“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,”
“You have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its NATO allies. None,”
“You have an uncoordinated aggressive action by another NATO ally, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake,”
“There has been no NATO planning, nor any coordination,”
NATO is suffering 'brain death', argues French president Macron
Meanwhile in Germany, the foreign minister Heiko Mass disagrees, without, however, providing much of substance.
Germany warns France against undermining NATO security alliance
To this a former minister from the Green Party, Jürgen Trittin, responds:
Nato is only a shadow of its former self
You can look at NATO through rose-tinted glasses like Foreign [German] Minister Heiko Maas. Or you can soberly say: The alliance is drifting apart. Europe needs to look after its own security all the more urgently.
A guest article by Jürgen Trittin (Green Party)
“We have to want NATO” - as Foreign Minister Heiko Maas writes in his guest contribution. Want replaces reality. This is original German idealism. It cannot be what may not be.
But isn't France's President Emmanuel Macron right? What kind of alliance is this, in which the economically strongest member, the USA, classifies the cars from the second strongest member, Germany, as a threat to its "national security"? Where Nato member Turkey once again invades another country in violation of international law - forcing Nato member France's special forces to retreat? Where the same Turkey organises ethnic cleansings and forced resettlements on a grand scale - but the rest of the alliance looks aside and emphasises that NATO is an alliance of values?
You can call such an alliance brain-dead - but you don't have to. But it is naïve to bury your head in the sand before this reality. It's time to be honest.
Heiko Maas longs for a Nato that has not existed for a long time. In the 70th year of its existence, the alliance is only a shadow of itself. Nato is in an existential crisis.
Different interests of the alliance partners
The truth is that NATO can no longer safeguard the essential security interests of its member states due to the divergent interests of its members. Turkey's intervention in Syria is a direct threat to Europe's security interests. It threatens to destroy the successes in the fight against the IS.
As in Syria, NATO will not change the second major threat to European security in Libya. It is precisely here that Europe will have to do everything it can, with its own resources, to bring this conflict to an end. The most important step will be for NATO and EU members Italy and France to stop supporting, paying for and equipping opposing warring parties there.
This is precisely where Europe's ability to deal with the problems on its doorstep will have to be demonstrated. That does not make NATO superfluous - but it does force painful prioritisation. Are we betting more on the European Union, or are we blindly arming ourselves with two per cent in the NATO alliance? Heiko Maas does not answer these questions.
NATO was and is good at deterring symmetrical threats. It can do this because today the European NATO members alone spend around three times as much on armaments as Russia. And because - out of its own interest - the nuclear power USA stands behind it. We take the security concerns of Eastern European NATO members seriously. These include continued reinsurance measures such as air policing over the Baltic States, Nato's rotating presence in Eastern Europe and improved reaction times.
"To keep the Russians out" still works just like "to keep the Americans in". Nato was founded for this purpose. Today nobody wants to hear anything more about the third mission "to keep the Germans down". On the contrary.
A European disarmament initiative is missing
But strategic differences between the Nato members are also becoming apparent in their relations with Russia. The termination of the INF Treaty by Donald Trump may be in the interest of both the USA and Russia. Both now have no restrictions to impose on China. But it is not in Europe's interest.
These nuclear weapons threaten Europe's security. Anyone who refuses to think about disarmament results in "intellectual self-disarmament", as Professor Bernd Greiner, most recently head of the Center for Cold War Studies, aptly analysed. The demand for disarmament is not left-wing reverie, but rather tough realpolitik.
Where was the initiative of the Social Democratic German Foreign Minister to react to the denunciation with his own attempts at disarmament? What would an Egon Bahr, a Willy Brandt have done in such a situation?
It would have taken a European disarmament initiative a long time ago. For example, the offer to Russia to abandon tactical nuclear weapons in Büchel and US missile defence in Eastern Europe when Russia withdraws its "Iskander" missiles from Kaliningrad and its land-based medium-range missiles from Europe. Maas would not only have had to want Nato to do this, but would also have had to promote such proposals within Nato. This would also have been controversial within Nato. But none of this happened.
The foreseeable end of the Iran Nuclear Accord (JCPOA) shows how little strategic interests in NATO still converge. Once an effective agreement against Iran's nuclear armament, the USA unilaterally terminated it under Trump without a vote within NATO and destroyed it with a brutal unilateral sanctions policy. Now we are on the verge of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. This is a direct threat to Europe's security.
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator
Die Nato ist nur noch ein Schatten
The trans-Atlanticists are dreamers. Realpolitik demands an independent European defense.
Europe can no longer afford to prop up a dysfunctional US military superpower that's gone rogue and that has become the primary cause for conflict in the world. European and American interests diverge in almost every aspect.
Europe doesn't even have to pull the plug on Nato. Erdogan or some madman at the White House will do that sooner or later anyways. But Europe needs to gradually build its independent defense system.