Deep in debt, Labour is still planning to spend millions on aggression…
In the government’s Green Paper, “Adaptability & Partnership: Issues for the Strategic Defence Review”, the Defence Secretary admits in his Foreword that “There is no external direct threat to the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.” Yet, in the same paragraph, he insists, “Our ability to project force to counter threats will remain crucial to our national security.”
The Paper says, “We cannot simply take a narrow, territorial-based view of our security. … We also use our Armed Forces to protect others – as a Force for Good.”
Far from being a Force for Good, the USA and its allies, principally Britain, uphold by force the unjust world order under which we live, waging 60 such wars in the last century. They threaten and attack countries that assert national sovereignty – Bolivia, Burma, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
While its whole approach is based on the alliance with the USA, the Green Paper also urges closer partnerships, especially with the French armed forces. It calls for a “robust EU role” in crisis management.
The government wants:
This commits Labour to billions of pounds of extra military spending. The total military budget has risen steadily since 1999’s £28 billion to £32 billion now. The Ministry of Defence has already landed us with projects running £35 billion over budget and five years behind schedule.
Any government can only afford such sums by making huge cuts in civil spending. A government source admitted there would have to be ‘tough decisions elsewhere’.
Britain has total armed forces numbering 188,400. Where are the troops based? Germany still has 19,000, Afghanistan 9,500, Cyprus 2,700, the Middle East 1,800, the Falklands 1,200, Brunei 500 and Gibraltar 300. There is also what the Green Paper calls ”our classified operations”.
|The Labour government has shown no compunction about using troops as strike breakers in Britain.|
The rest of the forces are based in Britain. The Blair government used the Army as strikebreakers in the 2000 oil refinery action, in 2001 against Merseyside firefighters and in 2002–3 against firefighters across Britain; up to 19,000 personnel were trained and at times deployed. Remember that after the Falklands war, the banner on a returning warship read, “Call off the nurses’ strike, or we’ll call in an airstrike.”
The US military is stationed in 138 countries around the world. US troops have recently been deployed to new bases in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Djibouti, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mali, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
President Obama says that all US combat troops will leave Iraq by August. But between 50,000 and 70,000 troops will be staying “for the next 15 to 20 years” to guard the US-owned oilfields.
US troop strength in Afghanistan will top 100,000 early this year, and there are another 50,000+ troops from “vassals and tributaries” (in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s words). The USAF and RAF bomb Afghani children, Red Cross depots and refugees, and sometimes the Taliban. The UN says that US and Afghan government troops have killed twice as many Afghan civilians as the Taliban has. Civilian deaths are rising: 1,523 in 2007, 2,118 in 2008, to 2,412 last year.
US drone missile and helicopter gunship attacks into Pakistan are increasing. Drones fired into Pakistan have already doubled the numbers of civilians killed there.
The war on Afghanistan must be stopped, not because it is a war against terrorism, but because it is the opposite.
But our rulers want another war. US Senator Joseph Lieberman has threatened that “Yemen will be tomorrow’s war.” Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Wesley Clark said, “Maybe we need to put some boots on the ground there.” US and British “advisers” are training Yemeni forces. US warplanes have already bombed a village in Yemen, killing 120 civilians and wounding 44. The pretext for attacking Yemen is the attempted terrorist attack by a Nigerian on an airliner outside Detroit on Christmas Day – ten days after this US bombing.
The Chilcot Inquiry allowed Blair to abuse it as a platform to call for war on Iran. NATO calls for a “Free Tibet”, which is a call for a US assault on China. Attacking the world’s largest country and fastest-growing economy, would launch a world war.
Endless foreign wars militarise foreign and domestic policies, destroy civil liberties and waste billions, with no end to terrorism. The “war on terror” is self-renewing. The Ministry of Defence has admitted that the Iraq war is a recruiting sergeant for terrorism around the world.
If we instead practised non-intervention and peaceful cooperation, and respected other nations’ rights to self-determination and national sovereignty, we would free billions of pounds to invest in our industries and social services, and we would reduce the terrorist threat. The only armed force we need to defend Britain is the British working class.