In a 2011 interview, in the midst of the NATO bombing of Libya, Susan Modaress and award-winning historian Vijay Prashad discussed Libya, NATO, the UN, and 21st-century imperialism.
At 7:08, Vijay Prashad answered the intriguing question, “What is NATO?” The renowned historian explained NATO is essentially controlled by the US.
What is NATO? That’s the big question. I mean NATO is not [unintelligible] without the United States. That’s like you know, if you imagine you walk into a family and you believe that the children are running the show because it’s a children’s party. I mean even at the birthday party of a child, it’s still the parents that are preparing the food, that are organizing the cake, doing everything.
NATO is essentially like a children’s birthday party; the adults are still running the show. It is after all American commanders at NATO headquarters who will formulate policy; it is American money and personnel and armaments that are going to help strengthen the so-called “no-fly zone.” Even though the pilots may be Dutch or they may be English—whatever, that doesn’t matter; that’s their nationality. The show is still US NATO.
It’s not like America is an inexhaustible source of military strength; it’s an inexhaustible source of military hardware. But you cannot put that hardware into action unless you have troops, and unless you have an unstoppable money supply.