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Former French intel chief blasts NATO

A former French intelligence chief told French-language media outlet RT en Français that he was “very sad that France has again joined NATO”. He called NATO "obsolete" and "dangerous" because it perpetuates the idea of Russia as a "threat".

Published: May 18, 2017, 12:43 pm

    The former chief of French counter-intelligence, who headed the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance, or DST, which was dissolved in 2008, also pointed out that NATO’s missions make no sense. “I saw what NATO did in Yugoslavia [in 1999], waging a war there without an international warrant… Now NATO is invading Afghanistan, although this country isn’t in the North Atlantic,” he said.

    France gave up its special role after 43 years and reintegrated into all structures of NATO. The decision by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009 represents a break from his predecessors, but it has drawn heavy criticism across partisan lines in Paris.

    At the École Militaire in Paris, military figures attended a conference titled “France, European Defense and NATO in the 21st Century.” The event made it seem as if the unpopular decision of the day had not been made yet. But that afternoon, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had used the ceremonial backdrop of the Foch Amphitheater to announce his country’s reintegration into all structures of the Atlantic alliance.

    Citing his “responsibility for the nation’s strategic decisions”, Sarkozy pledged France’s “full commitment”, almost half a century after former President and General Charles de Gaulle withdrew France from the Atlantic alliance.

    NATO “isn’t a useful organization, but a dangerous one,” Yves Bonnet warned, adding that “the North Atlantic Alliance should be disbanded altogether.” The Russians “are no longer ‘villains,’ the Soviet threat has vanished – primarily because the USSR doesn’t exist anymore,” Bonnet said.

    NATO became obsolete after the collapse of the Soviet Union but the bloc is purposefully representing Russia as a security threat in order to justify its own existence, Bonnet told RT.

    The claims of Moscow’s aggressive behavior coming from the US-led military bloc’s officials are “exaggerated,” he said.

    “I believe that NATO intentionally fuels the perception of Russia as a threat… Like any organization, the North Atlantic Alliance wants to continue existing and the only reason for prolonging its existence is you… the Russians,” he said.

    But picturing Russia as in international menace “doesn’t work anymore. I can assure you that the French people, fortunately, no longer believe it,” Bonnet added. The alliance is trying to whip up tensions in Europe to reinforce its relevance, and it needs a fictional enemy to keep it together.

    He also dismissed claims that Russia tried to meddle with the French presidential elections to stop Emmanuel Macron from being elected. “I think that it’s exactly the opposite. The Russians didn’t interfere in the French election. But there was an open influence on the presidential campaign from numerous financial interests, both French and international, in particular Israeli, who supported the presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron,” Bonnet said.

    He said France was neglecting cooperation with intelligence services of Russia, Syria and other countries that are “directly fighting against terrorism”.

    The current deployment of NATO forces in Eastern Europe breaches the Russia-NATO Founding Act (1997). NATO has thus pledged not to seek “additional permanent stationing of substantial ground combat forces” in the nations closer to Russia “in the current and foreseeable security environment”.

    The argument that the forces are being deployed on temporary basis doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, as NATO forces are training nowhere else but in the proximity of Russia’s borders.

    Meanwhile a new plan is being sold to Germany and France by US officials for NATO to become involved in Syria and Iraq, Reuters reported. It would mean another costly, Afghan-style deployment, and risking confrontation with Russia in Syria.

    “They are not buying it,” said a senior European NATO diplomat, who said some other nations including Greece and Italy were also sceptical of the plan. “They want to know what difference would it make. All 28 NATO allies are already part of this effort,” the diplomat noted.

    French and German officials declined to comment.

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