Ukraine crisis turns NATO countries into natural customers for weapons of mass destruction
By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the midst of all its failures, the troika of capitalism, reactionary nationalism and imperialism unite to continue its false relevance using its traditional weapons of war and regional conflicts. It is a response to divert the radical agendas of emerging movements against social and political movements against capitalism and imperialism.
It is in this context that we must reflect on the conflict imposed by imperialism between Ukraine and Russia. These two neighboring countries not only fought against oligarchy, feudalism, fascism and capitalism but also against imperialism. Their common struggle led to the defeat of fascism and the deepening of democracy in Europe. Both Ukrainians and Russians have made enormous sacrifices to establish a lasting peace in Europe.
These two countries share a history, a culture and are linked by family ties. The conflict imposed by NATO-led imperialism is destroying the common heritage, culture and history of peace and solidarity in the region. He pushes the whole of Europe into war and turmoil. This is the best way to hide the uselessness of NATO and the endless failures of capitalism as a system.
The history of Ukraine has witnessed the end of the Czars, Polish, Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. It will be no different. Once again, Ukraine will be the graveyard for NATO-led European and Yankee imperialism and its relevance. From the crisis in Crimea, Odessa to today’s Donbass are products of the NATO playbook to expand and restore its fictional relevance.
NATO’s eastward maneuvers are part of this playbook that hides NATO’s failures to meet the security needs of its member states. Admissions from Albania, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Montenegro and North Macedonia in the NATO fold are glaring examples of its Cold War strategy.
Such an expansion of NATO has reached Russian borders. Russian actions are a direct response to NATO’s imperialist actions. These NATO-led conflicts are pushing the region and the world into a situation of war and instability, where the military-industrial complex will make super profits at the expense of people and peace.
The wars waged by NATO in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have nothing to do with defeating dictators and establishing democracy. These wars have nothing to do with defense and human security. These are wars to create defense markets to sell massive amounts of weapons in the name of regime change. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine also contributes to such an agenda.
Andrew Cockburn in his book “The Spoils of War” has described how the NATO-led imperialist-capitalist alliance seeks to secure a new market for Pentagon contractors like Lockheed Martin. As Cockburn reminds us, “by 2014, the 12 new members (of NATO) had purchased nearly $17 billion worth of American weapons”.
NATO members are natural customers of weapons of mass destruction. Cockburn’s book further documents that NATO’s collective military spending “had reached $1.03 trillion, about 20 times Russia’s military budget.” Citizens of NATO member states face austerity measures on social spending, suffer from health problems, unemployment, poverty and homelessness, but the ruling elites design the war games to domesticate fundamental rights of citizenship and undermine democracy and peace.
Reactionary ethnic and religious nationalism aids in this process of dismantling democracy and citizenship rights in the name of national unity and sovereignty. The Ukrainian and Russian conflicts are going in this direction where the people are the ultimate losers and the military companies are the real winners.
Imperialist wars can never guarantee the unity, integrity and sovereignty of any country. It is peace, prosperity and solidarity that secures people, communities, nation states and the planet. It is time to abandon all imperialist organizations like NATO and their military projects for a lasting world peace. Peace is the only alternative for Ukrainians, Russians and everyone else in the world. Imperialist wars and conflicts are against the peoples and our planet. There is no alternative to peace.
*University of Glasgow, UK