Democratic Socialists of America International Committee calls for an end to NATO expansionism

The statement below was originally published here by the Democratic Socialists of America International Committee.

Democratic Socialists of America International Committee opposes US militarization and interventionism in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and calls for an end to NATO expansionism

Following months of increased tensions and a sensationalist Western media blitz drumming up conflict in the Donbas, the US government is responding to the situation in Ukraine through the familiar guise of threats of sweeping sanctions, provision of military aid, and increased military deployment to the region. The Democratic Socialists of America International Committee (DSA IC) opposes this ongoing US brinkmanship, which only further escalates the crisis, and reaffirms our previous statement saying no to NATO and its imperialist expansionism and disastrous interventions across the world.

The US has more than 70,000 active-duty troops deployed in Europe, over 6,000 of which are in Eastern Europe, with thousands more set for mobilization. These deployments, coupled with ongoing large scale US-led NATO military exercises, have escalated an already dangerously tense situation. Two recent shipments of hundreds of tons of weapons and ammunition were sent to Ukraine as part of a new $200M military aid package passed by the US government in December. The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act similarly allocates another $300M in military aid to Ukraine and additional legislation for allocating another $500M is currently being rushed through Congress. The US has sent over $650M in military aid to Ukraine during the past year, and over $2.7B in total since the 2014 US-backed Maidan coup, which destabilized the country and resulted in the ongoing internal conflict between Kiev and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

NATO is a mechanism for US-led Western imperialist domination, fueling expansionism, militarization, and devastating interventions. From its original 12 founding members, the trans-Atlantic military alliance has grown to 30 countries today, with Ukraine and Georgia being among the latest proposed additions. This violates previous commitments against NATO’s eastward expansion and is a major source of increased tensions and military escalations across the region. While public sentiment in Ukraine remains contested, the interventionist moves by the US and its Western allies in the country, including stationing US troops in Ukraine and training far-right extremist groups with neo-Nazi sympathies such as the Azov Battallion, have worked to further degrade efforts to resolve the conflict. Similarly, NATO’s militarization in Ukraine and Eastern Europe has worsened the standoff between an emboldened NATO-backed Kiev and the Russian-supported separatist forces in Donbas.

The 2015 Minsk II agreement signed by France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, and endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council, laid the mutually agreed upon groundwork to facilitate an end to the fighting in Donbas and implement the region’s autonomy within Ukraine. Various countering interpretations of the agreement as well as undermining of the general processes by the US, including supported influence of extremists Ukrainian nationalists, has resulted in a lack of implementation by the Ukrainian government, putting the conflict at an impasse. This has fueled fighting between the two sides with widespread destruction and countless civilian deaths in the contested region, 70% of which occurred on the non-government controlled side. With heightened military tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the situation calls for finding immediate mutually agreeable security measures to avoid any military breakout.

In order to de-escalate the crisis and avoid further conflict and death in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, DSA International Committee calls on the US to reverse its ongoing militarization in the region, avoid implementing sanctions against Russia, and uphold internationally agreed upon commitments to end NATO’s expansionist drive to provide guarantees that Ukraine will remain a neutral state. These measures are crucial for diplomacy to bring about a resolution to this conflict without it spiraling into a larger regional war between nuclear powers. We call on anti-war activists to be resolute in opposing military escalations and to demand a lasting diplomatic solution.