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Ex-NATO Chief Suggests Economic ‘Article 5’ to Protect West From ‘Bullies’ Russia and China

© AP Photo / Virginia MayoAnders Fogh Rasmussen (file)
Anders Fogh Rasmussen (file) - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.06.2022
The proposal comes ahead of the Western alliance’s upcoming Madrid Summit, at which the bloc’s possible expansion into Finland and Sweden, plus the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, are expected to be heavily discussed.
The world’s “democracies” need to create an economic version of NATO’s Article 5 pledge on mutual defence in order to defend themselves from aggression by economic “bullies” like Russia and China, former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has suggested.

“…We propose an Economic Article 5 among democracies to counter authoritarian coercion. Our proposal is inspired by NATO’s Article 5, which states that a military attack on one ally is considered an attack on all. The aim is to produce the same deterrence and solidarity in the economic realm among democracies that NATO produces in the security realm...<>…It’s time to tell the bullies that if they poke one of us in the eye, we’ll all poke back”, Rasmussen wrote in a memo published by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a neoliberal think tank.

The memo, co-written by former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council, suggested that the economic mechanism could operate in the form of an “alliance of democracies” that comes together and agrees, possibly through Washington’s "Summit for Democracy" format, to “secure unified support from fellow democracies” in the event of “economic coercion by an autocracy”.
The authors also recommended the creation of alternative “democratic” lines of credit and supply lines to help businesses adapt to soften the blow of pulling out of major “autocratic” markets.
Rasmussen and Daalder did not elaborate on the criteria for joining the so-called “democratic” bloc of nations, but did point to supposed efforts by “authoritarian countries” Russia and China to “use economic coercion against democracies” to use “economic levers to achieve geopolitical aims”.
The US and its allies have been accused of using similar measures for decades, particularly while levying so-called “secondary sanctions”, i.e. restrictions that threaten to target not only an individual country, but any other nation that does business with them.
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Rasmussen served as secretary of general of NATO from 2009 to 2014, and as prime minister of Denmark before that, sending Danish troops to join the US and UK invasion of Iraq in 2003. In 2011, in his capacity as NATO chief, he actively supported the bloc's bombing of Libya, which helped topple that country’s government and turn it into a failed state. In 2013, a year before the coup in Kiev which sparked the present Ukraine crisis, the NATO chief heavily pushed the alliance's so-called “open door” policy, under which NATO, in violation of promises made to Moscow in 1990 and 1991, has continued its unrelenting eastward expansion.
In an interview with the Financial Times on Friday, Daalder said his and Rasmussen’s proposal has been seen by the Biden administration, the Treasury and State Department, and by EU officials. “These are geostrategic interests…that may have to trump economic interests in a way that wasn’t probably true in the last 30 years, but needs to be true in the next”, he said.
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