President Bill Clinton has made it clear that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization may be an alliance, but its policies are run by the White House.
Well before the July 8-9 meeting in Madrid, Spain, that is to take up the issue of expanding NATO into Eastern Europe, Clinton declared June 12 that three countries--Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary--will be inducted into NATO's ranks. No more. No less.
NATO, as a June 29 New York Times report noted, was established "to enlarge the United States' power in Western Europe." And no real challenge to U.S. policy is expected to emerge. However, by July 1 only five NATO members--Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Britain and Portugal--have publicly backed Clinton's declaration.
The NATO takeover of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary will be historic. It will be an imperialist takeover of lands that were the main target of Nazi expansion but were liberated by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.
The right-wing German newspaper Wetzlarer Neue Zeitung hailed the takeover of these Eastern European countries in a happy but understated way: "Our immediate neighbors will now join NATO. Then Germany will be formally encircled by allies, a situation that is new in history."
But this is not merely German imperialist expansion. It is being brought on by U.S. imperialist expansion.
In a report on the U.S.-dictated expansion of NATO, the U.S.-government-funded Voice of America reminded its listeners of a 1992 Pentagon planning document. That document declared that no rival imperialist powers-- primarily Germany or Japan--should challenge U.S. global domination.
On a June 26 VOA broadcast, James Chace, editor of World Policy Journal, said: "Is NATO expansion merely a reflex of American hegemony? Perhaps it is. Remember the Pentagon planning document of 1992 which basically said that the United States should discourage any advanced industrial nation--that is, Germany and Japan--from challenging our leadership and our role. In other words, what is good for America is good for the world."
When details of the secret Pentagon document were first published in the March 8, 1992, New York Times, an analysis by Workers World's Sam Marcy noted that "this document surpasses in importance the Pentagon Papers." (Workers World, March 18, 1992)
But the 1992 document has never been given the kind of publicity given the earlier Pentagon Papers--the secret report that exposed many official lies about the Vietnam War.
In his analysis of the 1992 Pentagon document, Sam Marcy wrote: "This document is the product of the civilian leadership in the Pentagon and not the military camarilla, as one might assume. _ These civilians are mostly the representatives of the military-industrial-technological complex--the military contractors and the banks that support them.
"It is often assumed in literature written by bourgeois liberal critics that the military is autonomous, more often dictating policy to the industrialists and the government than the other way around. _
"It is clear from this document that it is the industrial half of the military-industrial complex that is speaking here. It is they who are most in need of expanding the military establishment and continuing to build weapons of mass destruction in the face of a looming economic debacle."
The U.S. military-industrial complex is what's driving NATO's expansion.
A front-page story in the June 29 New York Times was headlined, "Arms makers see bonanza in selling NATO expansion."
The article opens by describing the activities of the so- called U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. Its president is Bruce Jackson, who also happens to be a corporate official at Lockheed Martin Corp., the world's biggest weapons maker.
According to the Times, "billions of dollars are at stake in NATO's expansion." The Congressional Budget Office predicts at least $125 billion in contracts over 15 years. As Joel Johnson, an official at the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group, told the Times, "We're talking real money."
With billions of dollars at stake, Bruce Jackson says that Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine "has an emotional commitment to NATO expansion."
Of course, the military buildup is fueled by the demands of U.S. finance capital--particularly the big banks like Citicorp, Chemical, Manufacturers Trust and BankAmerica. They have expanding interests in Europe, including Russia, as well as around the world. NATO's expansion is meant to defend those interests.
The end of the Cold War was supposed to mean peace and the end of the arms race. That was the Reagan administration's official rationale for its tremendous military buildup. But the weapons industry, rather than shrinking, is growing, fueled by the demands of U.S. finance capital.
That is why, at a time when every necessary social program in the country is being cut to the bone or even eliminated, and when countries around the world despair because the United States thumbs its nose at paying United Nations dues earmarked for peaceful development, Congress can pledge billions of dollars to expand NATO.
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