The World Does Not Want a Global NATO

Most of the world rejects NATO’s policies and global aspirations and does not wish to divide the international community into outdated Cold War blocs, writes Vijay Prashad.

Fuyuko Matsui, Japan, “Becoming Friends with All the Children of the World,” 2004.

By Vijay Prashad
Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research

The fragility of Europe’s energy supply has once again been on display in recent months. Gas shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany, were reduced to 40 percent of capacity in June, a cut that Moscow said was due to delays in the servicing of a turbine by the German firm Siemens.

Shortly thereafter, on July 11, the pipeline was taken offline for 10 days for annual routine maintenance. Despite receiving assurances from Moscow that the supply would resume as scheduled, European leaders expressed fear that the shutdown would continue indefinitely in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

On July 21, the flow of Russian gas into Europe resumed. Klaus Müller, the head Germany’s energy regulator, said that gas flows through Nord Stream 1 were below pre-maintenance levels during the first few hours of resumption, though they have now returned to 40 percent capacity.

European anxieties related to energy supply are linked to fears amongst the region’s governments of further instability in the Eurozone.

On the same day that Nord Stream 1 resumed operations, Italy’s Mario Draghi resigned as prime minister, the latest in a dramatic series of resignations by heads of government in Bulgaria, Estonia and the United Kingdom. Resistance from Europe to a peace agreement with Russia comes alongside recognition that trade with Russia is inevitable.

At No Cold War, an international platform seeking to bring sanity to international relations, we have been closely observing the shifting tenor of the war in Ukraine and the U.S.-driven pressure campaign against China.

We have published three previous briefings from this platform in our newsletters; below, you will find briefing No. 4The World Does Not Want a Global NATO, which details the emerging clarity in the Global South regarding the U.S.-European attempt to drive a belligerent agenda around the world.

This new clarity relates not only to the militarisation of the planet, but also to the deepening conflicts in trade and development, as evidenced by the G7’s new initiative, the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Development, which clearly targets China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In June, member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) gathered in Madrid for their annual summit. At the meeting, NATO adopted a new Strategic Concept, which had last been updated in 2010. In it, NATO names Russia as its “most significant and direct threat” and singles out China as a “challenge [to] our interests.” In the words of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, this guiding document represents a “fundamental shift” for the military alliance, its “biggest overhaul… since the Cold War.”

Monroe Doctrine for the 21st Century?

Although NATO purports to be a “defensive” alliance, this claim is contradicted by its destructive legacy – such as in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001) and Libya (2011) – and its ever-expanding global footprint.

At the summit, NATO made it clear that it intends to continue its global expansion to confront Russia and China. Seemingly oblivious to the immense human suffering produced by the war in Ukraine, NATO declared that its “enlargement has been a historic success… and contributed to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area,” and extended official membership invitations to Finland and Sweden.

However, NATO’s sights extend far beyond the “Euro-Atlantic” to the Global South. Seeking to gain a foothold in Asia, NATO welcomed Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand as summit participants for the first time and stated that “the Indo-Pacific is important for NATO.”

On top of this, echoing the Monroe Doctrine (1823) of two hundred years ago, the Strategic Concept named “Africa and the Middle East” as “NATO’s southern neighbourhood,” and Stoltenberg made an ominous reference to “Russia and China’s increasing influence in [the Alliance’s] southern neighbourhood” as presenting a “challenge.”

Pavel Pepperstein, Russia, “Grandfather and Grandmother Are Long Gone,” 2013.

Most of World Seeks Peace

Although NATO’s member states may believe that they possess global authority, the overwhelming majority of the world does not. The international response to the war in Ukraine indicates that a stark divide exists between the United States and its closest allies on the one hand and the Global South on the other.

Governments representing 6.7 billion people – 85 percent of the world’s population – have refused to follow sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies against Russia, while countries representing only 15 percent of the world’s population have followed these measures. According to Reuters, the only non-Western governments to have enacted sanctions on Russia are Japan, South Korea, the Bahamas and Taiwan – all of which host U.S. military bases or personnel.

