NATO Defender Europe

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Though not well-publicized here in Canada, Canada will participate in the NATO Defender Europe 2020 war manoeuvres held in Europe between January 12 through July 10. Science for Peace, which counts as its members the late Ursula Franklin and John Polanyi, unreservedly opposes this provocative and regressive recapitulation of the brutal 20th century. In addition to NATO’s acceptance of a nuclear weapons first strike strategy, a crime against peace under international law, a military strategy permitting the use of nuclear weapons is based on the post Cold War belief that a nuclear war is winnable and is an atrocious gamble with human survival. In addition, the military is the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases and thus poses two threats of human extinction, rendering this era the most dangerous and precarious in human history. Yet the Government of Canada has acceded to NATO policies without any dissent by elected representatives. No NATO countries have signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons leading to the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

Superseding NATO and individual nation states is the UN Charter, which defines a war of aggression as the supreme crime as it encompasses all other crimes. The UN Charter is a binding international agreement. Wars are avoidable and they only beget further violence and misery; they are always devastating to life and to the environment. Chapter VI Article 33 of the Charter states that “the parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.”

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