NATO is Psycho — A Preliminary, Unofficial Diagnosis

Posted December 4, 2018, revised Dec 5, 17, 2018
Calvin Mulligan, Futurescapes21C (c) 2018, All rights reserved

I see that NATO ministers of Foreign Affairs met in Brussels, Belgium from December 4-5, 2018. While NATO wasn’t the focus of the agenda, an earlier meeting in Brussels referenced NATO from a very different perspective. I’m referring to the 12th European-Russian Forum held in the European Parliament in Brussels on November 26, 2018. Gilbert Doctorow, a Brussels-based political analyst and author, reported on the forum. Doctorow says the forum, “brought sobering realism to bear on the questions of whether we are headed into war with Russia, whether it can be limited in destructiveness and regional in scope or will quickly escalate to the global level with nuclear exchanges, and appraising what kind of outcomes we may anticipate.”

​With the West’s relations with Russia at an historic low, and military tensions at a dangerous new high, it’s important to ask how we got here. What went wrong? Doctorow’s report was clear as to where forum speakers laid the blame.

“There was a near consensus of all speakers regarding who is to blame for the deterioration in Russia’s relations with the West ever since the halcyon days following signing of the Paris Charter in November 1990 that formally ended the Cold War. This deterioration has moved with particular speed over the past decade bringing us today to the lowest point in relations since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

We heard from speaker after speaker that the US was and is to blame, starting with NATO expansion to the East in the mid-1990s and running through the US-managed coup d’état in Kiev on 22 February 2014 that installed an aggressively anti-Russian government in Ukraine. That crossed all of Moscow’s red lines and precipitated the re-incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation the following month, leading in turn to the Western response we see to this day: sanctions, nonstop information war and exacerbation of conflicts in Europe and in the Middle East, where Russia and the West have been backing proxies that are in conflict.”(1) 

The record shows that NATO, the so-called “system of collective defence” (2), has been playing offence, violating the Gorbachev-Reagan agreement and poking the bear. But why? Patrick Armstrong, former analyst in the Canadian Department of National Defence specialising in the USSR/Russia, attempts to psychoanalyze NATO. He concludes the alliance “demonstrates a dangerous level of ‘confirmation bias.'”  

He points out the brazen pro NATO New York Times propaganda and nature of NATO news speak. 

Could there be a better illustration of the truth of Kennan’s percipience than this headline from the New York Times in July 2017: “Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression“? The chutzpah of the headline is hard to swallow: Russia hasn’t moved anywhere. “The troops are conducting military maneuvers known as Zapad, Russian for ‘west,’ in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.” Belarus is an ally of Russia, Russia has a Baltic coastline of more than 400 kilometres, Kaliningrad is part of Russia. So what exactly is the reason what Russia can’t do whatever military things it wants to at home? Imagine the reaction if Moscow dared question an American military exercise in the USA. But this reversal of truth is now the propagandistic norm.” (3)  
In a subsequent article, Armstrong takes his analysis a step further. After examining the scope of fanciful and conflicting pro NATO war rhetoric (propaganda) regarding Russia, he concludes members are suffering from something more serious than simply confirmation bias. He states:  “There is a striking schizophrenia among NATO’s members: Russia is, at one and the same time, so weak it’s “doomed” and so strong that it’s demolishing NATOLand.” (4)

Another Canadian, lawyer-author, Christopher Black, also examined NATO behaviour. In short order, Black calls out NATO “saviour of democracy” propaganda, its diabolically inverted mission and the psychopathy of the leaders of the nations behind it.
“The US and its NATO allies treat international law with contempt, use intense propaganda on their own peoples to brainwash them to support this criminality, and try to intimidate them with their ‘war on terror’ as they savaged civil liberties. Law means nothing to the psychopaths who rule these nations and whose slogan is ‘peace through strength’ or, to penetrate the euphemism, ‘peace through war.'”(5) 
I’ve also attempted to make sense of the inexplicable behaviour of the organization known to many of its critics as the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization. It’s clear that one NATO propaganda tactic is psychological projection. It resembles that employed by antifa activists who are fond of aggressively  threatening any who oppose them and then branding their opponents as “haters” and “Nazis” among other things. It’s a style not unlike that of the playground bully who approaches and then repeatedly pushes the skinny kid wearing glasses while shouting “don’t touch me.” The bully then promptly leverages his own aggression by accusing the skinny kid of “hiting” him, thus justifying a beat down.
In a satirical essay on US foreign policy called Why can’t Sam learn?, I argued:
“… the NATO gang should be immediately broken up and each of its members given a similar assessment. Their aggressive behaviours and their enabling of (Uncle) Sam’s intimidation and bullying suggest that some of them may also suffering from a similar condition (psychopathology). To some extent however, they are also Sam’s victims. (Canada, is no exception.) (6) 
It’s sometimes said in management circles that the pathologies of organizations are the pathologies of their leadership. So we shouldn’t be surprised that NATO is demonstrating psychopathic behaviour. Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist is a useful diagnostic tool. The checklist describes one of this condition’s essential characteristics as “selfish and unfeeling victimization of other people.” Substitute “foreign nations” for “other people” and it is descriptive of NATO. At a glance, 15 of the 20 traits on the checklist are further descriptive of NATO ethos and conduct. They are:

