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No 86, September 2010

Afghanistan: Editorial

the crucial question for NATO

In the run­up to the NATO
summit in Lisbon, Portugal, on
19/20 November 2010, this issue
of The Broken Rifle provides
information and opinion on NATO,
and on resisting NATO and the
war in Afghanistan.
In his opening article, Tobias
Pflüger highlights the central
importante of Afghanistan for the
future of NATO. While it certainly is
important to resist against the war
in Afghanistan just for what it is – a
bloody war – this shows that the
stakes for NATO are high, and our
resistance to the war in
Afghanistan, if we make the links
to NATO, can also contribute to
weaken and finally overcome
That NATO is in trouble is also
one of the messages of Wilbert
van der Zeijden's article on NATO
new Strategic Concept, which will
be passed in Lisbon. Due to quite
some disagreements among
Afghans rally in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 30 December 2009, during a protest against the killings NATO members it might be short,
of 10 civilians allegedly by coalition forces in Kunar province. Photo: but that's probably about it. For us,
to understand the cracks within
Without any doubt, geo­strategical and similar adventures, as German chancellor NATO is important if we want to
economic interests played and play an Angela Merkel stresses: “I think I am able to fight NATO.
important role in the military intervention of say […] that the stabilisation of Afghanistan is Cynthia Cockburn looks at
NATO in Afghanistan. But there is much more presently one of the major challenges of NATO NATO from a feminist perspective,
at play in the Hindu Kush. From the point of and its member states. It is something like a and shows that NATO fails to
view of the West, nothing less than the future litmus test for successful crisis management adhere to its stated objective of
of NATO will be decided there. and for a NATO able to act.” Robert Naumann, promoting and protecting women's
In the 1990s, NATO was transformed from until 2007 US ambassador in Afghanistan, was rights – in Afghanistan and
a – at least on paper – defence alliance to a even more open: “NATO took on the funda­ elsewhere.
global intervention alliance. This process was mental commitment to win in Afghanistan. And
A critical reflection on the
mostly completed with the war against Yugo­ either it will win, or it will fail as an
slavia and the decision on a new Strategic organisation.” movement against the war in
Concept in early 1999, which almost coincided. The war in Afghanistan takes place against Afghanistan and against NATO,
From then on NATO had to prove that it is not the background of increasing conflicts with and information on the activities
only willing, but also capable, of enforcing its new emerging rivals (China, and to a lesser against the NATO summit in
members interests with violence far away from extent Russia), in which many see the outlines Afghanistan, the European
its original alliance territory – and not just at the of a New Cold War. A defeat of NATO in Antimilitarist Network and
periphery, such as on the Balkans. Afghanistan would signify a weakening of upcoming activities in Sweden in
For this, Afghanistan became – deliberately NATO, which one cannot afford in view of 2011 round up this issue of The
or not – the central theatre. Because such these new rivalries, argues for example Broken Rifle.
“stabilisation missions” will be the norm in the Kersten Kahl, president of the Federal
This issue provides the
future, as the document “NATO 2020: Assured Academy for Security Policy (Bundesakademie
Security; Dynamic Engagement”, published in für Sicherheitspolitik), the training centre for background to a call against
May 2010, points out. The proposal for an the leadership of the German army: “Whether NATO WRI will be launching in
actualisation of NATO's Strategic Concept, we like it or not: linked to success or failure in October, to give our activities
produced on behalf of NATO General the Hindu Kush are strong signals, which against NATO some focus and
Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen, explains: reach far beyond Afghanistan. […] But there is framework. Please visit WRI's
“In light of the complex and unpredictable more at stake. The Afghanistan mission [...] website for updates.
security climate likely to prevail through the has turned into a serious test of the inner Enjoy reading – and act!
coming decade, it is not possible to rule out cohesion and with this also of the power of the Andreas Speck
NATO's future participation in similar (although North Atlantic Alliance. […] Concretely, this
hopefully less extended) stabilisation means: if President Obama wants to bring the War Resisters' International
missions.” NATO mission in Afghanistan to a successful 5 Caledonian Road
But if NATO fails in Afghanistan, then London N1 9DX, Britain
NATO won't be able for a long time to go on continued on page 2 info@wri­ http://wri­
European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

Come to Lisbon
Protest against the NATO summit in Portugal
From 19 to 21 November the NATO so surprising given the
summit will take place in Lisbon, with difficulties of the
Obama, the best known of the leaders, populations –
present. unemployment, wage
The stated objective of the summit is freeze, increased
the adoption of a new Strategic Concept – retirement age and
the seventh this the foundation of NATO – reduced access to
and with it, the ratification of the actions of health and social
NATO in the last years, especially in support.
Afghanistan and Somalia; the more The Portuguese
precise definition of NATO's actions in the governments has
coming years, especially in relation to threatened all those
Iran; and to guarantee the cohesion of its who question NATO, During the visit of the NATO Military Committee to Afghanistan in
member states under the strict obedience its activities and its October 2009. ©
to the decisions of the Pentagon. existence, as criminals
The instruments included in this new and prepares a real
Strategic Concept are, among others, the stage of siege and the suspension of existence of NATO, will be exposed;
growing militarisation of the member freedoms and safeguards that exist in • A demonstration open to all who want
states of NATO; the strengthening of democratic societies. to peacefully demonstrate the need for
military power, in spite of the recession In this framework, a broad coalition of the abolition of NATO, and for a world
and the impoverishment of the people on organisations not only of the NATO without wars and military threats;
both sides of the Atlantic; the banalisation countries decided to converge in Lisbon • Civil disobedience actions to promote
of the use of war as a way to control during the NATO summit to express their the cause of peace and local
resources – especially energy – and their protest in front of this house of warlords, awareness for the war policy
transport routes; the contempt for public despite the threat of the Portuguese conducted by NATO, particularly in
opinion, which defends peaceful means government, which simply echoes the Afghanistan.
for the solution of international problems; words of command from Washington and
a return to the nuclear threat; and the Brussels. All to Lisbon, to demand an end to NATO
growing expansion of its area of All to Lisbon, to demonstrate the rejection
interventions. During the NATO summit the following of militarism
Never has the war effort undertaken by will take place in Lisbon: All to Lisbon, to fight for the withdrawal of
the governments of NATO countries • a counter­summit, where dangers and NATO from Afghanistan
proven to be so inadequate to the real disadvantages of NATO actions, and All to Lisbon, to demand a world of peace
military threats to these countries; but not more, the danger inherent in the and renunciation of States to resort to war.

