tv [untitled] February 17, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EST
if you with us here on t.v. today i'm a researcher. alone and welcome to crossfire for all things are considered i'm peter lavelle nato a deadly alliance without a clear mission decades after the end of the cold war this washington led alliance continues to exist and expand after an ambiguous adventure in afghanistan and behind regime change in libya may tell now look somehow in some way to absorb ukraine what is nato's gambit.
to cross not nato i'm joined by my guest martin mccauley in london he's a specialist on international affairs at the university of london also in london we have jonathan steele he is an international affairs commentator for the guardian and in washington we cross to ricardo all caro he is a visiting fellow at the center for the u.s. and europe at the brookings institution all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage you jonathan if i go to you first the cold war is but over for over two decades we still have this alliance in existence and there are many people that are very critical that will continue to expand and some will even go as far to say this is maybe the center of the problems going on in ukraine is that brussels is very interested in absorbing even further countries to the east this time ukraine. well i'm certainly of the school that thinks that nato should have disbanded at the end of the cold war i mean nato lost an enemy when it's not tried to find a new role it should have recognized that it was over we were
a different continent now a different climate different context there were no enemies in europe anymore and we should collaborate but instead of that the basic agenda of nature is still being an anti russian agenda and they've been trying to absorb as many countries into that into that alliance as possible but in fact you know it serves very little military purpose nato when it's really only a coalition of the willing and the idea of that article five to one country if it's an attack the do all countries will come to it sorry it's useless now because at the time of the kosovo intervention by nato against serbia it was a coalition of the willing in two thousand and one after nine eleven when nato came forward with a statement saying the they would help the u.s. in defense. put interaction article five of us just ignored it they weren't particularly interested in nature at that stage they wanted to go after al qaeda and. afghanistan on their own and so need to really have ceased
to be anything other than tool kit in the american imperial mission ok riccardo that's a pretty strong statement there a part of the toolkit of american foreign policy after all i mean if you look at where it's been use its force its been outside of its area of sensitivity its original core than the north atlantic how do you respond to what jonathan just said well actually. i tend to agree with him with much of what he said. perhaps i wouldn't be so i wouldn't be so certain that nato has pursued the ninety russia agenda but certainly nato is a large ment's has not been brought forward according to our consistent principle and this principle is actually common sensical i'm in my opinion not a should expand whenever that expansion around increases and hans has security when that is not the case that now the laws mention not take place so in my opinion
there was a good rationale to expand nato to eastern european countries in the ninety's as there is a good rationale to to do the same thing for the balkan countries but the offer to the offer to ukraine and georgia back in two thousand and eight two for a prospect of nato membership in the in the future that was that was very ill conceived because it contrasts that with basic principle of just martin how do you look at it because i obviously from where i'm sitting in moscow we did seen as very much an anti russia alliance and again if you looked at the the association agreement the view which didn't sign if you look very closely the fine print it does talk about military intelligence the joint work a mutual work in this is so it's often a really big red flag here is that the expansion just continues and what other reason could it be is that what the ham in russia that's it's it's plain as day here. i think that if you start off with nine hundred forty nine going to set up.
