NATO Nations Can Never Escape: Even Left-Wing Governments and Parties are Infiltrated by Atlanticists

France and Greece were the only NATO nations to successfully quit the military structure of the Western «defense» organization. In 1966, President Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of NATO’s military command structure and expelled NATO’s headquarters from outside of Paris.  France has been a full-fledged member of the military wing of NATO since 2009 when Nicolas Sarkozy, with only verbal grandstanding from the French Socialist Party, reversed de Gaulle’s nearly four-decade old policy. In fact, in 1966, the French Socialist Party moved to censure de Gaulle for pulling France out of NATO’s military structure. Socialist President Francois Hollande has shown no inclination toward re-adopting de Gaulle’s policy and withdraw France from NATO’s military command. Hollande, like Sarkozy and the last Socialist President Francois Mitterand, is a committed Atlanticist.

In 1974, Greece withdrew from NATO’s military command structure in protest over the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus. However, conservative New Democracy Prime Minister Konstantine Karamanlis, a fervent supporter of NATO, rejoined NATO’s military command structure in 1980.

Declassified Central Intelligence Agency documents point to a major program by the United States to woo leaders of European NATO countries to support the alliance, even though they may have been committed left-wingers and, at least in public, against NATO policies.

A case example of a country where the CIA successfully co-opted left-wing leaders to support NATO’s agenda is Denmark. A formerly Confidential CIA memorandum, produced by the agency’s National Foreign Assessment Center and dated January 31, 1980, details the CIA’s program to ensure that Denmark’s left-of-center Social Democratic Party refrain from defense budget cuts and supported NATO’s decision to modernize its theater nuclear force (TNF) by deploying 572 ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCM) and Pershing II nuclear-armed missiles in Western Europe.  The decision by NATO was seen in Moscow as a major reason to launch an invasion of Afghanistan because Soviet leaders felt they had nothing to lose by responding to NATO’s missile deployments in Europe.

The CIA obviously viewed Denmark’s Social Democratic government, with its strong pacifist tendencies as a threat to the NATO TNF modernization program. It is also clear that Danish Prime Minister Anker Jorgensen, who, on the surface appeared to be left-wing, was firmly in NATO’s camp. The CIA memo points out:  «Jorgensen is likely to face growing pressure on defense issues including NATO’s theater nuclear forces from the more pacifist parliament elected in October».

The October election strengthened the Social Democrats at the expense of the conservative. Pro-NATO parties and brought an end to the previous coalition between the Social Democrats and the conservative Liberal Party.  The CIA set out to rally its supporters, including Jorgensen, to the NATO cause and to neutralize the parliamentary power of the committed anti-NATO parties of the left, including the Radical Liberals, Left Socialists, and Socialist People’s Party. The CIA had the conservative parties under its control and it was from the ranks of one of them, the Liberal Party, that NATO’s current Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, rose to the post of Prime Minister, where he was a loyal foot soldier for U.S. military aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is noteworthy that in the CIA document, Henning Christophersen, the leader of Rasmussen’s Liberal Party in parliament, is cited as «being very cautious in statements on Afghanistan. He has been unwilling to go so far as to ‘condemn’ Soviet actions there».

After NATO pressured Jorgensen to increase Danish defense spending by 3 percent annually, he responded by stating that the 1978-81 defense budget was fixed and could not be changed. However, Jorgensen promised to seek a 3 percent increase in the 1981-85 budget.
It was clear in the CIA document that the agency felt it had the nominally-left-of-center Jorgensen in its pocket. The document states: «He [Jorgensen] believes that NATO is necessary and that the West must maintain a rough military balance with the Eastern bloc». The CIA saw Jorgensen as a bulwark against Social Democratic «young, radical first-termers in Parliament».

But the CIA’s ace up its sleeve on Western European TNF modernization was experienced Social Democratic politicians, all cited by the CIA document as having past and current relationships with the United States. The CIA document provided profiles of the Social Democrats in the Jorgensen government:

«Kjeld Olesen. Minister of Foreign Affairs.Olesen has always been regarded as friendly to the United States and pro-NATO. There are indications that he favored TNF modernization, and argued for it in party councils in 1979. Olesen is an ambitious politician, and given his party’s current leftward tilt on defense matters, he will need encouragement if he is to take a leadership role on behalf of NATO proposals». {In the CIA’s world, «encouragement» often means providing some sort of favors to an individual].

The CIA had other reliable people in the Jorgensen government. The document continues:

«Poul Sogaard. Minister of Defense.Sogaard is a specialist in defense matters and, like Olesen, has strong US connections . . .

Svend Jakobsen. Minister of Finance. A leftwing Social Democrat with close ties to labor, he would be a valuable convert to the cause of TNF modernization. He is considered friendly toward the United States . . .

Ivar Norgaard. Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy.Norgaard is an SDP stalwart who is one of the government’s most experienced officials on international economics and energy . . . He has not taken much interest in security matters, although he has worked harmoniously with US officials on many occasions.

Knud Heinesen. SDP parliamentary leader and Minister of Finance during 1975-79.Heinesen is perhaps Prime Minister Jorgensen’s closest adviser. Heinesen visited the United States in 1963 under the International Visitor Program, and he has returned several times since then… Heinesen’s connections with young, leftist SDP members would make him a valuable ally in efforts to increase defense forces.

Poul Dalsager. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. He is believed to be friendly toward the United States, although he is not involved in security issues».

K.B. Andersen. Minister of Foreign Affairs during much of the 1970s. As Foreign Minister, Andersen was generally sympathetic to US positions on security issues, but like the Prime Minister he places priority on détente.

Lasse Budtz. An SDP defense spokesman. A prolific writer and speaker on defense and the Atlantic Alliance, Budtzis pro-NATO, but he also supports measures aimed at furthering détente».

The CIA wanted to offer those considered friendly to the United States carrots. But those who were opposed to NATO TNF modernization were also «noticed» by the CIA, including

«Svend Auken. Minister of Labor. Only 36, Auken is widely regarded as a possible future leader of the SDP. Except for antiwar statements regarding Vietnam, Auken has said little about foreign relations, but he probably cool toward defense spending. There is little chance that he can be convinced TNF is worthwhile, but any moderation of his views could be beneficial to the US.

Karl Hjortnaes. Minister of Taxation. Like many SDP leaders, he has shown little interest in security affairs, and ascribing less importance to them than to social issues. He is currently under attack by other parties for allegedly having underpaid his taxes».

When there was the slightest indication that Denmark might drift away from NATO, the CIA decided who among Danish politicians it had in the American court and which of them were off-sides. The same playbook is used across NATO today, which should adopt the motto: «NATO: once you’re in, you can’t get out».

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