Intelligence: NATO Suspects a Threat


April 14, 2024: NATO countries in Europe now realize that Russian threats against them are real. Russian leaders openly proclaim that the conquest and absorption of Ukraine will be followed by attacks on NATO countries. This seems absurd until you consider how unprepared NATO members are for a war. Decades of low spending on defense and the lack of a credible threat led to many members reducing their military forces and no longer updating or maintaining major weapons systems like tanks, aircraft, and ships. These bad habits were noticed by Russia, which had been upgrading and expanding their armed forces since the 1990s. When Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, the Americans and NATO were quick to send military aid to Ukraine. While the United States had substantial military reserves of munitions and supplies to send to Ukraine, the European NATO countries did not. They sent what they could and realized if Ukraine was defeated the European NATO members were next. The closest NATO states to Ukraine were Poland and the three Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. All four of these nations have substantially increased their defense spending and preparations for an attack by Russia. Being a NATO member means that once attacked, all the other NATO members will come to your aid. The small Baltic States fear they could be overrun before NATO forces arrive. To deal with that, Baltic states are building obstacles to slow the Russians down and instructing their citizens on how best to resist a Russian occupation.

Larger NATO states like Poland, Germany and France are upgrading and expanding their armed forces. This has brought large orders for weapons from Americans and South Korean producers. Over the last few decades South Korea has become a major arms developer, manufacturer, and exporter. South Korea is now an incredibly affluent nation, one of the top ten in the world. North Korea is still a threat while Japan and China have become valuable trading partners. NATO now considers South Korea an associate member, even though South Korea is far away. The enormous quantity of seaborne trade keeps these distant trading partners connected. The recent violent activity by Shia rebels in Yemen, which borders the Red Sea and the only sea route to the Suez Canal, demonstrated how vulnerable some of these sea routes were. Warships from the United States, Britain, Russia, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, India, and Sri Lanka were sent to the Red Sea to keep the sea lane safe for commercial shipping.

Iran supplies the Yemen rebels with weapons and is subject to economic sanctions for a long list of disruptive activity, including promoting and arming the Yemen rebels. Iran is considered an outlaw state while Iran considers itself on a Mission From God to convert, by force is necessary, all nations to their form of Shia Islam. Iran is ruled by a religious dictatorship that is unpopular with most Iranians and kept in check by the ruthless and brutal IRGC (Islamic Republican Guard Corps) that also promotes and supplies armed rebellions outside Iran. Because of the growing threat from Shia Iran, the Sunni Arab states in the Persian Gulf have established relationships with Israel. Iran sees Israel as their primary target. Israel is the most industrialized, productive, and well-armed nation in the region as well as the primary target for Iran. Over 80 percent of the billion Moslems worldwide are Sunnis. Most Sunnis get along with nearby Shia. Iran is the exception and as the largest Shia state in the world, considers itself the potential leader of all Moslems, once all Moslems have been persuaded or forced to convert to the Shia form of Islam. This is not going to happen and the non-Shia world, which includes most of the seven billion people on the planet, opposes any violent or aggressive behavior by Iran. The exceptions are other outlaw states like Russia and North Korea. Because Iran promotes terrorism and espionage in Europe, NATO has added Iran to the list of hostile nations NATO has to keep an eye on. NATO nations upgrading their armed forces to deal with Russia found that the accompanying increased intelligence (information gathering) activity has also identified Iranian and Russian espionage and assassination efforts in Europe that sometimes find and kill someone Iran or Russia considers a traitor.

The problem with European NATO members is that they continually make defense-related promises they don’t keep. This irritates the United States, which considers European reluctance to spend what they promised (two percent of GDP) on their own defense, an admission that Europeans consider the better armed Americans always available to protect them. Recently the Americans have changed their attitude and told the Europeans that, if they would not try to defend themselves, the U.S. would not automatically step in and save them. The Americans consider this Tough Love and enough terrorist threats and threats of attacks from Iran and Russia would persuade the Europeans to do more to defend themselves.




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