europe was divided between eastern europe which was which under the soviet union and then the rest of europe so therefore it really had a meaning and was really put to protect germany and other countries and they felt without the american umbrella they faced the central threat from the soviet union now that's all gone because. nato originally was there to rebuff a soviet military attack. from a conventional and nuclear point of view that's gone so that what's left you're left with the countries of eastern europe which feel insecure a visit to russia if you look at it is telling you that we let you in your poland czech republic they're very happy they want to be inside a larger security framework because on the road they feel they couldn't resist any russian pressure so therefore it's mainly a function of their perception of the russian threat that you may say and others
many say there is no threat there certainly is no russian military threat towards western europe russia is not going to attack western europe or such but a little countries are afraid of pressure which could in fact force them to make concessions which they don't want to make the feel happier within a security framework which is nato they'd like to be in the european union because they're only moderately euro like martin you think of it do you think the same countries in eastern europe like sending soldiers to fight america's war in afghanistan. well they've got to do that because of the carnage the coalition of the willing if they don't do that then the americans might not give them any military aid or the take them seriously so who is registering it it becomes pressuring who are here and some very interesting who's pressuring them jonathan if i go to you if you look at what nato has been doing in the last few years and libya comes to mind i mean this is it's its strategy its structure its mission i cannot fathom what it is ok why is nato being called upon to go to change
regime in tripoli i mean that again has nothing to do with the origins of this alliance. no i agree with you and i think what you said about ukraine is really important i mean what is happening there is still part of this old drive to get ukraine into a military alliance with nato i mean just the other day at the munich security conference the secretary general of nato underscored rasmussen made the statement ukraine must be free to choose its own path without external pressure. and what that meant was very very should be allowed to join nato without russia stopping it but the reality is that every single poll that's been taken in ukraine over the last decade has shown a majority of ukraine's against joining nato young occurred which came to power in twenty ten on a platform of keeping ukraine nonaligned the ukrainian parliament then subsequently adopted a resolution saying that ukraine's not national security strategy would not include
nato membership so why on earth didn't mr rasmussen so something like you know ukraine has opted for non-alignment and we need to respect that decision ok instead of the fact that we could be a recognition of reality he kept up this idea that nato must be new credit must be part of nato you know there's a lot of criticism of nato is that either it expands or it ceases to exist how do you react to that characterization i wouldn't see the tradeoff whether it expands or seizes to exist actually i think it can keep on. going if it does not think it can save loose steps like like offering again to ukraine or even georgia the prospect of becoming a member. would like to pick up on what martin was saying i mean it's true nato has no single post any longer as it used to have during the cold war of course it has
now i mean it has been suffering a sort of crisis away dented for twenty years and even more now but i said think that nato is even though it now it is more so. of a car still relies on a very strong bargain i mean. all eyes have different objectives however they trade off their security interests in the alliance and what they get to return is still is today at fund for instance the minions the european union so there's more countries for instance a nice europe they still feel treffen by russia so u.s. commitment to security is by far the greatest guarantee that the territory will not be invaded there will not be a threat and countries such as each value or germany which are which do not feel threatened by russia or anybody else for that matter sill see nato as a very important privilege access to the united states and the military powers in
europe france and britain they see nato as the platform on which they can actually still project power internationally and amplify their international influence well and though you know that united have a little britain and france does its own thing on its own in africa for example martin it seems to me that nato is just a fig leaf all it is is for american hegemony in and expanding american military might i mean you can say look all the coalition of willing you know the the good westerners are all together it's a fig leaf it's not true. yes the americans of dominate nato but must remember that they're cutting the military budget. and obama doesn't believe in american exceptionalism so therefore he is not conducting the foreign policy of george bush or ronald reagan would have conducted so therefore native from that point of view is becoming less american centric but of course from from its point of view it wants to get involved in africa doesn't want al-qaeda to expand and you could see
france then saying to the other members of nato you should help us and up a pound of the british military mission in mali and so on there for that part of the world has to be made secure and it must not be handed over to the terrorists so therefore their nature will inevitably expand its influence into regions like that and countries such as france will try and draw in nato but to go back to ukraine what are the reasons why nato would like to get involved in ukraine is because then you get nearer and nearer iran because the real problem is a run around ukraine is not a threat there's no threat military threat from central asia there's no threat from russia but the threat they perceive is from iran and the middle east so therefore if you can get round if you can in fact circle around then you're doing very well you get greater a greater presence and so on and so nato in many ways is expanding its mission because they pockets of global economy which are going to jump in here way to go
extra. kick. i know c.n.n. and the m.s.m. you see fox news have taken some not slightly but the fact is i admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate. that was funny but it's close and for the truth from the right think. it's because one full attention and the mainstream media works side by side with you is actually on here.
and our teen years we have a different brain. ok because the news of the world just is not this funny i'm not laughing dammit i'm not god. i thought. you guys took to the jokes will handle the mess that i have. i marinate join me. in part and. very conservative and much much. only on the bus and on.
