Imperialist heads of state at the Sept. 4-5 NATO Summit in Newport, Wales, met under U.S. pressure to escalate their anti-Russia maneuvers regarding Ukraine, to schedule their gradual exit from Afghanistan and to open war on the Islamic State.
The summit’s proposed goals all involved making NATO capable of rapid intervention on three continents, far from the North Atlantic region. While many of NATO’s European members were reluctant to step up military spending, Washington kept up the pressure to mobilize against Russia and to intervene in the Middle East and Africa.
President Barack Obama pushed a proposal to increase military spending by all NATO members to at least 2 percent of their gross national product. With European capitalism in a tailspin and most ruling classes imposing austerity on the workers, all national governments keep a tight hold on their wallets. Most of the NATO countries’ increased spending would be using their national budgets to buy from the U.S.-based military-industrial complex. Europe loses both ways.
Despite Obama’s pressure to maximize economic sanctions against Russia, most of the European heads of state — whose economic interests in Russia are much more significant than those of the U.S. — took advantage of the ceasefire in Ukraine to postpone new sanctions against Russia. German media are reporting that German manufacturers have been finding ways to work around existing sanctions and assure gas supplies from Russia for the upcoming winter.
Still, NATO managed to approve a 4,000-troop rapid deployment force to throw into battle at any point in the world on a few days’ notice, such as in Ukraine, where anti-fascist forces had drubbed the Kiev junta’s army leading up to the ceasefire on Sept. 8.
Regarding the Islamic State, Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron published a joint opinion statement in the London Times on Sept. 4, calling on NATO to confront the organization also known as ISIS or ISIL, which imperialist politicians and the corporate media now depict as the greatest danger to humanity.
Failing to get broad approval, Obama rounded up various heads of state at the summit to set up a new coalition to coordinate an assault allegedly aimed at waging “war on ISIL.” Obama plans to appeal to the U.S. public with a major televised speech Sept. 10 pushing and explaining this new aggressive move.
Coalition members are the usual suspects, that is, the major imperialist powers and a few of their clients: Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark.
While the Republican militarists continue to hammer Obama for alleged indecisiveness on war matters, they are beating a straw man. Obama threatens confrontation with Russia, bombing Iraq and/or Syria, and drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. And though he’ll promise not to put “boots on the ground,” what will happen when the bombs prove ineffective? Remember, Washington hasn’t given up on regime change in Syria.
We should always keep in mind that, whatever one may think of ISIL, for the imperialists this organization is just another pretext for aggression.
We’re glad that to counter these war moves, demonstrators outside the NATO meeting faced down the 9,500 police and military guarding the imperialists and other heads of state and raised their anti-war slogans. The imperialist system and its war instruments like NATO are the real threat to humanity. We join with the Wales protesters and answer Obama’s call for “war on ISIL” with “No new imperialist wars! No to NATO!”