by Ingeborg Breines, Norway
Faced with the pure madness of the Defender 2020, this enormous U.S.-led multinational military exercise in Europe with NATO participation, it is the words of the climate activist Gretha Tunberg that comes to mind most easily: How dare you? This wargame contributes in a very dangerous way to the existing tension between the West and Russia, which is one of the drivers behind the present militarization and arms’ race, involving both conventional and nuclear weapons. The use of enemy images and the demonization of leaders install fear and is also meant to influence peoples acceptance of rising military budgets, to the benefit of arms producers and arms dealers and to the loss of the rest of us.
It is totally unacceptable that the world’s resources, natural, financial and intellectual, are being misused for military purposes. The military actually makes us less safe, both economically and ecologically, by taking so much of the resources that are needed for other purposes and by the enormous greenhouse gas emissions, the radiation and pollution it provides. We cannot allow the military to be an exception to international climate agreements. We need to prove that this thinking is dangerous, naive and obsolete Instead we must move the money to be able to tackle the real security issues such as the threat to the very survival of humanity and the planet, be it by climate change, environmental degradation, excessive inequality or nuclear weapons. Our security lies in the strengthening of people to people cooperation and in the building of common security and a culture of peace. Trust between peoples is essential for our survival.