the. welcome back to cross talk we're all things we considered on peter lavelle remind you we're discussing nato expansion. ok i'd like to go to jonathan in london martin brought up the issue of iran which i think is very interesting is because this tells us how honest and legitimate the west particularly the united states is in dealing with iran because if they can get a deal then why do they need to expand ok anti-missile defense in all of this here but at the same time we hear that nato needs to have should be in. have a presence in ukraine i mean they're certainly contradictory there is certainly a two track here but i would i would disagree with martin is that if we have
a nato ships controlling the black sea this is not in russia's geopolitical interest when we look at the middle east and beyond go ahead jonathan. no i certainly not i mean that's why we listen to certain interests you know when the united nations was set up at the end of the second world war the idea was to have a military strategic committee which would do you know run international peacekeeping operations or even war fighting if that was necessary so that would be much better the u.n. should do this because the u.n. is universal and people should wear expected the big person expected to earmark contingents of forces that would be a variable to the u.n. on a permanent basis under u.n. command but unfortunately that's not happening because national sovereignty has come into the way and of course us. to submit any kind of part of its activities to international scrutiny and so we've got nato now as the kind of world's policeman but this is quite wrong and we should be trying to limit the
scope of nato not expanded in our car do you brought up your very first point in this program is that expansion creates more risks but you know what cab in ukraine for example hypothetical in the alliance is that really create more safety for the alliance as a whole i don't see it. no absolutely quite the country quite the contrary and that's why i think ukraine will be a nato member not as least in the foreseeable future i mean there are east said nato is a fake i mean you brought up the argument of the fig leaf nato as a fig leaf for u.s. foreign policy to a certain extent definitely because of the u.s. much greater sway than any other are you on the ally and nato a's an instrument in the us for all of us foreign policy but nato is also now alliance which has in which. is have their own rights and duties and i can make sure you thought. offering again ukraine
a concrete prospect of membership is pretty much not an issue which is well come in many european countries particularly western europe and night i don't see them giving their consent to moving them forward in nader's agenda would actually. i would also contest the interpretation of ukraine being a thirty two car set in terms of of of iran i mean this is in my opinion bringing things a bit too far it's really speculative ok but martin i'd like to keep it that point there because i mean i remember a foreign minister lavrov said if we get a deal with the rand then we don't need to have to worry about anti-missile defense expansion in europe and ergo nato is interested in ukraine i mean you can't have it both ways you have to be one way or the other yes lover of. his right. that if iran is denuclearized if there's no threat of nuclear weapons in iran you
don't really need them to shield against those missiles and you don't need to put iran in the doghouse perhaps you can. arrange some type of. vendor with a round but of course when you look at a military organization militaries always want to fight wars the old want to be active they're always looking for somewhere to get involved in and talk to the politicians to hold them back the russian out of the military and when army has to get involved somewhere so therefore you have all these huge armies and huge defense expenditure throughout the western world which built up during the cold war which were really just a myth in those days and now people would say we can't really afford any more of that so therefore nato has to rethink its policy and the key really to the future perhaps is in fact southeast asia because countries like vietnam
strange new zealand and perhaps even the u.s. has us would be saying what about the rising power of china because everyone knows that the real power real threat perceived threat. to the united states and the west will come from. china and china maybe do it with you know we still have the obama administration making a commitment to nato jonathan i'll just be the cynic that i always am i mean at least the defense industries make money off of this ok you got to upgrade got to upgrade you got to buy it from america you got to buy it from certain suppliers here and the taxpayers pick it up here also that's a cynic but it's happening you know i mean that's obviously one of the rationale for the continuation of nato they want to sell american high tech weaponry aircraft submarines missiles all the rest of it to new countries new new markets expanding markets because most of these countries of course goulard previously on circuit equipment so there is
a strong economic or political element behind this whole expansion of nato then those who are of the. top you know these elites in these new countries are very new in macedonia that on the edge of nato lou recently joined nato so it's very very like the free trips to washington being treated as equals being being being given the training and all the rest of it and feeling they're joining some kind of you know sophisticated european white man's club and it's very you know it's very seductive it's hard to resist that but some countries manage to do it i mean even the finns finland for example is not in there to spite of pressure from the americans for even finland to join nato you know ricardo if you look at the history of nato recently you know it all it does is threaten or poor countries in the world it really it doesn't it's not going to fight a major war with anyone who is the enemy certainly russia is not the enemy but we look at the arab spring and we look at what's going on all the way from afghanistan
