Did NATO Cause the War?

If one read the political analysis circling before the invasion, it would seem that the war was never going to occur, yet the unforeseen happened. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is considered one of the major warcrimes of the 21st century, alongside the US invasion of Iraq. In this article, I’ll not be discussing the status of the war, whether sanctions are strong enough or can Russian financial system survive. However, I’ll be talking about the political and military alliance known as NATO, as its expansion and inclusion of eastern Europe is seen as the primary cause of the war.

The western narrative sees Putin as this guy caught up in paranoia, acting alone and detached from reality. This claim might bear some truths, but there might be a better explanation to such invasion. As best articulated by Jack Matlock a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, “Since Putin’s major demand is an assurance that NATO will take no further members, and specifically not Ukraine or Georgia, obviously there would have been no basis for the present crisis if there had been no expansion of the alliance following the end of the Cold War, or if the expansion had occurred in harmony with building a security structure in Europe that included Russia.”

And goes on to conclude it “can be easily resolved by the application of common sense…. By any common-sense standard, it is in the interest of the United States to promote peace, not conflict. To try to detach Ukraine from Russian influence — the avowed aim of those who agitated for the ‘color revolutions’ — was a fool’s errand and a dangerous one. Have we so soon forgotten the lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis?”. 

So, what is this NATO which we keep hearing about, and what’s its relation with Russia to provoke it to such extremes. Starting with the prior, their purpose is “to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means” which was created to protect western countries from Russia, however one would’ve expected it to have dismantled after the end of the Cold War.

Yet it expanded, and this was right after George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev made a verbal agreement that NATO would not expand an inch into eastern Europe in exchange allowing Germany to unite and join a hostile western force, a major concession. As NATO documents shownowadays it thinks of itself as also responsible for the safety of the entire global energy system. Bypassing the rhetoric as pointed by Noam Chomsky and generally known it’s a US-Dominated Military aggressive alliance.

This is seen from interventions in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen – wherecountless civilians died – whereby their purpose was mainly to secure geopolitical assets rather than protect their member’s freedom and security. NATO claims it was intervening against brutal power systems, yet in the article mentioned below, US, British and NATO forces killed the same amount of civilians and in some countries killed greater amounts than such brutal systems. If not yet convinced I would direct you to an article titled “If there were global justice, NATO would be in the dock over Libya” by Seumas Milne.

As such when one is presented with the true nature of NATO, you realize that any Russian leader would’ve reacted aggressively. This could’ve been ignored as mentioned by Jack Matlock “by the application of common sense”. However brutal and barbaric modern power systems do not operate in such way. The implications and consequence of such invasion is very hard to predict, if worse comes to worse nuclear weaponry can become involved