  • glib and superficial charm (we’re your humanitarian rescuers bringing democracy)
  • grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
  • need for stimulation
  • pathological lying
  • cunning and manipulativeness
  • lack of remorse or guilt
  • shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
  • callousness and lack of empathy
  • parasitic lifestyle
  • poor behavioral controls
  • lack of realistic long-term goals
  • impulsivity
  • irresponsibility
  • failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  • criminal versatility (7)  

And in an essay entitled: Prayers for Canada’s Pogo Moment in 2017, I  argued that it was time for Canada to review its membership in NATO, considering the following questions: 
Which of our current NATO obligations predispose our acting, now or in the future, in ways at odds with Canadian values and our vision for the future?

In what ways has Canadian participation in foreign conflicts as a NATO member contributed to or exacerbated conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world?
In what ways has Canada as a NATO member with the backing of the military industrial complex, contributed to a more dangerous and less secure world? 
It what ways does our participation in NATO undercut our understanding of what is essential for the long-term global good and our desired contribution to it? (8) 
Do we need another reason to rethink our NATO commitment beyond that of its criminal pathology?. How about its incompetent management? The seventh anniversary of Gaddafi’s murder and a NATO-assisted regime change was October 20. If NATO practiced the most basic form of project management, it would have evaluated the Libya “democracy” intervention. The actual  result was that a prosperous and stable state was reduced to a chaotic and divided country with a depressed standard of living. I could add that some analysts also attribute the uncontrolled flood of North African migrants to Europe to the collapse of a strong central Libyan government. So the damage from that military escapade is still mounting.

​I have to conclude there was no honest evaluation of the Libya project and its rippling consequences. If there had been, it’s unlikely an intelligently-managed organization, supposedly dedicated to the good of humanity, would have plunged ahead with another disastrous regime change project in Syria (9). Again, the damage estimate associated with NAT0’s involvements in the Syrian war is still being tallied. So, from the an organizational management standpoint, NATO is an abject failure. I might add that in another world, one where international justice prevailed and NATO was accountable for its performance, NATO countries would be paying war reparations to both Libya and Syria to name just two recent victims of the alliance’s war crimes.   

Canada has other good reasons to re-evaluate its contributions to military spending and NATO in particular. This country spent $32 billion on military spending in the last year (10). Mark Taliano contends that this was “largely to bolster US imperialism abroad, to the detriment of humanity.” And Canada did this while running a deficit and lacking sufficient funds for infrastructure renewal, health care and other social programs. So here’s a modest suggestion. Why don’t we limit our “defence” expenditures to those items which are genuinely matters of Canada’s defence, tell the armaments industry lobbyists to take a hike and redirect precious resources to more peaceful and productive purposes. I promise you, it would generate a much “healthier” return than our current investment in the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization. 

Note: Add the name of one more of us (Jan Oberg) who thinks NATO has a serious psychological problem.
1. Experts and activists offer a sober evaluation of the risks of a major war between Russia and the West, Gilbert Doctorow, Anti-War Blog, Nov 30, 2018,

2. NATO, Wikipedia,,

3. Psychoanalyzing NATO, Patrick Armstrong, Strategic Culture, November 9, 2018,
4. Psychoanalyzing NATO: Schizophrenia, Patrick Armstrong, Strategic Culture, December 15, 2018.

5. On capitalism and eternal war: NATO as “world government,” Christopher Black, Global Research, October 3, 2018,

6. Why can’t Sam learn? Futurescapes21C, November 22, 2017,

7. Encyclopedia of mental disorders forum, Hare’s psychopathy checklist,

8. Prayers for Canada’s Pogo moment in 2017, Futurescapes21C, January 32, 2017,

9. Anniversary of Gaddaffi’s death and the current situation in Libya, Yuriy Zinin, New Eastern Outlook, October 18, 2018,

10. NATO economic straightjackets: Military spending drains public coffers, triggers collapse of social programs, Mark Taliano, Global Research, November 26, 2018.

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