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Vijay Prashad on NPR’s Weekend Edition!

By kate | May 23, 2012

Vijay Prashad, author of our new Arab Spring, Libyan Winter joined the hosts of National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition last Sunday to discuss NATO, and contextualize the counter-protests in Chicago over the weekend. Speaking in response to Ivo Daalder, current US ambassador to NATO, Prashad questioned NATO’s efficacy and suggested that it’s time for the organization to be retired:

PRASHAD: For instance, you know, you have to imagine that from 1949 to 1991, NATO was largely a defensive pact. For the first 10 years after the Soviet Union had dissolved, NATO went through an internal debate so that in 1999, the council decided to allow NATO to be used for so-called offensive operations, not just as a defensive pact.

And shortly thereafter, NATO went into operation in Bosnia. But the danger here is, I think, along three axes. The first is NATO has demonstrated kind of a, you know, very peculiar strategy of encircling Russia and China. You know, they’ve begun a very interesting policy called Partners Across the Globe where from Mongolia to Iraq – in other words, the countries that rim the Asian continent. You know, the Russians and Chinese see this as a threat to their security.

And rather than produce a new kind of world order not dominated by threats and by, you know, escalation of military spending, this is a superb opportunity to reach out a hand to the Chinese, to the Russians and see if there can be a de-escalation of militarism on the world stage. And NATO is contributing, actually, to the very opposite of that.

Visit the Weekend Edition website to listen to the whole broadcast or read the transcript! http://www.npr.org/2012/05/20/153152867/examining-natos-past-present-and-future

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