Tuesday August 9, 2022
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently addressed the Workers Youth League (AUF) summer camp in Utøya, Norway. The AUF is Norway’s largest political youth organization and is affiliated with the Norwegian Labor Party. The AUF summer camp is of course famous for being the scene of the horrific terrorist attack perpetrated by neo-Nazi Anders Breivik in 2011.
Stoltenberg said little of note. Nonetheless, his speech was a remarkable demonstration of how little NATO has learned from the dramatic events of this year. A serious military conflict is taking place on the European continent, a conflict that NATO had played a substantial role in triggering through its unwavering insistence on scooping up as many countries in Europe, Central Asia and beyond into its military system, without any regard for the security concerns of others.
The war in Ukraine is moreover the second major conflict to break out on the European continent within the last 25 years. Both of these conflicts are inextricably linked to two NATO commitments: first, to limitless expansion and, second, to the elimination of Russia’s presence and influence from Europe once and for all. The war in Ukraine was triggered by the first commitment; the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia by the second.