This article appears in the June 18, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
NATO the Global Enforcer and Biden’s Phony Atlantic Charter
June 12—Nearly 80 years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill affixed their signatures to the Atlantic Charter, Joe Biden and Boris Johnson have “revised” it, with a new document that “affirms our ongoing commitment to sustaining our enduring values and defending them against new and old challenges.” The new document is little more than an attempt to intensify the “Cold War” against Russia and to trumpet an insane UK-USA joint commitment to “act urgently and ambitiously to tackle the climate crisis, protect biodiversity, and sustain nature.” People, in this rhetoric, are the enemy of mother Earth. The signing of the document followed by less than a week NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s previewing, at a virtual conference of the Brookings Institution on June 4, of his NATO 2030 initiative, which will make NATO the global enforcer of this new “vision.”
The document that Biden and Johnson signed on June 10 is a complete perversion of Roosevelt’s intention in the 1941 meeting. FDR’s Atlantic Charter was designed to force Churchill to accept certain principles for the post-war period, the most important of which was that there would be “no more empires,” not even the British.
I think I speak as America’s President when I say that America won’t help England in this war simply so that she will be able to continue to ride roughshod over colonial peoples.
Elliott Roosevelt reported his father telling him the night before his first meeting with Churchill at the Atlantic Charter Conference aboard the USS Augusta in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland in August of 1941. Churchill’s acceptance of Roosevelt’s intention would be a precondition for the British to receive U.S. Lend Lease aid. The Prime Minister had to sign, even though he disagreed with the key tenets of the document.
The 1941 Atlantic Charter called for “the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field,” and stated that the parties would endeavor,
to further the enjoyment by all states, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access on equal terms to the trade and raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity.
But the Biden-Johnson new “Atlantic Charter” stands in stark contrast to the principles of the old, real one. The new “Charter” resolves “to defend the principles, values, and institutions of democracy and open societies, which drive our own national strength and our alliances. We must ensure,” it reads, “that democracies—starting with our own—can deliver on solving critical challenges of our time.” The new Charter “intends to strengthen the institutions, laws, and norms that sustain international cooperation, to adapt them to meet the new challenges of the 21st century, and guard against those that would undermine them.”
The new Charter “opposes interference through disinformation or other malign influences, including in elections,” and reaffirms “our commitment to debt transparency, sustainability and sound governance of debt relief.” The two parties to the 2021 Charter also “resolved to harness and protect our innovative edge in science and technology to support our shared security and deliver jobs at home” and “to promote the development and deployment of new standards and technologies to support democratic values.” The Charter signatories, Biden and Johnson, also pledge to build a “rules-based global economy for the 21st century” with “financial stability and transparency and high labor and environmental standards.” It also pledges to prioritize” the protection of biodiversity, which means taking 30% or more of all land out of all forms of human productive activity, in “all our international action.” And as an afterthought the document adds, perhaps being forced to remember the ongoing ravages of the COVID pandemic, that they will collaborate to “strengthen health systems.”
While Roosevelt fought with Churchill over Lend Lease support to the Soviet Union, the new Charter clearly aims at not only Russia, but also China as well. According to the Anglo-American/NATO narrative, Russia and China are the “threats” against which the “rules-based international order” must be upheld. The document declares that “we remain united behind the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the peaceful resolution of disputes.” By the “rules-based” definition, only Russia and China are guilty of violating the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. But in fact, Biden’s U.S., backed by its European allies, is now routinely violating these principles in Syria in the pursuit of its regime-change policies.
Stoltenberg’s NATO 2030 Initiative
NATO, meanwhile, is being set up as the enforcer of all this. Stoltenberg has been setting the stage for the June 14 summit at which NATO will justify its expansion into a NATO global empire because “Russia and China are leading an authoritarian pushback against the rules-based international order.” In a June 11 press conference previewing the summit, Stoltenberg promised that NATO’s new strategic concept, the development of which will be authorized by the summit, will focus on Russia and China. He repeated the now standard rhetoric about the “threats” from those two nations to the “rules-based international order,” while also citing cyber threats, climate change and so forth. He promised that even though Ukraine and Georgia won’t be present at the summit, NATO will continue to fully support them and their “Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”
Stoltenberg noted that a new strategic approach is urgent, given the changes since 2010.
