Considerations on Replacing NATO with a Collective Security System to Democratise International Relationships

Wolfgang Triebel, March 2010

In his paper, the German security expert Wolfgang Triebel discusses the history of NATO and the prospects of such collective security systems as the UN and the OSCE as instruments of international relations. He examines the reasons why NATO, as “the military arm of the leadership elites of the capitalist world”, has for decades been able to maintain itself against systems of collective safety. Moreover, he makes clear why NATO is the wrong organisation to adequately address the security policy challenges of our time.

Fromt the text:

As early as in the 1950s, the British scientist John D. Bernal pointed to universal threats to mankind in his book World Without War. Bernal didn’t use the term ´global problems`, but he argued that all issues possibly posing a threat to the world must be examined as a whole. Nevertheless, it would be essential to take “into account…the wide disparities …between one country and another. This growing unevenness…not only creates tensions but is responsible for the threat of war”.

At the end of his analysis of mankind’s problems, Bernal came to the following conclusion: “If we fail to change the global economy, a very large part of mankind will die prematurely … If we go on like this, using up the available natural resources of our planet, doom is near in the form of soil erosion, fuel scarcity and general impoverishment, but most directly in the form of famines and diseases…. We are facing the alternative of war or peace… War has always been immoral, but today it has lost every sense… A war would mean suicide out of madness.“

If you think Bernal’s last sentence through properly, it means: Among all problems, be they of an economic, ecological, social or any other nature, preventing war and securing peace is the global problem number one. But does NATO really serve this aim?