1 June 2024Feature

A view from the island of Ireland

‘Bellicosity’ is perhaps an old-fashioned word, and comes from the Latin word for war or warlike, ‘bellum’, and perhaps ‘warlike’ is more prosaic English. But, whatever word you prefer, the European Union (EU) is gearing up for a fight with Russia, and unspecified others, along with supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia.

The mind boggles.

The EU, along with its NATO allies, the US and UK, and Russia are all nuclear-armed. It is crazy to continue to push forward…

1 December 2023Review

Verso, 2023; 368pp; £19.99

The now-obscure term ‘Natopolitan’ appears to have been coined by the British Marxist historian EP Thompson in the late 1970s.

It referred not just to NATO proper, but also (in a later gloss by Edward Said) to ‘a mentality whose web extended over a lot more activity and thought’.

This reader on post-Cold War NATO – pieces range in date from 1994 to 2023 – examines both, but its core material focuses on three main topics: NATO’s massive expansion following the collapse of the…

1 August 2023Feature

Reactions from two major peace groups to the NATO summit  

The leaders of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea attended the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, 11 – 12 July.

This underlined NATO’s growing involvement in the US military confrontation with China in ‘the Indo-Pacific’. The end-of-summit statement (the ‘communiqué’) said: ‘The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values.... We are working together responsibly,…

1 June 2023Feature

An open letter published as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times

The Russia-Ukraine War has been an unmitigated disaster. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded. Millions have been displaced. Environmental and economic destruction have been incalculable. Future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war.

We deplore the violence, war crimes, indiscriminate missile strikes, terrorism, and other atrocities that are part of this war. The solution to this shocking violence is not more…

1 August 2022Feature

We need to build a Europe which is a theatre of peace not war, argues Nick Megoran

In 1876, Russian general Mikhail Skobolev defeated and subdued the khanate of Kokand based in present-day Uzbekistan, an important moment in cementing tsarist imperial control of Central Asia. Appalled at the nationalistic celebrations that greeted this in Russia, Leo Tolstoy penned his remarkable text The Kingdom of God is Within You. ‘Why do good men and even women,’ he lamented, ‘quite unconnected with military matters, go into raptures over the various exploits of Skobelev and other…

1 August 2022News

30,000 march against military alliance

Peace activists flocked to Madrid before and during the NATO summit in the Spanish capital at the end of June.

There was the biggest anti-NATO march for decades on 26 June, with 30,000 marchers. It was part of the programme of the Madrid Peace Summit, held in the huge, union-owned Auditorio Marcelino Camacho in the city centre.

Sara Herschander reported on Waging Nonviolence that other protests included an XR/Fridays for Future die-in of 30 people at the Reina Sofia…

1 April 2022News

New anti-war statement omits NATO

Towards the end of March, a new British anti-war statement appeared online. Unlike the two main anti-war groups in the UK, ‘No War on Ukraine’ does not mention NATO expansion as a factor in the Ukraine crisis.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Stop the War Coalition are part of the international ‘Peace in Ukraine’ coalition which organised the global day of action against the war in Ukraine on 6 March.

Members include US groups such as CODEPINK, Food Not Bombs…

24 February 2022Blog

The peace movement should oppose Putin's war and NATO expansion, argues Milan Rai  

Earlier this month, Yurii Sheliazhenko, executive secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, told Democracy Now!: ‘Both great powers of the West and the East share equal responsibility to avoid escalation of war in Ukraine and beyond Ukraine.’

This is more of what he said: ‘The escalation towards major war in Ukraine is unnecessary. Our government became part of it when we…

1 February 2022News

How NATO’s broken promises led us to war  

There are two connected Ukraine crises going on. There is a civil war in Eastern Ukraine, in the Russian-speaking Donbass region, which Russia is involved in. There is also a larger confrontation over NATO expansion. The massing of over 100,000 Russian soldiers on the border and the threat of all-out war are linked to both crises.

As we go to press, it’s not clear what is going to happen.

What is clear is that there are nonviolent solutions to both crises.

Solving the…

16 October 2012News

In an independent Scotland, nuclear weapons will be ruled illegal by the constitution!

Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond (of the Scottish Nationalist Party, SNP) has announced that if Scots vote for independence in the 2014 referendum, the nation's new constitution would explicitly outlaw nuclear weapons.

The proposal was announced on 7 October, a day after the pro-independence Scottish Green…