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NATO is a Warfare Alliance and Should Be Dissolved
Reflections after the 2023 NATO Summit
At his speech during the NATO Summit in Lithuania, President Biden called the U.S. and Europe “anchors for global security” when in reality there are no anchors during this increasingly dangerous and polarized time of never-ending war in Europe. Our NATO allies are not, as Biden would suggest, anchors in a turbulent sea of demons but rather catalysts stirring the cauldron of war on behalf of the US empire.
As NATO members send Ukraine more and more destructive weapons—from cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells to cruise missiles and F-16s—the terrifying possibility of a wider war, even a nuclear war, casts a shadow over the entire globe.
Biden rejects NATO membership for Ukraine at this time, with his national security advisor Jake Sullivan telling CNN that everyone “needs to look squarely at the fact” that allowing Ukraine to join NATO at this point “means war with Russia.” Biden and his administration seem to play both sides of the street as the President assures a fuming Zelensky that Ukraine’s future lies with NATO membership.
CODEPINK recognizes that the future of Ukraine, Russia, the Global South, and the entire world depends on a diplomatic resolution to this war. NATO has never been a force for peace and never will be.
Instead of seeking a negotiated solution to Russia’s criminal invasion, NATO has shunned peace talks that might address neutrality for Ukraine, referendums on the future of the Donbas and Crimea, a demilitarized zone along the border between Ukraine and Russia, and nuclear disarmament agreements that would remove Russia’s short-range nuclear weapons from Belarus in exchange for removal of anti-ballistic missiles in Romania.
In fact, the future of the planet depends on the dismantlement of NATO.
NATO has pushed the world towards greater militarization precisely at this delicate moment in history when we need to invest our resources in thwarting the climate crisis that threatens the future of this planet with collapsing ecosystems, wildfires and floods. Moreover, the tens of billions of dollars spent to continue the Russia-Ukraine war could be invested in alleviating global poverty that affects the daily wellbeing of millions of our brothers and sisters worldwide.
Simply put, to realistically mobilize a global effort to address the climate crisis and wealth inequality, we must end all wars. We need food, not bombs. We need healthcare, not warfare. We need climate relief, not perpetual killing.
CODEPINK believes that those who seek peace must not only push for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine, but must also call for NATO’s dissolution.
“NATO is a dangerous military alliance that, despite assurances to the contrary, expanded to Russia’s border to provoke a confrontation that now finds us mired in a proxy war that could lead to World War III,” warns Marcy Winograd, coordinator of CODEPINK Congress and co-chair of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition.
NATO’s modus operandi is war; it is not a defensive alliance. NATO invaded Yugoslavia in 1999 without a mandate from the UN Security Council. NATO waged a 20-year war in Afghanistan, leaving the people dirt poor and back in the hands of the Taliban. NATO illegally toppled the government of Libya in 2011. In addition to the present war with Russia, it has its sights set on China, building up a provocative Asia-Pacific military alliance with South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand to counter China. NATO is also a cash cow for arms manufacturers, and it is the enemy of nuclear disarmament in its opposition to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Next year, the NATO summit will be held in Washington DC to mark NATO’s 75th anniversary. CODEPINK calls for a global peace movement to say 75 years of nuclear proliferation, war and gifts to military contractors is enough!
“Without NATO, Europe would build its own security architecture to address the security concerns of all stakeholders, including Russia. Without NATO, we in the U.S. would be in a better position to build peaceful relations with China. Without NATO, the world would be a safer place,” says Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and author of War in Ukraine.
In a world where people are desperate to end war and are anxious to see a transfer of public funds from the military to human needs, NATO should indeed become a relic of the past.