US mole in NATO’s lair

The whistleblower WikiLeaks website has struck at the very heart of NATO, publishing diplomatic cables showing that Washington is not only checking up on its NATO allies, on some occasions it's not hesitating to directly affect their decisions.

­It's no secret that NATO revolves around the United States, but the latest revelation has showed that it's a little bit more than that.

According to documents published by two European newspapers, a US mole was planted right in the office of the alliance's secretary general.

Several of the cables revealed by Wikileaks indicate America trying to control NATO from within and reporting confidential information back to Washington. This point of view is supported by some of the documents allegedly sent by US diplomat Jeff Rathke.

When Anders Fogh Rasmussen was looking for closer ties with the Collective Security Treaty Organization, made up of former Soviet states, the US was quick to veto the idea.

After a "private dialogue" with the US representative to NATO, Rasmussen took all mention of the two organizations growing closer out of his address to the alliance in 2009.

But why would the US try to pressure its allies?

“The US, as one of NATO's key players, tries to prevent the alliance from growing too close with Russia and the former Soviet bloc,” stated Igor Korotchenko, editor in chief of the National Defense newspaper. “Because the region is of a strategic interest to America, they of course would prefer to build exclusive, bilateral relationships. Strong ties between two military organizations, such as NATO and the CSTO, is not in US interests.”

This is at odds with the image the alliance tries to project: a strong union where every opinion matters.

“Even the people on the street understand that Washington is calling the shots. Washington says left-right, left-right and we march,” said Christof Hoerstel, a government consultant in Berlin. “So this is what is happening in reality and that is what people know.”

So what does this say about NATO's future?

“NATO should be disarmed as the Warsaw Pact was disarmed,” declared Swedish anti-NATO peace activist Agneta Norberg. “The future of the NATO military alliance by itself is absolutely impossible because NATO is a US creation.”

The documents published so far haven't exactly uncovered anything groundbreaking, but if every member of NATO is supposedly equal, then they have raised questions about whether the US really trusts the alliance.

­There’s nothing new in the fact that the US is snooping on NATO's top officials since America dominates the alliance, stated William Spring from CANA UK, a foreign policy monitoring group.

“NATO is not an alliance at all in the sense of being sovereign states,” he said. “It is a bogus alliance. The US works under various aliases. NATO is one of them. ISAF in Afghanistan is another, but all the time, the reality is overwhelming American military power used on usually defenseless places.”

Spring recalled that originally NATO was a defensive alliance because Europeans were worried about the Red Army and “Russians with snow on their boots” appearing on the borders of the Pyrenees.

But today, while NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen questions the current strategic concept of the alliance and endeavors to build bridges to Russia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to be desperate to stop the general from making any positive outreach to Russia.

“They [the U.S.] don’t trust what is going on in NATO headquarters,”
Spring said.

Watch interview with James Appathurai, NATO's official representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia.