World BEYOND War Decries NATO’s “Defender 20” War Games


Deployments are now underway for NATO’s “Defender 20” war games, scheduled for April and May. Defender 20 will involve 20,000 U.S. troops, the largest deployment to Europe in over a quarter of a century.

World BEYOND War Organizing Director Greta Zarro released the following statement:

“Defender 20 is another example of NATO’s massive war preparations right up on the border of Russia, exacerbating tensions and increasing the risk of an all-out nuclear war. NATO now accounts for three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing on the globe. While claiming to “preserve peace,” NATO has violated international law and bombed Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. Meanwhile, Russia has been reducing its military spending each year, while the United States has been increasing its military spending. U.S. annual increases have sometimes exceeded Russia’s entire military budget. The United States has troops in 175 nations, Russia in 3.

It is time to dismantle NATO, which is a relic of a bygone Cold War era. Instead, we must confront the greatest challenge of our era, climate change, recognizing that militarism is part of the problem, not the solution. The U.S. military is the world’s largest institutional consumer of oil and the largest global landholder with 800 foreign military bases in 80 countries. The governments of the world spend over $2 trillion annually on war and ongoing preparations for war, like NATO’s war games. Mitigating climate disaster will necessitate demilitarization and the redirection of resources towards human and environmental needs.

World BEYOND War members are planning an international peace walk across the old East-West border in Germany this May 21-24 to demand an end to Defender 20 and to call for cooperation, not confrontation.”

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