Finland joins NATO – Militarism in Eastern Europe on the Rise

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance inherited from the days of the Cold War between the U.S. and the former USSR, now the Russian Federation. NATO gathers together 31 states in Europe and North America in a military alliance. After the fall of the USSR, NATO remained in place as a military tool primarily motivated by the interests of the United States. For example, the war against Afghanistan in 2001 took place under the NATO treaty flag, and NATO countries participated in the invasion along with the United States. The NATO alliance has also been a factor in Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

With the rise of Vladimir Putin in Russia, along with his expansionist ambitions, NATO is the primary means by which the U.S. and its allies oppose Russia militarily. Though NATO countries have not openly engaged in warfare with Russia, the threat is there, and if it took place, the world risks a major nuclear war. In the last year, NATO has been the most important means for the U.S. and its allies to send military aid to Ukraine in its war against the Russian invasion.

Finland is only the latest addition to the NATO alliance. The U.S., via NATO, has its own expansionist ambitions in Eastern Europe, though it has not undertaken open warfare to achieve them. Well before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia had seen NATO, and therefore U.S., influence spread throughout Eastern Europe. NATO was enlarged to include Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009, Montenegro in 2017, and North Macedonia in 2020. Some countries such as Finland, Sweden, and Ukraine had not joined NATO for decades, instead choosing to remain neutral. Since the Ukraine war, these countries have made moves to join, with Finland doing so formally just last week. All of these moves are encouraged by the U.S., as it is doing everything possible to take advantage of Russia’s war on Ukraine in order to expand NATO, and further build it up militarily.

The NATO alliance has nothing to do with protecting people. It is an alliance to prepare a possible conflict with Russia. Many of these small Eastern European states have been subject of a tug of war between Russia and the United States, with the United States gaining economic and political influence, and incorporating them into its military alliance. One of the factors in Putins calculation to launch a war against Ukraine was to push back the influence of the U.S. and NATO, over the corpses of Ukraines civilians. The two big powers, Russia and the U.S., are vying for control of the region, and peopleslives are a cost they are willing to bear.

NATO and Russia are dragging us towards the precipice of a wider war. The people of Ukraine are right to defend themselves, but NATO assistance is also a poison pill, dragging them and the rest of us towards a world conflict. The incorporation of Finland into the NATO alliance only puts more danger on the horizon. To see NATO grow is like watching a flame inch closer to a barrel of gasoline. We must oppose the U.S. empire, the leading power in world capitalism, just as harshly as we oppose Russian militarism and aggression!