The state of votes
NATO - Montenegro - Let's go!
NATO? No "tanks"!
Milicic Milosav | 2013. June 17. 21:46
It is not a surprise that Montenegrin society is divided regarding integration policies. However, there are many arguments in favor of NATO membership. The most important ones include public security and national economic interests.
It is true that Montenegro's past experiences with NATO are not pleasant at all. That explains that one part of the society has negative feelings towards the alliance. The question is whether these feelings are to be taken into consideration while deciding on the integration. The answer is no. Feelings are to be considered when a schoolboy is thinking about dating a schoolgirl (or vice-versa) but not in case of a choice which is about to make the country safer and more prosperous. In that kind of situation rationality should be our best friend.
Montenegro is a Balkan country which fell into the war zone in almost every European war (First Balkan war, Second Balkan war, World War I, World War II, Civil war in Bosnia, War in Kosovo - to mention only some examples from the last century). In the Balkans there are three main religions, many nationalities… and a lot of different foreign interests. The combination of all these factors makes the Balkans a powder keg and a very bad place for the weak. It is clear that Montenegro has to protect its sovereignty more than some other countries. NATO membership would be the best guarantee to ensure Montenegro's security.
In fact, other organizations or big countries, such as China or Russia which have a real capacity to provide strong military support are just too far from Montenegro to guarantee effective protection. NATO, on the contrary, is already in the neighborhood: Italy, Croatia, Albania and Greece are already member states. In case of a problem, time is a decisive factor so we cannot ignore that NATO would be the fastest to react if Montenegro needed assistance.
Economy is the other main topic of the NATO debate. It is worth pointing out that even if the integration has its costs (Montenegro must keep its army and weapons up to date) NATO would not force the state to buy the equipment. It would only require that the country followed some standards to be sure that it has a modern, well equipped military force. Furthermore, respecting these standards would also be a good opportunity for the Montenegrin military industry. Being in conformity with NATO standards would be a great reference for the sale of military equipment. The successful trade agreement on the export of MT9 guns, approved by NATO, from Montenegro to Paraguay and the Philippines is a good illustration of that.
Finally, other economic sectors would also benefit from Montenegro's NATO membership. The country would be safer and safer countries which respect the rule of law are more attractive for good faith foreign investors. In the past, Montenegro had some bad experiences with some suspicious investors, an experience what’s negative effect is still felt today by the citizens. It is time to ensure stability and ensure safe investors that their money is in security so that Montenegro can benefit form checked investments. Imagine what impact these investments would have on life standards of ordinary citizens!
Ivan Otovic | 2013. June 17. 21:46
The majority of Montenegrins do not support the country's NATO membership. And they are right. Let's see some cons of joining a controversial alliance.
The members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombed the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), of which Montenegro was part of back then, without the agreement of the United Nations’ (UN) Security Council in 1999. Afterwards freedom, democracy and all other Western values fell from the sky onto “the primitive and barbaric’’ soil of Montenegro. Those values had planted a root deep inside the Montenegrin society, so that appropriate conditions emergde for the country to become itself the member of the alliance. However, something is wrong with this fairy tail.
The NATO’s founding document contains that the alliance has to defend the democratic achievements with its great arsenal wherever it is necessary. The ruling elite, making constant efforts to persuade the public that the place of our country is within the alliance, expresses that in their own humble opinion joining NATO will grant Montenegro national security, economic growth and the inflow of foreign capital. These claims are unfortunately far from reality.
Why would we fear for our national security when the government claims that we have friendly relations with the surrounding countries and also with more distant states? Albania and Croatia, both members of the alliance, were the only close historical foes of Montenegro, yet we never had any problems with other neighboring countries. Montenegrins are also confused because they believe that NATO will protect them from the terrorist attacks, but they have in fact witnessed the devastating attacks on New York, Madrid and London.
Joining the alliance would mean that Montenegro will send its soldiers to various types of missions, even though they seriously lack modern equipment and logistic support. And all that in order to support dubious military actions. Let's tell the truth: the NATO has already invaded sovereign states like Libya, Iraq and Yugoslavia without any hesitation. This must be seen as a dire imperialist attack on the free and recognized countries to achieve the goals of Western countries, foremost the Anglo-Saxon ones. The leading powers of NATO have a special approach to international law: sometimes they like to refer to its values and written laws while in other cases they completely ignore them. The setting up of democratic institutions and the protection of human rights is only their decoy for interventions.
One of the most important reasons mentioned as a pro for joining NATO is the huge economic gain which would be made when the Montenegrin companies get the chance to sell their products in foreign markets. However, existing manufacturing capacities cannot produce more weapons and other gear for NATO forces. Furthermore, the accession itself will not change a thing regarding the foreign money flows for investments where the law is clear on certain issues. Montenegro does not have a stable economy today and the solution to that cannot come from NATO. Furthermore, despite the long time lobbying of the government as well as of some non-profit organizations, only 30% of the population supports the accession. In fact, the citizens had not forgotten the unnecessary aggression, the civilian victims and the hostile attitude of the Western powers towards people who are historically close to Russia.
The debate is redundant although the majority has clearly expressed their will, which did not change despite pressure from official circles. We need to say yet again and as clearly as possible the simple word: "no". We would never join from our free will the organization of NATO.
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