Is NATO for Security or Aggression? - Wilkerson & Engler

June 14, 2021

The NATO summit is meeting in Brussels and claims to be dealing with threats from Russia and China. But who is really threatening whom? And why does NATO still exist? Col. Lawrence Wilkerson and Yves Engler join Paul Jay on


Paul Jay

 Hi, I'm Paul Jay. Welcome to, please don't forget the donate button, subscribe button, the share button, all the buttons, and we'll be back pretty soon with Yves Engler and Larry Wilkerson to talk about the upcoming NATO conference, NATO summit.

The NATO summit is a meeting June 14th in Brussels where leaders from all the member countries are expected to attend, including President Biden, who will try to, quote, "assert America's leadership at the head of the table", as he has described it. By the set on June 7th at a meeting with the NATO secretary-general in Washington, that he considers Article 5 of the NATO treaty to be, quote, "a sacred commitment. Article 5 commits each member state to consider an armed attack against one member state in Europe or North America, to be an armed attack against them all".

The NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that, quote, "We face a wide range of different security challenges and no ally can face them alone, including Russia, China, and terrorism". NATO has 30 members. In 1949 there were 12 founding members of the alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, and the United States. The other member countries are Greece and Turkey that joined in 1952. Germany in 55', Spain in 82'. Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia 2004. Albania and Croatia 2009. Montenegro 2017, and North Macedonia in 2020.

NATO is primarily a military alliance, which was founded in 49' to support, supposedly counter a threat from the Soviet Union. There's little to no evidence that there ever really was a threat of Soviet troops marching West, and there's a great deal of evidence that the Soviets were mostly in a defensive posture. It's all moot now anyway, since there's no longer a Soviet Union.

Is there a credible threat of Russia marching West or even into some of its neighboring countries? Even Henry Kissinger said the Crimea annexation does not point to a larger strategy of using military means to grab territory. Well, if so, then what's the point of NATO at all?

Now, joining me to discuss the bigger question of why a NATO? And some of the specific issues facing this summit in Belgium is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. He's the former chief of staff to Colin Powell, Joint Chiefs, and the State Department, and Yves Engler. He's a Montreal-based author and activist. He's published 11 books, including his latest 'House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau's Foreign Policy'. Thank you both for joining me.

Larry, let's start with the bigger question, and then we'll get into some of the more specific issues, but is there a point to NATO? What's its rationale for existence now?

Larry Wilkerson

Let me correct one thing you said because it violates all the policy I learned for 40 some odd years. It's not just a military alliance, it's a political alliance, too. I think that's one reason why it has endured so long.

Paul Jay

That's why I used the word primarily.

Larry Wilkerson

Yeah, OK.

Paul Jay

I left myself some wiggle room there, but go on.

Larry Wilkerson