Opposing the new age of US militarism: Britain’s junior role in new threats to world peace
Video of online meeting
(held on Wednesday 15 June)
Organised by No Cold War Britain
Vijay Prashad, Director of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND
Ajamu Baraka, Green Party candidate for Vice President of the US in 2016 and National Organiser of Black Alliance for Peace
Ping Hua, No Cold War Britain
John Ross, Chongyang Institute For Financial Studies in China and No Cold War
Nora Garcia, Madrid Anti-NATO Peace Summit
Radhika Desai, International Manifesto Group, Professor at the University of Manitoba and Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group
Ben Chacko, Editor of the Morning Star
Co-chairs: Suzie Gilbert and Fiona Edwards of No Cold War Britain
Information from the organisers
The US administration is escalating its aggressive foreign policy on two fronts simultaneously – against both Russia and China. This is seriously destabilising the world and poses a major threat to world peace.
In waging this dangerous militarised offensive the US is attempting to draw in allies from the Global North to play a belligerent role in supporting these US-led attacks. Britain, in particular, is playing a key role in supporting this destructive agenda.
Under the leadership of the US, NATO is holding a Summit at the end of June in Madrid, at a time when this nuclear military organisation is dangerously escalating aggressive activities and is therefore increasingly threatening world peace.
As a key US policy NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe, and the threat to extend it into Ukraine, was a key factor behind the war in that country. The US and NATO are fighting a proxy war in Ukraine, attempting to prolong this conflict, instead of seeking to bring it to an end.
Britain has played a direct role in opposing steps that would bring the Ukraine war to a rapid end. The fact that the US is able to rely on Britain supporting its actions is useful for Washington as it can be used to claim that there is international support for them and to help draw other countries into these – as was seen in the disastrous military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
US military spending in 2021 was $801 billion, more than the next 11 countries put together, and the US is pressing all its NATO allies to increase their own military spending.
Britain has answered this call, recently increasing military spending to £42 billion and now providing an additional £2.8 billion of military aid to Ukraine. This follows from Britain’s Integrated Review of 2021 which decided that the Ministry of Defence should receive its largest sustained spending increase since the Cold War, with a £24 billion increase over four years.
This is a total waste of resources when the world faces serious threats such as the covid pandemic and climate change which require serious global cooperation to solve.
Under the leadership of the US NATO is also expanding its activity far outside its official area of interest, the North Atlantic. NATO participated in the 20-year war in Afghanistan which ended so disastrously in 2021 leaving a devastated country. Now the US is attempting to expand its military activity in other parts of Asia – with China the key target.
Dangerously Britain is following as a junior partner of the US and NATO in this.
This was shown clearly in the recent creation of the AUKUS nuclear alliance between the US, Britain, and Australia – an organisation which even traditional US allies in the Pacific region, such as New Zealand, have refused to participate in.
Britain has also joined in provocative actions supported by the US such as sailing its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier through the South China Sea – an area where the US has been deliberately attempting to increase militarisation and confrontation. Simultaneously the US has been stepping up aggressive policies around Taiwan – attempting to undermine the ‘One China’ policy which has been the foundation of peaceful relations of China and the US for fifty years since Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972.
It is therefore vital that at this time of escalation, of increasing militarism, by the US and NATO that progressive forces both in Britain and internationally demand that Britain does not participate as a junior partner in these aggressive actions by the US and NATO.
This is part of the need for a global effort to halt the increasing US militarism and aggression.
This was the theme of No Cold War Britain’s online meeting on Wednesday 15 June