuclear military capabilities”, suitable for the situation created with the end of the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (which was torn apart by the US). In other words, the ten experts asked the US to speed up the time to deploy in Europe not only the new B61-12 nuclear bombs, but also new medium-range nuclear missiles similar to the 1980s Euromissiles.
They particularly asked to “continue and revitalize nuclear sharing agreements”, which formally allowed non-nuclear countries, such as Italy, to get ready for the use of nuclear weapons under US command. Finally, the ten experts recalled that it is essential that all allies maintain their commitment, made in 2014, to increase their military spending to at least 2% of GDP by 2024, which means for Italy to increase it from 26 to 36 billion euros per year. This is the price to pay to enjoy what the report called “the benefits of being under the NATO umbrella”.
(il manifesto, February 2, 2021)