Macedonia’s NATO membership: On the frontline?

Macedonia’s NATO membership: On the frontline?

Biljana Vankovska, TFF Associate

June 22, 2021

There is a comprehensive, independent-minded “alternative” analysis of NATO’s crisis in general and the membership of North Macedonia in it. Dr Vankovska writes in the intro to her analysis that:

“North Macedonia (hereafter in the text, Macedonia) was officially admitted to NATO on 27 March 2020 as its 30th member state. It was supposed to look like a dream come true for generations of Macedonian citizens and the political elites across the ethnic divides. However, the act was hardly met with any euphoria…

Although Macedonia has joined NATO the political narrative and public (media and intellectual) rhetoric have not changed a bit. The military alliance is still seen through rose-coloured eyeglasses with not much relation to the objective state of affairs. It shows that the submissive and even naïve position in the mind and behaviour of the political elites is unlikely to change any time soon. Actually, they are still pretending to be buoyant and triumphant (especially with respect to the political opposition) amidst the growing collapse caused by a combination of pandemic and socioeconomic drama.

A realistic approach to the current and possible future developments is more than necessary due to the swift and dramatic changes that are taking place in the Euro-Atlantic space and in the individual member-states, particularly the USA. Being a NATO member state does not bring privileges and relaxation but rather increased military spending, engagements and responsibilities in an insecure world. It goes without saying that any member state is expected to deal with its internal problems by itself, to be aware of the dynamic security balance in the immediate region (especially in the NATO borderlands, such as the Balkans) and to balance its participation in global affairs in accordance with its socio-economic and other abilities.

For far too many years, Macedonian society was lulled in a dream of NATO fairyland. Not only society but also the state leadership has been conducting a rather autistic foreign policy. In the meantime, the world has changed dramatically: “the U.S. unipolar moment” is definitively gone, while an unsettled multipolar setting is on the rise. Furthermore, Macedonia still faces challenges for which NATO has no remedy.”

We recommend that you read this unique report – unique these days for its peace studies approach, critical attitude to militarism and debunking of all its propaganda tricks. In addition, NATO’s expansion – begun in 1994 by the Clinton Administration knowingly breaking all Western statesmen’s promises to Mikhael Gorbachev about never expanding NATO – comes from a corner of Europe that virtually all Western mainstream media neglect. And from a fiercely free-thinking scholar of the Balkans.

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