The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) organised a summit on July 8 and 9, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. The US imperialists used the Summit to vigorously push ahead with militarisation of Eastern Europe and stepped up preparations targeting Russia. The summit also decided to escalate NATO led military interventions targeting Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the countries and peoples of Africa.
The Summit was attended by Heads of State and Government of NATO's 28 member countries among others. Apart from these, it was attended by official delegations from 26 "partner countries" and representatives from the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank.
Since the last Summit in Wales, UK in 2014, NATO has tripled the size of its Response Force, intended to assemble and respond within a week to 10 days, to 40,000 members. It has also added a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force or Spearhead Force that is supposed to be able to deploy within 48 hours to NATO's eastern and southern flanks.
Speaking at a press conference on July 4, 2016, the NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg said that since the last Summit NATO had "delivered a faster, a stronger, and a readier Alliance," and that "… at our Summit in Warsaw, we will agree to further enhance our military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance."
On July 8, 2016, US President Obama announced that the US will station a battalion of 1,000 troops in Poland and establish the headquarters for a separate brigade of 3,500 U.S. troops and heavy weaponry that will move throughout Eastern Europe on continuous, nine-month rotations. Germany and Britain are expected to command two battalions in Lithuania and Estonia, respectively.
A news release on the Summit reads: "To the east, NATO will continue to boost the defence capabilities and build the resilience of its partners Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova to resist outside pressure and to advance reforms…NATO will continue to work closely with partners such as Finland, Sweden and Georgia, who have a significant contribution to make to security in the strategically important Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions.”
The Summit adopted measures to step up deployment of military personal and ballistic missiles in Romania directed at Russia, Iran and other countries.
All this militarisation of Eastern and South Eastern Europe and stepped up war preparations is being justified under the name of “deterring Russian aggression”. In fact, it is NATO that is threatening Russia and all the peoples of NATO member countries, as well as the people of the “partner countries”. Many of these partner countries were republics of the former Soviet Union before its disintegration 25 years ago.
The US imperialists founded the NATO military alliance in 1949. Through NATO, the armed forces of the member countries were brought under US command and control. NATO had multiple aims. It was aimed at putting relentless military pressure and blackmail on the socialist Soviet Union and the countries of people’s democracies that had been established in Eastern and South Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War. Simultaneously, it was aimed at crushing the struggle for revolution and liberation amongst the working class and peoples of the NATO member countries.
Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the bipolar division of the world, NATO has aggressively expanded its membership in Eastern Europe, as well as expanded its military theatre of operations to Asia and Africa. NATO currently has 28 member states across North America and Europe. Another 22 countries are engaged in the Euro Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). A further 19 countries are partnered with NATO through programs such as the so-called “Partnership for Peace”.
The decisions of the NATO Summit intensify the already grave threat to peace in Europe and Asia. They are grave provocations and aim to instigate conflict among peoples of Poland, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. It is an outright lie to say these are deterrent moves, when the whole world can see that the dominant states in NATO like US and Britain have been a source of aggression in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and so many other countries. NATO has caused the dismemberment of countries, led to the killing, maiming and displacement of tens of thousands of people as well as of destruction of their homes and property.
Communist Ghadar Party of India condemns NATO and its aggression and calls upon the working class of India to resolutely oppose NATO and other aggressive formations.
Vigorous protests greet NATO summit in Warsaw
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was turned into a massive fortress during the NATO summit that was held on July 8 and 9, 2016. This did not deter tens of thousands of people who gathered to protest against the warmongering military alliance. Protests were also organised in Sofia (Bulgaria), Athens (Greece) and other cities across Europe and North America to coincide with the summit and to voice the resolute opposition of the peoples of the countries that are members of NATO to the warmongering policies and actions of their governments.
Anti-war activists converged on Warsaw to vehemently denounce all the moves to embroil the peoples of Europe in imperialist war preparations. Around the world, activists held events as part of a Global Day of Action Against NATO. On Friday, July 8, 2016, a joint conference was held in which various organisations and activists of peace and anti-war movements took part. “Neither the Russians nor the Poles need the current arms race because in case of war, ordinary people will suffer, not the people who are making the decisions behind a tall fence at the NATO summit,” said one of the leaders of the Polish Stop the War Initiative.
On Saturday, July 9, 2016, a number of protests were organised in Warsaw and other cities of Poland. In the marches through Warsaw, activists carried banners calling for money for arms to be spent on meeting human needs; against any NATO weaponry and bases in Poland; against Moldova's joining of NATO against its people's wishes; amongst many others. “Stop NATO, Stop the War” and “Yankees, go home” were some of the slogans. The protestors also denounced the anti-people policies of the present Polish government. Tens of thousands of people participated in these protest marches.
A demonstration was also organised in Sofia, Bulgaria which demanded that Bulgaria leaves the alliance immediately. The members of the “Leave NATO Now” coalition also demanded that NATO should stop its provocation and expansion towards Russia’s borders, and to put an end to the “missile defence system” which is aimed at Russia. Similarly, on Thursday 7th July 2016, thousands of protesters gathered in the Greek capital Athens to condemn the Warsaw NATO summit.