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THE INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL–MILITARY FRAMEWORK OF THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD. FIERCE COMPETITION ACROSS THE WORLD. OUR REGION.
9. The inter-imperialist struggle is waged by economic and political–diplomatic means; it is expressed in “local” wars, with the increase and modernization of armaments, the change of military doctrines, etc., while the danger of a wider imperialist war is growing. In Eurasia and Eastern Mediterranean, in the Persian Gulf and Southern Pacific, in Africa and Latin America, in the Arctic and Central Asia, strong monopolies, capitalist states and their alliances are in conflict. During the past years, one of the epicentres has been the Eastern Mediterranean region, which constitutes a channel between Asia, Europe, and Africa. The wars waged in our region, except for causing significant human losses, have forced millions of people to abandon their homes and flee to other countries and Europe.
THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN USA AND CHINA FOR SUPREMACY IN THE IMPERIALIST SYSTEM
10. International relations are strongly characterized by the escalation of the confrontation between US and China for supremacy in the imperialist system, which, apart from the economic background, is also reflected at a political–diplomatic and military level. The USA blamed China for the pandemic, accused it of technology theft, of “expansionism”, etc., while, on the other hand, China seeks to undermine traditional US alliances, using economic and trade agreements. The US is adapting its doctrine, declaring China as its main rival.
The USA seeks to disguise this inter-imperialist confrontation with anti-communist contrived notions, while China utilizes the ideological construct of “democratization” of international relations within the global imperialist system and focuses on the need to overcome the “unipolar world” in favour of a “multipolar world” and against the imposition of US policy.
They seek to conceal that the struggle between the two strongest economic powers of the contemporary capitalist world for supremacy in the imperialist system is waged in the framework of the capitalist relations of production that prevail in both countries.
The sharpening of the confrontation between the two powers, which takes on a global character as it manifests itself simultaneously in many regions of the world, includes other international and multilateral organizations and agreements. This demonstrates that the interdependence of capitalist economies can go hand in hand with the intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions. The US policy to contain China through the multilateral agreements with the countries of Central and South America and the Pacific, followed by the US leadership before Trump, had not yielded the expected results. It was later replaced by the US administration under Trump, that followed a rigid stance towards China, whose strategic core is not expected to be changed by the Biden administration.
THE NATO PLANNING AND THE STRUGGLE WITHIN IT
11. NATO's strategy is characterized by the planned expansion across the globe, its enlargement with new members, the establishment of partnerships with dozens of countries, and the establishment of combat-ready military units. A plan aiming at Russia, Iran, and China is promoted, hence the establishment of fully equipped infantry, air and naval units that can intervene in 30 days, on any front chosen by the NATO staff (the “Four Thirties”).
NATO forces are deployed in many regions in the world, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from the Baltic to Caucasus, in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Africa.
At the same time, there are growing contradictions within NATO between the USA and Germany or the USA and France or France and Germany, as well as other important contradictions, such as the ones between Turkey and France or Turkey and Greece. So far, these contradictions have been settled by various temporary compromises, often by means of tension easing; however, their tangle is becoming increasingly complicated, while the functionality and dynamics of the imperialist predatory alliance are challenged even by bourgeois political forces and analysts.
THE EU, THE UNION OF CAPITAL IN EUROPE
12. The EU treats the world as its “strategic environment”, based on the International Strategy it has developed and is preparing to readjust. It also seeks the most effective penetration of European monopolies in third countries. Thus, the so-called “Permanent Structured Military Cooperation” (PESCO) was established. At the same time, the French-inspired “European Intervention Initiative” is being promoted in order to overcome the delays caused by the unanimous decision process, so as to carry out imperialist missions immediately. Today, the EU has already deployed imperialist missions in three continents.
Measures are being taken to strengthen the goal of the so-called “Strategic Autonomy” in the context of strengthening the alliance and joint interventions with NATO, which remains its main pillar.
The planning to develop research and armaments programmes by the EU market, aiming at autonomous military competence is being strengthened in an attempt to reduce the dependence on the US armaments market. The financing of the so-called “European Defence Fund” (EDF) and the “European Defence Industrial Development Programme” (EDIDP) play an important role, as well as the establishment of the “Coordinated Annual Review on Defence” (CARD) to monitor the implementation of the EU goals in armaments and the promotion of military mechanisms and missions by the Member States to the corresponding standards of the “European Semester” for the economy.