Continued from page 1 endanger the new US foreign policy, which sensational report "Global Trends 2025"
we want so much, but we would also erode from November 2008, predict – for the first
end by putting a lot of effort by the USA the relevance of the alliance. This we time – not only a significant loss of power
behind it, then it is only sensible to support cannot afford when he view the changes in for the USA (and Europe), but also fierce
him with an appropriate contribution. If this the global order of power, and future risks.” conflicts with China and Russia. In this
did not happen, then we would not only Also, the US Secret Services in their report there is a very illuminating sentence,
which displays the great significance of the
war in Afghanistan. The Secret Service
report includes a fictitious letter to the
NATO General Secretary by the Head of
the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
(SCO), which is partly seen as an anti­
NATO military alliance of Russia, China,
and some central Asian states, dated
forward to the year 2015, which reads:
“Fifteen to 20 years ago, I would never
have imagined the SCO to be NATO’s
equal—if not […] an even somewhat more
important international organization. I think
it is fair to say it began when you pulled out
of Afghanistan without accomplishing your
mission of pacifying the Taliban.”
The Afghanistan mission is therefore
not a “deplorable exception”, it is an ex­
pression and litmus test of the ambition of
the powers of the West to enforce their
dominance, if necessary by force – and for
this NATO is their instrument of choice. Not
least for this reason the war has to be
“won” – it's make or break – and it is of no
significance what this means for the people
of Afghanistan.
ISAF troops in Afghanistan. Source: NATO Tobias Pflüger

2 The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

NATO’s short and crisp Strategic

War tax resistan­
ce: Inland Reve­

nue threatens WRI
The Inland Revenue is
threatening War Resisters' In­
ternational with the seizure of
assets because the pacifist
At the 2009 Strasbourg­Kehl summit, NATO tes, and the effects of those cuts will be felt in
organisation is withholding a
members agreed to produce a new Strategic Brussels too. Next to that, the protracted occu­
proportion of income tax due
Concept for the alliance. The Strategic Concept pation of Afghanistan is starting to drain the en­
to its conscientious objection
(SC) is usually the guiding policy document for thusiasm in some capitals for plans that involve
to paying for war.
NATO for the coming decade. In November, at new expenses. As a result, the intent to first set
War Resisters' Internatio­
the NATO summit in Lisbon, NATO countries the policy and then work out the budgets has
nal has been withholding tax –
hope to agree on a document that is “short and evolved into a reality in which budget restraints
usually about 7% of income
crisp”. The main content will to a large extent re­ increasingly determine the policies.
tax, roughly the proportion of
peat the 1999 SC, but it will be shorter overall. the military budget – since the
Insiders expect a document of 12 pages max. Off Balance
tax year 2002/03. In its regu­
Unlike previous Concepts, this one is written to Against that background, several discus­
lar letters to the Inland Reve­
“sell” the vision of NATO to the populations of sions arise on priority­setting for the alliance.
nue, the organisation states:
the member states, while at the same time it First and foremost, many countries indicate
"We ... dispute that the
aims to get across the right message to non­ they want NATO to rethink the balance between
debt ... constitutes a legal
NATO countries: that NATO is still a relevant, “out­of­area” missions and the more old­school
debt, as it is a result of a law
strong, unified, agile, 21st century multifunctio­ collective defence missions. Opinions on this
which violates basic human
nal alliance,... but also a friendly and helpful topic are diverse. Some argue that there is no
rights, as implemented by the
neighbour. real difference between the two – when it
Human Rights Act." In addi­
comes to military strategising and planning.
tion, the organisation refers to
Listening to NATO representatives of the Afghanistan, they argue, is an out­of­area mis­
the tradition of civil disobe­
different countries, much of the text will be sion that started as a collective defence mis­
dience, as practised by Henry
agreed on by the 28 members without too much sion. Others argue that, in the end, the debate
David Thoreau, Mohandas K
trouble. NATO Reform, Open Door Policy, Part­ is not really about “less out­of­area”, but about
Ganghi, or Martin Luther King.
nerships, Comprehensive Approach, reaffirma­ more visibility of collective defence, to reassure
The present dispute is
tion of Article V, Cyber Defence, all those cause the Central and Eastern European allies. Yet
about outstanding taxes for
little debate, if any. At the same time though, others go so far as to say that there needs to
the tax years 2007/08,
the aim to make the document a public show of be a real resetting of the balance, in favour of
2008/09, and 2009/10. In its
alliance unity means that several debates cur­ collective defence, and downscaling NATO’s
threatening letter to War Re­
rently ongoing in NATO HQ will need to be resol­ out­of­area objectives. For some countries,
sisters' International, the In­
ved before Lisbon, or marginalised in the writing their participation in the Afghanistan mission
land Revenue does not at all
process. Here’s a collection of contentious has started to affect national defence planning
mention human rights as­
issues. and procurement. Ammunition used must be re­
pects, and does not engage
stocked. Materiel lost, damaged or used­up
with the issues raised by War
Money must be replaced. But also, some of the coun­
Resisters' International. The
The main limitation faced by NATO, in all its tries that have not participated in the occupa­
letter simply reads:
current planning and strategising, is money, and tion of Afghanistan argue for a stronger focus
"Our records show ... that
a lack thereof. The recession already led to de­ on NATO’s original core task: the common de­
you have failed to pay this tax
fence budget cuts in many of the member sta­ fence of the treaty territory. By now, there
on time. You must therefore
pay the full amount due imme­
diately ... If you fail to do so
we will assume you are unwil­
ling to comply and will take
distraint action which involves
seizing your assets for sale at
public auction."
In its reply from 10 Sep­
tember, WRI writes: "Again
we want to stress that we
would very much appreciate
discussing this matter with
one of your representatives,
preferably outside court – and
maybe in a public discussion?
However, if this matter cannot
be resolved outside a court,
then we will be prepared to
present our arguments in
WRI stresses the human
rights of its employees to
conscientious objection to
paying for war. We demand
from the Inland Revenue to
engage with our legal and
moral arguments.
Polish troops during a patrol in Ghazni Province. Photo: ISAF Public Affairs

