Reprint from Volume 35 Issue #9 of The Worker newspaper - published by The Workers Party U.S.A
NATO's Militarist Course Is Leading Mankind Towards a New World War
June-1, 2021 - From May 4 through the end of June, U.S. military forces are staging large-scale war "games" – Defender Europe 21 – in order to redouble the U.S. military posture, improve Europe-wide movement, readiness, and operational versatility alongside NATO and non-NATO partners.
Although the current exercises are cast as the largest in decades and as a part of recently mounting tensions between the U.S. and Russia, they are part of an escalation of U.S. militarization in Europe which took off 8-years ago with the launch of U.S. imperialism's "European Deterrence Initiative." With the launch of the initiative the Pentagon was authorized to turn around its direction by abandoning its earlier European disarmament doctrines.
In his Warsaw speech on the matter, President Obama summed up the scope of the U.S. posture of escalation as one involving not only flooding central and eastern Europe with new weapons systems, but also expansion of the field of NATO operations into out-of-area military "theaters". Of course, the precedent for out-of-area operations had already been set with NATO participation in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan just as the selling of post-Cold War NATO military build-up and expansion began during the Clinton administration.
According to Obama's June 4, 2014 speech, "Yesterday, I announced a new initiative to bolster the security of our NATO allies and increase America’s military presence in Europe. With the support of Congress, this will mean more pre-positioned equipment to respond quickly in a crisis, and exercises and training to keep our forces ready; additional U.S. forces – in the air, and sea, and on land, including here in Poland. And it will mean increased support to help friends like Ukraine, and Moldova and Georgia provide for their own defense.
"Just as the United States is increasing our commitment, so must others. Every NATO member is protected by our alliance, and every NATO member must carry its share in our alliance. This is the responsibility we have to each other.
"Finally, as free peoples, we join together, not simply to safeguard our own security but to advance the freedom of others. Today we affirm the principles for which we stand."
Thus, U.S. imperialism is militarizing Europe not in order to protect "peace and stability" but with the open aim of using NATO as a launching base in its pursuit of world hegemony. The alliance is directed, in the first place, against the workers and peoples of central and eastern Europe and their revolutionary struggles. Through NATO, U.S. imperialism's growing military presence will protect the investments and economic spheres of influence of U.S. and European imperialism by undermining the independence of the countries in central and eastern Europe.
In this year's May 3 announcement, spitting in the face of the European people, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby tried to define the issue of U.S.-led war games in Europe as a clear and above board act to be admired by all those who value international cooperation and transparency. According to Kirby, "Defender Europe is an exercise that's annual. We've been doing it for a long, long time. It's a defensive exercise. And it's one that helps us build interoperability. Here's the other thing that's different: we actually come to the podium and tell you about it...I'm going to continually talk about what we're doing – it's called transparency – it's a wonderful thing."
The Workers Party condemns the expansion of the NATO alliance which has always been and persists as an aggressive military alliance. Just as in the past it gave itself the immediate objective of the "containment of communism" to divide the people and cover up its aim of world conquest it does so today in the name of "counter-terrorism," "freedom," and "democracy." We can expect only more of the same from the twin parties of war. Moreover, NATO's very existence is antagonistic to the interests of everyone who holds humanity dear. It places before us the inescapable and urgent necessity for the working class and people to assert ourselves. NATO is leading humanity down the road towards a third world war. Only the independent movement and struggle of the workers and people can stay the hand of the imperialist war-makers and defeat them.