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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Passé persists — U.S./NATO “Cold War”

Lethal entrenchment in a world needing policies, movement nonviolently forward
Editing by Carolyn Bennett 

“The Cold War has been over for more than 20 years,” says Global Zero addressing member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Keeping U.S. nuclear weapons in Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy makes no sense.” 
These weapons are dangerous, useless, expensive, unresponsive to today’s actual security threats. They are relics of a bygone age. Remove them from Europe.  
Pakistanis protest NATO

Seize this historic opportunity to take the next critical step toward a world without nuclear weapons.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) opposes all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction: their development, manufacture, testing, deployment and use or threatened use by any country; and campaigns nonviolently to rid the world of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and to create genuine security for future generations.

Antiwar and antinuclear activist Kate Hudson (Dr. Katharine Jane Hudson) is part of The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She is a UK academic and political activist and General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In 2003 through 2010, she was CND’s chairperson.

Hudson is a Visiting Research Fellow in the department of Social and Policy Studies at London's South Bank University and founding editor of the journal Contemporary Politics and member of the editorial board of Debatte: the journal of contemporary central and eastern Europe.

These are edited notes on the entrenched and lethal collusion of the United States and NATO discussed in Dr. Hudson’s recent article variously titled “Are NATO’s days numbered…” and “Time for NATO to face new realities.”

"Cold War Cheerios"
By Teacher Luke Piwoni
Ailing giant 
Behind times
Inspires Cold War itch

“The United States and Europe are experiencing massive economic crises, and the United States has been fundamentally weakened by its poor economic performance and lack of internal investment over decades,” Kate Hudson writes. 

Dynamic economic rivals have emerged; and, in an increasingly multi-polar world, it is clear that the United States cannot maintain its status as the single global superpower. Nor is it desirable that it should do so.”

Image at CND
While the ‘hostile-camp’ tension that existed with the Soviet Union has vanished, at least in theory, Russia remains the chief military counterweight and rival on a global scale to the Unites States and NATO. 
Many people fear that the U.S. missile defense emboldens U. S. impunity, attacking countries without fear of retaliation; and that U.S. adherence to missile defense threatens survival of the new START Treaty.

Though it has declined in many respects, Hudson writes, the United States “has increasingly used NATO to support and advance its global power projection; [and] whatever the changing rationale or the nature of its supposed enemies in the post-Cold War era, NATO’s core function has remained to advance U.S. global interests and foreign policy goals.” This was apparent when, at the end of the Cold War, the Warsaw Pact dissolved but the North Atlantic Treaty Organization did not.

“Rather than scaling back its military presence, the United States moved to fill the positions vacated by its previous rival. As countries of Eastern Europe embraced free-market economics and multi-party democracy, the United States moved rapidly — faster than Western Europe embraced Eastern Europe via the European Union — to integrate these countries into the U.S. sphere of influence via NATO expansion.”

NATO at Prague 2002
A big question is, Hudson says, “whether NATO states will continue to foot the bill.… How long can it go on like this?”

Contrary to established law
In face of concerns, fears of regress to Cold-War tactics

The nuclear policies of NATO are in conflict with the legal obligations of the signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), she observes. “Articles 1 and 2 of the NPT forbid the transfer of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear weapon states; [but] US/NATO nuclear weapons in Europe are located in non-nuclear weapons states.”

Image at CND
Despite a recent softening of language on nuclear issues and gestures towards a nuclear-free vision, particularly from the Barack Obama government, “NATO has continued to assert its need to retain nuclear weapons: ‘The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces,’” states the new Strategic Concept. With it, NATO also hangs on to a policy of “first use” of nuclear weapons. “In other words,” she writes, “NATO would be prepared to use nuclear weapons in a first strike,” a position not lost on the Russians.

The 2010 NATO summit decision to integrate the U.S. missile defense system with a European-theatre missile defense program under NATO auspices has caused major relations problems with Russia, Hudson says. Moreover, in 2012, concerns persist among many peoples and nations “that missile defense will enable the United States to attack countries without fear of retaliation; and U.S. adherence to missile defense continues to threaten the survival of the New START Treaty on bilateral US/Russia nuclear reductions.” 
The STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. Signed July 31, 1991, and entered into force on December 5, 1994, the treaty barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 ICBMs (Intercontinental ballistic missiles), submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and bombers. 
 The START I treaty expired December 5, 2009; and on April 8, 2010, the replacement New START Treaty was signed in Prague by U.S. and Russian presidents. After ratification by the U.S. Senate and the Federal Assembly of Russia, the New START Treaty on January 26, 2011, went into force. (Wikipedia)

The mood is changing at many different levels 
Image at
Stop the War Coalition

“The mood is changing at many different levels, Dr. Hudson concludes, and it is “time for the NATO leadership to face the new realities.”

Sources and notes

Global Zero, http://nukesout.org/

Image at CND
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
As a British campaign, The CND concentrates as first priority on British nuclear weapons but it also works with anti-nuclear groups in other countries to eliminate the global threat. CND is also present at the United Nations and other international disarmament conferences.

Among its external strategic objectives
Global abandonment of space weapons and missile defense programs; and an international agreement on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space
Elimination of British nuclear weapons and global abolition of nuclear weapons
Withdrawal of all U.S. military bases and nuclear weapons from Europe and no nuclear or other expansion of NATO
Establishment of Formal Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones in Europe
Withdrawal of Britain from NATO
Closure of all foreign military bases on British soil
Independent control and verification of plutonium, uranium and depleted uranium stocks http://www.cnduk.org/about/aims-a-policies
Image at CND
Funded entirely by its members and supporters, CND aims to
Change Government policies to bring about the elimination of British nuclear weapons as a major contribution to global abolition
Stimulate wide public debate on the need for alternatives both to the nuclear cycle and to military attempts to resolve conflict.
Empower people to engage actively in the political process and to work for a nuclear-free and peaceful future.
Cooperate with other groups (UK and internationally) to ensure the development of greater mutual security (http://www.cnduk.org/about/aims-a-policies)

Kate Hudson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Hudson_(activist)

“Are NATO’s days numbered waging war as the vigilante agent of US global interests?” (Kate Hudson), May 22, 2012, Stop the War Coalition, http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/usa-war-on-terror/1421-is-it-time-up-for-nato-as-a-vigilate-style-agent-of-us-global-interests

“Time for NATO to face new realities: NATO’s core function is still to advance U.S. global interests and foreign policy goals” (Kate Hudson opinion at Al Jazeera), May 20, 2012

Al JAEERA note: “Dr Kate Hudson was chair of the UK-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament from 2003 to September 2010, when she became general secretary. She is a leading anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigner nationally and internationally. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.” http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/05/201252081843426753.html



Cold War Cheerios WebQuest, By: Luke Piwoni, http://www.kewaskumschools.org/faculty/lpiwoni/cheerios_home.cfm

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