The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010 3

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War
No to War – No to
seems to be little debate on the need to reem­ back home. There is speculation that a compro­
phasise collective defence as the core respon­ mise may be in the making that accommodates
Activist Conference, sibility of NATO. The open question is to what both sides to the debate. In one scenario, the
Lisbon, 16/17 October extent that will result in a scaling down of the B61 bombs would be relocated in one central
2010 out­of­area capabilities and intentions of NATO, location (probably Aviano, Italy). This way,
The No to War – No to NATO and how it all should be framed in the SC. NATO is still held together by the same old
Activist Conference will be glue, while the domestic public relations pro­
embedded in the conference of Good Russian, bad Russian blems of the Western European countries are
the Portuguese organisation A second hot topic is the relationship bet­ solved.
“CULTURA”. The CULTURA ween NATO and Russia. This paper is too short
conference will take place at to reflect the full range of views within NATO Missile Defence
ISCTE (Instituto Superior de and all aspects of it. But while all allies are A couple months ago, NATO HQ launched
Ciências do Trabalho e da Em­ quick to proclaim that NATO “neither poses a the plan for Active Layered Theatre Ballistic
presa) of the University of military threat to Russia, nor considers Russia a Missile Defence [4]. A rather cryptic, if not
Lisbon. The location of the military threat to the Alliance” [1], the interpre­ internally contradictory name. The first word
Action Conference will be tations of that pre­agreed line differ country by seems to be added to convince us that, really,
announced shortly. country. Some countries openly suggest a route this time it works! It seemed for a while that
The following conference that would eventually lead to Russian member­ getting consensus on the plan would be a no­
schedule is a combined ship. On the other side of the spectrum are brainer. But in talking to the national delega­
schedule of the two events. those that regard Russia as the biggest poten­ tions at NATO, it turns out that several are
tial threat to NATO security. The likely outcome reluctant to accept the system at face value.
Saturday, 16/10 of that clash of visions is a middle way such as Doubts about the technical feasibility of the
10.00­13.00: Participating in the that proposed by the May 2010 Report of the proposed system prevail, and some – France
CULTURA Event against NATO Group of Experts, which suggests a “focus[…] most notably – are reluctant to get caught up in
14.00­21.00: Start of the Activist on opportunities for pragmatic collaboration in an “open­ended funding programme”. And then
Conference of the ICC/PAGAN pursuit of such shared interests” [2]. Short there’s the issue of the involvement of Russia in
14.00­15.30: Overview Lecture: indeed; not so crisp these plans. Not to antagonise Russia, the plan
NATO and EU, Willy Meyer invited Russia to join efforts to create a joined
Where We Stand – Where We Old glue NATO–Russian Missile Defence system. But
Want to Go: Actions during the Another debate that is unlikely to be finished the level of Russian participation is a cause for
Counter Summit before November is the one on the new designs concern for many NATO member states. So, for
Information and Discussion for NATO’s extended deterrence. All agree that the moment, the future of missile defence is
16.00­20.00: Working Groups: “As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO undecided.
­ Counter Summit Mobilisation should continue to maintain secure and reliable
(Tobias Pflüger, Vitor Lima) nuclear forces” [3]. The debate is on what those In chambers
­ Civil Disobedience (Andreas secure and reliable nuclear forces look like. In the past, NATO Strategic Concepts were
Speck, NN Portugal) More specifically, the debate is about the policy presented as cornerstone documents laying out
­ Media Work (Ricardo Robles, of nuclear sharing and the continued presence the parameters for policy decisions for years to
Arielle Denis, Kristine Karch) of US sub­strategic nuclear weapons on come. In contrast, the new NATO SC is to be a
­ Square of Peace (NN European territory. Most experts – and military document of more limited scope, aiming to pre­
Portugal) planners – by now agree that this whole class sent to the public a likeable and reliable allian­
of nukes is redundant, if not militarily useless. ce. The desire to stress the unity in the alliance
Sunday, 17/10 Of the five nations hosting the 200 or so US pushes NATO to exclude those subject on
10.00­13.00: Participating in the B61 nuclear freefall bombs, three have indi­ which the debate is still ongoing. Such a strate­
CULTURA Event cated they’d prefer to phase them out. That gy would make the text even shorter of course,
13.00­16.00: Activist hasn’t happened yet, because nuclear sharing but also less durable. If it turns out only the
Conference has long been considered “the glue that holds surface is “crisp” it may not be too brittle to hide
13.00­14:30: Information the alliance together”. Through nuclear sharing, rising tensions underneath.
Meeting of the ICC: Where Do European member states showed their willing­
We Stand with the Preparation ness to share the moral responsibility and the Wilbert van der Zeijden
of Anti­Nato Actions financial burden of maintaining a Cold War de­
Introduction: Reiner Braun, terrence posture. At the same time, nuclear Notes
Ricardo Robles sharing was regarded at the time as a reassu­ [1] NATO 2020 – Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement, Group
of Experts, May 17, 2010, p. 10
15.00­16.00: Reports and rance by the US towards Europe of the indivi­ [2] NATO 2020 – Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement, Group
Decisions sibility of the alliance. And it seems NATO has of Experts, May 17, 2010, p. 10
prepared by Reiner Braun, not yet managed to find another system of [3] NATO 2020 – Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement, Group
Arielle Denis, NN CND, NN burden sharing that would similarly reassure the of Experts, May 17, 2010, p. 11
Portugal member states sufficiently – a new glue if you
will, one that would at the same time serve a
16.30­18.30: Participation in the relevant military purpose.
Final Event of the CULTURA
Conference: To change NATO’s nuclear policy a consen­
Beyond NATO, Francisco sus decision is needed. Belgian, Dutch, Ger­
Louçã, Tarik Ali, Ignacio man, Norwegian and Slovenian calls to rethink
Ramonet, Gilbert Achcar NATO’s nuclear policy have been met with
Baltic reluctance. Moreover, by discussing it as
For further information about a (political) policy issue, instead of a (military)
and to apply to participate in the posture issue, France is included in the consen­
Activist Conference, please sus decision making. And France is notoriously
contact us at: hard to convince of any change to existing nu­ clear policy. For Germany, and to a lesser ex­
tent for Belgium and the Netherlands, a “no
change” in the status­quo will be hard to explain

