The US-led NATO military alliance has published a historic new plan outlining its goals. The document, officially titled the 2022 “Strategic Concept,” is the first such blueprint NATO has released since 2010.
The 2022 Strategic Concept is essentially a call for a new cold war on both Russia and China.
In the document, NATO condemned Russia and China as “authoritarian actors” and “strategic competitors” that pose “systemic challenges.”
NATO referred to the Russian Federation specifically as “the most significant and direct threat.” It also claimed China “challenge[s] our interests, security and values” and “strives to subvert the rules-based international order.”
The plan made it clear that the US-led military cartel is very concerned about the growing Eurasian alliance between Beijing and Moscow.
“The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests,” NATO wrote.
The document euphemistically refers to this new cold war climate as an “environment of strategic competition.”
NATO’s Madrid summit: new cold war on Russia and China, continued expansion, more military spending
The 2022 Strategic Concept was adopted unanimously by the leaders of NATO member states in a summit in Madrid, Spain in late June.
NATO briefly summarized the plan stating that it “identifies Russia as the most significant and direct threat to Allied security, addresses China for the first time and includes other challenges like terrorism, cyber and hybrid.”
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “NATO’s new Strategic Concept is the blueprint for the Alliance in a more dangerous and competitive world.”
The Madrid summit showed how the US-led military cartel is expanding, and not just in Europe, but also in the Pacific region.
Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand – all of which are very far from the North Atlantic region – attended the NATO summit for the first time.
NATO member Turkey also revealed that it had reached an agreement with Sweden and Finland to allow the countries to join the alliance. (Finland shares a border with Russia, and in World War Two it allied with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union.)
After the Madrid summit, NATO boasted that it had agreed to “the biggest overhaul of Allied collective defence and deterrence since the Cold War.”
The US-led cartel announced more common funding, and said member states agreed to increase their national military spending to 2% or more of GDP.
NATO promised to increase military support not only to Ukraine, but also to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Moldova.
The Madrid summit came just one day after a meeting of the G7, the group of seven wealthy Western countries and Japan. This brought together the leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, and Japan, as well as the European Union, in the Bavarian Alps from June 26 to 28.
Like the NATO conference, the G7 summit was clearly aimed at coordinating tactics in a new cold war to weaken Russia and China. At that meeting, the G7 pledged $600 billion in spending on public-private partnerships to challenge Beijing’s global Belt and Road Initiative.
NATO portrays second cold war on Russia and China as supposed battle between ‘democracy’ and ‘authoritarianism’
While dubbing Russia its top “threat” and China a “systemic challenge” and “strategic competitor,” NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept portrays the second cold war that it is waging as a supposed battle between “democracy” and “authoritarianism.”
“Pervasive instability, rising strategic competition and advancing authoritarianism challenge the Alliance’s interests and values,” the US-led military cartel wrote on the opening page of the plan.
“Authoritarian actors challenge our interests, values and democratic way of life,” it added.
In addition to focusing on Russia and China, the Strategic Concept portrayed Iran, Syria, and North Korea as threats.
The document asserted that NATO exists to “safeguard our freedom and democracy” and is based on “shared democratic values,” in order to protect a “rules-based international order.”
Left completely unmentioned was that numerous authoritarian regimes are currently members of NATO, including Turkey, Hungary, and Poland.
Portugal’s former fascist dictatorship was likewise a founding member of NATO in 1949.
NATO’s insistence that it is supposedly dedicated to protecting democracy, and not US hegemony, is especially ironic considering that the Madrid summit prominently featured Turkey’s autocratic leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Western officials’ constant refrain at the Madrid summit that NATO exists to defend democracy was similarly undermined by the fact that Sweden and Finland refused to hold popular referenda on membership, meaning their people had no voice in the process and no opportunity to vote on whether or not they think joining the US-led military cartel is a good idea.
NATO’s democratic window dressing was even more transparently contradicted by the opening of the summit on June 28, which featured a “special address” by Spain’s King Felipe VI.
“The long-standing global struggle between tyranny and democracy is as relevant as ever,” Spain’s unelected hereditary monarch declared, without a hint of irony.
“Great power competition is everywhere,” he added, obliquely referring to the new cold war on Russia and China.
Later that night, NATO noted on its program that King Felipe VI hosted a “Royal Gala Dinner” at the “Royal Palace.”
The paradoxical and hypocritical symbolism of the summit was striking, given the ubiquitous presence of the crown and the Spanish coat of arms, both representing the monarchy, on the official logo NATO used for its Madrid summit.
These anti-democratic symbols appeared behind speakers as they waxed poetic about non-Western “authoritarianism.”
In the 2022 Strategic Concept, NATO claimed, “Authoritarian actors challenge our interests, values and democratic way of life.”
“They interfere in our democratic processes and institutions and target the security of our citizens through hybrid tactics, both directly and through proxies,” the document continued, referencing the Russiagate conspiracy theory, which despite being thoroughly debunked lives on in NATO’s rhetoric.
In the plan, the US-led military cartel also emphasized its commitment to continue expanding.
“NATO’s enlargement has been a historic success,” it insisted, underlining, “We reaffirm our Open Door policy.”
NATO reaffirmed its promise to add former Soviet states Ukraine and Georgia as members, writing, “We reaffirm the decision we took at the 2008 Bucharest Summit and all subsequent decisions with respect to Georgia and Ukraine.”
The US-led military cartel also called to deepen collaboration with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It similarly emphasized its close alliance with the European Union, describing it as a “unique and essential partner,” adding, “NATO and the EU play complementary, coherent and mutually reinforcing roles.”
The 2022 Strategic Concept described NATO as a “defensive alliance,” despite its offensive wars on Libya in 2011, Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021, and Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
NATO claimed it has “three core tasks: deterrence and defence; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.”
The US-led military cartel hinted it is ready for World War III if deemed necessary, underscoring that it is prepared for “high-intensity, multi-domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitors.”
The Strategic Concept emphasized its firm commitment to nuclear weapons, describing them as unnegotiable: “As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.”
It added that its “posture is based on an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional and missile defence capabilities, complemented by space and cyber capabilities.”
NATO accused Russia of “violations and selective implementation of its arms control obligations and commitments.” It did not mention that it is the US government that has unilaterally killed numerous arms control agreements with Moscow.
In 2019, the Donald Trump administration withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF). Nobel Peace Prize-winning group the International Campaign on Nuclear Weapons called the unilateral US withdrawal “an irresponsible move that opens the path for a new nuclear arms race” and that “puts Europe (and the world) at risk.”
While NATO blamed Russia, the International Campaign on Nuclear Weapons stated clearly, “Trump has fired the starting pistol on Cold War II. Only this one could be bigger, more dangerous, and the world may not be so lucky this time around.”
Similarly, the 2022 Strategic Concept described Russia’s military operation in Ukraine as a “war of aggression” that “has shattered peace.” It failed to mention that there has not been peace in Ukraine since a 2014 US-sponsored coup violently overthrew the country’s democratically elected government, setting off a civil war that caused at least 14,000 deaths by the end of 2021, according to the United Nations.
The US-led military cartel claimed “NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to the Russian Federation,” although the alliance has surrounded Moscow with hostile military bases and repeatedly expanded right up to its borders.