Enlargement of NATO violates agreements

New documents from the archives of the U.S. National Security Council and plans of the U.S. President to withdraw 9,500 soldiers.

By Wolfgang Bittner.

According to the former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, it was agreed upon in spring 1990 that NATO should not expand eastwards. This has been repeatedly denied by US and EU circles in recent years: There were no contractual agreements on this or other conclusive documents. But this has been refuted. Recently released documents of the US National Security Council show that there were indeed such declarations of intent (1).

The protocol of a conversation between Gorbachev and the then US Secretary of State James Baker under the presidency of George Bush in spring 1990 shows that Gorbachev was promised not to expand NATO eastwards. Instead, the security needs of the Soviet Union were to be taken into account.(2)

Furthermore, the minutes of a telephone conversation between the then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and US President George Bush show that the united Germany wanted to remain in NATO in order to avoid isolation and to prevent the European neighbors from getting the impression that Germany wanted to take a special path in Europe by leaving the alliance(3) Kohl saw NATO, which unlike the Warsaw Pact was not dissolved, as an organization with a political orientation and not a military focus,(4) but which then, contrary to all agreements, gradually took shape.

In accordance with the negotiations at the time, only German troops were to be stationed in the so-called New Länder and NATO was not to be expanded beyond the Oder.(5) After George Bush was not re-elected, his successors, after a brief period of détente, embarked on a policy of aggression and sanctions against Russia. Contrary to their agreement, NATO expanded eastwards within a few years and a huge military machine with missiles, tank divisions, fighter planes and thousands of soldiers was deployed in the countries neighboring Russia.

Now that it has become known that US President Donald Trump is planning a withdrawal of 9,500 of the 34,500 soldiers stationed in Germany,(6) a window of opportunity has opened up for the German government which should be used immediately. With reference to the documents just released by the U.S. National Security Council on German unification, there would be an opportunity to demand and initiate the withdrawal of all foreign military forces, including nuclear weapons stationed on German soil, which has been overdue since 1990.

But as usual, no one of the Berlin politicians with US affinity has so far taken care of the new situation. Instead, warnings are coming from the CDU, SPD and the GRÜNEN about a weakening of NATO, even though it has long since ceased to follow its own statutes. Furthermore, there is talk of “nuclear sharing”, which never existed because the US-bellicists do what they want anyway. The danger of a great war is drawing ever closer, but Chancellor Angela Merkel and her staff ignore their oath, with which they have sworn to prevent harm to the German people.

The writer and publicist Dr. jur. Wolfgang Bittner lives in Göttingen.


(1) National Security Archive, https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2020-06-02/washington-camp-david-summit-30-years-ago?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=dc5759f2-89be-446b-954e-520b00fd68e9 (6.6.2020)
(2) National Security Archive, https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/dc.html?doc=6935339-National-Security-Archive-Doc-07-U-S-Department (6.6.2020)
(3) National Security Archive, https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/dc.html?doc=6935350-National-Security-Archive-Doc-18-Memorandum-of.(6.6.2020)
(4) So Oberstleutnant a.D. Jochen Scholz: https://www.world-economy.eu/nachrichten/detail/das-telefonat-zwischen-bundeskanzler-kohl-und-praesident-bush-vom-juni-1990/.
(5) Diese Intentionen belegt eine Denkschrift Willy Wimmers vom 20.12.1989. In: Wolfgang Effenberger und Willy Wimmer, Wiederkehr der Hasardeure, zeitgeist 2017, S. 539 ff.
(6) Vgl. ARD-Tagesschau, 6.6.2020, https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/us-truppenabzug-101.html (6.6.2020)


Thanks to the author for the right to publish.


Image source: Leena Robinson / shutterstock


This article was first published by Blauer Bote.


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