all the way to the atlantic here there's plenty of things that nato can step on and get involved and we have the example of libya which is i think there are sterling outstanding moment of the entire history that alliance in a negative way of course but let me get but. let me get back a second to watch i was saying. i actually think that nato is rational is still much more political and strategic than certainly economic i don't see an economic rationale for nato i mean i don't see nato being so essential in the u.s. ministry defense industry leader in the finance industry selling its items are across the world not not least because coming among the best customers of the us. defense champions are governments which are not within nato so i wouldn't say i wouldn't see that element as being so so critical while i still see the political elements the bogen between europeans who wants to europe the united
states remain committed to their security and the united states ones european story not only are not like it if i could jump in and ask you could if i could jump in and ask you i mean they want washington because they want the american taxpayer to pay for it because the united states paid the vast majority of the bill for nato so this is free riding that's what they want do you know that they don't want they're not the security risk is really an evolution exist they want someone else in times of austerity particularly now let the american taxpayer pick it up the american defense industries would be more than happy to do it i'm sorry but it's true. back to disagree although i do see your point when i say a thing that the economy economic i mean the economic rationale for nato is i mean implying the reason economic rationale is very weak although you what you said it's true in terms of the bargain sharing problem i mean the united states now accounts for seventy five percent of the entire defense budget spent by nato members so
there are some a actually there are some people here in the united states questioning the validity of nato because it cannot really give any any other value i still disagree with that because the political support which nato. european. well let's give the united states and nations like the one we had in afghanistan it's been it's been really critical it's been really critical how i do see this problem and i'm not denying it one way very heavily on the alliances heechul ok martin and we heard just afghanistan here again another one of those outstanding moments of the alliance i mean i said in the end introduction that you know an ambiguous adventure but it's absolutely a catastrophe it's a good catastrophic failure and the alliance really showed what it is it's really not effective here without american power. that's absolutely right because afghanistan is the success from a nato point of view that got so many countries to contribute troops but if you
look at the germans contingent they refused to fight. they were not going to get in india involved immediate sense of operation so i've got to stand from a military point of view is a defeat as was iraq and the afghan lesson i think will be learnt that you will have no future large nato involvement in a muslim country or perhaps even in any other country to try and change the government to try and change the way society is run and so on so afghanistan is in fact a high water mark is that they say it's a watershed is the rubicund and after this native new government in western europe would permit would vote for in involvement like afghanistan in the future one has the example of syria where the m.p.'s in britain rebelled against the british government decision to get involved they said no we're not going to do that and the reason for that was of course i've got to stand why are we getting involved in
syria and that's the reason why nato will not get militarily involved in syria or anywhere else in the middle east the big question is what happens then if iran gets a nuclear weapon that will be a key question and that's really will be decided by the americans and the israelis jonathan there are people that say they need. to go ahead but at their last last thirty seconds i mean there are people who are saying what not to think that nato should be global go ahead there are just first of all marriages to deal with one thing the martensite i mean are i think it was a watershed afghanistan but our. problem the american british public's have about afghanistan and iraq with the ground troops in there there's still the use of nato air power in libya for example which was already mentioned several times and in syria the dangerous not yet passed but the americans might like to strike syria the syrian government forces. well with drones the british and french might go along with that to serve nato is not yet out of the picture in terms of all right
gentlemen on the plane there it is not out of the picture we've run out of time many thanks to my guest today in london and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t.c. you next time and remember. to let me see. some. cholesterol pianists depression. the efforts to work. to improve your life. are you see. form those that's. the new.
me his face was rather. a burning sensation in the blood pressure these. are the u.s. prison officials. rushing. with the move coming out. gold in the nation's history. meanwhile the russian hockey school prepares to take on norway in the first playoff game. back in the ninety's we have a live report from. terrorist threats british people have returned from fighting in.