4 The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

Making a Feminist Case
In April 2009, as part of the mobilization
against the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, No­to­
NATO organized a two­day counter­conference,
in the course of which some forty women from
NATO member states held a workshop on ‘a
feminist case against NATO’.[1] Some of us
have continued to work together by e­mail, and NO to the new
we hope to mark the forthcoming NATO Summit NATO­Strategy!
in Lisbon, Portugal, this November, with Active for Global Peace,
women’s protest actions. Disarmament and the
What is our ‘feminist case’ against NATO? End of NATO
In many ways it’s the same case we make Counter­summit
against militarism and war in general. That’s to Location: To Be Determined
say, we note the adverse ways they impact on
women, and the damaging gender roles, active 19/11/2010 ­ Friday
and passive, into which they draw both sexes. 11.00­11.15: Welcome
We point up the fact that gender relations, as Vitor Lima (PAGAN) confirmed
we know and live them, are relations of power Reiner Braun (ICC) confirmed
and inequality, founded in violence. They 11.15­13.00: Lectures
involve the social construction of masculinity as 1. NATO’s War in Afghanistan
combative. Proper manhood requires a imitate the masculine model. This dichotomous
gender culture is one of the long­term, (Malalai Joya, Afghanistan)
readiness to use force in defence of ‘honour’, (TBC)
while femininity is associated with passivity and underlying, causes of war, because it
predisposes our societies to see taking up arms 2. The New NATO Strategy and
victimhood. Women who want to escape the Global Crisis (Vitor Lima,
feminine stereotype have little choice but to continued on page 6 PAGAN, Portugal) confirmed

Is war necessary to obtain justice?

3. Nuclear Weapons in the New
NATO­Strategy (Joseph
Gerson, AFSC, USA) confirmed
4. NATO and Latin America
(Eduardo Melero, UAM, Spain)
5. Missile Defense Systems in
Eastern Europe / Russia (Jana
Glivicka, No Bases, CR)

14.00­16.30: Workshop Block I

– Analytical Workshops
17.00­19.00: Workshop Block II
– Political and Social

21.00­23.00: Public Event:

Panel Discussion
NO to War – NO to NATO

23.00 Peace Party

20/11/2010 – Saturday
The German Marshall Fund of the United States annually does a survey on important
"transatlantic trends", which can make an interesting read. One of the questions asked is: "Please International Anti­NATO
tell me to what extent do you agree with the following: Under some conditions, war is necessary Demonstration
to obtain justice." (Q29.2). The answers are quite revealing (see graphic).
Is it a surprise that in the USA and Britain more than 50% agree with this statement (USA in 21/11/2010 – Sunday
2009: 37% "strongly agree" and 34% "agree somewhat"; Britain in 2009: 20% "strongly agree"
and 35% "agree somewhat")? It is interesting that in these two countries, which are most 10.00­10.30: Introduction
responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a high proportion of the population agrees that Lecture: Lessons Learnt
war is sometimes necessary – higher than in Turkey, a country with a very visible tradition of Portugal and NATO
militarism. Most of the European countries trail far behind – 18% in France, 19% in Germany, 10.30­15.00: Peace Assembly
16% in Italy, 29% in the Netherlands, 19% in Poland, etc. How to continue acting for a
The good news however is that in most countries the figures have consistently gone down – world without war and NATO
including in the USA and Britain, but even more so in France, Germany, Italy, or Poland.

Source: Transatlantic Trends: Topline data 2009, Watch out for updates at http://no­to­