Member states are called upon to allocate 2% of their GDP to EU armament, in addition to NATO commitments, in order to modernize the EU defence industry. PESCO plans to upgrade the so-called “military mobility”.
The militarization of the EU is deepening. This is also in evidence in the establishment of the “European Peace Facility” (EPF), a new fund apart from the budget (multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027), which will provide additional funding of € 10.5 billion. This mechanism will finance the activities of the “Common Foreign and Security Policy” (CFSP).
Plans to strengthen the “Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument”, a powerful tool for EU intervention in third countries, are also being promoted.
At the same time, Brexit expressed the centrifugal force of the UK that pre-existed and was supported by the USA, which, on the one hand seeks to promote separate agreements with EU member states, and on the other hand to impose sanctions on monopolies and powerful EU countries, such as Germany and France.
NEW POLITICAL, DIPLOMATIC, AND MILITARY ALLIANCES AND THE WITHDRAWAL FROM OLD ONES
13. The relations of uneven interdependence, which govern the relations of all capitalist states, are also formed through a number of international and regional unions, organizations and agreements that also indirectly reflect the correlation of power, while often become a field of competition. In the past 30 years, in addition to the most well-known organizations (e.g. UN, NATO, EU, OSCE, WTO, G7, G20), most of which are led by the US, new ones have emerged, such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, led by China, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union, led by Russia.
These unions, which are set up in the framework of monopoly capitalism, despite their differences or their different degree of integration, have the same exploitative class character and aim: the strengthening of the power, the economic and geopolitical standing of the bourgeois classes they represent in the division and redistribution of the world. In conditions where the prolonged capitalist crisis brings about the redistribution of power among the capitalist states, some of them are going through serious upheavals. Such examples are the BRICS, where the confrontation between China and India is increasing; the APEC (Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), in which growing tensions surrounding the stance towards the claims of China and the US involvement in the region are rising; the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America), which was supported by China and Russia but is significantly weakening after the predominance of US-oriented governments.
In order to secure its supremacy in the imperialist system, the US is moving towards the realignment of its alliances, the review of agreements, the restructuring of international organizations and the paralyzing of others when it cannot use them for its plans. It is characteristic how the USA has used the Organization of American States in recent years as its political tool in the region.
Thus, we can note that the USA has withdrawn in 2002 from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM); in 2017 from UNESCO; in 2018 from the Iran Nuclear Deal. In 2017, it withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and froze the talks about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union. In 2018, while exerting pressure claiming that it would withdraw from NAFTA, it succeeded in replacing it with USMCA. In 2019, it withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; in 2020, from the Treaty on Open Skies. In addition, it announced that it is considering proceeding to new nuclear tests, in violation of the relevant 1963 International Agreement.
Thus, the stance of the most powerful imperialist centre to date dispels the illusions fostered and cultivated by various bourgeois and opportunistic forces that the “globalization of economies” and “multipolarity” would lead to a global system where all the issues would be “peacefully” resolved by the International Law and International Organizations.
The general situation, which is related to the implementation problems of the International Law, reaffirms the position that International law, as we knew it when the USSR and other socialist countries existed and was the result of the global correlation of forces between those countries and the capitalist ones, no longer exists. The resolutions of International Courts are influenced by the correlation of forces in the imperialist system. The “imperialist peace” agreements express the correlation of power of the directly or indirectly involved capitalist states and are called into question by its change.
Powerful interstate organizations have become a cloak for advancing the interests of the USA, NATO and other imperialist powers. Within these organizations, confrontations and temporary compromises are taking place among the powerful imperialist powers. When compromises cannot be reached, bargains, threats, and even withdrawals from various agreements follow, as shown by the stance of the USA and other countries, such as Russia, which demonstrates the supremacy of national law against international laws and regulations, mimicking the relevant stance of the USA vis-à-vis International Law.
The trend for changes in the correlation of forces, the US withdrawal from a series of agreements aiming at the realignment of imperialist alliances in its favour, as well as the pursuit of shifting the basic US aims to the Asian region against China, is erroneously interpreted by a series of forces as a “US withdrawal” and a “power vacuum” in the world. The reality is clearly different.
The USA seeks to realign the web of international organizations and agreements, which always reflect the uneven interdependence of capitalist states, to its own interests. Thus, the US leadership considers that the present composition of the Group of Seven most powerful capitalist countries (USA, Japan, Canada, France, UK, Italy, Germany) is outdated and that Australia, South Korea, India and Russia should be invited, in an effort to forge a new anti-Chinese alliance. Particular emphasis is given to the Indo–Pacific region and the effort to link India to US plans, in an environment of sharpening of China–India relations.
