As NATO Marks 70th Anniversary, Threat of Nuclear Confrontation Grows

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to continue our look at the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The alliance was formed April 4th, 1949. Commemorations, as well as protests, were held last are to mark the anniversary. President Trump used the anniversary to push for NATO countries to increase military spending. During an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with NATOSecretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Trump demanded Germany and other NATO countries increase their military spending from 2 to 4% of GDP.

AMY GOODMAN: The push for more military spending could benefit U.S. weapons manufacturers, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and others. This comes as Acting Pentagon Chief Patrick Shanahan is under investigation for improperly advocating on behalf of Boeing, where he worked for more than 30 years.

For more on this, we continue our conversation with Joe Cirincione, who I spoke to on Friday, the president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late and Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons. I began by asking him to respond to President Trump’s demands that NATO countries spend even more on military weapons rather than education and healthcare — what some might say are the true markers of national security in a country.

JOE CIRINCIONE: We’re cursed in this discussion by a very narrow definition of national security. We’ve all come to accept that national security equals military forces and weapons, when, in fact, as you point out, a national security is more often determined by the health and welfare of its citizenry, the system of justice, whether citizens feel that they’re engaged in the country and have a role in the governance of that country. And spending on military is just one small part of national security, but this has become the test of whether a country is carrying its fair burden. So, burden sharing with NATO countries has been…

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