The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010 5

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

continued from page 5

as a normal and acceptable way of

dealing with political conflicts.
Consequently, feminist activists call for the
transformation of gender relations as a
necessary element of the movement to
end war.
So how does this apply in the struggle
against NATO? It’s important to stress
that, for sure, all the women on our
‘Women Against NATO’ e­list are making i
exactly the same base­line case as all w
other opponents of NATO. Briefly, that n
NATO is a Cold War instrument that N
should have been closed down when the i
Warsaw Pact folded; that it is primarily a t
vehicle for the economic and military t
interests of the USA and to a lesser extent n
those of the post­colonial Western n
European states; and that its current i
strategy of enlargement and its t
increasingly ‘expeditionary’ mode make it s
a growing threat to peace on a global
scale. Furthermore, NATO’s existence Vigil of Women in Black during the anti­NATO demonstration in Strasbourg in April 2009. A
flouts international law and United Nations
principles; it chimes with increasing women and girls at borders, smuggling into its structures and activities. ‘NATO M
militarization of the European Union; and it them into military bases and acting as and its Partners’, they say on their f
locks member states into the nuclear pimps. Although NATO adopted, in 2004, website, ’are promoting the role of women t
weapons and MDI systems on which the a Policy Against Human Trafficking, no within NATO­led operations and missions’ s
USA continues to insist. suspected NATO traffickers have been and increasing the knowledge and skills r
However, beyond this general critique prosecuted.[2] available on ‘gender and diversity’. Last
of NATO, we perceive the alliance in gen­ Third, the persistence of the ‘NATO year the Strategic Commands received m
dered terms. NATO is a massive military system’ after the collapse of the Soviet guidelines for the integration into the t
alliance of nation states. Nira Yuval­Davis Union has prevented each European NATO Command Structure of UN Security t
and other feminist theorists have shown country cashing in ‘the peace dividend’ by Council Resolution 1325 on ‘Women, (
how the concept of ‘nation’ is gendered, reducing its armed forces and humanizing Peace and Security’. There is a NATO t
how nationalism and patriarchy are inter­ its international posture. It has required Office on Gender Perspectives, and t
locked, and how nations and nationalists them to sustain a high degree of gender advisers have been appointed. An m
use and exploit ‘women’. NATO is the militarization that masculinizes and implementation report is to be published in g
product of Cold War thinking that saw the deforms everyday life. It has, what’s more, time for the Lisbon Summit.[4] f
globe as divided into two ‘blocs’ of nation fostered the militarization of the European Given the implications for women of t
states, champions of rival ideologies. Union, so that an economic alliance we NATO’s campaign Afghanistan, the 5
Some feminist contributions to the Stras­ joined as a guarantor of cooperation and Alliance’s self­professed gender sensitivity
bourg workshop talked about the ‘patriar­ harmony is turning into yet another war­ can only deepen feminist cynicism about
chal logic’ of blocs, a brotherhood of na­ fighting machine. It has been argued that ‘gender mainstreaming’. Here is an
tions in arms seeking out fantasy enemies the EU is converting to this ‘hard’ image in alliance of powerful Western states
long after the Cold War has ended. response to the chiding of US policy­ exploiting the notion of ‘liberating Afghan
Secondly, women have been making a makers that Europe is a feminine, soft, women from oppression by the Taliban’ as
feminist case against NATO’s military civilian power. European leaders want to one of its devious justifications for
bases, installations and production play ‘with the big boys’.[3] A commitment invading the country. Women’s insecurity
facilities in our countries. Although, for the to contribute to a European force as well is multiplied in the chaos and brutality of a
most part, these belong to the national as to NATO calls for high military decade of armed conflict. Then the
armed forces of member states, they are expenditures in EU member states. intruders announce plans to make their
in effect part and parcel of NATO resour­ Feminists argue that this drains funds from escape by negotiating the re­entry to
ces in Europe. Several women wrote the education, health and housing power of – the Taliban. Afghan women
workshop papers about the damaging services badly needed by women, the sex certainly have a feminist case against
effect of military installations on the lives that still carries a very high proportion of NATO. So do women in NATO member
of women in neighbouring communities. the burden of domestic life and care. states.
They described women’s non­violent Finally, feminist antimilitarists make a Cynthia Cockburn
direct action outside the razor wire and case against NATO as a perpetrator of Women in Black, London
security checkpoints, protesting against wars. The effects of war are dramatically
the toxic pollution, the danger of radiation, gendered. There is a growing trend to civi­ Notes
the noise and blighted areas entailed by lian casualties, disproportionately women [1] A report of the workshop can be seen at
the military use of land. Women also­workshop.555.0.html
and their dependants. Women are the ma­ [2] Sian Jones 'NATO and the Trafficking of Women'. The
protest against sexual exploitation and jority of the displaced and refugees, trying Broken Rifle No 81, February 2009
violence against women by military per­ to maintain their families in impossible [3] Stephanie Anderson ‘From “soft” power to “hard”
sonnel. In Bosnia and Kosovo, UN and circumstances. Thousands are widowed, power: the militarization of the European Union as an
NATO­led forces not only generated a attempt to shed its “feminine” identity.’ Paper
deprived of a viable existence. Sexual presented to the 49th International Sociological
massive sex industry, but individual violence redoubles in and after war. We Association annual convention, San Francisco,
soldiers – along with NATO contractors see all this in NATO’s war in Afghanistan. 26.3.08.
and UN police – were actively involved in Improbable as it may seem, NATO /p251752_index.html.
the trafficking process, receiving trafficked [4] From
prides itself on ‘mainstreaming’ gender /topics_56984.htm#Roles accessed 18.08.10.

6 The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

Against the war inAfghanistan

– and/or against NATO?
Reflections on strategic issues for the antimilitarist movement
In most NATO countries public opinion opinion (stage 6), which eventually might Where are we at: Afghanistan
is either divided over, or in favour of, the lead to success (stage 7), and a continua­ As mentioned in the introduction, the
withdrawal of NATO troops from Afgha­ tion and extension of the struggle (stage war in Afghanistan is deeply unpopular in
nistan. Only in very few countries can 8). In each stage the movement faces diffe­ most NATO countries, and indeed global­
NATO count on support for its war (see rent challenges, and has different strate­ ly. In most NATO countries more than
illustration 1). However, neither does this gic, medium­term objectives which it 45% of the population are in favour of a
turn into a massive mobilisation against needs to reach to advance. withdrawal of NATO troops from Afgha­
the war in Afghanistan, nor does it – for The other aspect of the MAP are the nistan [3], according to polls published by
now – translate into opposition to the orga­ four roles of activism. Any movement the Pew Global Attitudes Project, a project
nisation fighting this war – NATO (see needs the right balance at the right time of shared by former US Secretary of State
illustration 2). So are we successful? The all four roles – the rebel, the reformer, the Madeleine Albright and former US Ambas­
troops are still in Afghanistan, so we citizen, and the social change agent. sador to the United Nations John Dan­
surely must be doing something wrong. However, it is important not to see the forth.[4] Other polls for individual countries
Movement Action Plan as a kind of recipe report much higher opposition to the war –
A strategic framework for movement success. It is a useful – for example, a Daily Telegraph/YouGov
To look at this question I am using Bill albeit limited – model for understanding poll from August 2009 showed 62%
Moyer's Movement Action Plan [1] as a our movement, and for giving hints what opposition to the war in Britain.[5]
framework. The plan includes two impor­ might now be important, but it is not a However, public mobilisation against
tant aspects: a concept of eight stages of recipe for success. the war is low – at least if we look at major
successful social movements, and of four For any social movement – and for any actions or demonstrations. And in the past
roles of activists within these movements. analysis of a social movement – it is extre­ the war in Afghanistan has been oversha­
A social movement – if successful – mely important to be clear of the objective. dowed by the war in Iraq, to which oppo­
moves from normal times (stage 1), As Bill Moyer points out, social move­ sition was and is even higher.
through proving the failure of official insti­ ments are composed of many sub­goals Looking at the movement against the
tutions (stage 2) to ripening conditions and sub­movements, which are each in war in Afghanistan, it clearly has achieved
(stage 3), which will lead to the take off of their own MAP stage. at least phases 1–3 of the Movement Ac­
the movement (stage 4). It is probably fair As a WRI staff member and antimili­ tion Plan. The conditions for a movement
to say that this is often the first time the tarist, my perspective here is the move­ are ripe for a long time: the problem has
movement is recognised as such by the ment against NATO, and in this I see the clearly been recognised, and public opi­
general public, or the mass media. This is war in Afghanistan as a major crime NATO nion is even more opposed to the war
followed – often in parallel – by a percep­ is presently committing. [2] However, let's than could be expected. However, it is
tion of failure within the movement (stage have a look at both. also fair to say that the movement has
5), and the winning of majority public failed to use the conditions, to take it

