Science for Peace welcomes the opportunity to join in the national discussion of the Defence Policy Review. Science for Peace members come from the sciences, engineering, the social sciences, and the humanities. The organization is an NGO and has Canadian charitable status. Members first came together over 30 years ago to oppose nuclear weapons. Our educational and research work now covers many topics related to peace and security.
In previous submissions to the Canadian government we emphasized that defence policy needed to be guided by Canadian foreign policy and by a comprehensive understanding of security. This broad approach is consistent with The Defence Policy Review Consultation Paper which articulates “a strong link between defence policy, foreign policy, and national security” involving “diplomatic engagement, humanitarian and development assistance, and other measures”.
Hovering in the background of Canadian defence policy is the NATO Warsaw Summit in early July in which the Canadian government will have made a decision about stationing Canadian troops before completion of this public consultation. Russia is represented as the immediate threat, but neglected here is the U.S. multi-nation involvement in regime change and significant expansion of NATO and of its nuclear weapons program. There are now dangerous threats of nuclear and cyber war, climate change, terrorism, the consequences of Brexit, grossly pathological leadership (the Chilcot and similar investigative reports), economic collapse, resurgent aggressive nationalism and significant political instability such as the attempted coup in Turkey. How does the Department of National Defence best protect and serve the Canadian people? And are the investments in weapons systems and troop deployments iatrogenic? Does the cure worsen the threats of Canadian and international insecurity and violence? This submission proposes recommendations for action at the national and international levels and then summarizes our understanding of threats to peace and security.
Further Steps Regarding Nuclear Weapons:
In view of the urgent threat of intentional or accidental nuclear war, Canada must also
With international tensions again so high, recall that George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2000 and opened the door to nuclear weapons modernization and proliferation, to the development of missile defense, and to the strategy of a nuclear first strike. That same year, the NPT Review Conference outlined 13 steps under Article VI to eliminate nuclear weapons. Murray Thomson points out NATO’s violations of these 13 Steps under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Thomson is former executive director of CUSO, and a recipient of the Pearson Medal of Peace and the Order of Canada. NATO violates Articles I and II by locating nuclear weapons in non-nuclear states and by targeting non-nuclear states. NATO violates Article VI by maintaining nuclear weapons indefinitely and by not taking the necessary and prescribed steps to eliminate nuclear weapons. Improving their use and modernizing nuclear weapons violates Steps 2, 6, and 9 of Article VI, a first strike violates Steps 6 and 9, and the presumption that nuclear weapons are essential for peace violates all “13 Practical Steps on Nonproliferation and Disarmament” Agreed to at the 2000 NPT Review Conference. www.armscontrol.org/aca/npt13steps, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/nuclear-disarmament-murray-thomson-1.3586743.
The global humanitarian situation is extremely precarious. Securing a safe human world will require utmost cooperation, collaboration, knowledge, empathy.
In hindsight, the early 1990s were a tragic turning point as the two threats to human existence, namely nuclear weapons and climate catastrophe, could have been averted. How can Canada further national and international security in a world of such political and economic flux?
The July NATO summit agenda includes increasing the U.S. and NATO presence across Eastern Europe, the Baltics and the Black Sea, Ukraine, and is involved in Syria where eight NATO nations are at war. The raison d’etre is Russian expansion into Georgia, Ukraine, and Crimea. There is much evidence that the opposite is true, that NATO and not Russia is expanding in Eastern Europe, that the US instigated regime change in Ukraine, and that the US is starting a new nuclear weapons arms race.
NATO military exercises close to the Russian border are not new.4
From the end of the Cold War, experts warned about NATO expansion and provocation of Russia. Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State under Clinton, strongly criticized NATO expansion. “Russia’s resentment toward the United States and the crisis that erupted in March 2014 with Russia’s occupation of Crimea were not unrelated to the Clinton administration’s insistence in the 1990s that NATO be expanded to Russia’s borders. It seemed like virtually everyone I knew from the world of academe, journalism, and foreign policy think-tanks was against enlargement.”5 George Kennan, former ambassador to the Soviet Union, later termed enlargement a ‘strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.’ ‘[E]xpanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era,’ he wrote. ‘Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”
In 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO in 2004. At the April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, the United States supported inviting Georgia and Ukraine to join the alliance. The April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest aimed to set in motion the inclusion of Ukraine and Georgia in NATO and the EU. France and Germany opposed the move for fear that it would unduly antagonize Russia. In the end, NATO’s members reached a compromise. The alliance did not begin the formal process leading to membership, but it issued a statement endorsing the aspirations of Georgia and Ukraine: “These countries will become members of NATO.” Russia made it clear that this was unacceptable. In May 2008, the E.U. announced there would be an eastern partnership and by August, there was war between Georgia and Russia. Afterwards, Obama failed to re-set relations with Russia. The US continued to pursue its policy of pulling Ukraine from the Russian orbit.
Philip M. Breedlove announced, while Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, “that 40,000 Russian troops were ‘massing’ on the border…but in the age of forensic satellite evidence, he offered none. German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn’t understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn’t the first time. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, did not share the view of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander. The pattern has become a familiar one. For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks. Over and over again Breedlove’s numbers have been significantly higher than those in the possession of America’s NATO allies in Europe.”6
We conclude with Eisenhower: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed,” that we “must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate”, that “together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.” And this requires and “alert and knowledgeable citizenry.”
2 See Michael Glennon.
3 Guardian, London: The United Nations uncovered serious sanitation failures in its Haiti peacekeeping mission just a month after a deadly cholera outbreak erupted in the country, killing thousands, a leaked report has revealed.
4 March 2015 war games in Eastern Europe and naval exercises in the Black Sea warships from US Turkey Italy Canada and Romania. NATO military parade on Feb 24 held just 300 meters from Russia border.
• March 30, 2015. Twelve U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs deployed as a 90-day theater security package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. Europe: Pentagon Spends $1 Billion In Anti-Russian Build-Up$, Deployments on the Black Sea
• NATO To Test Rapid Strike Force Aimed At Russia, March 31, 2015
• Stars and Stripes, March 31, 2015 Exercise will test NATO’s new quick-reaction teamNATO will begin testing the capabilities of a new spearhead unit that has been carved out of the NATO Response Force. The unit, formally known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, was formed in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.By John Vandiver
• U.S. Department of Defense, April 20, 2015 Military Exercises Begin in Ukraine, Philippines. By Cheryl Pellerin, WASHINGTON: Military training exercises begin today in Ukraine for Fearless Guardian, and in the Philippines for the 31st iteration of Exercise Balikatan, a Pentagon spokesman said today. Fearless Guardian is the name for the training of Ukraine’s newly-formed National Guard under the Congress-approved Global Contingency Security Fund. Under the program, the United States will begin training three battalions of Ukrainian troops over a six-month period beginning later this month. U.S. To Lead Three Military Exercises In Ukraine This Year, Interfax-Ukraine March 19, 2015 Rada speaker signs bill allowing foreign military drills in Ukraine in 2015. Under the bill, the drills Ukraine is planning to host in 2015 include three U.S.-Ukrainian exercises, Fearless Guardian, Sea Breeze, and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident, and two Polish-Ukrainian ones, Safe Skies and the Law and Order.
5 P. 143n. Strobe Talbott, The Russia Hand: A memoir of Presidential Diplomacy 224, 2003, quoted in Glennon, Michael J. (2015). National Security and Double Government. Oxford. Glennon, p. 144n., quoting from “A Fateful Error”, The New York Times Feb 5, 1997