14:10 GMT +329 March 2017
    President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House

    Insanity of NATO 2.0 for MidEast

    © AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
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    Finian Cunningham

    As US President Donald Trump hosts Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House this week on the agenda is the formation of a “NATO-style” alliance for the Middle East, according to reports.

    As if one US-led warmongering alliance in Europe and the North Atlantic were not enough. Now the world will see a clone of NATO let loose on the already conflict-torn Middle East region, if the reported discussions materialize.

    Instead of combating alleged Russian aggression, the putative US-led Middle East alliance – which one could designate as NATO 2.0 – is defining Iran as the top regional threat.

    According to the Times of Israel, Trump and Netanyahu and their officials have been engaged for some time in planning the creation of the new military alliance that would also include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Other Arab countries involved in forming the proposed military bloc are said to be Egypt and Jordan.

    “Trump trying to broker Israel-Arab NATO-style alliance,” headlined the Times of Israel, which cited the Wall Street Journal for details of the discussions being held by Trump and Netanyahu.

    Already the new Trump administration has riled Iran with renewed accusations that the Islamic Republic is “the number one state-sponsor of terrorism”. The Trump White House imposed fresh economic sanctions on Tehran last week following Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles at the end of January.

    Both Russia and China – close allies of Iran – have denounced the new American sanctions as provoking regional tensions. Moscow also rejected Washington’s terror accusations against Iran, saying that Tehran is a key partner in defeating Islamist extremist networks in Syria and Iraq. Russia also said Iran did not break any international law in testing defense technology.

    The proposal to create a formal military alliance between the US, Israel and Sunni Arab regimes will further alarm mainly Shia Iran that Washington is pushing ahead with an unprecedented hostile agenda towards the Persian power house which is a major source of oil and gas exports.

    Before his election on November 8, Trump repeatedly vowed to tear up the international nuclear accord with Iran that was negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama along with five other world leaders, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Trump described the so-called P5+1 nuclear agreement as the “worse deal ever”.

    It’s not clear if the Trump administration will follow through on its earlier promises to rip up the nuclear accord, which offers Iran relief from Western economic sanctions in return for Tehran’s self-imposed limits on developing nuclear weapons.

    But one thing seems clear: Trump is moving ever closer to Iran’s regional foes Israel and Saudi Arabia who both impugn Iran as an existential threat.

    The United States has a decades-old military partnership with Israel and the Sunni Arab monarchs, selling them billions of dollars worth of weaponry every year.

    However, the formation of a formal military alliance between the US and these states in the shape of a NATO-style organization would be seen an incendiary move by Iran.

    Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the US and its Arab partners were the main backers of Iraq under Saddam Hussein which launched a war on Iran that lasted eight years and caused up to one million deaths.

    Israel is the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East and has routinely joined in echoing American threats of “no options off the table” with regard to Iran – meaning that a pre-emptive military strike is possible.

    The bitter irony in all this is that the real danger to Middle East peace is not Iran, but rather is Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian land, as well as Saudi Arabia and the oil-rich Arab monarchies funding Islamist terror groups.

    The six-year that has ravaged Syria largely stems from an externally driven covert war for regime change against the Assad government which is an ally of Russia and Iran. The war in Syria has been instrumented by proxy jihadist mercenaries, including Al Qaeda-linked terror groups, which are funded, armed and directed by the US, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

    Israel is also believed to have played a covert role in fomenting the regime-change war in Syria, working in collusion with the US and Saudi Arabia. That war has been stymied due to the military intervention by Russia and Iran over the past year.

    Saudi Arabia has a long, despicable history of fomenting Wahhabi terror groups going back to the 1970-80s when it funded the precursors of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight the then Soviet-backed government. Saudi Arabia has traditionally supplied the money and weapons while the American CIA and Israeli’s Mossad provided the military logistics and intelligence. The awarding last week of Saudi spy chief Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef by CIA director Mike Pompeo was seen by some critics as a particularly nauseating testimony of this nefarious relationship.

    The very idea of this US-led axis in the Middle East now setting up a formal alliance along the lines of NATO is a harbinger of ramped up conflict in the region. And especially given the stated purpose of such an alliance being dedicated to “contain Iran”.

    The US-led NATO alliance in Europe has already plunged relations with Russia into deeper hostility. The ongoing build up of NATO forces on Russia’s border – allegedly to contain Russian aggression – has stoked fears that a nuclear war could be precipitated.

    NATO continually claims to be a force for stability and defense – whenever any sane-minded observer can see that the opposite is true, inciting tensions in Europe and Russia to levels not seen since the heyday of the Cold War.

    The same manic double-think is being replicated in the Middle East with the latest American plans to form a NATO 2.0 with Israel and terror-sponsoring Arab monarchs.

    World security is already under grave strain from US-led military expansion in Europe. How much more multiplied the danger with these reported plans to bring a second NATO-style front to the Middle East.

    President Trump is coming under increasing pressure from hawkish power circles in Washington to “get tough on Russia”. The forced resignation of his national security advisor Michael Flynn this week is unleashing pressures on Trump to “prove” that he is not soft on Russia.

    Trump got elected largely because of his vague intentions to curb American overseas militarism and to restore friendlier relations with foreign states, including Russia.

