Without any doubt, geo-strategical and economic interests played and play an important role in the military intervention of NATO in Afghanistan. But there is much more at play in the Hindu Kush. From the point of view of the West, nothing less than the future of NATO will be decided there.
From 19 to 21 November the NATO summit will take place in Lisbon, with Obama, the best known of the leaders, present.
The stated objective of the summit is the adoption of a new Strategic Concept – the seventh this the foundation of NATO – and with it, the ratification of the actions of NATO in the last years, especially in Afghanistan and Somalia; the more precise definition of NATO's actions in the coming years, especially in relation to Iran; and to guarantee the cohesion of its member states under the strict obedience to the decisions of the Pentagon.
At the 2009 Strasbourg-Kehl summit, NATO members agreed to produce a new Strategic Concept for the alliance. The Strategic Concept (SC) is usually the guiding policy document for NATO for the coming decade. In November, at the NATO summit in Lisbon, NATO countries hope to agree on a document that is “short and crisp”. The main content will to a large extent repeat the 1999 SC, but it will be shorter overall. Insiders expect a document of 12 pages max.
The Inland Revenue is threatening War Resisters' International with the seizure of assets because the pacifist organisation is withholding a proportion of income tax due to its conscientious objection to paying for war.
War Resisters' International has been withholding tax – usually about 7% of income tax, roughly the proportion of the military budget – since the tax year 2002/03. In its regular letters to the Inland Revenue, the organisation states:
In April 2009, as part of the mobilization against the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, No-to-NATO organized a two-day counter-conference, in the course of which some forty women from NATO member states held a workshop on ‘a feminist case against NATO’. Some of us have continued to work together by e-mail, and we hope to mark the forthcoming NATO Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, this November, with women’s protest actions.
The German Marshall Fund of the United States annually does a survey on important "transatlantic trends", which can make an interesting read. One of the questions asked is: "Please tell me to what extent do you agree with the following: Under some conditions, was is necessary to obtain justice." (Q29.2). The answers are quite revealing (see graphic below).
Vitor Lima (PAGAN) confirmed
Reiner Braun (ICC) confirmed
1. NATO’s War in Afghanistan (Malalai Joya, Afghanistan) (TBC)
2. The New NATO Strategy and Global Crisis (Vitor Lima, PAGAN, Portugal) confirmed
3. Nuclear Weapons in the New NATO-Strategy (Joseph Gerson, AFSC, USA) confirmed
4. NATO and Latin America (Eduardo Melero, UAM, Spain) confirmed
5. Missile Defense Systems in Eastern Europe / Russia (Jana Glivicka, No Bases, CR) confirmed
Reflections on strategic issues for the antimilitarist movement
most NATO countries public opinion is either divided over, or in
favour of, the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. Only in
very few countries can NATO count on support for its war (see
illustration 1). However, neither does this turn into a massive
mobilisation against the war in Afghanistan, nor does it – for now
– translate into opposition to the organisation fighting this war –
NATO (see illustration 2). So are we successful?
The vast unpopulated areas in Northern Sweden are increasingly used for war preparation and trainings. North European Aerospace Testrange (NEAT) is Europe’s largest overland test range and consists of an area 360 by 100 km of restricted air space and 1,650 sq km of restricted land area (expandable to 3,000sq km). It is a cooperation of the Swedish organisations FMV (the Swedish Defence Material Administration) and SSC (the Swedish Space Corporation).
Mark the dates: the WRI Council meeting 2011 will take place during the time of the action camp at the camp itself in Luleå in the north of Sweden. At present, the dates penciled in for the Council are 19-21 July 2011, followed by a seminar organised by/with ofog, and then training and action...
More information on the WRI Council meeting, and also on the seminar, will be available closer to the time. But please keep the dates free...
Please contact the WRI office for more information:
War Resisters' International
5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX, Britain
Nonviolent direct action against militarism all over Europe
The European Antimilitarist Network is not a fixed entity, but a flexible network of antimilitarist groups, based on the principle of nonviolent direct action. It includes, but is not limited to, groups formally affiliated to War Resisters' International. As a network, it aims to keep an information flow going between actions, and also to take decisions jointly on the focus for the coming months/year(s).