* NATO member with troops in Afghanistan

** non­NATO country with troops in Afghanistan

Illustration 1: Troops out of Afghanistan: Are you in favour of withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan?
Source: Pew Global Attitudes Survey, 2007­2010

The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010 7

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

further. This for several reasons: manipulate public opinion especially in other European (and non­European) r
* The Iraq­war might have taken up the Germany and France. [9] countries could create a global human A
energy of many activists, and led to Even in response to a mostly apathetic chain of 1000km – a challenge, but a t
burn­out and disempowerment. public opposition, but also to the military challenge which could lead to its own c
Consequently, there is a lack of failure of NATO in Afghanistan, NATO and dynamic which could trigger the take­off of f
“rebels” within the anti­Afghanistan war most governments involved are changing an anti­Afghanistan war movement. p
movement, which could launch their strategy: dates for withdrawal from s
nonviolent action campaigns to Afghanistan are set (we will see how For such an event to be successful –
dramatise the problem. And without realistic they are), and the building up of and more importantly, for a movement to
this crucial role, the movement is the Afghan army and police has been be successful – it is important that the W
stuck. stepped up considerably. We can see a different groups and organisations within (
* A lack of an alternative vision for replay of the response to the opposition to the movement work together, and accept w
Afghanistan, which could add the war in Iraq: parts of Afghanistan are their differences. Even though we – as a
credibility to the demand for withdrawal handed over to Afghan security forces, war resisters – prefer nonviolent direct t
from Afghanistan, and counter the which is presented to the public as a first action, NVDA alone will not build a i
propaganda that NATO is in step towards withdrawal from Afghanistan. movement or end the war. The same m
Afghanistan to fight for women's rights. However, neither has a withdrawal from applies to other “roles” within the S
Such an alternative vision can only be Iraq really happened, nor can we take the movement: we need the reformers talking
developed in close co­operation with dates being mentioned for withdrawal from to the government, we need the rebels
Afghan civil society and peace Afghanistan serious. (that might be us), the involvement of n
movement organisations, which exist, citizens, and the organisers and social t
but are not being listened to (with few For the movement to get into the next change agents. Only by working together m
exceptions) [6]. stage, there is a need to take and respecting the role each one of us d
* A failure to put the issue on the public opportunities. A movement take­off is often has to play can we be successful. s
agenda: the leaked CIA report quotes a response to something that happens – g
polls which indicate that few people opportunities being taken. This could have Where are we at: NATO H
see the war – although they might be been the bombing of the tankers in NATO is a completely different matter. h
opposed to it – as an important issue: Kunduz for the German movement. In Public opinion against NATO is still pretty m
“Only a fraction (0.1­1.3 percent) of other countries there might have been low – 21% in the USA, 17% in Britain,
French and German respondents other opportunities, which have not been around 30% in France, Germany, and
identified 'Afghanistan' as the most taken. Spain, and only 10% in Poland. [10] The i
urgent issue facing their nation in an low figure for Poland is probably m
open­ended question, [...]. These But movements can also create the representative of many of the Eastern w
publics ranked 'stabilizing Afghanistan' take­off themselves. An idea could be to European new NATO countries, which see o
as among the lowest priorities for US organise major events on 8 October 2011, NATO much more as a guarantor of p
and European leaders.” [7] As Felix the tenth anniversary of the intervention in “freedom and democracy”. [11] p
Kolb points out in his book “Protest Afghanistan, which are slightly different. It is difficult to look at the movement p
and Opportunities”, a favourable public What about human chains instead of the against NATO on a European scale – v
opinion might still be irrelevant if usual demonstrations? In Britain for differences between the countries are very m
salience is low [8]. This means we as a example from Brize Norton (the main significant. The following therefore cannot v
movement are failing to show how the transport hub to and from Afghanistan via be more than a rough outline. h
war affects all segments of society, but High Wycombe (RAF Strike Command)
also that we can make a difference. and PJHQ Northwood to Whitehall (about The official reason for NATO's
100km), thus linking important military existence is to provide stability and p
I see a need in two main areas: bases and headquarters with the seat of security for its member states. And NATO i
* local organising to root the movement government. Similar human chains in presents itself as a success story in this 2
against the war in all sectors of society, E
and to bring across an alternative p
perspective. As Bill Moyer would put it: a
the basic purpose of the movement in s
this stage (success) is to educate, c
convert, and involve all segments of t
the population. And s
* nonviolent direct action campaigns,
which used intelligently can help to O
keep the issue on the public agenda,
reduce apathy, and counter the p
alternative strategies of our i
governments and NATO. A
However, the public has somehow p
overtaken the movement, and quietly u
opposition to the war in Afghanistan has m
risen to levels which almost indicate a B
success of the movement. But as the
movement did not build up its own
strength, we are not able to capitalise on m
it, and to really push for withdrawal from i
Afghanistan. As the CIA put it in a leaked o
memorandum: governments can count on h
apathy, and therefore ignore public f
opinion. To make sure this remains so, the Illustration 2: Unfavourable views on NATO and opposition to Afghanistan. A
memorandum suggested ways to Source: 27­Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey, 17 June 2010

8 The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

regard – despite its failure in Afghanistan.