There is even less support for the push to close airspace to Russian planes spearheaded by the U.S. and European Union. Governments representing only 12 percent of the world’s population have adopted this policy, while 88 percent have not.

U.S.-led efforts to politically isolate Russia on the international stage have been unsuccessful. In March, the U.N. General Assembly voted on a nonbinding resolution to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: 141 countries voted in favour, five countries voted against, 35 countries abstained and 12 countries were absent. However, this tally does not tell the full story. The countries which either voted against the resolution, abstained, or were absent represent 59 percent of the world’s population. Following this, the Biden administration’s call for Russia to be excluded from the G20 summit in Indonesia was ignored.

Tadesse Mesfin, Ethiopia, “Pillars of Life: Harmony,” 2018.

Meanwhile, despite intense backing from NATO, efforts to win support for Ukraine in the Global South have been a complete failure. On June 20, after several requests, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the African Union; only two heads of state of the continental organisation’s 55 members attended the meeting. Shortly thereafter, Zelensky’s request to address the Latin American trade bloc, Mercosur, was rejected.

It is clear that NATO’s claim to be “a bulwark of the rules-based international order” is not a view which is shared by most of the world. Support for the military alliance’s policies is almost entirely confined to its member countries and a handful of allies which together constitute a small minority of the world’s population. Most of the world’s population rejects NATO’s policies and global aspirations and does not wish to divide the international community into outdated Cold War blocs.

BahadIr Gokay, Turkey, “Evvel” or “Before,” 2013.

In 1955, 10 years after the U.S. dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima (Japan), the Turkish poet Nâzim Hikmet wrote a poem in the voice of a 7-year-old girl who died in that terrible act. The poem was later translated into Japanese by Nobuyuki Nakamoto as “Shinda Onnanoko” (“Dead Girl”) and frequently sung in commemorations of that atrocity. Given the harshness of war and the escalation of conflict, it is worthwhile to reflect once more on Hikmet’s beautiful, haunting lyrics:

I come and stand at every door
But no one hears my silent tread.
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead.

I’m only seven, although I died
In Hiroshima long ago.
I’m seven now as I was then.
When children die, they do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame.
My eyes grew dim; my eyes grew blind.
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit, I need no rice.
I need no sweets, nor even bread.
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead, for I am dead.

All that I ask is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of the world
May live and grow and laugh and play.

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter. He is an editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He has written more than 20 books, including The Darker Nations and The Poorer Nations.  His latest books are Struggle Makes Us Human: Learning from Movements for Socialism and, with Noam Chomsky,  The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of US Power.

This article is from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

14 comments for “The World Does Not Want a Global NATO

  1. peter mcloughlin
    August 1, 2022 at 06:26

    Humanity should listen to the ghosts of history, they are real than the reasons we fight war – for power. But power is an illusion: that is why every empire eventually faces the war it is trying to avoid, its own defeat. If interested in more on this, search:

    A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  2. Robert Emmett
    July 31, 2022 at 09:12

    Oh, I remember the song version of that poem. Pete Seeger set it to a folk tune that was an older song about a magical creature of the sea called a silkie. Somehow that tune seems to offer some comfort for the children of Hiroshima. Of course being a child of rock ‘n roll I first learned it from the Byrds version as “I Come and Stand at Every Door”.

    as to the subject at hand, can we call it natoization? (i kind of like the weird double vowel with a z in the middle)

    How to counter overbearing enmity:
    Put your trust in perceived reality
    Close deals that secure parity
    Protect assets in new currency
    Forge ties with mutual dependency
    Base relations on shared dignity
    Defend yourself to utmost ability
    Avoid trap to engage in perfidy

  3. Alan Ross
    July 30, 2022 at 11:22

    As America declines, those who have benefitted from its exploitation, and their numerous well-paid servants, will find comfort in their gated communities and estates, guarded by private security, while working Americans will bear the brunt of it. One would hope that the true villains will be seen for what they are, even with the continuing onslaught of propaganda from the mainstream media they own. My hat is off to all the independent journalists who try to present the facts as they are targeted for their courage by those who hate the truth.

