The North Atlantic Treaty Organization commemorates its 70th anniversary with internal divisions
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) turns 70 and a summit is held in London on December 3 and 4 on that occasion; right in one of the worst moments of the Atlantic Alliance produced by internal dissensions within it, enhanced by the attitude of Turkey and the recent words of the French president Emmanuel Macron.
The internal struggle within the organization jeopardizes the stability and future of this Atlantic military association that has had a great weight in international defense policy throughout its history, especially in the last era of the Cold War, when there were two opposing and opposing poles, the western and capitalist, led by the United States, and the eastern and communist, captained by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which had its own common defense entity, the so-called Warsaw Pact . Since the end of the communist bloc and the bipolar scheme disappeared, NATO has persisted in time, but, without a clear common enemy as it had been before, it has been suffering internal shocks for the particular interests of each nation.
In London, the Alliance meeting is taking place with the participation of Donald Trump, president of the United States, and his counterparts in the rest of the member countries, given the obvious lack of harmony between many of them. The great controversy that has recently arisen around NATO has been that of the latest actions undertaken by Turkey, a member of the Atlantic Alliance and that is moving autonomously following its own interests, without taking into account the common military defense policy .
The Turkish country, chaired by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, developed an invasion maneuver in northern Syria, to carry out an operation against the Kurds of the Popular Protection Units (YPG, for its acronym in Turkish), considered a terrorist group by Turkey, without the approval of its military partners ; and, going further, patrol the now known as 'security zone' on the Turkish-Syrian border with the forces of a country like Russia, NATO's 'rival' in defense and military matters defending postulates and interests totally different.
Some allies flatly rejected Turkish unilateral intervention in Syria, and, in addition, NATO failed to recognize the Kurdish militias of the YPG as a real threat to the Ottoman country.
Turkey plays two bands since, on the one hand, it is part of the Western Alliance and, on the other, it coordinates with Vladimir Putin's Russia to control the conflict zone in southern Turkey and northern Syria; and even buys military equipment from the Slavic State, such as the S-400 air defense system; armament not integrated into the NATO defense system.
Another problem of dire consequences for relations within NATO has been that which has to do with the recent words of Emmanuel Macron, president of France, who declared NATO's "brain death".
The Gallic leader denounced in an interview granted to The Economist the confusing sing of the Atlantic Alliance with a disturbing manifestation: “NATO is in a state of brain death. We must clarify what are the strategic purposes of NATO. Europe must have the indispensable military capacity to affirm its strategic autonomy ”. "Europe will disappear, if you don't think and affirm as a power, victim of extraordinary fragility," said Macron himself.
This approach is part of the French president's concern about the loss of Western hegemony over the proliferation of other powers such as Russia or China. This idea is framed in the belief that Europe can lose all kinds of prominence within a new bipolarization that would be led by the two great economic powers that exist today: the US and China.
Macron also expressed doubts about the trust between NATO partners in responding jointly to an eventual attack received by one of them, which is detailed in the famous Article 5, the basis of the project and that comes to detail that the attack against one of the allies will be considered an attack against all the allies.
Given this situation, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, described Tuesday as "unpleasant" and "disrespectful" the statement of his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, that NATO is in a state of "brain death."
Trump made these statements at the start of a bilateral meeting with the secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, before the official start of the organization's summit in London on the occasion of the 70th anniversary. "I think it is an insult" and "I was surprised" by the phrase used by Macron, said the US president, while considering that it was a "dangerous" demonstration because "nobody needs NATO more than France."
A Donald Trump who also starred in another controversy recently when he asked his partners for an increase in military spending in the face of the malaise of the Republican leader in this regard.
Meanwhile, Jens Stoltenberg expressed the importance of NATO adapting to the new challenges and that member countries can "take action together". Stoltenberg recognized the discrepancies between the allies, for example, for geographical reasons, but, despite this, he explained that "we protect ourselves because together we are stronger."
The German leader also had words of praise for Trump in stating that "he is doing a fantastic job" in getting more countries to increase their funds to NATO, and he estimated the contributions made to 130,000 million dollars (118,209 million euros).
Germany has already tried in recent weeks to produce contacts between the allies to reach a greater understanding and greater harmony, something that Jens Stoltenberg himself recently supported in an attempt to strengthen the German leadership role in Europe, in the face of the rise of a greater prominence of Macron's France.
This power struggle within the Franco-German axis has also clouded relations within the Alliance and has not helped soften the situation among the members of the organization.