World Bulletin/News Desk
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has used the platform of the 60th Plenary Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in The Hague to call for an increase of defense spending in NATO countries in order to "face up to the challenges" of "violence and extremism".
The speech from the NATO-chief on Monday was widely seen as a message to the Kremlin that an integrated and well-equipped NATO force is poised and ready to act.
Just two months ago at a NATO summit in Wales in the U.K., U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron also demanded increases in defense spending among NATO member-states, stating only four out of 28 were actually spending the amount promised to the military alliance.
But former German Deputy Minister of Defence and ex-Vice President of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Willy Wimmer, disagrees.
Wimmer told Anadolu Agency: "NATO's assembly might applaud him, but not the European public. He is speaking out of the back of his head."
"NATO is under the influence of powerful sources within the U.S. who want world domination, and it is absolutely clear that the words of Mr. Stoltenberg represent these goals, as did every word from his predecessor at NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen," he added.
Wimmer explained that, historically, the U.S. has manipulated the NATO alliance to wage wars in countries all around the world.
He said: "Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are the latest examples - and now it is Europe's turn."
"We are witnessing a massive pre-war build-up of tension around Ukraine, with rhetoric like that used in the Cold War when it was was at its hottest."
And Wimmer finds it even more stunning that this development is taking place under Scandinavia's leadership of NATO.
He said: "Listening to Mr. Stoltenberg and Mr. Fogh makes me wonder whatever happened to the 'Scandinavian mind' which is very far from warmongering."
"Just a couple of decades ago, Denmark was widely known as the 'footnote nation' because of its continuous resistance to NATO decisions and, as was the case in Norway, there was substantial scepticism towards the alliance and its strategies. But under the leadership of first Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and now Jens Stoltenberg, the protests seem to have vanished and the Cold War has come back to life again."
'War without mandate'
Danish journalist Jorgen Dragsdahl, who specializes in U.S. foreign policy, has also noted a change of culture among Scandinavian countries which appears to be connected to the changes in U.S. security policy which followed the events on 9/11 and initiation of the global "War on Terror".
"All of a sudden, Denmark became a close, direct ally to President George W. Bush and our kingdom went to war without a mandate from the United Nations nor NATO itself," Dragsdahl told Anadolu Agency.
While there is debate among contemporary historians and academics over whether or not U.S. and Western allies promised the Sovjets NATO would not expand further towards the east following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1991 and entry of a unified Germany into the alliance, that is exactly what the western military alliance has been doing ever since.
Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined the organization in 1999 followed by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania in 2004.
Albania and Croatia joined in 2009.
Discussions are currently taking place in both Finland and Sweden about joining NATO, after both countries signed a Host Nation Support Memorandum with the organization in August this year.
The deal makes it easier for troops from the western alliance to operate on the territory of the two Nordic states, should they ever face a "sudden conflict or catastrophe".
A poll in Sweden carried out on behalf of Swedish TV channel TV4 shortly after the latest alleged "Russian submarine" incident in October showed that - for the first time since the creation of the military alliance - a majority of the country's population now supports membership of NATO.
A few months earlier in July, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – known as the Visegrad Group (V4) - made a statement confirming their commitment to cooperate with “other partners outside the V4 where and when useful”.
The so-called "Long Term Vision V4 Policy" was adopted in March 2014 to coordinate military planning and create a joint-combat unit to operate under the auspices of NATO and the EU in response to the Ukraine crisis.
Adding further to the presence of NATO troops in Eastern Europe, the European Union also created a fully armed "EU Battlegroup" in 2007 under the direct leadership of EU member-states' Defense Ministers within the Council of the European Union.
Beginning from an idea launched at a European Council (heads of state) summit in Helsinki, Finland, in 1999, the EU Battlegroup has grown to a modern-day force comprised of 31,000 troops in 18 battalions.Last Mod: 29 Kasım 2014, 00:15