With the wounds of world war II still fresh minds of Europeans and Americans and the destruction on a scale that has never been seen in human history sending shock waves across the trans-Atlantic ocean, the leaders in some European countries and the US decided to form a security organization to protect themselves from not only being swallowed by the Soviet Union but also protect their interests around the world and from future destruction in case of any war with the Soviet Union.
NATO as a security organization was born out of fear of the intentions of the Soviet Union after at the time leaders of the US and some European countries which were coming out of war concluded that not a single country, not even US could manage a war with the Soviet Union and that the only chance their Countries had for their survival was to bond together and support each other in case of Soviet Union attack on one country.
Before and after world II, the US was a protectionist power that was much more rich and so secure than any other power in the world and when world war II ended, the US which had allied with the Soviets to defeat the Germans wanted to withdraw their troops back home from Europe and some troops were to be taken to Asia to fight Japan but all European powers were weak except the Soviet Union and other countries in the region including the US were worried the Soviet Union establishing itself as hegemony in Europe.
Remember Germany was in ruins and the same can be said of France which had been occupied for 5 years by Germany, Britain was in bad shape economically and it also still had a big empire around the world to take care of without any interest in the containment of Soviet Union but the US which had established itself as hegemony in western Pacific at the beginning of 20th century had no appetite of seeing the Soviet Union which had its military at the center of Europe establish itself as another regional hegemony in Europe.
So despite Americans’ opposition to the deployment of US troops in Europe, US leadership kept them in Europe. The presence of US troops in Europe represented American commitment to Europe which was the center of attention of the whole world at the time and NATO was strengthened after the end of the Vietnam war from 1975 to 1989 when the world entered unipolarity after the fall of Soviet Union.
The fall of the Soviet Union meant that the US remained the only undisputed power in the world with almost unlimited influence but what is interesting is that the Soviet Union fell at the time when China was starting to rise but the US seemed to care less unlike when the world war two ended and Soviet Union was peer competitor of US.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO was supposed to disband but it remained due for three reasons:
1. Is that the Germans wanted the US to remain in Europe as a guarantee of peace which would help Germany which had reunited to integrate peacefully.
2. the second reason was that the Soviet Union supported NATO to stay in Europe so that Germany’s power is checked by the US although the Soviet Union opposed any idea of NATO expanding Eastwards to include former Soviet states.
3. the third reason was that the US wanted to keep the Germans down because of fears of a resurgence of Germany which had caused the two world wars and that’s why the US has troops in Germany and Germany had been weak militarily even though it had a big economy.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, US leaders thought it was like the end of history and that real politics had ended and that establishment of liberal order had begun.
The liberal order was meant to promote democracy across the world and especially in Europe and NATO which was a security organization that was now at the center stage of this new liberal world order that was being established with the help of fighting for democracy and human rights.
In 1996, Bill Clinton called for former Warsaw countries to join NATO and three years later, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic join NATO amid fierce Russian opposition but Russia was too weak at the time to do anything about it. Other central European countries like Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia followed, and in 2002 at the Prague summit, other 3 countries were invited to join NATO which joined shortly before the 2004 Istanbul summit. Albania and Croatia joined in 2009.
In 2002, NATO had recognized 3 countries that aspired to join the organization, they included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine then the 2008 Bucharest summit happened where Georgia and Ukraine were promised to join NATO which Russia said had crossed their red line.
The promise by NATO to Georgia to join the organization made its leaders arrogant towards Russia expecting NATO to come to their aid if Russia attacked but sadly NATO stood by as Russia invaded and took over Georgia in 2008.
Russia’s invasion of Georgia was a message to NATO that Russia has had enough of NATO expansion Eastwards but NATO seems to have downplayed Russia’s concerns.
In 2014, Ukraine was no longer interested in joining NATO but then its government was overthrown by US and EU and a pro-US and EU government was established Ukraine bide to join NATO re-established which led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and cities in eastern Ukraine but US and EU continued downplaying the situation until Russia decided enough was enough in 2022 February when it attacked Ukraine.
NATO represents the US commitment to Europe but the US is caught in a dilemma because:
1. Its efforts of joining the whole landmass of Europe into NATO under liberal world order started hitting a dead end after the resurgence of Russia when Vladimir Putin come to power.
2. the rise of China which is likely to establish itself in Asia as a regional hegemony and is now a peer competitor to the US.
These two reasons have forced the US to rethink a new strategy of
1. maintaining its hegemony in the western Pacific is very much still secure and
2. defending the liberal democracy or world order that was starting to take shape before the resurgence of Russia and the rise of China.
The US wanted a war to happen between Russia and Ukraine because of the following reasons:
1. To strengthen NATO.
2. To protect the US dollar which was being challenged by Euros and the Chinese Yuan.
3. To create a market for US energy resources in Europe and tie EU member states to the US.
4. To make Europe obedient to US foreign policy because it had started rebelling against the US.
5. To reduce EU member states’ dependence on Russian energy resources.
6. To weaken Russia’s economy through sanctions and prevent it from re-establishing itself as hegemony in Europe.
7. To force Europe to support the only true manufacturing industry remaining in the US which is the military-industrial complex by buying more weapons due to threats from Russia which would provide more jobs to the US and grow its economy.
8. To help to cool down US markets which have been threatening to meltdown at any moment by forcing investors from the EU which is insecure due to the war in Ukraine to invest in US stock markets.
9. To reduce Euro’s power to challenge the dollar.
10. prepare the EU to fight with the US against a rising China in the East.
But if Ukraine loses the war, the US will not have full benefits and it may lead to a rapid decline in global hegemony as it will establish Russia as hegemony in Europe.
If Russia manages to establish itself as hegemony in Europe, countries in NATO will live in fear and Germany which has increased it defense budget may in future conclude that it no longer needs to be under US control because already we a witnessing the same thing happen in France.
If US declines, then NATO will be no more since NATO represents the US commitment to Europe and that’s why US-led NATO will do everything in its power to make sure Russia doesn’t win in Ukraine but we shouldn’t forget that Putin also has no choice but to win in Ukraine which means more destruction is going to happen to Ukraine as two of the most powerful countries militarily in the world battle in Ukraine.
Putin losing a war represents an existence threat to Russia and Putin won’t allow that to happen under his watch even if it means using Nuclear weapons.