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Peace policy / Defender 2020

Resolution of the Party Executive Committee DIE LINKE, 25.01.2020

DIE LINKE actively opposes the U.S. manoeuvre Defender 2020 as well as all supportive actions by NATO and German Bundeswehr. We call for actions of civil disobedience. Broad resistance is necessary! Together with the peace movement we have to take a stand against the politics of the U.S. and the German government. Whenever possible, we have to disturb or prevent any manoeuvres.

The scheduled manoeuvres are the opposite of peace politics. They are a dangerous threatening gesture of the U.S. government costing 100 million euro, endangering security in Europe and causing severe disruptions in train traffic as well as great damage to climate and environment. The fuel needed for the maneouvre by vessels, tanks and trucks alone will lead to a marked increase in carbon emissions and fine particles.

The German government supports this policy instead of advocating for civil conflict solutions and increases its military spending and arms exports further and further. Thus it is co-responsible for migration and displacement. Unspeakable suffering is caused globally by German weapons which will now be tested for being fit for service in the framework of the U.S. maneouvre Defender 2020 and the adjoined Nato manoeuvre. This is aggravated by the complete historical ignorance of the German government to perform and support such a manoeuvre around the 8thof May at the borders of Russia.

DIE LINKE is part of the peace movement and supports its activities. Special focus lies on the Easter marches recurring for the 60. time this year having lost nothing of their necessity.

No to NATO war manoeuvres – Yes to peace, policy of détente and disarmament

In April and May 2020 NATO plans one of its biggest manoeuvres of its ground forces in Europe since the end of the Cold War - Defender 2020.

Altogether 37000 soldiers from 16 NATO states as well as Finland and Georgia will initiate a new dimension of military activity. Up to 20000 U.S. GI units with the regarding heavy equipment will first cross the Atlantic and then be transferred right through Europe to the borders of Russia. Aim of the manoeuvre is the portrayal of military superiority, the demonstration of a very quick transfer of big units from the U.S. to the eastern flank of NATO.

All across the continent people demonstrate against the life threatening destruction of the environment and the containment of climate change. While the youth is claiming their future, the military - biggest destructor of environment and climate – practices its rituals unfazed. The prevention of this oversized manoeuvre would be a first small step in the right direction.

Germany becomes the hub of the transfers with its new Joint Support and Enable Command of NATO in Ulm, the transshipment harbours in Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Nordenham as well as the Convoy Support Centres in Garlstedt, Burg and the Saxon military training area Oberlausitz.

The U.S. command Europe in Wiesbaden is head of operations for transport and manoeuvre. It will be lead by EUCOM Stuttgart. Data transfer and additional air transport will be handled by the U.S. air base Ramstein. At the same time there will be military trainings in Grafenwöhr and Hofenfels. The transfer of equipment will heavily affect road and rail traffic. The German Bundeswehr agreed on traffic priority for all military transfers with the German rail company Deutsche Bahn.

The scope of the manoeuvre and the location along the Russian western border are a provocation for Russia. The manoeuvre entails the danger of a possible direct confrontation between military units of NATO and Russia.

The time was not chosen randomly either: 75 years after the deliberation of Europe from fascism mainly through the Red Army, again German soldiers march in front of the Russian border. By Defender 2020 the U.S., Great Britain and France send a signal without historical reference to the former allies of the Anti-Hitler coalition.

This manoeuvre is another aggravation of the confrontational politics of NATO and EU towards Russia which was begun by the Eastern enlargement of NATO in 1990 and let to the encirclement of Russia. Instead, a policy of détente and friendly cooperative relations with Russia should be the order of the day, as it was formulated in the Charter of Paris in 1990 by all European states including Russia, the U.S. and Canada: “The era of confrontation and division of Europe has ended. We declare that henceforth our, relations will be founded on respect and co-operation.”

While immense means are needed urgently in Germany, Europe and the World to solve the actual problems of humanity, all NATO states work towards increasing military spending by 2 percent of the GDP. Military equipment devours means and resources which are painfully lacking for social, ecological and infrastructural tasks.

The “2 plus 4”- contract of 1990, foundation of German unification, agreed that only peace should come from German soil. This is a core idea of the German basic law, this has to be the foundation of German and European politics.

We take a stand for these aims and decisively say: No to NATO war manoeuvre Defender 2020!

We demand:

  • a policy of détente and political conflict resolution instead of military confrontation,

  • cooperation with Russia in a common house of Europe,

  • consistent disarmament and redistribution of the vacant means.

For this we will demonstrate before and during the manoeuvre where-ever we are – peaceful but massively. We will be on the streets, squares, bridges, the train stations and military training areas, in Germany and internationally. We will set up a silent vigil along the whole route, initiate legal proceedings and actions of civil disobedience – let’s be creative and diverse.

We turn to everyone who cares about peace! Take to the streets with us, protest where you work and live! Peace needs movement, lets start with this defENDer!

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