20:10 GMT28 February 2021
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    NATO suffers from internal contradictions, and the alliance is unable to provide a unified approach to its policies, Italian defense analyst, editor-in-chief of Defense Online (Difesa Online) news portal Andrea Cucco told Sputnik Italia, sharing his view on what the bloc has become.

    Andrea Cucco pointed out that NATO has found itself in a deep crisis caused by its inability to provide a unified approach in its foreign policy due to the wildly varying philosophies of its member states.

    "The bloc was set up almost 70 years ago, in 1949, for defense purposes. However, now it is pursuing purely commercial purposes. When joining the alliance, member states have to adapt to its standards and pay contributions. The countries are also tied by the arms business while being in a deep identity crisis and in a crisis of values," the defense analyst said.

    READ MORE: Security Analyst: NATO Putting 'Unprecedented' Level of Pressure on Russia

    The Alliance still justifies its extensive military drills and anti-Russian political decisions by the alleged threat posed by Moscow to its neighbors, he opined. He further provided his assessment of the Silver Arrow 2017 exercises, which have recently wrapped up in Latvia and which involved 3,500 servicemen from 11 member countries.

    While saying that he sees "nothing unusual" in military training, the expert nevertheless noted that the pretext for the drills, namely the so called threat of a Russian invasion, or otherwise military provocations, do not stand up to scrutiny.

    "The drills are not being used for military purposes any longer. Modern warfare is being waged with the help of sanctions, which is far more dangerous and wily, and by distorting information," Andrea Cucco explained.

    READ MORE: How NATO Uses "the Russian Scare" to Justify Alliance's Eastward Expansion

    To illustrate this, he pointed to the recent NATO conference and seminar on information warfare, which was held at the NATO Defense College in Rome in mid-October, where member states labeled Russia and China as "major fake news providers" for political and military purposes.

    There is a proverb in Italy, which can be very appropriate in such cases, the expert explained, "the ox calling the donkey horned," an equivalent of "the pot calling the kettle black." According to the specialist, it implies that many Western countries have long been manipulating the information for their political and military purposes and it is absolutely hypocritical to hold a conference on fake news with such a conclusion.

    These countries should have shown more dignity and should have kept quiet, Andrea Cucco urged, adding that Russia is the "last country to attack the West."

    He further elaborated that the alliance should return to certain values to be able to abstain from spreading hypocritical information. The world has changed so much in the last 70 years, that it is ridiculous to maintain such an alliance, hoping that it would continue playing its habitual role in an absolutely different environment, he concluded.

    Meanwhile, NATO continues expanding eastwards. Its latest enlargement was this June, when it accepted Montenegro.  In 2009, two more countries, Albania and Croatia joined the alliance. The largest expansion however was in 2004, when seven Eastern European countries, including three Baltic States, joined the bloc.

    NATO's eastward enlargement gained fresh impetus after the coup in Ukraine, when Russia's closest neighbor voiced its desire to become its member.

    commerce, purpose, hypocrisy, defense, NATO, Andrea Cucco
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