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14 Feb, 2017 11:57

‘Civilizational struggle’: NATO must focus on fight against Islamic terrorism – ex-colonel

‘Civilizational struggle’: NATO must focus on fight against Islamic terrorism – ex-colonel

NATO must become a tool for civilizational struggle against Islamic extremism in a new crusade involving regional allies like Israel, according to former British Army Colonel Richard Kemp.

Kemp, who once commanded UK forces in Afghanistan, shared his ideas for bringing NATO up to date in a Telegraph comment piece co-authored by Rafael Bardají, a former security advisor to the Spanish government.

The pair – whose joint article bio indicates they are both senior figures in the Friends of Israel Initiative – argues that US President Donald Trump is right to say the alliance is no longer fit for purpose.

We are all under attack by Islamist extremist forces of all kinds,” they said. “NATO must make the fight against Islamic terrorism its core mission.

This means that NATO must also expand its membership to include nations like “Israel, Japan, Singapore and India.

In order to reinforce our Western world, NATO must invite to become members countries that are alike in the defense of our values and with the willingness to share the burden in this civilizational struggle,” they said.

Addressing Trump directly, they said: “We believe you can make it relevant again. Your allies will follow.

Apocalypse now

The pair’s ‘clash of civilizations’ theme is echoed by senior far-right figures in the US, including those inside the Trump administration.

Among those making similar statements is senior Trump strategist and former Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon.

In a 2014 speech hosted at the Vatican by the Human Dignity Institute, BuzzFeed reported Bannon as saying: “I believe we’ve come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we’re starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict… to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.

Other Trump administration figures who share these views include former NSA director Mike Flynn, who stepped down from his National Security Advisor role Tuesday amid controversy over his past links to Russia.

But it is not only figures in the West who use apocalyptic rhetoric.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) ideology is centrally concerned with a final apocalyptic battle between good and evil, which they are convinced will take place around the Syrian town of Dabiq in northern Syria.

Whatever the future role of NATO, the alliance may find itself handicapped by a lack of funding and support.

Britain, one of just five NATO member states which pledge to spend two percent of their GDP on defense, has apparently failed to do so.

Britain’s 1.98 percent spending was revealed in a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on Tuesday.

The UK government quickly denied this was the case, telling Sky News the figures were simply wrong.