Two policy matters are known to be top on the agenda of this week’s visit to Washington, D.C. by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: hammering the U.S. Congress into passing President Biden’s funding request for Ukraine so that NATO’s drive for confrontation with Russia and China can continue, and planning for NATO’s long-term future.
When we say “long-term,” we mean long-term. Secretary of State Tony Blinken reported yesterday that the NATO 75th Anniversary summit to be held in D.C. next July will be an “inflection point … historic … the most ambitious summit since the end of the Cold War, showing NATO’s adaptation to new challenges and new threats…. The real focus of the summit is going to be on the next 75 years and everything NATO has done to adapt and make itself, as it has been, indispensable to the defense and security of its members.”
Blinken’s “Erich Honecker moment” occurred in his joint press conference with Stoltenberg after they met on Jan. 29. Each outdid the other in promising that U.S. funding of NATO will ensure that “Russia knows strategic failure” (Blinken), and will send a message to Beijing that NATO is bigger, better, and stronger than China’s Feb. 4, 2022 “limitless partnership” with Russia (Stoltenberg).
Stoltenberg is hard at work. He met Monday afternoon, Jan. 29, with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon. Today he is on Capitol Hill, browbeating reluctant members of the Congress with the message that “weapons to Ukraine is the path to peace,” “today it’s Ukraine, tomorrow it could be Taiwan,” etc., etc. on Jan. 31 he is to deliver a speech at the Heritage Foundation in D.C., and then visit the Lockheed Martin factory in Alabama which produces Javelins, “to recognize the importance of ramping up production.” Stoltenberg’s pitch includes the lie that the $120 billion in arms contracts made by European NATO Allies with the U.S. military-industrial-financial complex demonstrates “that NATO’s a good deal for the United States.”
A footnote: Erich Honecker was the ruler of communist East Germany, famous for his claim—days before his ouster in 1989—that the Berlin Wall would last for a thousand years.