New Book About NATO By Medea Benjamin and David Swanson

NATO What You Need To Know


“An indispensable primer. It can save your life — indeed all of our lives…NATO is a clear and present danger to world peace, a war machine run amok.”

— Jeffrey D. Sachs

“Read this book to understand how NATO promotes a logic of domination, not equality, or justice or peace.”

—Clare Daly, MEP


What is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? What role is played by its members and partners? Does the largest military alliance ever to exist serve the cause of peace or the causes of weapons sales and war mongering? Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the alliance, this sharp, concise account examines NATO’s origins, structure, and its goals at a time of mounting global tension.

NATO has remade itself repeatedly, as its past purposes have disappeared. In the last 35 years it has been part of wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. It has played a major role in Ukraine, and supported warmaking by Israel. NATO is now expanding rapidly, both in geography and in scope, adding partners from Colombia to Mongolia to Australia, and claiming a role in policing, immigration, economics, public budgeting, scientific research, and environmental protection.

With pointed investigations of how NATO’s decisions are made, the widely misunderstood question of the way it is funded, its relationship to international law, and the available alternatives to it, NATO: What You Need to Know is an indispensable primer on an organization that not only confronts expanding military conflict but, the authors contend, plays an active part in its escalation.

Medea Benjamin is a co-founder of CODEPINK and the fair trade advocacy group Global Exchange. She is the co-author of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless War, and the author of Drone Warfare, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.—Saudi Connection and Inside Iran. In 2012, she was awarded the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation’s Peace Prize; she is also recipient of the 2014 Gandhi Peace Award and the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He speaks frequently on the topic of war and peace, and engages in all kinds of nonviolent activism. He is executive director of, a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace, and campaign coordinator for Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie, Leaving World War II Behind, and War Is Never Just. He blogs at and, and hosts Talk World Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and U.S. Peace Prize recipient.



In August 2024, World BEYOND War will be holding a weekly discussion each of four weeks of NATO What You Need to Know, with the author David Swanson. (The book is co-authored by Swanson and Medea Benjamin. For one of the four sessions, Medea will join in.)

When you register for the club, we’ll send you an electronic or a paperback edition of the book.

We’ll let you know which parts of the book will be discussed each week along with the Zoom details to access the discussions.

When: For one hour on four Fridays, August 2, 9, 16, 23, 2024 at 19:00 UTC. That’s Friday at noon in Los Angeles, 1 pm in Mexico City, 3 pm in New York, 8 pm in Yaoundé, 9 pm in Berlin, and Saturday at 7 am in Auckland.

Where: Zoom (details to be shared upon registration)

This is a small group series with limited space of up to 18 people. Sign up to reserve your spot. We look forward to reading and discussing this important book with you!




Some find it hard to believe, but NATO is planning a big celebration of 75 years of itself, with meetings beginning July 9, 2024, in Washington, D.C., at which we can expect many presidents, prime ministers, foreign secretaries, and weapons dealers.

We are planning a summit on Saturday July 6 and a rally on Sunday July 7, as well as various other actions in the days before and after that weekend — including working with Veterans For Peace planning a peace walk from Maine to join us in Washington, D.C. with events all along the way.

We say yes to peace and no to NATO!

We favor the abolition of NATO.

These events do not support any governments or political candidates, and we ask that people not bring national flags or campaign signs.


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