 APEC: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.
 ASEAN: Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines.
 ALBA: It was an alliance of Cuba with social–democratic governments that had emerged in Latin American countries, first and foremost with Venezuela.
 USMCA: United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
THE MILITARY POWER IN THE “CONTINUATION OF POLICY WITH VIOLENT MEANS”
14. We see that global military expenditure in 2019 was estimated at US $ 1,917 trillion, at 2.2% of global GDP, with an increase of 3.6% compared to 2018 and 7.2% compared to 2010, for the third consecutive year, mainly due to US and China’s military expenditure and operations. International arms sales increased by 7.8% in the period 2014–2018, or by 20% compared to the period 2005–2009.
As regards military expenditure, the USA takes first place (US $ 732 billion), followed by China ($ 261 billion), India ($ 71.1 billion), Russia ($ 65.1 billion), Saudi Arabia ($ 61.9 billion), France ($ 50.1 billion), Germany ($ 49.3 billion), UK ($ 48.7 billion), Japan ($ 47.6 billion), and South Korea ($ 43.9 billion). In 2019, total military spending of all 29 NATO member states was $ 1,035 billion.
In the period 2015–2019, the US remained first in arms exports, accounting for 36%, followed by Russia, France, Germany and China.
Nuclear forces continue to modernize their nuclear arsenal, replacing old warheads. The 9 nuclear powers (USA–owing 5,800 nuclear warheads, Russia–6,375, UK–215, France –290, China–320, India–150, Pakistan–160, Israel–90, North Korea–30 or 40), possess a total of 13,400 nuclear weapons, 90% of which belong to the US and Russia.
The US and Russia are announcing changes in their nuclear military doctrine, while both sides issue statements about new types of superweapons, such as automatic laser weapon systems, and new fields of application, such as space.
The United States intends to include China in a nuclear control and containment agreement, considering it a dangerous competitor, while the main nuclear armament issue under consideration is the “first strike” capability.
Military bases outside the borders are an important tool for the military planning of major powers. The USA appears to have over 700 bases for different uses all over the world. UK, France, Russia, Italy, Turkey, China, Japan and India also have bases abroad.
An important new element of the period, which is indicative of the intensity of competition and military preparation, is the changes in the defence doctrines of a number of capitalist states (characteristic examples are Germany a few years ago and more recently Japan). At the same time, NATO is approaching states that for decades have been described as “neutral”, a characteristic example being Sweden.
THE PARTICIPATION OF THE GREEK BOURGEOISIE IN THE COMPETITION
15. The Greek bourgeoisie strives to upgrade its geopolitical standing, by actively participating in the military–political plans of the USA, NATO and EU. The goals and means of the geostrategic upgrade are adopted and promoted, despite individual differences, by the bourgeois parties and governments, either one-party or coalition ones, both of the SYRIZA before, and of the ND today. This is a strategic choice of all bourgeois parties, a basic element of their strategic alignment.
The Greek bourgeoisie aspires to upgrade its standing in the Balkans and the Southeastern Mediterranean, where it has great economic interests. It proceeded to the “Prespa Agreement” in order to pave the way for the accession of yet another country to the NATO-EU imperialist organizations. It strives for cooperation in the exploitation of the energy resources of the Eastern Mediterranean for their channeling to European markets, through the EastMed pipeline, as well as the construction of a vertical gas corridor in Northern Greece, from which US liquefied gas that will come into Greece, will be channeled to other European countries. All this is part of Europe's plan to “wean itself” from Russian natural gas.
It seeks to make the country a technological, energy and financial hub in support of Euro-Atlantic plans for the region. The utilization of the Greek shipyards for the needs of the Sixth US fleet, the ports of Alexandroupolis and Kavala for the transport of liquefied natural gas and the investments of powerful US groups in the field of telecommunications–IT in Attica are all part and parcel of this objective. At the same time, it is trying to manage the US response to China's investment in domestic port infrastructure and in the domain of electrical power transmission.
The SYRIZA government promoted the so-called “Strategic Dialogue Greece–USA”, which formed a framework for economic, political and military issues, with the crucial review and expansion of the Greek-US agreement on the bases.
