While the G-7 has split because of the tariff war, those fighting on opposing sides of it are at the same time coming together to strengthen NATO and its partner network.
The tactic proposed by Trump to restore the G-8, aiming at involving Russia in a G-7 plus one and thus removing it from Chinese influence, was rejected by EU leaders and the EU itself, who fear Washington-Moscow negotiations being done over their heads. However, the new Italian Prime Minister Conte expressed his approval, was called “a really great guy” by Trump and got an invitation to the White House. However, all the players are pursuing the same strategy in the end. This is confirmed by the latest decisions taken by NATO, whose main members are the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Britain and Italy, plus Japan as a partner—i.e. all the powers of the G-7.
On June 7, the summit of the 29 NATO ministers of defense (including Italy’s Elisabetta Trenta from the M5S) unanimously decided to strengthen the command structure aimed at anti-Russia defense, increasing its staff by over 1,200 personnel; to establish a new Joint Command for the Atlantic, at Norfolk in the United States, against Russian submarines threatening the maritime lines of communication between the US and Europe; and to set up a new logistics command at Ulm in Germany, as a “deterrent” against Russia, with the task to move troops more rapidly through Europe in the case of any conflict.
“Military mobility” lies at the core of NATO-EU cooperation, which will be strengthened in July by a new agreement. By 2020, the NATO presence in Europe will consist in 30 armored battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels, deployable against Russia within 30 days or less. For this purpose, as required by the US, the European Allies and Canada have increased their military spending by $87 billion since 2014, and have pledged to increase it even further.
Germany’s defense spending will rise in 2019 to an average of €114 million per day, and it plans to increase it by 80 percent by 2024. At the same time as they were quarrelling with the US at the G-7 summit in Canada over tariffs, in Europe Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Italy were taking part in the Saber Strike exercise, under US command, which is taking place from June 3 to June 15 in Poland and the Baltic Sea, near the Russian territory, mobilizing 18,000 soldiers from 19 countries. The same countries plus Japan (i.e. all the other members of the G-7 beside the US), will also take part in RIMPAC 2018 in the Pacific, again under US command: the largest naval exercise in the world, with an anti-China strategic function. In these trial runs for war, from Europe to the Pacific, Israeli forces are also taking part for the first time.
The Western powers, divided by conflicts of interest, are making a common front in order to to maintain their imperial domination of the world, put into crisis by the emergence of new social and State actors, and to do so by any means necessary—including war. At the same time that the G-7 was splitting apart in Canada over tariffs, in Beijing China and Russia were entering into new economic agreements. China is the biggest trading partner of Russia, which in turn is China’s top energy supplier. The volume of trade between the two countries will rise this year to about $100 billion. China and Russia are cooperating in the development of the New Silk Road across 70 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
This project—which will contribute to “a multipolar world order and more democratic international relations” (Xi Jinping)—is opposed by both the US and the European Union: 27 of the 28 EU ambassadors to Beijing (with the exception of Hungary) have argued that this project violates the principles of free trade and seeks to divide Europe.
It is not only the G-7 that is in crisis, but the unipolar world order imposed by the West as a whole.