    • J Anthony
      August 1, 2022 at 07:15


  4. Larry Gates
    July 30, 2022 at 11:12

    Do yourself a favor. Find and listen to Pete Seeger’s magnificent musical rendition of Hikmet’s poem on YouTube.

  5. mgr
    July 30, 2022 at 06:53

    The world, the real world, certainly does not want a NATO expansion or a NATO at all. The rules-based international order is simply a bait & switch for Western uni-polar despotism and NATO it seems is intended to be the enforcer of these partisan rules. Screw that. Feckless EU leadership, dancing to America and NATO’s tune, instead of checking US aggression, has enabled this fiasco to unfold. I blame them even more.

    I do not want “rules” that are invented and changed based on whim and used to divide and dominate others. I want international law where every nation participates in and is equal before the law with none above. I want international law that provides the foundation for cooperation between peoples, cultures and nations. Besides being a moral good, cooperation is the only way that the human species will survive on this planet, near and long term. Climate change, for one, makes that single key ingredient of cooperation between peoples an immediate and irrefutable necessary. We all sink or swim on this world together.

    The Biden administration’s actions to foment a new Cold War for its own strategic, let us say clearly, deluded self-interest, with NATO in the vanguard is unconscionable. I don’t remember Biden or the Dems campaigning on the platform of starting Cold War 2 and yet obviously that was always the plan. Just what else is he good for? The Biden admin is certainly doing nothing whatsoever for the American public. Biden’s State Dept. is a mirror of the Cheney/Wolfowitz crowd. Another pack of losers. How unbearably corrupt Biden is, not to mention the extreme incompetence of neocon/neodem thinking. Banal Joe Biden and his neodem sociopaths have betrayed the entire world and every person in it for no more than their own petty self interest. Since he claims to be a Catholic, I cannot imagine what kind of lunatic god he thinks will smile on that.

  6. Ricardo2000
    July 29, 2022 at 17:38

    William Casey (CIA Director 1981 – 1987) “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” Casey’s uttered this definition of ultimate CIA success at Reagan’s first Cabinet meeting.

    US – NAYOYO deliberately did everything in its power to start this war with the intent of fatally weakening Russia. Every President and Congress has implemented this foreign policy since Carter and Brzezinski. Systematic actions included breaking every statement, assurance, promise and treaty made with Russia. It involves directly threatening legitimate Russian leadership and government. It involved training and arming Banderite Nazis, supporting their genocidal goals against every argument for peaceful settlement, even against their own government, leaders, and ‘democratic system’. Zelenskiy was elected on promises to attack corruption with peace and negotiations with Russia. As soon as he whispered ‘peace’ Ukronazis threatened to hang him from a tree. Obviously, US-NAYOYO approved brutally stupid intimidation tactics like the Ukrainian government kill list because they trained, armed, and support Bandera monsters making the threats. US leadership turned their backs on decades of nuclear weapons treaties, putting the world at risk, along with Russia. This war reveals Western promises, statements and treaties as completely worthless.

    William Casey (CIA Director 1981 – 1987) “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” Casey’s uttered this definition of ultimate CIA success at Reagan’s first Cabinet meeting.

    GFW Hegel, The Philosophy of History, “What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”

    Threadbare lies and manipulations have been penetrated by the Global South.

    Jesse Ventura: “When the government lies the truth becomes a traitor.”

    US-NAYOYO wanted this war, wanted these self-defeating sanctions. They embrace both like porn stars, with reason and art appearing as seldom as love. Especially as US politicians will demonize Global South leaders for transparently selfish domestic political gain. Then attack economies: by seizing hard won assets necessary for proper development and functioning of their economies; by excluding them from trade and financial networks; by punishing political, intellectual, business and arts leadership.

    Jackie Robinson, 1972 biography: “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world…I know that I never had it made.”

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: “…nobody now gives the United States any respect, apart from a handful of fascist Brits and that simpering little whore Tony Blair.”

