Get Canada Out of NATO!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

This year marks the 75th anniversary of NATO’s formation, and Western ruling circles and their military brass are planning a big celebration leading up to the NATO Summit in Washington DC this coming July. But peace and solidarity activists know that NATO’s existence is nothing to rejoice about, and here’s why.
Ever since its inception, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been an aggressive military pact, a heavily-weaponized hammer to preserve and extend the economic, geopolitical interests of US imperialism and its closest allies. Ever since it was founded in April 1949, NATO has served as one of the main vehicles spurring an insane arms race in the name of ‘peace through strength’. At its core, NATO is the muscle enforcing class domination on behalf of Western monopolies and banks, and reflects the colonialist, supremacist policies of its ruling elites. Its continued existence poses a direct threat to humanity, pushing the world ever closer to nuclear annihilation. Despite claims by its apologists, it has never been a ‘defensive shield’. NATO needs to be disbanded, not maintained or expanded.
When the USSR and the Warsaw pact were dismantled and broken up in the early 1990s, it seized the opportunity to launch a massive expansion into Eastern Europe, right up to the borders of the Russian Federation. In February 1990, US Secretary of State James Baker promised that NATO would not expand eastward following the reunification of Germany. His famous phrase “not one inch” was followed by a relentless NATO expansion program.
U.S. imperialist wars, taken under the mantle of NATO, have included the savage 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in October 2001, and the toppling of the Kaddafi government in Libya in 2011, to name only a few examples.
And today, the U.S., Canada and other NATO states are pouring in hundreds of billions of dollars into Ukraine in its proxy war to extend the encirclement of the Russian Federation. The US and its allies are aggressively pursuing a similar approach in south-east Asia, trying to provoke a confrontation with China over the province of Taiwan. The U.S. and its NATO partners are also financing and arming Zionist Israel in its genocidal assault on the Palestinian people in Gaza and elsewhere in the Occupied Territories.
NATO wastefully consumes an immense amount of financial and social resources, and is directly responsible for almost ¾ of all global military expenditures (see pie chart). Canada’s membership in NATO comes with an incredibly high political and economic cost. It chains our country to an aggressive, militaristic alliance dominated by the United States, and makes it virtually impossible to deviate from decisions made in Washington. For instance, NATO’s nuclear “first-use” policy is routinely trotted out as an excuse why Canada and other NATO countries refuse to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Canada’s NATO commitment also drains massive amounts of the federal budget away from desperately needed social programs such as health, education, housing and environmental protection, and into F-35 fighter jets, navy frigates and other lethal hardware, while swelling the corporate profits of the military-industrial complex.
NATO demands member countries commit 2% of their annual GDP to war and aggression, commonly referred to as “defence spending”. Currently Canada wastes $35 billion on war preparations, but with Canada’s $2.9 trillion GDP, that means $58 billion annually must be diverted away from social programs and services.
These are all very good reasons for Canada to exit NATO. Of course, getting out of NATO will not – in itself – guarantee a peaceful world. But it is a necessary and vital first step in moving Canada away from militarism and war, in favour of a truly independent foreign policy based on peace and disarmament.
So long as our country is tied – at the wrists and ankles – to the NATO war machine, Canada will never be an independent voice for peace in our troubled world.
Think about it. Speak out. Help break the ‘invisible’ chain that binds us to the path of war and global destruction. It’s high time!
Canada Out of NATO Now!
No to war, Yes to Peace!