US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the new Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, celebrate the restart of military affairs.

For Washington and its trans-Atlantic alliance, 2014 might have been a bad year, especially in two scenarios: a Europe without war, where, despite the expansion of NATO to the east, stronger economic and political ties were being reinforced between the European Union and Russia and where almost all the allies were reluctant to increase military spending to the level required by the Pentagon; a "Greater Middle East" where the United States and NATO were losing a war in Syria and Iraq was distancing itself from the US and getting closer to China and Russia, an alliance increasingly feared by the White House.

Washington felt more and more a pressing need to find a "new mission" for NATO. This was promptly found. The Maidan Square coup, long prepared and including also leading Ukrainian neo-Nazi forces, brought Europe to a situation similar to that of the Cold War, provoking a new confrontation with Russia. The offensive of the Islamic Emirate, long prepared by financing and arming Islamist groups (some previously defined as terrorists) since the war against Yugoslavia and the one against Libya, allowed the US / NATO forces to intervene in Syria to destroy not the EIS but Syria and to re-occupy Iraq.

NATO’s "new mission" was formalized by the September summit in Wales, launching the “reactivated” Action Plan whose stated purpose is to "quickly and firmly respond to new challenges against security", attributed to "military aggression of Russia against Ukraine" and the growth of extremism and sectarian conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. "The Plan is qualified by the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, as "the greatest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War."

As a start, in just three months NATO has quadrupled dual purpose conventional and nuclear capability fighter-bombers based in the Baltic region (formerly part of the USSR); it sent AWACS radar planes over Eastern Europe and increased the number warships in the Baltic region, Black Sea and Mediterranean; it deployed US, British and German ground forces (including heavy armored units),in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; it intensified joint exercises in Poland and the Baltic countries, bringing them during the year to more than 200.

Always on the basis of Action Plan "reactivity" the "NATO Response Force" was launched by establishing "packets" of land, air and naval units able to be projected quickly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia (including Afghanistan, where NATO remains with its special forces), Africa and other regions. In this context a new very high speed "Joint Task Force" will be formed able to be "deployed in days, especially on the periphery of NATO territory."

Simultaneously, in Riga (Latvia), the "NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence" was opened responsible for conducting the new Cold War against Russia with various instruments, including "informational and psychological operations." Under the agreement signed on July 1 with the Allied Command Transformation (Norfolk, VA), Italy is also part of the Centre of Excellence for the new Cold War with Great Britain, Germany, Poland and the three Baltic republics.

Thus Italy and the EU contribute to open the "new dialogue area with Moscow" announced by Federica Mogherini, high representative for EU foreign policy.

Roger Lagassé
Il Manifesto (Italy)