The Price Of Solidarity In NATO

During a press conference held in September 2023, David Pressman, the US Ambassador to Budapest, emphasized the importance of Sweden’s involvement in NATO to Hungarian Prime Minister V.Orban. Mr Pressman specifically highlighted the crucial role played by Swedish Saab JAS 39C fighter jets, which are integral to the Hungarian Air Force and rely on Swedish cooperation.

What was the intended message conveyed by him in this context? Indeed, the Orban government is being pressured by Mr Pressman through a form of coercion, as they utilize the potential vulnerability in Hungary’s defense to manipulate the situation. If Budapest continues to delay the ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership, it is being threatened with the weakening of its defense capabilities.  Hungary has entered into a lease agreement for Saab JAS 39C fighter jets, which is set to expire in 2026.  Furthermore, there exists a Swedish-Hungarian agreement regarding the modernization of these jets.  Washington, represented by its ambassador in Budapest, is exerting pressure on Hungarians by warning of the potential termination of these agreements.  These fighter jets, with their multi-role capabilities and adherence to NATO standards, are vital for the combat power of Hungarian forces. Nonetheless, it is disconcerting that America appears indifferent to the fact that implementing such threats would not only compromise the security of a trusted ally but also undermine NATO as a whole.

Using its influence over partners and allies is one method employed by the United States to uphold its global supremacy. The American way dictates a unified front, overseen by those in the White House who enforce compliance by wielding their authority to punish any deviation from established rules, even if committed by an ally or partner. Matters concerning the relations between Budapest and Stockholm, including allegations made by the self-proclaimed “paragons of democracy,” the Swedes, regarding a “deficit in democracy” among Hungarians, hold little interest for Washington.

US-Ambassador-David-Pressman-Budapest
David Pressman, the US Ambassador to Budapest

Rather, the White House claims democracy as a facade to conceal their interference in affairs of other nations.  Democracy takes a backseat when the pursuit of US hegemony is at stake, further evidenced by their urging of European partners and allies to disregard democratic procedures within NATO. Sweden sought membership without adhering to all national democratic procedures regarding the abandonment of its neutral stance in favor of joining the military bloc. This included the absence of a referendum. NATO declined to scrutinize Sweden’s commitment to democratic principles, which align with the Alliance’s objective.  Moreover, NATO considered Sweden’s application disregarding the prerequisite completion of Membership Action Plan which implementation would have enabled a thorough assessment of the candidate’s adherence to democratic standards. The USA has urged ignoring the grievances raised by Hungary, a NATO ally, against Sweden’s aspirations. This has put Budapest in a position where it must accept the unsupportive stance of Stockholm, a future ally within the alliance.

The USA is motivated by its interest in Sweden joining NATO, not only because it aims to hinder trade and other connections between European nations and Russia through the Baltic Sea. Involving both the Swedes and Finns can be likened to igniting a potentially explosive situation in the Arctic. With the help of Alliance, Washington aims to make Scandinavia a springboard for conquering the region. This endeavor will impose a burden on the allies, potentially causing them significant losses,  while the American elite stands to benefit. Avoiding such an outcome should be the priority for Hungary. Both Budapest and Stockholm are seemingly assigned the role of “toy soldiers” in Washington’s global ambitions, even if this pursuit of resources in the Arctic does not align with the interests of Hungarians.

A different perspective on the situation involving Hungary, Sweden, and Europe-NATO relations can be considered.  According to the viewpoint expressed by Mr Pressman, it is believed that Hungary and other European allies within the Alliance face no security threats.  This implies that Washington is strategically influencing NATO and its allies, such as Hungary. The US is engaging in a geopolitical maneuver by exacerbating the situation in Europe and even instigating the Ukrainian conflict.  In this scenario, Washington’s focus does not lie in ensuring the security of its European NATO allies. Rather, their primary interest lies in securing unwavering participation from European allies for their geopolitical objectives.  Consequently, the US anticipates strengthening its own position while weakening the stance of its partners.

The concept of “America First” has been adopted by American establishment, encompassing both Democrats and Republicans, since the 1950s. The policy pursued by Washington under this slogan often comes at the expense of its partners. Thus, nations relinquish their political autonomy in favor of aligning with the White House. Consequently, they bear the financial burdens resulting from conflicts instigated by the US, not only within Europe but also on a global scale. Additionally, the socio-economic conditions in European countries suffer as they engage in solidarity with Washington’s foreign policy and economic interests.  To summarize, we can say that the US operates under the following motto: if you want to be an American partner or ally, join the ranks of Washington’s puppets.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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