17.06.2016 Author: Steven MacMillan

“Military Schengen”: Washington Calls for the Further Integration of NATO

4534534545NATO is a threat to world peace. Its incessant war games and its addiction to antagonising the Russian bear are putting the future of the world in jeopardy. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, NATO should have been disbanded; not expanded to include former Warsaw Pact states in a blatant policy of encircling Russia. Instead of advocating the abolition of NATO however, one of the most influential think tanks in the US is pushing for the further integration and consolidation of this Cold War relic.

At the start of June, Elisabeth Braw wrote an article for Foreign Affairs – the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations – titled: A Schengen Zone for NATO.  In the article, Braw argues for the creation of a “military Schengen” in order to move troops between NATO countries without any delays, unsurprisingly justifying this further integration as a necessary move to counter “Russian aggression:”

 “NATO’s member states are willing to defend one another, and they have the troops and the equipment to do so… But one thing frustrates commanders even more: the arduous process of getting permission to move troops across borders… At their upcoming summit in Warsaw, NATO members will discuss joint responses to Russian aggression, and they are likely to agree to station four battalions—totaling about 4,000 troops—in the Baltic states and Poland. But with Russia forming two new divisions in its western military region, which borders the Baltic states, 4,000 forward-stationed troops may not be enough to deter a potential attack.”

Braw continues:

“Moving troops across Europe requires permission at each border… But military commanders, hoping for more progress—and more uniform progress across Europe—are arguing for an EU-inspired military Schengen. The Schengen Agreement, in place since 1996, allows passport-free passage between the 28 European countries that are part of the arrangement… With a military Schengen in place, NATO troops and equipment would be able to cross NATO borders to their destination the same way EU citizens do: without having to show permits… Should a war break out, SACEUR [NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe] Curtis Scaparrotti and his fellow NATO commanders would, of course, be free to move their troops across NATO borders without diplomatic clearance… But many commanders and analysts, including Brezinski, argue that peacetime red tape is affecting planning and preparations for such contingencies, which in turn affects deterrence.”

The idea of a military Schengen for NATO member states has increasingly being advocated in recent months by defense ministers and military commanders. As Sputnik reported in an article last month titled, NATO’s ‘Tank Schengen': Baltic States Call for Free Movement… of Troops:

“The defense ministers of the three Baltic States have called for an easing of travel restrictions on the movement of NATO troops and equipment in Europe, and are suggesting the creation of a visa-free space, similar to that of the Schengen area, to accelerate the deployment of allied forces and armament in the Baltic States.”

Under the guise of deterring Russian aggression, the US is pushing for a deepening of the alliance, and further undermining the sovereignty of each member state. NATO is also attempting to expand once again, trying to formally secure Montenegro as a member state in the near future, in addition to pulling Georgia closer to the imperial alliance. The abolition of NATO is what is needed to move the world closer to peace, not the further integration of this nefarious arm of Western imperialism. 

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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