As a movement against NATO, it is
therefore an important objective to show
clearly that NATO as an institution is
failing to provide security, that NATO is
part of the problem, and not part of the

Renate Wanie of the German

Werkstatt für gewaltfreie Aktion Baden
(Workshop for Nonviolent Action Baden)
wrote already in 2009 that “education
about NATO's war policy and the myth of
the defence alliance” has to be one of five
important objectives of the peace
movement after the NATO protests in
Strasbourg in April 2009 [12].

For us as war resisters with a focus on

nonviolent direct action, there is a specific
task at the present stage of the anti­NATO
movement: “to create small, nonviolent
demonstrations and campaigns that can
serve as prototype models and a training
ground for the take­off stages”.[13] U.S. Army Sgt. Owens provides "security" during a patrol near Khogyani District in
However, it is important that this does not support of Afghan elections in Nangahar province, Afghanistan, 18 September 2010.
Photo: isafmedia
happen in isolation from the rest of the
movement, but serves to strengthen it. 2007
In the coming years, we should 9 CIA Red Cell, Afghanistan: Sustaining West European
Last years actions at the NATO summit continue to work with the national and Support for the NATO­led Mission—Why Counting on
in Strasbourg could have moved the international coalitions against the war in Apathy Might Not Be Enough (C//NF), 11 March 2010,
Afghanistan, and against NATO, and to published by Wikileaks at
movement forward, but an opportunity­afghanistan.pdf,
was lost due to the violence that push for more democratic forms of accessed 9 September 2010
overshadowed the entire protest.14 To organising, and creative nonviolent action. 10 Pew Global, 27­Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey,
prevent violence at protests – whether it is As Bill Moyer puts it: “participatory 17 June 2010,­
democracy is a key means for resolving Global­Attitudes­Spring­2010­Report.pdf, accessed 9
provoked by the police or committed by September 2010.
parts of the movements that believe in today's awesome societal problems and 11 It is important to note that another survey –
violence – is crucial for any social for establishing a just and sustainable Transatlantic Trends, published by the German
movement that wants to be successful, as world for everyone”.16 This requires Marshall Fund of the United States – lists very
empowered citizens, and our movements different figures for some of the countries, with
violence leads to alienation, and ultimately especially higher scepticism towards NATO in Eastern
harms the movement. are the place where empowerment is to Europe. See
take place. But this requires much more
Nevertheless, we are making some democracy and grassroots organisation f, accessed 9 September 2010
within our movements, and less 12 Renate Wanie, Pacefahne oder Hasskappe ­ wir
progress, and the powers that are can feel müssen uns entscheiden! In: Friedensforum 3/2009,
it. As the Madeline Albright report “NATO hierarchical and “professional” anti­war­21.htm,
2020: Assured Security; Dynamic organising. accessed 15 September 2010
Engagement” stresses, “NATO 13 Bill Moyer et al, Doing Democracy. The MAP Model for
Questions of war and peace are too Organizing Social Movements, New Society
populations should be reminded that the Publishers, Gabriola Island, 2001. Page 53
alliance serves their interests through the important to leave them to NATO, or to 14 Andreas Speck: After Strasbourg: On dealing with
security it provides”.[15] This is a governments and politicians. Let's do it! violence in one's own ranks, 20 April 2009, http://wri­
consequence of growing scepticism about, accessed 16 September 2010
Andreas Speck 15 NATO: NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic
the need and usefulness of NATO – Engagement. Analysis and Recommendations of the
something we need to build on. September 2010 Group of Experts on a New Strategic Concept for
NATO, 17 May 2010,
Our role in the movements Notes
1 Bill Moyer et al, Doing Democracy. The MAP Model for .htm, accessed 9 September 2010
As war resisters – as antimilitarists and Organizing Social Movements, New Society 16 Bill Moyer et al, Doing Democracy. The MAP Model for
pacifists – we have a specific role to play Publishers, Gabriola Island, 2001. A brief description of Organizing Social Movements, New Society
in the movements against the war in the MAP can be found at http://wri­ Publishers, Gabriola Island, 2001. Page 19
Afghanistan and against NATO. Although 2 On the relevance of Afghanistan for NATO see the
within WRI we have a variety of political article of Tobias Pflüger in this issue of The Broken
perspectives and approaches, what unites Rifle
us is a principled stand against war and 3 Pew Global, Pew Global Attitudes Surveys (different
issues) 2007­2010,
militarism, and in favour of nonviolence. 4 See, accessed 9
Both are crucial within both movements. September 2010
5 The Daily Telegraph, Two thirds want British troops
As pacifists, we will remain the home from Afghanistan, 29 August 2009,
minority in the anti­war movement. But our nistan/6106201/Two­thirds­want­British­troops­home­
insights into the need for nonviolence, and from­Afghanistan.html, accessed 9 September 2010
our experience with nonviolent action, is 6 Ross Eventon, Transnational Institute: Afghan Voices
highly important, as especially the events and Our Victories, September 2010, unpublished, but
a good read.
from the NATO summit in Strasbourg in 7 CIA Red Cell, 11 March 2010
April 2009 show. 8 Felix Kolb, Protest and Opportunities. The Political
Outcomes of Social Movements. Frankfurt/New York

