Former First sea Lord Admiral Lord West wrote that the contrast between Clement Attlee’s pursuit of an international system of defence and Mr Corbyn’s stance “is as staggering as it is tragic”.
And Professor John Bew, an acclaimed biographer of Mr Attlee, said the stance of Mr Corbyn and his team is “very harmful” and “transfers all the agency and blame to the Western alliance”.
The two experts hit out the day after President Putin claimed a landslide victory in a presidential election widely regarded as rigged.
They criticised Mr Corbyn’s peace kin approach in an essay published by the think tank Policy Exchange in the wake of Mr Corbyn’s refusal to condemn Russia for the nerve agent attack on double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury two weeks ago.
Nato has been the cornerstone of British defence policy since it was formed in 1949.
The basis of the US-led transatlantic alliance, which saw off the Soviet Union in the Cold War, is that an attack on one member is an attack on them all.
But in the past Mr Corbyn has described Nato as a “danger to the world” and refused to guarantee that he would “automatically” send troops to defend a Nato ally under attack.
In 1989, as the Cold War reached its climax, he also called for Britain to leave Nato.
But in a foreword to “In Defence of Collective Security” Lord West wrote: “The role that the Labour party played in the creation of the rules-based international order should never be forgotten.
“By leading the way in the creation of Nato, Clement Attlee’s Labour Government sought to create a system of collective defence that was built to last over the long-term.
“This difference with today is as staggering as it is tragic.
“Those now leading the Labour party have consistently criticised Nato and yet recent Russian behaviour sees a growing number of challenges to international law and deliberate attempts to threaten and undermine those within the Nato alliance.
“The present scale of discomfort over the strategic position of the leadership, evident from many Labour backbenchers, is a source of hope to me.
“I look around and still see many who follow in the proud tradition of Attlee, Bevin, Healey and Robertson.”
Professor Bew said: “As President Putin celebrates his latest election victory and enters his fourth term, the UK must show a robust response to the Skripal affair before the international community.
“It is not unreasonable to argue that Nato has made missteps since the end of the Cold War but the idea that it is somehow to blame for the current souring of relations with Russia is very harmful.
“The problem with the versions of this narrative subscribed to by people like Jeremy Corbyn, however, is that it transfers all the agency and blame to the Western alliance.
“While talk of a Cold War 2.0 should be avoided, there are important lessons from history, particularly the Treaty of Brussels signed 70 years ago.
“Attlee’s Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin talked of creating a “spiritual union” of the West in the face of totalitarianism, which would transcend political differences.
“The sense of shared values and purpose that has unified the Atlantic world on many occasions has been sadly dimmed in recent years.”
Prof Bew called for the UK to consult closely with Nato allies and to establish tougher laws regarding the free movement and assets of foreign nationals suspected of involvement in human rights abuses and corruption.
Source : EXPRESS