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US SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo marked 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall by calling for Nato countries to rally behind Washington as he concluded a trip to the German capital today.
The triumphalist visit included unveiling a giant statue of late US president Ronald Reagan atop the US embassy, level with the statues topping the Brandenburg Gate, to symbolise US victory in the cold war.
Mr Pompeo sought to shore up the alliance following criticism by French President Emmanuel Macron, who this week described it as “brain dead” under US President Donald Trump’s leadership and called for a stronger EU army to address its decline.
Mr Macron — who as commander in chief of France’s armed forces controls Nato’s third-largest military — has also attacked the US for withdrawing troops from northern Syria without consulting the alliance, and condemned the subsequent invasion of the country by Turkey, which possesses the second-biggest armed forces in the bloc after the US.
But Mr Pompeo tried to spook US allies with the threat of Russian and Chinese challenges ahead of the alliance’s 70th anniversary summit in London next month, which is expected to attract mass protests.
He claimed Russia “invades its neighbours and slays political opponents” and that China “suppresses its own people” in an awkward address that ignored Nato member Turkey’s invasion of Syria, mass repression of opposition politicians and journalists and reported responsibility for the murders of Kurdish activists as far afield as France — not to mention the US policy of assassinating perceived opponents using robotic drones.
Challenged over Mr Trump’s remark that the alliance was “obsolete,” Mr Pompeo said the President meant that if the alliance did not become more confrontational internationally, and if European Nato members did not contribute more financially to it, it might be in danger of becoming obsolete.
Nato was founded in 1949 to — in the words of its first secretary-general, Britain’s Lord Ismay — “keep the Soviets out, the Americans in and the Germans down” following the end of World War II.
Since the end of the cold war, Nato has orchestrated the bombardment and dismemberment of Yugoslavia in 1999, took over the invasion of Afghanistan in 2003 and co-ordinated the assault on Libya in 2011 that reduced the country to chaos and civil war.
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