Wed May 22, 2024
May 22, 2024



On June 29 and 30, the NATO summit will be held in Madrid, which is expected to be attended by 44 leaders worldwide, including Joe Biden.
Created by the great imperialist powers in 1949, NATO has a history of military aggression, occupations and assassinations, which has nothing to envy Putin’s army. From Iraq to Afghanistan, from Vietnam to Syria, the peoples of the world can attest such a bloody curriculum.
Even where their interventions were dressed as “humanitarian”, it would suffice to ask the inhabitants of Srebrenica how NATO and the UN “protected” them when after almost three years of siege, on July 11, 1995, the Serbian general Ratko Mladic ordered the final attack against 40,000 civilians in that Bosnian city, a declared “protected” area.
NATO is an imperialist war machine, it was never at the service of peace, nor of guaranteeing any right of the peoples, but instead protects the geostrategic interests of their respective bourgeoisies. It has not hesitated, as happened in Bosnia, to intervene to impose an agreement in the name of peace, which divided the country and legitimised the partition and theft of its territory.

When we write these lines, there are already 18 migrants killed on the Melilla border because of the death agreement between the Spanish government of the PSOE-UP and Morocco. It is to this objective that the announcement by Sánchez and Defence Minister Margarita Robles responds to propose at the summit a reinforcement and deployment of NATO on its southern flank facing Africa.
For this reason, the just repudiation that the vast majority of the working class and youth feel in the face of Putin’s genocidal invasion cannot lead us to give in to false narratives about the supposed defensive nature of NATO, nor place any hope in this machinery of death. On the contrary, it is necessary to continue denouncing its true character as an imperialist military alliance.
The most notable feature of this summit, in relation to others, is that it is being held during Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which is now four months old.
The war of aggression against Ukraine has served to give NATO – a discredited and questioned entity among the population of several of its member countries – a social credibility that it did not have to strengthen itself.
Putin has provided the social pretext for Sweden and Finland, historically neutral, to have decided to join NATO. Fear of a future attack by Russia is the reason why this traditional non-aligned stance changed. If half a year ago, only 20% of the Finnish population (whose country shares more than 1,300kms of border with Russia) was in favour of accession, today 3 out of four Finns support joining the Atlantic Organization.
Even in the Spanish State, where membership of NATO was questioned from the beginning by a very important sector of the population, according to a recent survey, the population’s support for the Atlantic Alliance reaches 83%.
Suffice to say the resounding words of the US president, reproduced in the media around the world, in reference to the doubts that arose in past years about whether NATO made sense in the world of the 21st century: “NATO is relevant, it is effective and it is more necessary now than ever”. An undoubtedly golden gift from Putin and his friends to NATO.
One of the stated goals of the summit, and part of the narrative of imperialism, is to uphold “the extreme commitment of the leaders [of NATO member countries] to support Ukraine and demonstrate their solidarity not only with words, but with deeds.” (Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO).
To stage that support, President Zelensky has been invited to the summit, eventually joining by videoconference.
The United States is, by far, the country that has so far been most involved in aid to the Slavic country, with a disbursement as of May 10, 2022, of more than 42,000 million euros, of which only 24,000 million would be military aid. It is enough to compare this figure with the total US military spending, which in 2021 was 801 billion dollars.
The Spanish government, while reiterating a thousand times its “solidarity and support for Ukraine” has done nothing but send military scrap that is not enough for two hours of war. The same could be said of Germany or Great Britain. The reality is that total military aid to Ukraine does not exceed even 1% of NATO’s military hardware.
They refuse to send heavy weapons to Ukraine; they have even denied the delivery of Russian-made planes ready to be used and even blocked the shipment of tanks despite being obsolete and unusable material for almost a decade. NATO’s military support for Ukraine is strictly speaking a propaganda weapon to socially justify its existence, as well as to try to avoid social rejection in the imperialist countries of the growing increase in military spending and the arms rearmament policy.
It is enough to see how in 2021 world military spending reached 2.1 trillion dollars, 2.2% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. At this summit, the US will once again ask its allies to increase the military budget to 2% of GDP. Germany has already taken a strategic turn that did not change since the end of the Second World War in its arms policy, increasing its military spending to 110,000 million dollars, surpassing Britain, which last year was the second country in NATO and the third in the world. Similarly, Biden announced a 4% increase in the US military budget for 2023.
