A group of trade union leaders, writers, and politicians have recently called for an increase in military aid to Ukraine. In an open letter, they argued that to achieve a democratic and lasting peace for the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, it is necessary to defeat Russia’s brutal imperialism. They called on governments to provide both humanitarian and military aid, including the gifting of all surplus UK military equipment due to be replaced, such as tanks and Typhoon fighter aircraft. The signatories included GMB leader Gary Smith, Aslef’s Mick Whelan, and Chris Kitchen of the National Union of Mineworkers, among others. MPs who signed the letter included Labour’s John McDonnell, Nadia Whittome, Clive Lewis, Rachael Maskell, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, and Ian Lavery. However, the Stop the War Coalition warned that increasing arms flow to Ukraine would be a “recipe for all-out war.” The Coalition convener Lindsey German emphasized that peace is at a premium and called for demonstrations on February 25, to demand peace talks and an end to the war in Ukraine.
We oppose the supply of arms to countries involved in conflicts. As supporters of armed neutrality we go further, however.
We argue that armed neutrality is a cost-effective way of ensuring national security. By avoiding alliances with other countries, we believe that our country can avoid getting entangled in costly foreign wars that are often fought for reasons that have little to do with UK national interests. We argue that the UK should focus on building up our own defence capabilities and rely on diplomacy to resolve conflicts. We don’t believe we need armed forces that can police the world – only ones that can defend our homeland. The money saved can be spent on improving our own country and the life of its people.
The only aid the UK should supply is humanitarian aid and shelter in our country for civilian victims of conflict.
In addition to advocating for armed neutrality, supporters of the Third Way also call for withdrawal from NATO. We assert that the alliance is no longer relevant in the post-Cold War world and that it only serves to increase tensions with Russia. By withdrawing from NATO, we believe that our country can reduce the risk of being dragged into a conflict that does not serve our national interests.
Picture by Mvs.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=115913614
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