The withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan marked the end of an era: the Global War on Terror. Back in 2018, the Trump administration announced that the entire US effort would be directed at preventing Russia and China from consolidating as world powers. That idea of multipolarity – of a world with several poles developing and cooperating in peace – had to be destroyed to secure US global domination. We can also not forget that the announcement of the new US strategy came hand in hand with its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a key agreement of Gorbachev and Reagan that helped reduce the risk of a nuclear war. Unfortunately, nuclear destruction is back on the table, military budgets in Europe are skyrocketing to levels previously thought impossible, and NATO is already over-armed with a military spending 54 times more than the world’s total in 2021.
To resolve the situation we live in, we must understand that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – this terrible war and its global repercussions – is framed within this New Cold War led by the US with the support of the EU and NATO members. A ceasefire and a return to negotiations is urgent, but so is stopping this process of splitting the world in two again.
Next week, at the next NATO summit in Madrid, member countries will adopt a new strategic concept following US aspirations on further confronting China and Russia. This will irresponsibly escalate international tensions. Instead, we need the strengthening of a multilateral framework based on global common and human security, disarmament, and a quick ban on nuclear weapons.
Why should the peace movement demand the dissolution of NATO?
Since its creation in 1949, NATO has been an offensive alliance led by the US that integrated authoritarian, fascist, and colonial regimes into its military project to fight the Cold War. After the fall of the USSR, instead of disappearing, it expanded in five consecutive waves into Eastern Europe and created bilateral alliances with more than 30 countries all over the world. Now we have a so-called “Global NATO”, an international network that uses military agreements, bases, maneuvers, arms deliveries and intelligence to interfere in countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America and troop deployments to ensure its geopolitical dominance. We cannot forget that NATO-led military interventions have destabilized and destroyed Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya. The trail of destruction and militarization of the world is undeniable and in the midst of this global crisis, we must demand a path of lasting peace for the world, not a path of confrontation and division.
The New Cold War prevents us from addressing the challenges we face as humanity
All wars are terrible. In all wars, people suffer. Their consequences and sequels last for generations. The future of countries is destroyed, as we see in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, or the Sahel. But there is an alternative agenda, the United Nations 2030 agenda, which defines that the priorities of humanity are the fight against inequality and poverty, tackling the climate crisis or the access to health and vaccines. These global challenges that threaten the daily security of people cannot be addressed in the middle of a war that divides the world in two and plunges us into a new economic and global crisis that causes inflation to rise, puts our food and energy security at risk, and focuses the efforts of states on military investment and destruction. Military alliances do not solve our problems, but dialogue, demilitarization and international cooperation do.
The Peace Summit: The peoples’ alternative to NATO and War
This weekend, a Peace Summit is organized in Madrid. Friday and Saturday we will have panels, discussions, workshops, music, poetry and art for peace. Organizations from Madrid and Spain and several international movements will meet in the Auditorio Marcelino Camacho to work together and organize the struggle for real security of the people and the planet. For those who cannot come to Madrid, a lot of panels will be streamed at the Transform Europe! YouTube channel in Spanish and English. The International Peace movement and political and grassroots organizations from the feminist struggle, ecology, healthcare, Western Sáhara, Palestine, South Africa, Cuba, Germany, Finland and El Salvador will share their analysis and visions for a world that will respect the sovereignty of the peoples and build human rights for all. And Sunday at 12, we will march together from Atocha Square for Peace against wars and NATO.
The Peace Summit in Madrid is key at this moment because of NATO’s new strategic concept that will establish a global scale war. This weekend, we come together because it is not just an idea, but also a political practice that is not just about stopping all ongoing wars, but also for building social justice and cooperation among countries for a prosperous coexistence. War is not inevitable! Let us mobilize together against the NATO summit this weekend in Madrid.
While they organize the war summit, we organize the Peace Summit.
Nora Garcia is a member of the No Cold War Platform and Franziska Kleiner works with the International Peoples’ Assembly.