'US defense industry rubbing hands with glee as Mattis demands NATO allies spend more'

'US defense industry rubbing hands with glee as Mattis demands NATO allies spend more'
NATO is indeed obsolete, but the US will keep the alliance going as long as they can, says investigative journalist Rick Sterling. The US has the largest military defense contractors in the world, they all stand to benefit if NATO allies increase spending, he adds.

During a visit to Brussels, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has told NATO members to meet their spending pledges or see Washington 'moderate’ its commitment to the alliance.

RT: What do you think of Mattis' statement? Is it a fair demand?

Rick Sterling: I think the military complex in the US is certainly rubbing their hands in glee. Basically, they are demanding all NATO states spend a full two percent of their GDP, which is a tremendous increase in military spending. It’s what they had on their charts. Many states are spending less than that, and they are spending their money on useful things, like social services, health care, education, and developing their countries’ infrastructure. So it’ll be a complete waste of money if the military spending is forced to increase.

RT: Donald Trump said in the past that NATO is obsolete. That's not exactly what we're hearing from Mattis now, is it? Why the change?

RS: No, not at all. I think that when President Trump said that before he was elected, it was a pretty accurate statement. NATO is obsolete, and it is not really serving a positive role anymore. It is supposed to be defensive, but it has only gone on the offense, participating in the overthrow of the government in Yugoslavia, and then more recently the overthrow of the government in Libya. So NATO is not a defensive operation. And now the US is bringing troops into Bulgaria, as well as to the Baltic States. It’s raising tensions, and it is serving to destabilize international relations rather than to improve them.

RT: Do you think European countries will start paying more? Do they need NATO enough to make it worth doing so?

RS: I think there will be a lot of opposition to that, especially if governments try to ramp up their military spending - they are going to decrease spending in other areas. That is undoubtedly is going to be challenged.

RT: What will the US do if NATO members fail to fall in line?

RS: NATO is basically run by the US. I think the military forces in the US will keep NATO going as long as they can. I don’t think it is an empty threat. They plan to press as hard as they can. The goals are really to increase the military armaments of NATO, as well, because the US has the largest military defense contractors in the world, they all stand to benefit if all the countries in Europe start spending more on the military.

RT: Do you think NATO will ultimately undergo any significant changes during Trump's presidency?

RS: I hope so, but time will tell. The military forces that work there right now keep talking about Russia being the aggressor, or Russia breaking international laws. It is actually the other way around, whether it is in Syria, where Russia is in compliance with international law. The NATO states that overthrew the government in Libya there, violating international law by financing and arming a proxy army that is attacking the sovereign state of Syria. So what is going to happen down the road with the new Trump administration, we don’t really know. … His claims that he wanted to change, US regime change foreign policy – we hope that it is going to be implemented and that the neo-conservative forces that resist that do not prevail.

RT: Do you think European countries will start paying more? Do they need NATO enough to make it worth doing so?

RS: I think there will be a lot of opposition to that, especially if governments try to ramp up their military spending - they are going to decrease spending in other areas. That is undoubtedly is going to be challenged.

RT: What will the US do if NATO members fail to fall in line?

RS: NATO is basically run by the US. I think the military forces in the US will keep NATO going as long as they can. I don’t think it is an empty threat. They plan to press as hard as they can. The goals are really to increase the military armaments of NATO, as well, because the US has the largest military defense contractors in the world, they all stand to benefit if all the countries in Europe start spending more on the military.

RT: Do you think NATO will ultimately undergo any significant changes during Trump's presidency?

RS: I hope so, but time will tell. The military forces that work there right now keep talking about Russia being the aggressor, or Russia breaking international laws. It is actually the other way around, whether it is in Syria, where Russia is in compliance with international law. The NATO states that overthrew the government in Libya there, violating international law by financing and arming a proxy army that is attacking the sovereign state of Syria. So what is going to happen down the road with the new Trump administration, we don’t really know. … His claims that he wanted to change, US regime change foreign policy – we hope that it is going to be implemented and that the neo-conservative forces that resist that do not prevail.

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