Fire Jens Stoltenberg Now Before It Is Too Late!

NATO is risking a wider war

3 mins read
Turkish President Recep Erdogan (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) with President Biden & NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (C), NATO Summit, Vilnius,July 11, 2023

Jens Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian Prime Minister and now Secretary General of NATO should be fired now, before it is too late. He announced he is giving Ukraine “permission” to use its soon to be delivered F-16s to launch attacks inside Russia.

This is equivalent to a NATO declaration of war. It is an irrational and dangerous move that needs to be quashed as soon as possible.

Not only is Stoltenberg an uber hawk, but he totally misunderstands NATO’s purpose.  If he is allowed to stay in office, he will lead NATO into a European war that might well include nuclear weapons.  Above all, Stoltenberg doesn’t grasp that NATO is a defensive, not an offensive, alliance.

NATO has been drifting in the wrong direction for years.  It has got involved in wars outside of NATO’s defensive domain, based on a rude sort of politics that gratifies the US and Europe’s otherwise inert and short sighted leaders.  These wars, that now include Ukraine, are draining NATO’s defenses and weakening the core responsibility of the alliance, which is to protect the territory of its members.

There are no provisions in the NATO Treaty authorizing offensive, outside-the-boundary operations. 

Now the Russians are saying that many of the so-called “mercenaries” in Ukraine are, in fact, highly trained NATO soldiers.  They wear Ukrainian uniforms with national patches identifying them.  They are “necessary” to operate the high tech weapons NATO has sent to Ukraine.  When the Russians recently took over Avdiivka they found bodies of  these mercenaries, some American and some Poles.

Earlier, they killed at least 60 French mercenaries in a hotel in Kharkiv.  

The French denounced the attack saying it was disinformation.  But the French also called in the Russian ambassador to complain about French deaths in Ukraine.

The Ukraine war is being rapidly turned into a NATO war, not only through the supply of intelligence, troop training and armaments, but the supply of experienced technicians.  It is simply impossible for Ukraine to operate air defense systems such as Patriot and NASAMs, rocket launching systems like HIMARS, or support British and French Storm Shadow cruise missiles, without considerable outside assistance.

Most of the deaths of NATO personnel are covered up.  When they are reported at all, they generally say that the “volunteer” was providing medical assistance.

Now the Russians are starting to believe that the F-16s delivered to Ukraine (probably operational by early summer) will be operated by NATO pilots.

The Russians make this claim based on their own past performance.  Russia dressed their pilots up in Chinese outfits to fly Mig-15s in the Korean war.  In the war of attrition in 1970 between Egypt and Israel, Russian pilots flew missions, sometimes openly (as only Russians could fly the Mig-25) and sometimes pretending they were Egyptian pilots.

It is extremely dangerous to use NATO pilots in Ukraine.  But now Stoltenberg has “given permission” to Ukraine to fly its F-16s over Russian territory.  The war has already been expanded with NATO-made drones, cruise missiles and rockets attacking targets in Russia.  Adding the F-16 is a qualitative expansion because F-16s can attack Russian cities.

Russia won’t content itself trying to shoot down F-16s flown in the name of Ukraine.  They will, certainly, attack Ukrainian air fields (in fact they already are doing so).  But will it stop there?  Probably not: Russia will interpret the F-16s flying over its territory as a declaration of war against Russia, in fact Russia already is saying so.

The F-16 is an excellent aircraft, but the planes Ukraine is getting are around 20 years old and are not really front line. That’s why the countries supplying them have moved on. While they can be upgraded with newer weapons, better fire control computers, and maybe even better radars, they are not survivable against Russian air defenses and top of the line Russian aircraft such as the Su-35.  Flying them over Russia is, therefore, only a provocation likely to result in a wider war spreading to Europe.

NATO has been playing chicken with Russia for some time, especially by supplying long range systems to Ukraine’s army.  There is hardly any military justification, since harassing Russia only can lead to escalation and mostly does not strengthen Ukraine’s army, which is increasingly short of manpower and ammunition.

Zelensky probably hopes that he will be saved by a NATO intervention.  But from Russia’s perspective, NATO has already intervened and things can only get worse.

It is not clear who, if anyone, told Stoltenberg to make such a reckless statement about the use of the F-16. What is clear is that the “permission” should be withdrawn and Stoltenberg fired.

Stephen Bryen

Stephen Bryen is a former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense and is a leading expert in security strategy and technology. Bryen writes for Asia Times, American Thinker, Epoch Times, Newsweek, Washington Times, the Jewish Policy Center and others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog