The reason behind the United States President Joe Biden’s sending of “cluster bombs” to Ukraine was justified by the depletion of their ammunition stocks. Of course, these depletions mean new opportunities for the “American Military-Industrial Complex” that wants to have more butter on their bread.
The need for NATO in Europe significantly decreased after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, the United States started expanding NATO towards the East to keep Europe under control. The occupation of Ukraine further strengthened the hand of the United States. If Sweden completes the joining process, the number of NATO members will rise to 32. Except for Belarus and Ukraine, there are no non-NATO countries in Western Russia. In other words, NATO has “encircled” Russia.
The “NATO issue” is also criticized by intellectuals outside the mainstream foreign policy elites in America. Journalist and author Chris Hedges stated in his article titled “They Lied About Afghanistan. They Lied About Iraq. Now They Are Lying About Ukraine” published in Salon magazine on July 8, “The proxy war in Ukraine is designed to serve U.S. interests. It enriches weapons manufacturers, weakens the Russian army, and isolates Russia from Europe. What happens to Ukraine is irrelevant.”
Hedges draws attention to war profiteers, stating that most of the funds allocated for security assistance to Ukraine are invested in American defense production. Thus, this money finances new weapons and ammunition for the U.S. armed forces instead of providing Ukraine with replacement equipment. Hedges points out that the integration of NATO member countries’ armies with NATO’s military equipment generates billions of dollars in profit for American arms companies. According to Hedges, even if Russia did not want to be an enemy, it would be forced to become one.
During the “Cold War,” the members of the “Warsaw Pact” led by the Soviet Union are now part of NATO. The depots of these countries were filled with Soviet weapons and ammunition. On the other hand, the depots of other NATO members hosted American-made weapons. These outdated weapons are being consumed in Ukraine. Of course, depleting the stocks primarily benefits the United States.The occupation of Ukraine served as leverage for NATO member countries to increase their defense expenditures. Former US President Donald Trump even threatened to withdraw American soldiers from Europe if NATO members did not increase their financial contributions to the prescribed amounts. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the US Senate, had also stated that providing military aid to Ukraine is a much cheaper way to reduce Russia’s threat to the US, both in terms of the “Dollar” and “American way of life.”
American economist Prof. Michael Hudson, in his article titled “America Has Destroyed Its Great Imperial Project” published on June 30, stated that “it has become clear that the US strategy is not just to fight to the last Ukrainian but to fight until the last tank, missile, and other weapons in NATO’s inventory are depleted.” According to Hudson, the depletion of NATO’s weapon stocks creates a broad substitute market that enriches the “American Military-Industrial Complex.” Hudson also pointed out that the renewal of NATO’s weapon stocks would lead to a depression in Europe by reducing social spending on the continent.
It is often said that NATO’s primary purpose is to defend Europe. However, Grey Anderson and Thomas Meaney questioned this narrative in their article titled “NATO Is Not What It Seems” published in The New York Times on July 11. The authors argue that NATO’s real purpose is to connect Western Europe to a much broader world order project led by the United States. According to them, NATO functions as designed by American planners, making Europe dependent on American power and narrowing its maneuvering space.
According to these authors, the current NATO ensures American influence in Europe at a low cost, weakens Europe’s ability to ensure its own security, and prevents the emergence of a semi-autonomous European power. The authors highlight that before Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, approximately half of the military expenditures in Europe went to American producers, and now they point out that this purchasing pattern has further increased. They summarized the situation as follows: “Europe may be rearming, but America is reaping the rewards.”