‘With Trump’s win we might’ve dodged nuclear bullet’

Annie Machon
Annie Machon is a former intel­li­gence officer for MI5, the UK Secur­ity Ser­vice, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incom­pet­ence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler. Draw­ing on her var­ied exper­i­ences, she is now a pub­lic speaker, writer, media pun­dit, inter­na­tional tour and event organ­iser, polit­ical cam­paigner, and PR con­sult­ant. She is also now the Dir­ector of LEAP, Europe. She has a rare per­spect­ive both on the inner work­ings of gov­ern­ments, intel­li­gence agen­cies and the media, as well as the wider implic­a­tions for the need for increased open­ness and account­ab­il­ity in both pub­lic and private sectors.
© Arben Celi
It’s difficult to make any predictions when it comes to Donald Trump, but from a global perspective, his election victory might be a move toward world peace, former MI5 intelligence officer Annie Machon told RT.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned US President-elect Donald Trump that now's not the time for America to quit the alliance, as Trump has repeatedly questioned NATO's efficiency and spending.

RT: Donald Trump wants NATO members to pay their way and even suggested he doesn't mind the alliance breaking up. What’s your take on that?

Annie Machon: Who can say with Donald Trump! We just don’t know, but I would suggest that his election from a global perspective might indeed be a move toward world peace, a greater chance of world peace at least. Hillary Clinton was such a hawk when it came to Russia, and Trump said he wants to make deals with Russia, work with Russia. We might indeed have just dodged a nuclear bullet potentially

It is interesting that Jens Stoltenberg has acknowledged that perhaps the rest of the NATO states do need to make a greater financial contribution in order to keep it together. But what interested me most about the statement by Jens Stoltenberg was that he seems to be concerned with the potential growth of a possible EU fighting force, which is something the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has been touting for many years, and has really stated pushing now.

RT: Do you think NATO will be able to survive, expand and thrive with perhaps less American involvement?

AM: I think it could if it had a will to, but at the moment, we’re seeing the EU Commission President saying he actually wants to create a sort of parallel force, an EU army, which would rather obviate the need for NATO to a large extent. Just look at the expansion of NATO since the end of the Cold War. It is not just 28 countries right up to the border with Russia. Yet, Russia is blamed for being expansionist, aggressive, and assertive. It doesn’t bear up under the facts of what’s happened with NATO over the last 25 years. Indeed even in 2008, Georgia and Ukraine were invited to join NATO. So the will to expand is still going on. I do think that is dangerous for peace between Russia and the West.

RT: A major goal for NATO seems to be confronting Russia. If relations between Washington and Moscow are improved, doesn't NATO essentially lose its purpose? What will its purpose be?

AM: That is a very good question. It would indeed lose its purpose. The NATO guys are now saying, “we worked to try and crush terrorists around the world too." But if you look at all the NATO interventions over the last few years, particularly in Libya, which is descending into being an anarchist basket case with militias roaming wild and Islamic State getting a foothold there. [If] you look at the mess that has been created across the Middle East, particularly at the moment Syria, then NATO interventions, it seems, have caused more harm than good. That argument of saying we need NATO to fight our terrorist enemies doesn’t hold up, when facts are looked at. And indeed, if a closer relationship is developed with Russia than we don’t need NATO to defend against the Red menace, as it used to be.

RT: NATO is now trying to talk America into not leaving the alliance promising to share the burden and insisting on the importance of Europe-US ties. Do you think it’s enough to convince Donald Trump? It seems he is looking for a good deal.

AM: He will be looking for a good deal. And no, I doubt if that would be enough. It seems to be that Juncker and also Donald Tusk seem to be slightly panicked in the reaction to the election of Trump, immediately sending a letter of oily congratulations, and saying, "at your earliest convenience, come over and talk to us about the relationship with Europe." So I think there is a little bit of panic going on in Brussels at the moment, there no doubt about it. I think also, there is certain opportunism in Junсker’s ramping up the requirement for a European army, because that would imply that he would want British involvement too. With Brexit happening he has stated very clearly that would be a negotiating point for the Brexit negotiations too…If they set up this EU army …they can’t afford to do it without British involvement both militarily and its intelligence base.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.