In the current Strategic Concept [adopted in 2010] China is not mentioned with a single word, and climate change is hardly mentioned at all. And, of course, our relationship with Russia, was at a very different place at that time, compared to where we are today. Today, we are at the low point, since the Cold War, in our relationship with Russia. And more sophisticated cyberattacks and many other challenges have evolved over these years.
Stoltenberg’s NATO 2030 plan, as presented by him on June 4 in his preview of the NATO Summit under the title, “NATO 2030: A Transatlantic Agenda for the Future,” highlighted that, according to him, “Russia continues its pattern of dangerous behavior, with its massive military build-up from the Arctic to Africa. It intimidates its neighbors, suppresses peaceful opposition at home, and carries out cyber and hybrid attacks across NATO countries.” NATO, Stoltenberg went on, does not see China as an adversary, “but Beijing does not share our values.” He presented eight objectives of NATO, notably these:
First, we will strengthen NATO as the unique and indispensable forum for transatlantic consultations, on all issues that affect transatlantic security, including, for instance, on Syria, Iran, or the South China Sea. Because NATO is not just a military alliance. We are a “political-military” alliance. And even when we may not take military action, our political unity matters.
Second, we will boost our commitment to our collective defense, against all threats [and] we will rapidly and fully implement our plans to strengthen our military posture.
Stoltenberg’s statement goes to NATO’s third aim to make the alliance more resilient by protecting critical infrastructure and “Mak[ing] our societies less vulnerable to attack and coercion,” i.e., against alleged Russian hybrid warfare; fourth, boost technological innovation; and
Fifth, we must play our part in upholding the rules-based international order, by speaking with one voice to defend our values and interests, and encourage others to play by the rules.
He concludes his list of points with: stepping up NATO training activities in countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Ukraine and Georgia; addressing climate change (“My ambition is to have a clear political commitment at the Summit, to significantly reduce military emissions, contributing to net-zero”); and developing a new NATO strategic concept.
In response to the Brookings Institution’s Constanze Stelzenmueller, Stoltenberg said:
Almost all the proposals in NATO 2030 are relevant for how NATO could address the rise of China. And more political consultations among Allies, strengthening deterrence and defense, investing more in technology, sharing technology, facilitating the development of new technology, resilience, reaching out to new partners, working with partners in Asia-Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea.… And also the fact that we’re going to decided [sic] to develop our next Strategic Concept. All of this is in different ways relevant for how NATO should address the rise of China.
He “guaranteed” that the new strategic concept will mention China more than once. “But the document, the communiqué, the leaders will agree here in Brussels at the NATO Summit we will have much more language on China than we have ever had before.… And there will be concrete decisions on technology, on resilience, and so on, which are all relevant for the way we handle the rise of China.
Stoltenberg continued his diatribe against Russia and China in an interview published June 6 in Welt am Sonntag, the German weekly, claiming that closer Russian-Chinese cooperation is “a new dimension and a serious challenge” for the North Atlantic Alliance. “We consider that Russia and China have developed closer political and military cooperation lately,” he said, adding that Moscow and Beijing are more often coordinating their steps in international organizations, including in the United Nations. “By the way, both countries conduct joint maneuvers, long-distance flights of warplanes and maritime operations, and also actively exchange experience in the field of using military systems and control over the Internet,” the NATO chief said.
In its relations with Russia, the alliance will stick to the strategy “of containment and dialogue,” Stoltenberg noted. “On the other hand, in challenging times we should maintain contact with our neighbor Russia on the issues of arms control and other military and political challenges. If we do not talk to each other, we won’t be able to iron out our differences or improve mutual understanding.” As this author has noted before, NATO doesn’t “dialogue,” it lectures, and this is why the Russians won’t talk to NATO unless the alliance treats Russia as an equal, which so far it hasn’t done.
Touching on China, Stoltenberg said that the alliance member-states would seek to boost cooperation with the countries of the Pacific region. China’s rise represents “a fundamental change in the global balance of powers,” he said.
“We are of course ready, in an emergency, to protect and defend any ally against any kind of threat coming from Minsk and Moscow,” Stoltenberg continued, in the context of the recent Ryanair incident in Minsk. He said that NATO is monitoring “what is happening in Belarus very closely,” adding, “We have had to learn in the past that Russia has massively violated the territorial integrity of states such as Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.” NATO has observed greater cooperation between Moscow and Minsk in recent months, with Minsk “increasingly dependent” on Moscow. Stoltenberg promised that Belarus will be on the agenda, including the status of its current partnership agreement with the alliance, which he said is already being scaled back.