Disinfo: The US needs NATO to keep the Europeans under their tight control

Summary

Washington understands how bad is for NATO’s image if Turkey leaves. Both the Alliance and Turkey are extremely necessary, in the context of a clash of interests with Russia and China. But, first of all, the Americans need the block in order to keep the Europeans under their tight control.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about NATO as a tool used by the US to control the policies of European states. This narrative claims that almost all European countries are no longer truly sovereign and the United States dictates EU and member states' policies. On 4 April 1949, the foreign ministers from 12 countries, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty creating NATO. At the heart of the Alliance has always been the collective defence and security of all its members. All NATO decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries. Allies decide whether to engage in a crisis management operation on a case-by-case basis and by consensus. NATO and US military presence in these states is possible only on the basis of the clear consent of the hosting nation. Similar disinformation narratives claim that NATO is a new type of US colonialism, that European élites obey Washington, and that EU and NATO member states are subordinate to the US and that NATO serves one master. Other cases allege that NATO is fully subordinate to the USA and Baltic states and that Moldova and Poland are "hostages" of NATO.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: China, Turkey, US, Russia
  • Keywords: US presence in Europe, NATO
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OPCW report did not indicate use of chemical weapons in Douma

The Douma mission’s initial report questioned the source of the gas cylinders and was unable to explain the apparent minimal damage on it that was inconsistent with the allegations of the cylinders being dropped from the air.

The draft report drew attention to the inconsistency of the image of the victims with the chemical gas used in the alleged attack, and the samples did not indicate any presence of nerve gas or chemical weapons.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives aiming to discredit the OPCW.

The alleged "initial report" of the Douma mission dates back to 22 June 2018 and therefore could not have been referring to the final OPCW report on Douma, which was released 1 March 2019.

For its fiftieth anniversary, NATO became an offensive organisation

A new strategy was adopted for the NATO’s fiftieth anniversary and a new phase began – NATO was transformed from a defensive player into an offensive one and expansion toward (south)east became indisputable.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a threat to global peace because it has an aggressive agenda. NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. This disinformation message also exploits the narrative about NATO enlargement with an aim to encircle Russia. NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by pro-Kremlin media. Rather, it considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the alliance based on their own national will. As such, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. NATO's "Open Door Policy" is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949). The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any "European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area". Every sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security and one to which Russia has also subscribed. Read several other anti-NATO narratives such as NATO provoking Russia; NATO is fully subordinated to the USA; Eastern European countries such as Baltic states, Moldova, Poland are NATO's “hostages”.

US Russophobia driven by US internal political processes

The demonisation of Russia, which is growing, is not connected with Russia as such, it is connected with internal political processes in the United States.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged Western belligerence towards Russia and specifically US Russophobia, aimed at attempting to weaken and isolate Russia. Negative attitudes towards Russia are not simply driven by malicious "Russophobia", as pro-Kremlin media and officials often say, but often derive from assessments of the Kremlin's own policies. The US sanctions that have been imposed on Russia are a response on Russia’s illegal actions, specifically the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the war in Donbas that continues until today. The Special Council investigation concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 US Presidential election. This led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further election meddling. See similar pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives alleging that aggression towards Russia derives from American culture and that Washington is likely to launch a war against Russia.