The number of non-aligned and neutral states is rapidly declining worldwide. The principles of abstaining from military alliances and refusing to support conflicting parties are vital for advancing the cause of enhancing amicable relations and ensuring security at both regional and global levels. It can be contended that NATO, in its efforts to expand its sphere of influence by involving third countries, undermines the core principles of neutrality and non-alignment.
The presence of neutral and non-aligned nations acts as an obstacle in the West pursuit of utilizing NATO as a vehicle for the United States to establish global dominance with the assistance of its allies. To keep all countries of the world in line with alliance policy, NATO leaders at the Vilnius Summit proclaimed: ” the Middle East and Africa are regions of strategic interest”, “the Indo-Pacific is important for NATO”, “to further strengthen our engagement with the United Nations and other relevant international organizations” (NATO Vilnius Summit Communiqué).
NATO’s Open Door policy and partnerships serve as mechanisms through which the alliance erases neutral and non-aligned states from the map of Europe and the whole world. One consequence of NATO’s assertive approach is the resurgence of “bloc thinking,” where countries in Europe and the Global South are made to submit to the central decision-making authority. This role is fulfilled by NATO headquarters in Brussels, which operates under the influence of Washington. Additionally, we witness a growing division of the world into two conflicting factions: on one side, NATO allies and partners, and on the other, those who dissent against the imposition of a “rules-based order” on a global scale.
The initiation of NATO admission process for Finland and Sweden officially designates the Baltic Sea as an internal sea of the alliance. As a consequence, NATO will exercise its authority to establish regulations and directives within the region. This move by the alliance has disregarded Sweden’s long-standing tradition of neutrality spanning two centuries, as well as Finland’s 75 years of neutrality. Both previously neutral nations have undergone a gradual integration process into NATO. In an illustrative instance, Finland became part of NATO’s initiative called “The Partnership for Peace” in 1994. By 1995, Finland’s foreign and security policy documents no longer included the concept of “neutrality”. Subsequently, in 1997, Helsinki indicated the possibility of reassessing their non-alignment policy, ultimately resulting in their full NATO membership in 2023.
A similar process is unfolding in the region surrounding the Black Sea, as NATO actively integrates neutral nations like Moldova and Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into its strategic framework. With the inclusion of these countries into NATO, alongside Bulgaria, Romania, and Türkiye, the Black Sea will effectively become the alliance’s internal sea. Ukraine serves as a prime example of how NATO effectively employs its partnership initiatives and Open Door policy to transform a previously neutral nation into a bloc state. Initially engaging in NATO’s programs, Ukraine gradually expanded its scope of collaboration with the alliance. The desire for closer ties with Kyiv prompted NATO to formally express its intent to establish a closer relationship. This culminated in the 2008 Bucharest Summit, where NATO leaders made a definitive decision to pave the way for Ukraine’s future membership. Notably, the political landscape in Kyiv underwent a significant transformation following the 2014 coup d’état. This change resulted in the neutral status previously enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution being replaced by a clear commitment to pursue a “Euro-Atlantic course” and attain full NATO membership (as stated in the Preamble and Article 102 of the Constitution of Ukraine).
The Mediterranean region shows potential in becoming NATO’s strategic hub, as evidenced by the Alliance’s focus on fostering collaboration through the Mediterranean Dialogue. It includes Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt. What’s next? Looking ahead, NATO envisions establishing a Western order in the Indo-Pacific region, aiming to foster partnerships reminiscent of the colonial era. Notably, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and other nations are increasingly becoming integral to this endeavor. Consequently, this cooperation will lead to a future where the Indian and Pacific Oceans evolve into NATO’s controlled maritime domains.
The essence of Gen. Mark Milley’s interview (Gen. Mark Milley: The 60 Minutes Interview on YouTube), is that NATO is taking steps to address countries that defy Western regulations aimed at constraining their sovereignty, potentially leading to conflicts. Mr Milley emphasizes the escalating possibility of a large-scale war within the next 10-15 years and the United States’ readiness to confront this threat through increased defense investments. They have already reached $800 billion. Furthermore, when combined with the military expenditures of other NATO members surpassing $500 billion, the total annual expenditure by alliance nations on military preparedness exceeds $1.3 trillion. Mr Milli’s statement supports the resolution of NATO leaders during the Vilnius summit to amplify defense expenditures and designate Russia in Europe and China in Asia as the primary challenges to Western countries. Anticipated consequences include a projected rise in the collective military budget of NATO member countries beyond $2 trillion post-2030.
Could the armed conflict in Ukraine, which involves NATO member and partner countries, be resolved without escalating it into WWIII? By engaging in peace talks, the United States and its NATO allies hold the power to bring an end to the conflict today. Instead of channeling trillions of dollars towards military expenditures and nurturing global warfare, the alliance nations have the option to allocate a mere $50 billion towards combating global hunger. According to the United Nations, this amount is required annually to effectively address the world’s food crisis. Neglecting this opportunity might result in a significant rise in the percentage of individuals suffering from chronic hunger by 2030, growing from the current 3% to 8%. According to recent data, numerous individuals succumb to starvation every minute across the globe. In the unfortunate event of a global conflict, this distressing number is expected to rise even further.
The Western nations, supported by NATO, are currently steering humanity towards devastation. It is imperative for the governments of alliance countries to reevaluate their policies, rejecting the use of military methods to settle disputes, curbing military spending, and restraining the buildup of armaments. This can be accomplished through the non-participation of neutral and non-aligned states in all NATO military programs and initiatives. Opting for peaceful resolution of crises and prioritizing the enhancement of living standards prove to be more cost-effective alternatives to war-induced destruction and the jeopardy it poses to mankind.