Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIR


Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Matlock: ‘Is NATO Obsolete? Absolutely!’

Feb. 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—The German government's Deutsche Welle news agency accompanies its report on the upcoming Feb. 17-19 Munich Security Conference with an analysis based on comments from Jack Matlock, the last U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, and Joachim Bitterlich, Germany’s ambassador to NATO during the late 1990s.

"Is NATO obsolete? Absolutely!" Matlock said.

"It was formed to prevent a Communist Soviet Union from encroaching on Western Europe. Russia is not capable of confronting and dominating the rest of Europe,"

he said. "To think that our disputes will be solved by military posturing is a dangerous illusion," Matlock went on.

"The sort of military jockeying that NATO and Russia are indulging in today reminds me of the geopolitical games played by the Great Powers in 1914."

Bitterlich wouldn’t quite go so far as to say NATO is obsolete, but he said he does believe that it is "in need of reform."

They both agreed that Russia is not going to attack Europe. Matlock said that Russia had hurt its own interests with its actions in Ukraine, but had there been

"no Western or U.S. involvement in Ukraine during the Maidan uprising, there would probably have been no Russian annexation of Crimea, or support for the insurrection in the Donbass."

Bitterlich added that Russia is not interested in Poland or the Baltic states, but Putin sees the Caucasus and Ukraine as his "red line," a point completely misunderstood by the U.S. and its European allies, Bitterlich said.

"I believe that both the Americans and the Europeans have simply made too many mistakes towards Russia since the beginning of the century: that they misjudged Russia; needlessly cornered it, not hearing the warnings, the warnings about NATO expansion; about Georgia, and about Ukraine,"

he said.