    Mexico, Iran, and Venezuela supported the Allies through WWII with cheap, highly profitable crude. They received only poverty, contempt, and death squads as reward. The Global South is given traitorous leadership, treacherous militaries, and corrupt gangster police for taking democracy and human rights seriously. Their economies are shackled to White Western needs while their people starve. Latin American, African and Asian disdain for anti-Russian sanctions suggests White Western influence and control over the Global South is being destroyed. The South know they must hopelessly capitulate if Russia and China fall.

    Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1933: “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated int he hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

    Eduardo Galeano: “My great fear is that we are all suffering from amnesia. It’s not a person. It’s a system of power that is always deciding in the name of humanity who deserves to be remembered and who deserves to be forgotten.”

  7. Jeff Harrison
    July 29, 2022 at 16:47

    Until the United States’ financial power is broken by the collapse of the dollar and alternate financial systems are put in place, the world will have no peace. The US only seeks to dominate, never cooperate.

  8. BB
    July 29, 2022 at 16:47

    NATO is solely to blame for the crisis in Ukraine.

    Most people in the world do not believe that NATO is a defensive bloc. They see that the arrogant leaders of the US and NATO, instead of looking for ways of peaceful coexistence of countries, are constantly provoking military conflicts around the world. If they are not stopped, then the world will face an apocalypse.

    • irina
      July 29, 2022 at 20:24

      I find the official NATO logo — NATO / OTAN — to be very disturbing. I read one time long ago that the
      rulers of this realm can do as they please, as long as we (the ruled) are given some sort of ‘heads-up’ first.
      This does seem to be the strategy once you start looking for it, sort of like seeing the ‘fnords’ in the excellent
      Illuminati series.

      To me, the inclusion (just look at any NATO / OTAN backdrop or other official insignia) of the reverse
      lettering implies that NATO is also its opposite — a warmaking entity, as opposed to its official role of
      ‘peacekeeping’. And if that’s not enough, curious readers are invited to google images of the new(ish)
      NATO headquarters. An uglier building could hardly exist, it looks like something out of a horror movie.
      Huge jaws ready to snap shut is what comes to my mind. But, now that it’s built, it is necessary to justify
      its expensive existence.

  9. Anon
    July 29, 2022 at 16:43

    It needs a catchier name than “Global NATO”. IMHO

    Maybe Global POTATO, with its Five Eyes?

    POTATO = Pacific Ocean Trans Atlantic Treaty Organization

    Then when we go into a food crisis you can call it a global POTATO famine. (hehe)

    • Jeano
      July 30, 2022 at 16:38

      O wow. You go to the head of the class. And we could add that the whole thing is bring foisted off on the world by Mr. Potatohead. Remember him, in the movie War Games? Well boy howdy!

  10. July 29, 2022 at 15:17

    Hopefully, the government that will assume office in Colombia on August 7 will not continue Colombia’s drift towards NATO and will, instead, head Mr., Prashad’s observations. Given United States and European destructive and self-destructive tendencies, it is hoped that the Petro/Marquez administration will concentrate on regional interests and collaboration, with open doors to all countries, especially those economically downtrodden through sanctions and exploitation. If it does and other regional countries do as well, the global south is likely to become the beacon towards which people everywhere look for inspiration, hope, and an equitable and prosperous future.

  11. Carolyn L Zaremba
    July 29, 2022 at 14:03

    NATO, led by the violent imperialists of the United States government, should have been dissolved in 1991 when the Soviet Union was handed over by the Stalinist Gorbachev. But it was not. In its insatiable hunger to rule the planet, NATO and the United States’s first thoughts were of world domination. The fall of the Soviet Union was a disaster. It opened the way for capitalism to start eating whole countries alive. The Monroe Doctrine, along with its bastard child the Truman Doctrine, are living examples of the meaning of hubris. Their arrogation to themselves of the right of might, regardless of the destruction of life of the planet and all its people, is abhorrent and vile. We who have studied history know the endgame of hubris and it does not bode well for our future on this world.

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