Ludo De Brabander
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NATO is celebrating, but there is little reason for it
Demonstration in Washington, 31 March 2019 (Photo: Ludo De Brabander)

NATO is celebrating, but there is little reason for it

NATO is celebrating its 70th anniversary!. There is little reason for it.

First, successive enlargements of NATO and the military build up of troops at NATO's eastern borders have created unnecessary political tensions with Russia.

Secondly, NATO has transformed itself into a powerful military intervention organization, marking its 50th anniversary in 1999 with a devastating war on Serbia, which was the alliance’s first major so called ‘out-of-area’ military intervention. Ever since, NATO wars in Afghanistan and Libya have immersed these countries in years of chaos and violence.

Thirdly, NATO member states also refuse to accede to the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and is on a unprecedented scale planning and working on the expansion and modernization of nuclear arsenals as well as on a missile shield.

Fourth, NATO member states are responsible for two thirds of the global arms trade that contributes to wars and destabilization, around the world.

Nevertheless, during his presentation of the NATO annual report in mid-March, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg claims that "NATO remains a pillar of stability for future generations".

Today, the Military Industrial Complex is drinking champaign. According to the last annual report, military spending by European members and Canada has increased by almost 4% in the past year. Since 2016, they have spent $ 41 billion more together. According to Stoltenberg, that will go up to 100 billion dollars by the end of next year. With $ 919 billion, NATO now accounts for more than half of global military spending.

NATO uses a completely outdated and militarised vision of security. In stead of serving security, NATO is an economic playfield for the intrests of military corporations with huge prospects of profit making at the expense of social and environmental investments.

The world does not need a new arms race, but diplomacy and confidence-building measures. We don’t need an expensive and dangerous nuclear war machine but policies to tackle economic, social and environmental root causes of violent conflicts and to curbe arms trade.

We have to counter the dangerous militarism of NATO and its member states. War and militarisation is not the answer, it’s the problem.

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