NO to war manoeuvres! Stop Defender 2020

No to NATO war manoeuvres – yes to peace, détente and disarmament

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Current dates and actions

In April and May 2020, NATO is planning DEFENDER (Defender!) 2020, one of the largest land force manoeuvres in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

With a total of 37,000 soldiers from 16 NATO countries as well as from Finland and Georgia, a new dimension of military activities will be reached. Up to 20,000 US-GIs with corresponding heavy equipment will be transported across the Atlantic and then across Europe to the Russian border. In addition to demonstrating military superiority, the aim of the manoeuvre is to demonstrate a lightning-fast transfer of large combat units from the USA to NATO’s eastern flank.

Everywhere on the continent people are demonstrating against the life-threatening environmental destruction and for the containment of climate change. While young people are demanding their future, the largest environmental destroyer and climate killer, the military, continues to practice its rituals unimpressed. Preventing this oversized maneuver would be a first small step in the right direction.

With the new NATO Joint Support Enabling Command (JSEC) in Ulm, the transhipment ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Nordenham, as well as the Convoy Support Centres in Garlstedt (Lower Saxony), in Burg (Saxony-Anhalt) and on the Saxon military training area Oberlausitz south of Weißwasser, Germany will become the hub of the transports.

The US Army Command Europe in Wiesbaden is operationally responsible for transport and manoeuvres, managed by EUCOM in Stuttgart. Data transmission and supplementary air transport is carried out via the US Air Base Ramstein. Parallel to this, military exercises take place at the US training grounds in Grafenwöhr and Hohenfels in Bavaria.

During the transports there will be severe restrictions on road and rail traffic along the transport routes. The Bundeswehr has agreed a priority rule with Deutsche Bahn AG for all military transports.

The size of the manoeuvre and the location along Russia’s western border represent a provocation to Russia. The manoeuvre involves the danger of a possible direct confrontation between military units of NATO and Russia. The timing was not chosen randomly either: 75 years after the liberation of Europe from fascism, mainly by the Red Army, German soldiers are marching again along the Russian border. With Defender 2020, the USA, Great Britain and France send a historically forgotten signal to the former ally from the anti-Hitler coalition.

The manoeuvre is a further intensification of the confrontational policy of NATO and the EU towards Russia, which began with the eastward expansion of NATO in 1990 and led to the encirclement of Russia. In contrast, the policy of détente and friendly cooperative relations with Russia should be the order of the day. As it was formulated jointly by all European states including Russia, the USA and Canada in the Charter of Paris in 1990: “The era of confrontation and division of Europe has ended. We declare that henceforth our, relations will be founded on respect and co-operation.”.

While in Germany, Europe and the world enormous resources are urgently needed to solve the current problems of mankind, all NATO states are working purposefully towards increasing the arms budget to 2% of the gross domestic product. For military armament, means and resources are being devoured which are painfully lacking for social, ecological and infrastructural purposes.

In the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany of 1990, the basis of German unification, the parties agreed that only peace should emanate from German territory. This is also the core idea of the German Constitution, this must be the basis of German and European policy.

We stand up for these goals and say resolutely:

NO to NATO war maneuver Defender 2020

We demand:

– A policy of détente and political conflict resolution instead of military confrontation

– Cooperation with Russia in a common European structure

– consistent disarmament and redistribution of the funds released

We will demonstrate for this everywhere before and during the manoeuvre – peaceful but powerful. On the streets, squares and bridges, the affected train stations, in front of the military training areas – in Germany and internationally. With a vigil along the entire route, legal action and actions of civil disobedience – creative and diverse.

Current information at


Picture reference: Photographer Sönke Hundt


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