Protesters warn of war bound May-Trump special relationship amid Afghanistan escalation


Nato general secretary meets May to discuss military escalation from Afghanistan to Eastern Europe

CAMPAIGNERS have warned of escalating military conflicts, driven by Prime Minister Theresa May in alliance with the US after the General Election.

Protesters gathered outside Downing street this morning (Wednesday 10 May) as the general secretary of the Nato western military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, met with May to discuss sending more UK troops to Afghanistan, 15 and a half years since the UK and US first invaded the country.

Speaking to CommonSpace, protest organiser and Stop the War convenor Lindsey German said: “On of the reasons that Stoltenberg is coming to London is to ask for more British troops to go to Afghanistan, probably 500 more. There’s a suggestion there’ll be calls for 3000 more American troops

“This is in a situation where the Taliban controls about 40 per cent of the country. Even though we’ve been told on so many occasions ‘mission accomplished’ ‘peace has broken out’ and so on. This war hasn’t ended and they don’t know how to end it.”

“This visit from Nato is simply to get more troops and money spent on war.”

“When you vote for Theresa May you get war.” Lindsey German

German, who was involved in organising protests against the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan more than 15 years ago, said that the growing special relationship between the UK under May and the US under President Donald Trump, who made isolationist noises during his campaign but has since pursued and militarist foreign policy, would be “absolutely central” to deepening military conflicts under any future Tory government. 

“One of the reasons she went over to the US was to cement this new special relationship, but also to try to ensure that Trump, who was critical of Nato at various points in his election campaign would remain, as all other American presidents have done, absolutely committed to Nato.”

May came under pressure last when she was the first major foreign leader to visit Trump after his controversial election campaign, just ahead of his attempt to ban citizens from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the country.

Since coming to power, Trump has driven major military strikes in several countries including Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. He has also ramped up tensions on the Korean peninsula, promising a new hardline against the North, souring relations with the new south Korean Government.

Read more – 14 years of the ‘War on Terror’: Peace campaigners look back on the Afghan war

The UK still has approximately 500 troops in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have now taken control of around 40 per cent of the country. Nato is believed to be calling for a commitment of hundreds more troops from the UK and 3000 from the US to prevent the country sliding deeper into chaos.

The message in the General Election on 8 May was clear, German said: “When you vote for Theresa May you get war.”

In two weeks’ time, Nato will hold a summit in Brussels, where it will discuss its military deployments from Afghanistan to Eastern Europe, where it has been building up forces, alongside the German military, in countries neighbouring Russia.

Trump will come to the UK during the summer when he will be treated to the trappings of an official state visit. Mass protests are expected against the visit.

Both the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign Office declined to comment on the meeting with Nato, but in a previous statement, said that it keeps troop deployments in Afghanistan “under review.”

Read more – United States admits responsibility for hospital bombing described as a “war crime”

Picture courtesy of The U.S. Army

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