At the recent Madrid Summit, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) released its new strategic concept. This is the first update of the principles and purpose of the transatlantic alliance in 12 years.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called it the most significant transformation of the alliance since the end of the Cold War. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described it as “the blueprint for how we will approach the world together”.
All 30 members of the alliance, including Canada, have endorsed NATO’s Strategic Concept 2022.
Yet it is a dangerous plan to preserve Western dominance through greater militarism and division. As the 13-page concept explains, the Euro-Atlantic alliance is gearing up to fight and compete in a “contested and unpredictable world.”
With a “360 degree approach”, NATO extends its operational domains beyond land, air and sea to information, cyber and space. .”
NATO’s rapid reaction force will be increased from 40,000 to 300,000 troops and more munitions will be prepositioned in Eastern Europe. Sweden and Finland, which respectively share a maritime border and a land border with Russia, will join the alliance.
At a press conference in Madrid, Defense Minister Anand announced that Canada will reinforce its troops leading the NATO battle group in Latvia. Prime Minister Trudeau says Canada is providing Ukraine with more weapons, including sniper rifles, ammunition, drones and armored vehicles to continue the fight against Russia ‘for as long as it takes’ .
Nuclear-armed members, the United States, United Kingdom and France, are modernizing their arsenals and new NATO-controlled Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense systems in Poland and Romania enable a first-class attack strike threatening Russia.
There was no mention in the concept or at the summit of arms control, non-proliferation or disarmament measures. Moreover, in Madrid, the allies did not call for de-escalation, a ceasefire or a negotiated resolution to end the war raging in Ukraine.
A war largely sparked by NATO’s “senseless” expansion, as asserted by Dr. John Mearsheimer, an international relations expert at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, an economist at Columbia University .
NATO has put China directly in its sights. The concept describes how the alliance will expand beyond the Euro-Atlantic region into the Indo-Pacific. For the first time, leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea attended a NATO summit and described China as “coercive” and “aggressive”.
Africa and the Middle East are also identified as regions where NATO will be more present to counter “terrorism”. However, the subtext is that NATO will challenge China in both regions to undermine its Belt and Road Initiative, a massive infrastructure program to help poor countries expand and improve trade. with Asia.
To pay for this NATO enlargement, the allies have agreed to invest more in the NATO common fund and in their military budgets to meet or exceed the 2% of GDP target. Yet, as the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has reported, the thirty allies account for 60% of the $2 trillion annual total of global military spending.
NATO’s latest defense spending report shows Canada ranks 6th among all allies with $35 billion in military spending in 2022, a 75% increase since 2014.
NATO’s new strategic concept is not a plan for “international peace and security”; it is a plan to maintain the power and wealth of the West through armed force and the containment of other countries. This will divert public funds from necessary social programs like housing and health care to the military and arms manufacturers.
More disturbingly, NATO’s plan for the next decade will derail the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement’s climate goals as Euro-Atlantic allies clash with other countries instead of cooperating. with them on global challenges.
Canadians should reject NATO’s new strategic concept and reconsider our continued membership in this military alliance.