In 2016 the European Union took the unprecedented step of setting up a military research programme worth 90 million euros, the so-called Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR). This is only a first step. For the next ten years, the European Commission proposes the establishment of a European Defence Fund which would allocate more than 40 billion euros to the research, development and procurement of weapons.
These steps signify a fundamental change to the European project. Although arms companies have received EU funding before, this has always happened through the ‘back door’ by way of a security research programme. The establishment of a EU military research programme points towards an unprecedented acceleration in the militarisation of the EU.
September 2017 is a key month for those seeking to end the arms trade. There are just so many, and such varied, opportunities to highlight the dire consequences of the trade in death and destruction and move towards ending it. Continue reading “It’s all happening in September”
CAAT’s Ann Feltham reports on arms industry lobbying for EU subsidies, and the campaign to stop it.
The European Union had its genesis in the vision of post-World War Two leaders who believed that uniting countries economically would end the bloody wars between European neighbours. Military matters were not part of it, being seen as the province of national governments and not the EU. Today the EU’s founders must be spinning in their graves as cooperation for peace and human rights is undermined and the EU inches into the military sphere.
Every summer, thousands of people flock to the small village of Tolpuddle to celebrate trade unionism and the town’s six famous martyrs. Over the years, the festival has become something of a rallying point for trade unionists and labour activists across the country, and CAAT was here this year with a stall in the martyrs’ marquee to promote our Arms to Renewables campaign.
The outcome of the General Election and the daunting prospect of continued austerity and increased cuts to public services has no doubt left many campaigners feeling deflated. There is no way around it- the next five years will be challenging and difficult.
In his book Capitalist Realism: Is There no Alternative? Mark Fisher sharply argues that when it comes to thinking about changing entrenched social norms and priorities our lives have become dominated by an attitude of resignation and fatalism.
Fisher’s argument can be easily applied to mainstream discourses around climate change and militarism. Just as capitalism dominates the horizon of the possible, talks and ideas for a future without fossil fuels and wars are often rejected as mere utopian fantasy. Indeed, the ‘no alternative’ ideology has such a totalising effect that many seemingly treat ecological catastrophe and the arms trade as facts of nature that simply cannot be reversed, despite hard evidence and rational arguments for the opposite. Continue reading “Time to Act: No War! No Warming!”
The official justification for the Government’s unquestioning support for the arms trade is that it is vital to safeguard “national security”. CAAT’s Arms to Renewables campaign argues that we must shift priorities to tackle the root causes of insecurity.
What is security?
For individuals in the UK and all over the world, security means having basic needs met and feeling safe in our homes and communities.
In contrast, the Government views security almost exclusively through a military lens. Its National Security Strategy is based on military force and the projection of power. Continue reading “A New Vision of Security”