This planning is also served by the agreement between the ND government and the USA, which includes the further upgrade of the Souda base and the creation of Drones bases in Larissa, helicopters in Stefanovikeio and the port of Alexandroupolis —which is a significantly upgraded link for US plans— while maintaining the base for AWACS flying radar in Aktio, Preveza, and modernizing the base in Araxos for “hosting” nuclear weapons. Today, the government is preparing to cede more than 20 points in the country to be used as US military bases.
In practice, a web of military bases is being created that geographically covers all regions of the country, turning Greece into a base for the implementation of imperialist plans, with the stationing of fighter jets and helicopters, the mooring of aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, NATO and US destroyers, telecommunications–espionage infrastructure, fuel depots, and ground forces reception facilities. It strengthens the connection with the US bases and infrastructure in the Middle East region, the Balkans and the UK bases in Cyprus, with the possibility of launching nuclear strikes from Araxos, to encircle Russia and for transport to various war hotspots.
The Greek-US Agreement enables the installation and use of US forces in all Greek Army units with multiple consequences for their role and orientation, as an integral part of the NATO army.
In practice, the country's involvement in imperialist plans is deepening, while our people together with other peoples with pay for the consequences of imperialist competition and for the already grave risks of the targeting of our country. Russia and Iran warn that if their security is endangered by US bases, they will strike at them with missiles.
The aggression of the Greek bourgeoisie is also evident from the deployment of Greek military forces to dozens of imperialist missions abroad. The Patriot missile system was sent to Saudi Arabia together with relevant military personnel following the recent government decisions. Greece has also sent military forces and civilian personnel in Libya. Warships are patrolling the Strait of Hormuz, in the Persian Gulf, while a mission to Mali, where French and multinational forces are fighting, has been put on the table.
The attempt to justify the missions of Greek forces abroad under the pretense of adhering to UN, the EU and NATO decisions, is an affront and is supported by all the bourgeois parties, with the ND government and SYRIZA in the lead.
The pursuit of the bourgeoisie to create an “axis” with Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates , and Cyprus strengthens the country's involvement in conflicts that also concern the states of the allied groups it participates in. Even more so as the state of Israel is an occupying power in Palestine and is killing its people, it is in conflict with Iran, it is occupying and bombing Syrian territories, while Egypt is involved in the war in Libya and has general aspirations in the region. The euphoria that is cultivated is unfounded, while in any case the energy monopolies will benefit.
An important area of inter-imperialist competition is the Balkans, which have particular geostrategic importance, both as a channel of transport and energy arteries to and from the EU as well as a bridgehead of Euro-Atlantic imperialism for its political, economic and military consolidation in the region of Eurasia, the Black Sea, Caucasus, the Caspian, etc. Today, all countries have joined the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU, while in recent years efforts to complete the integration of the Western Balkans into these unions have been intensified. US–NATO forces continue their strengthening in the area, already have a large number of bases, and conduct large-scale military exercises, characterizing Russia and China —whose monopolies are advancing their own positions in the region— as their opponents. The course of the Western Balkans’ integration was further upgraded by the “Prespa Agreement” concluded by the SYRIZA government and implemented by the ND government. At the same time, the integration process of the Western Balkans into the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU is not influenced only by the “festering wounds” of the imperialist invasions and protectorates of Kosovo and Bosnia–Herzegovina, but also the contradictions within the EU and NATO, as well as other strong monopoly interests (Russian and Chinese) outside of these unions, which have been strengthened in the region. For the promotion of one or other of those plans, the bourgeois political forces utilize the poison of nationalism, religious–cultural peculiarities or the cosmopolitanism of capital, seeking to manipulate the peoples into various plans, alien to the popular interests. In any case, they trample on the labour–popular rights of the peoples of the Balkans.
The participation of the Greek bourgeoisie in these rivalries is involving the country in dangerous developments, in bloody situations against other peoples, while the working class and the popular forces become hostages of imperialist wars.
GREEK–TURKISH RELATIONS. THE DANGER OF MILITARY CONFRONTATION AND “CO-EXPLOITATION”
16. The competition between the bourgeois classes of Greece and Turkey is sharpening, with each one seeking to upgrade its standing in the imperialist planning and competition in the area.
