NATO is an ‘alliance’ of many countries with different priorities, each of which dangles on strings pulled in Washington.
Its alleged enemy, the Russian Federation, is a vast country with a small population whose huge casualties in WWII make it determined to defend itself.
Soviet domination of Eastern Europe lasted from 1945 to 1990, while US domination of Western Europe, though perhaps less visible, has lasted from 1945 to the present, a quarter of a century longer.
Due to several centuries of Ottoman rule, the countries of Eastern Europe, having historically lagged behind those of the West, were determined, in 1990, to make up for their lack of clout by being more European than Western Europe.
In reality this meant being more pro-American, and never more so than in attitudes toward Russia! During the Cold War, when Soviet troops were (unobtrusively) stationed in Eastern Europe, Western Europe ‘welcomed’ NATO troops who would prevent a Soviet conquest.
The fact that no such thing was ever contemplated in Moscow in no way prevents today’s Eastern European leaders from loudly joining the US claim that Russia is an enemy!
This accusation is facilitated by the following facts: Not only is Russia by far the largest country in the world, spanning nine time zones, it backs up to China, the most populous country in the world. Although one is Caucasian while the other is Oriental, between then these two countries have a formidable military determined to defend a common socialist ethos that privileges negotiations and sharing over conquest and plunder.
In 1989 my book ‘A Different Europe, a Different World, (Une autre Europe, un autre monde) was published in France. It anticipated Europe’s reunification and suggested that Europeans should replace the Atlantic Alliance with full participation in the Eurasian Community, in which the Soviet Union, far from being a threat, was simply one of five giants, the others being India, China, the Middle East and Europe, each of equal weight.
It has taken twenty-five years for the leaders of Western Europe to arrive at a similar conclusion. The problem is that those of Eastern Europe, always decades behind, are trying to prevent them from turning words into deeds, dismissing as irrelevant the fact that Soviet domination stemmed from Eastern Europe’s location between the West and Russia, through which attacks have repeatedly been carried out.
The crucial question for the European Union is whether Eastern Europeans will finally catch up with reality and realize that the twenty-first century sun rises in the East, enabling a carefully constructed but flawed union to be transformed into something more durable — and peaceful.
Deena Stryker is an international expert, author and journalist that has been at the forefront of international politics for over thirty years, exlusively for the online journal “New Eastern Outlook.