Asia: Say No To NATO
Kishore Mahbubani


Something very dangerous happened a few weeks ago when the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) held its meeting in Brussels. In its communique after the meeting on June 14, it identified China as a “systemic challenge” to areas “relevant to Alliance security”.

The implicit message was clear: Nato would like to expand its tentacles beyond the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. All of us who live close to the Pacific Ocean, especially in East Asia, should be deeply concerned…..

Many of the bombing missions were illegal under international law. I vividly remember having dinner at the home of a former Canadian diplomat in Ottawa when Nato decided to bomb Yugoslav forces in 1999. This Canadian diplomat was deeply worried. Since this military campaign was neither an act of self-defence nor authorised by the United Nations Security Council, it was clearly and technically illegal under international law.

Indeed, Ms Carla Del Ponte, a former special prosecutor in the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, tried to investigate whether Nato committed war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. Even though most Nato countries believe in the sanctity of international law, they applied so much political pressure that Ms Del Ponte could not carry out her investigations.