The chicken hawks in the U.S. Senate last week easily approved a resolution to add Sweden and Finland to NATO, with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, saying, “If any senator is looking for a defensible excuse to vote no, I wish him good luck.”
The Trends Journal has long noted that the one bonding glue in Washington is war. The mainstream media seldom acknowledges what led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: the growth of NATO and the possibility of Kyiv’s membership.
McConnell, who also praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ill-advised visit to Taiwan—said Finland and Sweden’s membership is a “slam dunk for national security that deserves unanimous bipartisan support.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is the sole senator who voted against the resolution. As we have reported, Finland and Sweden have been neutral when it came to Russia, but Moscow’s invasion in February of Ukraine turned the public’s opinion in the countries. (See “FROM NEUTRAL TO NATO: FINLAND, SWEDEN WANT TO JOIN NATO, TURKEY STANDS IN THE WAY,” “RUSSIA WARNS FINLAND AND SWEDEN: DON’T JOIN NATO” and “FINLAND: NO NATO FOR NOW.”) The Kremlin called the move a “grave mistake.”
Finland shares an expansive, 830-mile border with Russia and was invaded by its neighbor during WWII, which resulted in a brutal confrontation that ultimately resulted in Helsinki and Moscow signing a peace treaty in 1948, which included Finland’s assurances that it will not join NATO. Finland has a strong military without NATO and recently purchased 64 F-35 fighter jets.
Hawley gave a speech on the Senate floor before the vote that went viral. He asked if their joining NATO would, in any way, improve the U.S. national security, “because alright that is what American foreign policy is supposed to be about, I thought.”
“It’s about American security, protecting American workers, defending American jobs, securing American prosperity,” he said. “I fear some in this town have lost sight of that. They think American foreign policy is about creating a liberal world order or nation-building overseas. With all due respect, they’re wrong.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., another Republican who has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender, embraced Finland and Sweden joining NATO, saying they will be “two of the strongest members of the alliance the minute they join.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted present. He wrote in The American Conservative that the U.S. still needs “serious, rational, objective debate on the costs and benefits of admitting two historically neutral nations who have such strategic geographic position in relation to Russia. Before the Russian invasion, I would have said no. But given Russian actions, I have shifted from being against their admittance to NATO to neutral on the question, and will as a consequence vote ‘present.'”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Finland and Sweden would help fill in key strategic gaps of NATO’s presence in Europe due to the increasingly volatile North Pole. The paper said the Baltic Sea is Russia’s shortest route to the Atlantic, and NATO would “overwhelmingly” control the transit area.
Finland and Sweden have maintained a close relationship with NATO and frequently train with NATO forces. But joining NATO as a full member means the countries would be protected under Article 5, which means, “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
President Joe Biden applauded the vote, saying, “This historic vote sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan U.S. commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our Alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
Cotton indicated that Hawley was hypocritical because he voted in favor of admitting Montenegro and North Macedonia to NATO.
“I would love to hear the defense of such a curious vote,” Cotton said.
TRENDPOST: As NATO’s first secretary-general put it, NATO was formed in order to keep the Russians out of Western Europe and the Americans in. Instead of disbanding NATO when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Washington dramatically expanded NATO.
In violation of the Reagan-Gorbachev agreements, the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush regimes added constituent parts of the former Soviet empire to NATO—Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.
France, taken out of NATO by General de Gaulle, rejoined in April 2009, 18 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by other nations including Croatia, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia.
When the Soviet Union broke up, and the U.S. said it would not expand NATO, there were 16 NATO nations. Today there are 30… with some of them on Russia’s borders.
Long forgotten was the U.S. and NATO’S pledge not to expand into Eastern Europe following the deal made during the 1990 negotiations between the West and the Soviet Union over German unification.
Therefore, in the view of Russia, it is taking self-defense actions to protect itself from NATO’s eastward march.
As detailed in The Los Angeles Times back in May of 2016, while the U.S. and NATO deny that no such agreement was struck, “…hundreds of memos, meeting minutes and transcripts from U.S. archives indicate otherwise.” The article states:
“According to transcripts of meetings in Moscow on Feb. 9, then-Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany, the U.S. could make ‘iron-clad guarantees’ that NATO would not expand ‘one inch eastward.’ Less than a week later, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin reunification talks.
No formal deal was struck, but from all the evidence, the quid pro quo was clear: Gorbachev acceded to Germany’s western alignment and the U.S. would limit NATO’s expansion.”
TRENDPOST: Our politicians don’t care about Ukraine or the U.S. forces who would have to fight in these wars. They care only about their political survival and their next job. If things go well, they are elected to higher office, and if things go south, they get a charitable hosting gig on the mainstream media.
Gerald Celente has said that the word “peace” has been banned in Washington, and the endless expansion of NATO is good business for weapon contractors.
The U.S. and Biden are not interested in Finland’s safety. Defeating Putin is the only objective, no matter the costs or how many lives are put in danger.
Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and chairman of Russia’s Security Council, warned Finland and Sweden against joining NATO and said Moscow would have to beef up its military presence in the region if they joined the alliance.
“In this case, it will no longer be possible to talk about any non-nuclear status of the Baltic—the balance must be restored. Until now, Russia has not taken such measures and was not going to take them,” Medvedev said.
And so the arms race continues.