Countering NATO Propaganda on Russia: NATO Intervention in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya, Ukraine
By Vladimir Kozin, Global Research
A follow-up of Professor Vladimir Kozin’s comments on NATO’s Fact Sheet about relations with Russia published in December 2014. The topics to be covered in this part:
- NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure;
- The NATO-led mission in Afghanistan failed to stop the Afghan drugs trade;
- NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate;
- NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate;
- The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical;
- Russia’s annexation of Crimea was justified;
- The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate.
NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure
NATO claim: NATO took over the command of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003.
Under NATO’s command, the mission progressively extended throughout Afghanistan, was joined by 22 non-NATO countries and built up from scratch an Afghan National Security Force of more than 350,000 soldiers and police.
Threats to Afghanistan’s security continue. However, the Afghan forces are now ready to take full responsibility for security across the country, as agreed with the Afghan authorities.
NATO has agreed to continue providing training, advice and assistance to the Afghan forces, and has planned a mission to do so, “Resolute Support”, as of 1 January.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
Yes, the NATO mission in Afghanistan was a complete military failure. The armed opposition in that country was not destroyed, despite high numbers of casualties among civilians, as well as soldiers and officers from the Western coalition. If the Afghan armed forces were capable of truly maintaining control over security in the country, Washington would not have signed an agreement with Kabul about maintaining its military presence there until 2024. If not later.
The NATO-led mission in Afghanistan failed to stop the Afghan drugs trade
NATO claim: As with any sovereign country, the primary responsibility for upholding law and order in Afghanistan, including as regards the trade in narcotics, rests with the Afghan government.
The international community is supporting the Afghan government to live up to this responsibility in many ways, including both through the United Nations and through the European Union.
NATO is not a main actor in this area. This role has been agreed with the international community.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
NATO has not stopped and is not prepared to stop the Afghan drug threat, offering up the ridiculous excuse that it has no specific mandate to do so. But if they wanted, such a mandate could be written up and signed within a couple of days. Apparently, NATO’s “non-interference” in drug production in Afghanistan is something of interest to the alliance: not only Russian citizens die from ingesting cocktails of Afghan drugs, but also Europeans.
NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate
NATO claim: The NATO-led operation was launched under the authority of two UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), 1970 and 1973, both quoting Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and neither of which was opposed by Russia.
UNSCR 1973 authorized the international community “to take all necessary measures” to “protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack“. This is what NATO did, with the political and military support of regional states and members of the Arab League.
After the conflict, NATO cooperated with the UN International Commission of Inquiry on Libya, which found no breach of UNSCR 1973 or international law, concluding instead that “NATO conducted a highly precise campaign with a demonstrable determination to avoid civilian casualties.”
NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate, inhumane, and had extremely dangerous military, political, and economic consequences: there is still no civil peace there. Libya’s ruler was killed in a barbaric manner. The Libyan economy has utterly disintegrated. As for NATO’s air operation, once it began to destroy Libya’s military hardware, soldiers, and civilians on the ground, NATO then overstepped its mandate to ensure a “no-fly zone” in the sky over Libya.
NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate
NATO claim: The NATO operation for Kosovo followed over a year of intense efforts by the UN and the Contact Group, of which Russia was a member, to bring about a peaceful solution. The UN Security Council on several occasions branded the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the mounting number of refugees driven from their homes as a threat to international peace and security. NATO’s Operation Allied Force was launched to prevent the large-scale and sustained violations of human rights and the killing of civilians.
Following the air campaign, the subsequent NATO-led peacekeeping operation, KFOR, which initially included Russia, has been under UN mandate (UNSCR 1244), with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
NATO’s security operation over Kosovo was illegitimate because it was carried out without the approval of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at that time and was conducted against a backdrop of a barbaric, massive bombing campaign in Yugoslavia in 1999, including in the provinces of Kosovo and Metohija, which were part of that country. There was no full approval from the UN Security Council.
It should be noted that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia never attacked a NATO country.
As the director of the Regional Center of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and Metohija in 2001, I saw too many ruined buildings there that had been damaged by NATO air attacks. The damage caused by NATO aggression was in excess of $100 billion. NATO has still never compensated Serbia for the human and financial costs that country endured.
Members of the alliance have still not full complied with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which was adopted after the end of the NATO bombing campaigns. What’s more, they have grossly violated it. Of particular significance is the paragraph that provides for “substantial autonomy” for the territory of Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of the Yugoslav state, but without recognizing its independence. This position is reflected in the preamble to Resolution 1244 and in the addendum to it.
The territory’s Serbian population still lives in confined enclaves and is unable to travel freely through the larger area around them.
The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical
NATO claim: The Kosovo operation was conducted following exhaustive discussion involving the whole international community dealing with a long-running crisis.
Following the operation, the international community engaged in nearly ten years of diplomacy, under UN authority, to find a political solution and to settle Kosovo’s final status, as prescribed by UNSCR 1244.
In Crimea, there was no pre-existing crisis, no attempt to discuss the situation with the Ukrainian government, no involvement of the United Nations, and no attempt at a negotiated solution.
In Kosovo, international attempts to find a solution took over 3,000 days. In Crimea, Russia annexed part of Ukraine’s territory in less than 30 days.