NATO Summit for the new NATO strategy
19th-21st November in Lisbon, Portugal
Old wine in new skins –
Peace strategies are something different
At the next NATO summit meeting in Lisbon from November 19th to 21st 2010, the new NATO strategy will be adopted. The NATO concept from Washington 1999 will be newly formulated. It should be more than a further development of it. The new strategy should “lead NATO through the uneasy and dangerous times at the beginning of the 21st century”, as formulated in the contract for the development of the new strategy at the summit of heads of states and governments in Strasbourg in April 2009.
The NATO strategy paper
The expert group set up for designing the strategy, placed under the direction of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, made its recommendations in May for the new NATO strategy, entitled “NATO 2020”. “The alliance must be versatile and flexible in this time period of uncertainty in the 21st century”, said Madeleine Albright at the presentation of the report. Since then, this has been discussed in NATO and beyond – and certainly quite controversial.
If a (first) conclusion of this document is to be drawn, than it can only be: pure militarism, continuing of the wars, especially in Afghanistan and, above all, further nuclear armament. The words are more cautious and vague, but the reality is brutal and war-like. Approaches for greater political cooperation, e.g. with Russia, are foiled by aggressive armament policy (including the missile defence system).
Anti-War-Activities during the NATO Strategy Summit
The critique of the peace movement, which we have formulated in connection with the 60th birthday of NATO, is still necessary and correct: NATO is a dinosaur that should be abolished. Peace and disarmament are incompatible with NATO. That is why the network “No to War – No to NATO”, in which more than 650 organisations worked together since the preparation for the NATO summit in Strasburg in 2009, has already concluded in its annual meeting in Berlin in October 2009 to use the planned summit in Lisbon, where the new NATO strategy is to be adopted, for intensified actions against war and militarism.
In Portugal, a national coalition has formed, the members of which are of the national anti-NATO alliance PAGAN, as well as other anti-war and peace organizations, environmental, human rights and social initiatives. This alliance has support of NGOs, and of “Bloco” an alliance of left parties and movements. The anti-NATO alliance has come into the public more with the first successful events in the recent weeks (see http://antinatoportugal.wordpress.com) and seeks to further support the participation of more organizations and initiatives.
The International Coordinating Committee of the network has worked along with the Portuguese organizations on a proposal for a roadmap for the NATO Summit.
- regional and local actions from November 15th to November 21st 2010. For this, a permanent public peace centre for multiple activities will be set up on a central square in Lisbon;
- a counter summit on Friday November 19th and on Sunday November 21st, which will end with an “International Anti-War Assembly”. The refusal of NATO and its warlike strategy are at the focus of this congress, along with an international analysis of the same. We want to intensely discuss peace alternatives. Actions of the peace movement are to be presented and further agreements for more and more intensive international cooperation should be obtained. There is also lots of place for discussion of our different positions; we want to learn from one another, so as to act more effectively together;
- support for a large international peaceful demonstration on Saturday November 20th in Lisbon;
- an international actions conference in Lisbon from October 14th to 17th for preparation and international coordination purposes.
Details for the entire program are being worked out now and will be discussed further, including at the European social forum in Istanbul. More information and an exact timetable will be placed on the website www.no-to-nato.org. Here you can find also the first announcements for the protesting actions.
The preparation in Portugal is complicated because of the sectarian, equal alliances and cooperation objecting Portuguese Communist Party and the – with it closely associated – Portuguese peace committee.
What is most important now, is to intensively think about the preparation in each of the nations, how to increase the pressure on national governments and to get the topic of NATO more visible in the public sphere. The de-legitimization of NATO is a long-term project, in which the critique of the new NATO strategy and the actions during the next NATO summit are only one further step to illustrate in even broader sections of the population: NATO and peace stand as complete opposites; whomever wants a peaceful and just world must reject NATO.
(member of the International Coordinating Committee “No to War – No to NATO” and executive director of the IALANA, International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms)