Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 53 Number 3, January 28, 2023 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

No to NATO! No to War!

Turning the Whole of Europe into a Battlefield

Leopard 2 tank - Getty Images

Voltaire Network of January 24, 2023, carries a commentary by Manlio Dinucci which gives figures for the stockpiling of weapons throughout Europe which, it argues, are destined for global confrontation. The article says:

"The Federation of American Scientists confirms in January the news given by Grandangolo in December 2022 based on a US Air Force document: the C-17A Globemaster aircraft has been authorised to carry the US B61-12 nuclear bomb to Italy and other European countries."

It continues: "The US and NATO are pouring into Ukraine huge amounts of heavy artillery munitions supplied to the Kiev armed forces. The US - according to official figures - has so far sent more than one million rounds of ammunition for 155 mm howitzers to Ukraine, plus tens of thousands of missiles. About 300,000 rounds of ammunition come from US military depots in Israel. The arms shipment is managed by an international network, in which Camp Darby - the largest US arsenal outside the motherland, connected to the port of Livorno and Pisa military airport - plays a central role."

"At the same time," the article points out, "the US and NATO are enhancing the deployment of their forces in Europe, increasingly close to Russia. In Romania, NATO deployed AWACS aircraft, equipped with the most sophisticated electronic equipment, kept constantly in flight near Russian airspace. Also in Romania, the Pentagon deployed the 101st Airborne Division, which is being deployed to Europe for the first time since World War II."

Voltaire Network quotes from remarks given by Charles Michel, President of the Council of the European Union: "NATO remains the foundation of [our] collective defence." European Council President Michel made the remarks at a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg on January 10, 2023.

EU-NATO sign co-operation pledge

NATO and the EU signed a new 14-point joint co-operation declaration at their meeting on January 10. The new EU-NATO document builds on two previous joint declarations from 2016 and 2018.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, both sides stressed they aim to "take the partnership to the next level".

The declaration points to tackling "growing geostrategic competition", protecting critical infrastructure, and dealing with threats from emerging technologies and in space as important areas for deeper cooperation.

According to reports, EU and NATO diplomats point out that the document itself represents a diplomatic achievement given years of fears in some quarters that efforts to bolster the EU's role in defence could undermine the US-led military alliance.

Twenty-one of the EU's 27 member states are members of NATO, with Sweden and Finland on a path to join the military alliance by the end of 2023.

The new joint declaration says that "we recognise the value of a stronger and more capable European defence that contributes positively to global and transatlantic security and is complementary to, and interoperable with, NATO."

The two organisations "play complementary, coherent and mutually reinforcing roles in supporting international peace and security," it states.

Asked by reporters whether "strategic autonomy" is to be considered "dead" with the new push for co-operation, Michel said that the two main military doctrines of the two organisations would complement each other. "NATO's Strategic Concept complements, supports, and is consistent with the EU's [military] document, the Strategic Compass," Michel said. "Strategic autonomy does not say that you do not co-operate, you co-operate with like-minded partners," Von der Leyen said.

A key element of the declaration on co-operation between EU and NATO, signed by the heads of the institutions, is a vow to back Ukraine.

(Voltaire Network, EURACTIV)


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