U.S. Post-War Occupation of Europe Nears 8th Decade
January 30, 2024 - Amid much fanfare about the 75th anniversary of the founding of NATO, the USS Gunston Hall (LSD44) departed from the Norfolk port in Virginia to head east towards Europe on January 24. An American has held the most decisive position of "Supreme Allied Commander Europe" ever since NATO was established. He is supported by the American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his counterparts from the other NATO member states. Today, the Pentagon has called for the latest live-fire war exercises to take place in international waters, North America, and Europe over the next several months, coinciding with the Diamond Jubilee anniversary. The USS Gunston Hall is carrying some of the U.S. staff, marines, etc., who will exert a controlling influence over the foreign naval and other forces subordinate to the American leadership.
In late January, His Majesty's Canadian Ship Charlottetown departed from the Canadian Forces Base of Halifax, Nova Scotia for a seven-week voyage to demonstrate the Canadian flag's loyalty and ability to work together with others in a military context. Remaining parts of the Canadian Armed Forces will also be found in the Atlantic and other NATO areas of operation for the same purpose. According to Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command, "The next few months will see our sailors, soldiers, and aviators engage in rigorous training and operational activities in diverse and challenging environments. This period will not only test their skills and capabilities but also provide an opportunity to forge strong and valuable partnerships with our NATO allies and partners, further enhancing our collective readiness and ineroperability."
Norfolk Naval Base oversees the command structure accountable for the territory and territorial waters of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S., which are all enveloped within NATO's Atlantic and Arctic (High North) regional concepts. According to Vice Admiral Daniel Dwyer, recent Commander of Joint Force Command Norfolk, this area of operations stretches "From the Arctic to the Tropic of Cancer, from Florida to Finnmark, from seabed to space..." The only place in the world with territory above the Arctic Circle that is outside NATO jurisdiction is Russia. The remaining cartographic divisions and regions of NATO member territory are administrated from the Netherlands and Italy.
The largest concentration of U.S. military power in Europe has been sitting in Germany since the immediate aftermath of World War II. The U.S. failure to remove its military bases from Germany was initially justified by the Economic Recovery Act of 1948, proposed by Secretary of State George Marshall. This was a plan for exporting U.S. capital to Europe in the name of rebuilding the region's industrial base after it had largely been destroyed by Axis powers. However, the reason for the failure changed once the U.S. realized the extent of working class and anti-colonial political organization among the laboring masses and all the partisans who had survived the war. U.S. imperialism wanted and still wants to stay in Europe to suppress these forces.
In 1949, the Senate approved the ratification of the Washington Treaty creating NATO as a primary bridge for U.S. influnce in Europe. After President Truman's "Domino Theory" gained ground, U.S. imperialism extended its military presence in Germany indefinitely in 1955. On May 6, Germany acceded to the Washington Treaty and concluded a NATO Status of Forces Agreement, thereby giving the U.S. permission to stay. NATO Status of Forces Agreements clarify cross-border arrangements between the NATO powers. Of course, it is the U.S., the United Kingdom, and France who have established permanent military bases in other NATO member states. "Domino Theory" stood for the idea that if one country "fell" to communism, others nearby would soon follow. Ever since the end of Word War I, the prospect of socialist revolution in Europe had been a constant preoccupation of the Big Western imperialist powers, and now they were finally ready to close ranks and take the offensive.
75 years ago, the creation of NATO was openly proclaimed under the banner of Churchill's guiding idea of "manifest destiny" and the belief that English-speaking powers should civilize the world. Instead of drawing pro-social conclusions from the war against fascism and working to consolidate the positive developments, NATO was established. From day one this aggressive military alliance was directed against the friendships that had been welded in the anti-fascist war. The founding NATO members turned against the Roosevelt administration's wartime stance of peace and friendship with the Soviet Union in favor of dividing the Allied camp and targeting its proletarian leadership. Using the slogans of manifest destiny, containment of communism, freedom, and democracy, the new American superpower stepped into the boots of Hitler and adopted his hand-me-down dream of global conquest, soon dwarfing his military machine.
After US imperialism's 2001 launch of its so-called "war on terrorism", NATO worsened. The bloc left behind its earlier boundary within the confines of Europe and North America when NATO began waging aggresive wars in Central Asia and North Africa. NATO had already dispensed with its former boundaries based on a stated mission of protecting member-state territory when it bombed Yugoslavia in the 1990s and helped establish and administer a colonial mandate in the Balkans.
These changes occurred even though the Washington Treaty was originally understood to limit NATO area of operations to the territory of its member countries and adjacent territorial waters. It also occurred after the North Atlantic Council gave the American people and the rest of the world explicit assurances NATO wouldn't take advantage of the dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty Organization in 1990 by expanding NATO into Eastern territories.
NATO's progressively increased hostility to peace has also gone on in spite of the fact that after the Allied defeat of the Axis powers, the Nuremberg Principles of 1946 acknowledged that Crimes Against Peace were acts of nation-states involving the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of a war of agression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances.
The motive driving today's crimes of the American government and its aggressive NATO alliance is clear. The monopoly capitalist class uses the Pentagon war machine to police its economic investments and spheres of influence all over the world and impose replicas of its own failed domestic order based on "Might Makes Right." The Pentagon established U.S. military bases in Germany, on every continent, and in 100 other countries to serve the aggressive aim of protecting and extending the empire of the monopoly capitalist class, the class which not only exploits American people but also engages in super-exploitation and plunder throughout the world.