Activist countries

As US forces NATO into Asia, countries won’t choose sides

Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times

The NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, set the stage for an attempt to legitimize NATO’s growing penetration into the Indo-Pacific region as opposition to the so-called “Russia-China alliance”. .

We’re kind of seeing a reversal now, because after World War II, it was Asia that was unstable, and Europe was the bastion of stability. Now it seems to be the other way around. It seems to me that the warlords and warmongers of the United States are absolutely bent on dividing the world and preaching about “democracies versus autocracies”.

So it’s not just about demanding loyalty from Europe, they’re also trying to divide Latin America and Africa. And the announcement of AUKUS – the military agreement between the US, UK and Australia – kind of shook ASEAN. How was ASEAN supposed to react to this? Because in fact, AUKUS was supplanting ASEAN as the central hub of the region. So I think the strategy of the American hegemonists is a divide and conquer strategy in the different regions of the world, and I don’t think Asia is immune to that.

So how will NATO penetrate? First, it will do so militarily with more military installations and more joint military exercises with different states in the region. This is all aimed at establishing what they call “interoperability”. It is consistency in terms of military operations with American flights, for example, off British aircraft carriers.

Then they penetrate through military sales and military industrial projects, all of which use not only AUKUS, but also the Quad – India, Japan, Australia and the United States. NATO, for some years, has had a series of partnerships for peace, which include Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and Pakistan. Right now, or rather to coincide with the NATO summit, there are going to be the RIMPAC military exercises in Hawaii. Nearly half of the participants in this military exercise are NATO members or partners. In this way, NATO becomes a Pacific force. Of course, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India were all invited to the NATO summit in Madrid to mark a strategic direction in the direction of containing China.

The other thing we have to think about is that after all, we are in the age of hybrid warfare. Where there is resistance to actual militarization, there is a whole range of networks that are created around the military core of AUKUS – networks on intelligence sharing like Five Eyes, research and development of new technologies , AI, quantum computing, cybersecurity, new channels offering, as well as adhering to the whole narrative being told by US intelligence about what a threat is and what is the correct response to any threat.

There are analysts among the peace community in the United States, who talk about the military, industrial, congressional, intelligence, media, academia, think tank complex of how these networks penetrate the complex military-industrial in society at large, including politics, academia, media, etc.

As for the effect, I think countries will continue to look for wiggle room, because the majority of countries really don’t want to make a choice between this bogus “division of democracies versus autocracies.” They want to keep good relations with all the powers of the world. They will continue to seek room to manoeuvre, as they face their own pressures, for example, from the pandemic, climate change, food shortages, inequality, etc. It is now a little too late for the United States to reclaim its claims to world leadership.

The author is a UK-based lecturer in Asia-Pacific studies, peace and anti-war campaigner, and author of China’s global strategy: towards a multipolar world. [email protected]