The military industry becomes, as so often during capitalist crises, an «anti-crisis» mechanism. Amid a global pandemic, the military industry survived and prospered in 2020. Led by the US, arms sales have been growing since 2015, increasing for the sixth year in a row even as the world economy contracted during the first year of the pandemic.
Putin’s invasion, as we have said before, has given the imperialist powers the social pretext to unleash a general arms race, military aid to the Ukrainian people will not go beyond the required scrap metal that must be thrown away to make room for the new and modern military arsenal.
Although the declared objective of this summit is to draw up the common roadmap for the military alliance in the coming years (“the new strategy”), underlying and continuing is the clash of interests between the different imperialist countries and the background contradictions that their meeting will not be able to resolve.
Before the invasion, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which links Russia with Central and Western Europe, was seen as a major threat by the US capitalist energy sector. The intense pressure exerted on European countries, especially Germany, to remain in US-controlled supply networks and, more generally, by isolating Russia (and Iran) from global energy markets, have been important reasons for US politics in recent years.
The war expresses the global economic crisis of capitalism and as part of this crisis, the fierce inter-imperialist dispute for control of energy resources. Despite the apparent unity of NATO, Germany, which depends on Russian gas and oil, is rearming in alliance with French imperialism and dragging the EU behind them, to try to position itself independently against China and the US. USA and play its own imperialist role in the conflict between the two.
The actions of the imperialist countries and NATO make it very clear that what they do agree on is that it is not about destroying Putin (who, among other things, plays an important role in stopping possible revolutionary processes in the region). Their goal is to stop him and defeat him in his plans to control the production, distribution and marketing of gas and oil.
In this context, the pompous declarations of “support to the end” for Ukraine and the shipment of weapons, little enough and not fit for purpose, is not for Ukraine to win the war, but to force Zelensky to carry out a negotiated solution.
In this war of invasion of Ukraine and of Ukrainian national liberation, one cannot ignore the miserable role being played by a sector of the left that, this week, will hold various acts in repudiation of this summit.
A part of them – the least –, justify the invasion of Ukraine by saying that there was no other solution to the threat of NATO expansion or defend Putin’s shameful lie about the “denazification” of Ukraine. Another sector condemns Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and then does not devote a single line of support and solidarity to the Ukrainian people in its statements and writings and refuses to demand that the governments send weapons to Ukraine, arguing that this would only contribute to the remilitarization of Europe and the empowerment of NATO.
This miserable attitude that denies in practice the right of the Ukrainian people to defend themselves and their national sovereignty, places them on the side of Putin. They are part of what we could call the “unconfessed friends of Putin.”
From the IWL-FI we continue to demand that all countries that claim to defend the right of Ukrainians to their sovereignty, SEND MORE ARMS TO UKRAINE without any condition. Because the invasion cannot be stopped with words alone and because the Ukrainian people have the right to determine their politics, their economy, their culture and their way of life, which have been violently shaken.

No to Putin or NATO

At the same time, from our commitment to the heroic Ukrainian resistance, we believe that the Ukrainian people should not harbour the slightest political trust in NATO, nor in any of the imperialist powers. Our confidence remains in the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian workers and people. Only the independent action of the working class will lead the war of national liberation to victory. It must take into its own hands the tasks of defence and victory over the occupiers, organize itself independently and move towards the establishment of its own government of the workers and the exploited people.
It is for all this that on the occasion of this summit, we continue to denounce loud and clear that the working class and the peoples of Europe and the whole world are not safer and more protected, but more threatened by this military alliance! The military rearmament will also mean a greater indebtedness of the countries, that will translate into more social cuts and misery for the population.
We continue to demand the drastic reduction of military spending, nuclear disarmament and the destruction of weapons of mass destruction!
Dissolution of NATO and all military alliances and pacts and the dismantling of their military bases abroad!
Stop imperialist interventions!
Dissolution of the professional armies and their replacement by an army based on the principle of the people in arms!
Against NATO and the imperialist pacts let’s build a revolutionary international
European Sections of the International Workers League – Fourth International

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