Turkey is amongst the 20 most powerful capitalist states in the world and takes 2nd place in NATO in terms of active military manpower, seeking to further upgrade its standing regionally and globally. It has invaded and is maintaining occupying troops in 3 countries (Cyprus, Syria, Iraq); it has military bases in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa; it is openly involved in the Libyan civil war and militarily supports Azerbaijan in the war with Armenia. It seeks to utilize minority groups in various regions (the Balkans, Crimea, Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East), as well as the Muslim religious doctrine for its planning. The Turkish bourgeoisie as a whole aims to upgrade its role, however, there are differentiations within it regarding its means and its necessary international alliances. In the context of the “neo-Ottoman” political doctrine, which the dominant section of the Turkish bourgeoisie has chosen as a vehicle for its interests, it appears as a “defender” of the Palestinian people, in confrontation not only with Israel but also with the ruling classes of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Seeking to bargain with the US, NATO, and the EU from a position of strength, it is developing important and multifaceted relations with the Russian bourgeois class —it has been equipped with Russian S-400 anti-aircraft/anti-ballistic missile systems, which could bring about significant changes in the military balance of power in the Aegean and the wider region— as well as with Qatar.
The relations of the bourgeois classes of Greece and Turkey, depending on the circumstances, are distinguished by the pursuit of cooperation and competition; however the peoples of the two countries do not benefit from these relations.
Since the previous Congress, Turkish aggression has escalated, with the disputing of the borders in the Aegean and Evros, the questioning of Greek sovereignty of dozens of Aegean islands, the attempt to claim a section of the Greek continental shelf and EEZ, which, according to the International Convention on the Law of the Sea, does not belong to it. In this direction, the Turkish state declared the so-called “Blue Homeland”, signed the Turkish–Libyan pact with the appointed leadership of Libya, which violates the sovereign rights of Greece. It also increased overflights over Greek islands, military exercises, research or drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, in areas of the Greek continental shelf and in the Greek and Cypriot EEZ, it stirred up minority issues, used the issue of immigrants and refugees as a tool, utilizing the agreement with the EU.
Under these circumstances, US–NATO mediation and arbitration are ‘watching and waiting’, while the Turkish position for co-exploitation and co-management of the Aegean, for the “win-win” solution advocated by the US and NATO, is back on the table. At the same time, the possibility of co-exploitation and co-management of Cypriot sea zones with Turkey is being examined. This co-exploitation does not concern the prosperity of the peoples, but the profitability of the monopolies and undermines the future of the two peoples, as well as the environment.
Our Party defends the sovereign rights of the country from the point of view of the working class and the popular strata, as an integral part of the struggle for the overthrow of the power of capital. It has warned workers that under the current circumstances, bourgeois governments and imperialist alliances cannot guarantee these rights, at a time when International Law is being rewritten by imperialist agreements and the Hague Tribunal is acting out of expediency. Peace and the security of peoples cannot be guaranteed in this context. The struggle of the two peoples must be directed towards the elimination of the cause which gives rise to contradictions, conflicts, wars, the overthrow of the power of capital and disengagement from imperialist unions.
The KKE, which is firmly oriented towards the development of friendship, internationalist solidarity between the working class and the peoples of the two countries, has established close relations with the CP of Turkey, aiming to strengthen the anti-imperialist struggle of the labour–popular movement in both countries, against the bourgeoisie and Greek–Turkish participation and entanglement in imperialist plans, for the inviolability of borders, for their disengagement from NATO and EU imperialist organizations and unions, which are a permanent source of agonizing consequences at the expense of the peoples.
ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE
17. The ongoing processes as regards the Cyprus issue aim at the finalization of the partition of the island and the formation of two separate state entities that will only formally and in the short term have some elements of a federation.
The Cyprus issue is an international problem of the invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey, complicated by the issue of the exploitation of the region's energy wealth by the monopolies, the competition of the imperialist forces in the region, the utilization of Cyprus as a military bulwark by the NATO forces, the plans of the US, the EU and other capitalist states in the region, as well as the competition of the bourgeois classes in the region.
Those who believed that the EU accession or the exploitation of hydrocarbons by monopolies would bring prosperity, peace and a just solution to the Cyprus issue were not justified, as shown by the Turkish provocations in the Cypriot EEZ, in Famagusta, the questioning of the sovereign rights of Cyprus and the context of the negotiations so far for a dichotomous solution.
The KKE stands firmly and decisively by the side of the people of Cyprus. It opposes the imposition of a solution that will perpetuate the partition, will not provide a viable and reliable solution for the Cypriot people as a whole, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Latins, and Maronites. Our struggle is directed towards the goal of a united and independent Cyprus (one and not two states), with one single sovereignty, one citizenship and international personality, without foreign bases and troops, without foreign guarantors and protectors.