    How fiendish then that Trump appears to be sliding towards belligerence at an alarming rate. NATO’s escalation continues apace against Russia, and if that wasn’t bad enough, Trump is overseeing a second incarnation of NATO in the Middle East to target Iran.

    And this NATO 2.0 comprises rogue states that are up to their eyes in lawlessness and terrorism. Saudi Arabia is currently slaughtering civilians in Yemen with American firepower, allegedly to contain Iran.

    If this is to be the new NATO for the Middle East then the world is truly about to descend into barbarism on a scale not seen since the Second World War.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


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    politics, relations, foreign policy, conflicts, NATO, Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Middle East, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, United States
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    • avatar
      NATO 2 would be a offence not a defence pact like NATO.
    • avatar
      That alliance already exists the suggestions is that now it will become legitimate as a political force. For one I don't see Egypt being involved but will Malaysia become a member as so much of suspicion seems to spring from there in the last 5 years or so?

      The formalizing of that alliance will also require the formalizing of budgets how that will work out is not by any means a certainty that it will be sustainable or accepted by the people and could easily lead to internal revolt as these nations starve its people to feed this veracious monster.

      I guess time will tell as indeed it will with how the US people react to all this expansion of the Hegemonic war machine it is entirely likely the people will have the final say as indeed true Democracy intended.
    • avatar
      Unfortunately, we the people have no say in our destroyed democracy. Both main parties toe the Zionist party line and push out anyone willing to tell Israel off. Most Congressmen should be considered foreign agents and traitors. Arrest them all.
    • Dar...
      America needs a bad guy, it's how they justify military expenditure, and the military is all they have.

      Russia can't be the primary bad for much longer because America needs the Russian economy and Russia could actually take the USA apart at the seams if provoked too much.

      Iran has been foolish enough to present themselves as just 'near-peer' enough to Saudi for America to paint a big bullseye on them. Iran can be the new primary bad guy. No one in Europe likes them, the Chinese are ambivalent, Russia's relationship is not deep, and very few other middle eastern states like them either. Iran will become the next Afghanistan.

      This is how military based economies function, someone always ends up a war zone.
    • avatar
      hopscotch64in reply tosterndaler(Show commentHide comment)
      sterndaler, NATO is anything but a defensive alliance. Since the end of the cold war NATO has instigated 9 wars across the globe. Has trashed it's commitments to Russia and expanded east to the Russian border with what one can only call an invasion force.
    • avatar
      sterndalerin reply tohopscotch64(Show commentHide comment)
      hopscotch64, Sorry. Which 9 wars? Yes. I feel that the commitments to Russia were not kept. And IMHO this is stupid because the military and economical interests of the continental European NATO members are the same as Russia's. Apart from the fact that I think contracts and commitments should be kept. As Putin suggested confrontation cost at least money. Russia has none to spare and neither have the EC countries that are in the NATO.
    • avatar
      hopscotch64in reply tosterndaler(Show commentHide comment)
      sterndaler, If I have to tell you what war's NATO has instigated then you are obviously living under a rock with no knowledge of current events which accounts for your comment. Research it yourself.
    • avatar
      sterndalerin reply tohopscotch64(Show commentHide comment)
      hopscotch64, If You cannot name in an argument. You have lost.
    • avatar
      Trump should go to architects and engineers for truth website. Israel did 9/11 so why is Netanyahu not being arrested when he visits DC?
    • avatar
      1. The thing about Trump - he does not lay his ego on the line for his pronouncements. While he was Israeli talking, his Sect fo State was talking with Palestine.
      2. Having spend billions is not a justification for Trump to continue to do so.

      3. Wait for it - it most probably will not be like anything you are thinking.
    • avatar
      hopscotch64in reply tosterndaler(Show commentHide comment)
      sterndaler, Too lazy to do the research?? I cannot believe there is anyone out there that does not know recent world history. Please do yourself a favor and stop embarrassing yourself by showing your ignorance of current events and recent world history.
    • avatar
      sterndalerin reply tohopscotch64(Show commentHide comment)
      hopscotch64, Too lazy to research Your arguments You declined to name. They are Your arguments after all. You must name the 9 war that NATO declared.
    • 2007harleydavidsonsg
      I'm sorry but it seems to me columnist Cunningham nato 2.0 presents a twisted and distorted view regarding the region. Much of the subject content in his column is out of context regarding the joint military inititves combating localized terror groups and the perceived Iranian threat. I don't believe Iran is considerd a " terrest state" but a regional threat to Israel because of their missel developments. Am I confused on this?
    • avatar
      Finnian says If this is to be the new NATO for the Middle East then the world is truly about to descend into barbarism on a scale not seen since the Second World War", he is wrong: it will be worse.
    • 2007harleydavidsonsg
      Nato2 is fear mongering for the scared and hopeless, itself a type of tabloid reporting that we in the States are very familiar with! The real story is the great hope in Russia/NATO regional cooperation!
    • avatar
      What was it General Wesley Clark said, the same retired General, who is now in Ukraine, training the NAZIs? 7 nations in 5 years - Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..

      Now which nations have NO Bank of Rothschild and which nations have no IMF debt, beside Iran, North Korea and Cuba?

      The countries which do not have any debt are Argentina (2006), Brazil (2005), South Korea (2001), Iceland (2015), Latvia (2013), Hungary (2013), Macedonia (2015), Romania (2015), Russia (2006) Turkey (2013) and Uruguay (2006).
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