The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010 9

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

War starts here

– about Northern Sweden as a training ground for war
soldiers from the U.S. Air Forces in
Europe (USAFE) came to Northern
Sweden to practise bomb
dropping and to do a joint air
exercise with the Swedish Air
Force. Antimilitaristic direct action
network Ofog organised an action
camp to highlight the fact that
Northern Sweden is used as a
training and preparation area for
war and to disturb the bombing
In the city of Luleå, Ofog held
The vast unpopulated areas in
speeches, performed street
Northern Sweden are increasingly used
theatre and visualised alternatives
for war preparation and trainings. North
to military exercises, Direct actions
European Aerospace Testrange (NEAT) is
took place at the military airport
Europe’s largest overland test range and
F21 outside of Luleå, where Ofog
consists of an area 360 by 100 km of
activists protested at the entrance
restricted air space and 1,650 sq km of
as smaller actiongroups went into
restricted land area (expandable to
the airport where bombplanes
3,000sq km). It is a cooperation of the
arrived. Groups of Ofog activists
Swedish organisations FMV (the Swedish
also entered on to the area of
Defence Material Administration) and SSC
Vidsel which is used for bomb
(the Swedish Space Corporation). NEAT is
training, where the activists went
used as a training area for bomb dropping,
into the area to prevent the bomb
for testing drones and AMRAAM
training with their presence on the
(Advanced Medium Range Air to Air
Missile), which could be carried by drones,
To view pictures from the
and for other weapon testing and war
action camp and the actions visit
exercises. This summer the U.S. Air Force The location of NEAT and the Missile Test Range
Ofog at Flickr.
used the area for a bomb dropping Vidsel in the north of Sweden. Source:
exercise and last summer NATO used it
Read more about Ofog's direct, map imported into Marble
for their largest air exercise that year.
actions at­ Desktop Globe.
Welcome to an Interna­
Ofog actions against US bomb us­air­force­bomb­exercise­northern­
tional action camp in 2011
During two weeks in early August this
summer, 20 fighter aircrafts and 250 Sweden, widely known for its neutrality
and as a 'voice of peace', has managed
well in hiding the truth: increasing
participation in war on all levels and
silencing voices that differ. People in
Sweden need to wake up, and we are the
wake­up­call. We won't be fooled or
passified and we can set an example.
Together we're able to show people in
European countries that these are not
internal but international matters that we
need to deal with all of us. We can not
leave it up to our goverments and those in
power to make the decisions, they are the
ones who wage war and prepare for it.
The military exercise areas in Northern
Sweden are used permanently all the year
around for weapon testing, bomb dropping
exercises, drones testing and training, and
other kinds of military exercises. Wars
fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, among
other places, are prepared and trained for
here, which means we have a possibility
to stop them here! Therefore we meet
next summer in Northern Sweden for an
international action camp against the war
exercise areas. The camp will include a
seminar on NATO and US military bases
Action during the ofog action camp in August 2010. Photo: ofog and a mass action against the area of
10 The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010
European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

We are very much looking forward to see A European

you all next summer. This is a great chance to Antimilitarist
make a direct impact on the largest training
ground for war in Europe and also an
Nonviolent direct action
opportunity to meet as organisations and against militarism all over
activists to exchange experiences and Europe
knowledge and to coordinate our resistance The European Antimilitarist
and solidate our future plans. Network is not a fixed entity, but
a flexible network of antimilitarist
For more information contact Ofog: groups, based on the principle of
info(at), nonviolent direct action. It inclu­
+46 (0)733 815361 des, but is not limited to, groups formally affiliated to War Resi­
Website on next summer's action camp: sters' International. As a net­ work, it aims to keep an infor­
mation flow going between ac­
Official website NEAT: tions, and also to take decisions
Info about Missile Test Range Vidsel (official jointly on the focus for the
website): coming months/year(s). The following groups pre­
=224 sently form the core of the net­
work: War Resisters' Interna­
tional (International), Vredes­
WRI Council 2011 in Luleå, Sweden actie/Bombspotting (Belgium),
alternativa antimilitarista­moc
Mark the dates: the WRI Council meeting 2011 will take place during the time of the action (Spain), Ofog – för en kärnva­
camp at the camp itself in Luleå in the north of Sweden. At present, the dates penciled in for the penfri värld (Sweden), Deutsche
Council are 19­21 July 2011, followed by a seminar organised by/with ofog, and then training Friedensgesellschaft­Vereinigte
and action... KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (Ger­
many), Gewaltfreie Aktion Atom­
More information on the WRI Council meeting, and also on the seminar, will be available closer waffen abschaffen (Germany),
to the time. But please keep the dates free... Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto (AKL –
Finland), Transnational Institute
Please contact the WRI office for more information: (TNI – Netherlands), Trident
War Resisters' International Ploughshares (Britain), Gruppe
5 Caledonian Road für eine Schweiz ohne Armee
London N1 9DX, Britain (GsoA – Switzerland).

The wars in Iraq or Afghanistan,

the military operations in the Red
Donate to War Resisters' International Sea and the Mediterranean, or
the European Union military in­
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The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010 11

European Network Against Militarism — Against NATO and War

Women Conscientious Objectors — An Anthology

Conscientious objectors are generally seen as male — as are soldiers. This book breaks with this
assumption. Women conscientiously object to military service and militarism. Not only in countries
which conscript women — such as Eritrea and Israel — but also in countries without conscription of
women. In doing so, they redefine antimilitarism from a feminist perspective, opposing not only mil­
itarism, but also a form of antimilitarism that creates the male conscientious objector as the ‘hero’
of antimilitarist struggle.

This anthology includes contributions by women conscientious objectors and activists from Bri­
tain, Colombia, Eritrea, Israel, Paraguay, South Korea, Turkey, and the
USA, plus documents and statements.

“For what we see here is women, at different moments, in one country

after another, creating for themselves the concept, analysis and practice
of a distinctive feminist antimilitarism.”
Cynthia Cockburn, Women in Black London

"Their radical retheorising of militarism with a feminist perspective re­

minds us of the centrality of women in processes of militarisation, as well
as their power to turn militarisation processes on their head and to con­
tribute to radical reimaginings of a world where violence, war, patriarchy,
sexism, heterosexism, and other form of dominations are not taken for
Ayse Gul Altinay, Sabanci Univeristy, Turkey

Published by: War Resisters' International

Edited by Ellen Elster and Majken Jul Sørensen
Preface by Cynthia Enloe
ISBN 978­0­903517­22­5. 152 pages.
Publication date: April 2010
Orders: £8.00 plus postage

Order at WRI's webshop: http://wri­

Or use the order from on the right.

The Broken
Rifle War Resisters' International
The Broken Rifle is the supporting and connecting war resisters all over the
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International, and is pub­
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Please send your donation today to support the work of WRI – Thank You!
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12 The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010