Is Post-Cold War NATO Heading Towards A Third World War? NATO and Western Militarism in a Multipolar World

Winnipeg Conference Event, April 3, 2017


The post-Cold War world order was expected to be peacefully unipolar. However, the quarter century since has seen the continuation of war – with the Gulf war, Western intervention in the former Yugoslavia, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and more recently in Libya, Mali, Ukraine, Yemen and Syria – and witnessed a progressive and ongoing shift toward multipolarity as the world’s economic centre of gravity shifts away from the US and the West. The effects of this shift portend further shifts in the established world order and its seemingly stable alliances and increasing the danger of war.

Wars are ongoing in Ukraine and Syria heightening tensions between the West and Russia. They are also changing international alliances, introducing new tensions in relations between the European Union and the US. NATO-member Turkey is being buffeted by the war in neighbouring Syria and the historic demands of the Kurdish people for national rights. On the other side of the ‘world island’–the Eurasian landmass, international tensions are rising in the South China Sea thanks to Western support for Japan’s claims on the Senkaku/Daioyo islands and other challenges to China’s political sovereignty.

Our event seeks to address this situation. There is much simplification by politicians and the mass media concerning contemporary dangers to international peace and security. In particular, we want to focus on the current situation with NATO increasing pressure on Russia and the wars in Ukraine and Syria. These conflicts are major foci for Canadian foreign policy with the Canadian military stationed along the Russian border in Eastern Europe and in norther Iraq. If Canada, through its NATO membership and obligations, is to be drawn into a major conflict the most likely occurrence will be war in Europe against Russia.

GERG, along with the University of Winnipeg Manitoba Chair for Global Governance Studies, the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities and Peace Alliance Winnipeg are happy to present panel discussions and lectures by three distinguished speakers, Paul Kellogg, Roger Annis and Mahdi Nazemroaya on the dangers on Western militarism and the place of NATO in a changing post cold-war world. There will be both a daytime and an evening event. For details please see below.In order to reach a wide audience we propose to hold two events.

NATO Panel University of Manitoba

NATO panel Broadway Disciples United Church

Post-Cold War NATO: Why conflict continues, and what prospects for peace?

Roger Annis

Understanding NATO requires understanding how imperialism has evolved over the decades and how it rules today.  Despite the fall of the Soviet Union and the transition of its constituent republics to capitalism, NATO continues an aggressive strategy of ‘containment’ against Russia and it is embroiled in deadly conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. NATO’s trajectory raises critical questions. Is a world without war and military alliances possible? How can a world awash in war hope to confront the global warming emergency?

Addicted to War – The corporate foundation of U.S. militarism

Paul Kellogg

The United States is addicted to war and militarism. Its massive permanent military establishment – accounting for nearly half of the world’s military spending – allows it to pose as the global police force, keeping the world economy open for (capitalist) business. While it is often justified for the jobs and investment it creates, the US’s enormous debt is almost entirely attributable to its military spending. This expenditure and have locked United States into a cycle of militarism, debt, financialization and decline. However, as the behaviour successive US administrations has shown, challenging US militarism is not possible without challenging the corporate power behind it.

From the Atlantic to the Indian and Pacific Oceans: What Role does NATO have in the South China Sea and broader Asia-Pacific?

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The South China Sea and the broader region of the Asia-Pacific are becoming the increasing focus of security concerns by the United States and its military allies. The People’s Republic of China is increasingly being demonized and portrayed as a violator of international law and the sovereignty of other states. In this context, Washington is building a network of military alliances in the Asia-Pacific. Though it is not widely known, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is also playing a role in the Asia-Pacific. This is part of the broader process of the globalization of NATO as a force in the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean.


Geopolitical Economy Research Group
Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba
Department of Political Science, University of Winnipeg
Manitoba Chair of Global Governance Studies
Institute for the Humanities, University of Manitoba
Peace Alliance Winnipeg


Speakers Bios

Roger Annis is a longtime socialist and retired aerospace worker living in Vancouver BC. He began his political activism with the Young Socialists of the day in Nova Scotia in the early 1970s. Since then, he has lived in most regions of Canada, including in Montreal where he became fluent in French. Roger writes regularly on topics of social justice and peace. He has written extensively about Canadian involvement in Haiti and, more recently, in Ukraine. He is a founding editor of the website The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond, which was launched in October 2014.

Paul Kellogg teaches interdisciplinary studies at Athabasca University. He has written extensively about Canadian and international political economy, social movements and Marxist theory. In particular, he has sought to explore and develop an understanding of contemporary Imperialism. His most recent book is a critique of the dominant Left Nationalist tradition in Canadian political economy, Escape from the Staple Trap and he is now working on another book on the military industrial complex in Canada and the United States.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist, award-winning author and geopolitical analyst who currently teaches at the University of the Philippines. He is the author of The Globalization of NATO, a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and a member of the Scientific Committee of Geopolitica, a peer-reviewed journal of geopolitical science in Italy. He lectures widely at universities around the world on his work.

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