What is NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military-machine alliance under U.S. domination and run to project Wall Street’s interests. NATO has a U.S.-commanded military structure imposed by U.S. corporate policy since it was founded in 1949, at the peak of U.S. power.

Since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO has aggressively expanded until it is now the biggest political-military alliance in history, with 28 member countries. Its “partnership programs” bring the total number of countries trapped in this U.S.-spun military web to 70 countries. U.S. taxpayers pay 70 percent of NATO expenses, a huge subsidy to U.S. military corporations.

The combined defense expenditures of all 28 NATO countries in 2013 amounted to $1.02 trillion or over $1 million millions. In comparison, Russia spends $90 billion. Iran spends under $7 billion. (Stars and Stripes, Feb. 25 — tinyurl.com/o332a4e)

In addition, NATO troops are part of the 13-year continuing U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. From 2004 to 2011, tens of thousands of troops under NATO command participated in the eight-year occupation that destroyed Iraq.

Starting March 24, 1999, NATO carried out a 78-day bombardment of Serbia that included 38,000 combat missions, using 1,000 aircraft along with cruise missiles fired from aircraft carriers, destroyers and submarines. The targets were overwhelmingly civilian, including bridges, railroads, factories, refineries, power stations, telecommunications facilities, embassies, 480 schools and 33 hospitals.

NATO cut Kosovo province out of Serbia, creating a NATO protectorate with 50,000 troops and building Camp Bondsteel, a massive U.S. military base. Despite the U.S. pledge that Kosovo was historically part of Serbia and would remain so, Washington quickly recognized Kosovo’s independence in 2008.

In 2011, NATO bombed Libya for 220 days, with 26,500 sorties, overwhelmingly flown by the U.S. Air Force, but with 19 countries pulled into the imperialist aggression. Communications centers, apartment buildings, water networks and the electric grid were targeted. The reactionary militias that U.S./NATO funded and backed up militarily brutally tortured and murdered Moammar Gadhafi, the leader of this African country.

The imperialists fraudulently called each of these blatant aggressions “humanitarian acts” to prevent “genocide” or to protect peace. In fact, each NATO operation was a brutal act of colonial conquest and expansion.