“Our own Tory government is stoking the tensions, with bellicose rhetoric and its own military build-up. It has agreed to the return of US nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath alongside an NPT-non-compliant increase of British nuclear stockpiles.”
By Sam Browse, Arise Festival
The end of August saw the conclusion of the UN nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, with delegates meeting in New York to negotiate and agree their obligations under the treaty. The NPT aims to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons and promote disarmament.
As the Ukraine war continues, alongside America’s military build-up in the Indo-Pacific against China, it’s no surprise that the conference ended in acrimony and failure.
NATO’s new Strategic Concept document mandates an increase in nuclear stockpiling, while Russia’s arsenal is on high alert. The Ukraine war and China’s challenge to US hegemony has heightened the threat of nuclear conflict to a level unseen since the 80s.
Our own Tory government is stoking the tensions, with bellicose rhetoric and its own military build-up. It has agreed to the return of US nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath alongside an NPT-non-compliant increase of British nuclear stockpiles.
Similarly, its AUKUS nuclear pact commits it to join the military encirclement of China, as Liz Truss plans to declare the country an ‘official threat’ to the UK while boasting of her readiness to push the nuclear button.
Rather than acting as a US forward base in Europe, we need an independent, multipolar foreign policy that puts people and planet first: working across borders to address all rights abuses and all aggressive wars, the climate emergency, the refugee crisis, and the health inequalities exposed by the pandemic, while working co-operatively for peace and disarmament.
As the Tories aggravate the international polarisation, we must reject the Manichaean logic of the new Cold Warriors. Our alliance is not “the West versus the rest” but between the working people and peace campaigners of every country against the warmongering boss class – socialist internationalism versus the barbarism of war and nuclear disaster.
- Sam Browse is a volunteer organiser for Arise: A Festival of Left Ideas. You can follow him on twitter here; and follow Arise on Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Linktree and Spotify.
- This article was originally published in print in the Labour Party Conference 2022 special edition of Labour Outlook. You can view it in full here.
- Get more information at www.stopwar.org.uk and www.cnduk.org.