A year after French President Emmanuel Macron said NATO was "brain dead", the alliance came up with a fitting reply, according to American Rose Gottemoeller. As a diplomat, she is well known to Russian negotiators on arms reduction, and she is confident that the North Atlantic Alliance can become more autonomous and effective. For this reason, the bloc will be less dependent on the United States and its military power.
What is Ms. Gottemoeller's statement based on? It turns out to have been prompted by conclusions of a recently published NATO 2030 report compiled by experts from all the member states. This 67-page document is believed to contain a number of recommendations that will help the alliance adapt to modern conditions.
According to Gottemoeller, NATO's political component is lagging far behind, for which reason President Macron talked about its "brain death" last year. It bears reminding that the French leader pointed out that the alliance is not ready for the new challenges and even threats looming. As President Donald Trump's United States is turning its back on the bloc, Europe, according to Macron, needs to learn cogitating as an independent geopolitical force capable of acting independently of Washington.
According to the former Deputy Secretary General of the Alliance, the essence of the issues reduced to the tension that arose at its very heart: in practical terms, NATO has always been quite agile. However, the alliance failed to adapt to fundamental policy shifts and existed pursuant to the concept formulated back in 2010. " Today, the Euro-Atlantic area is at peace and the threat of a conventional attack against NATO territory is low," the diplomat believes.
As you can see, Ms. Gottemoeller is very concerned about NATO's "peacefulness" and ultimate unpreparedness to repel attacks. The only question is from whom? Earlier, the alliance's strategists harped on about the threat on part of the Warsaw Pact. But this organization has been gone for almost 30 years, and the North Atlantic Alliance still exists and increases its military power every year. What for? The NATO leadership turns out to have found an excuse for this: the growing aggression of Russia, which is becoming increasingly stronger in military terms.
However, the new report immediately indicates that our country is weakening but "in the long term until 2030, Russia is likely to remain the main military threat to the North Atlantic Alliance." Flawless logical reasoning: Russia is weakening, but we are still going to increase our military potential to confront it. In this regard, if you listen to the NATO leadership and carefully read the alliance's new report, finding out whether Russia's military power is growing stronger is next to impossible.
However, despite this fact, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stubbornly holds the frame and keeps throwing the book at Russia. The latest time he did this was during his speech at a press conference following the videoconference of NATO foreign ministers earlier this month. The noticeably lightened up politician, who recently choked before President Trump, jumped on his favorite idea of the growing threat coming from Russia explicitly referred to as "the alliance's enemy".
According to Stoltenberg, Moscow conducts intimidating military operations, continues to violate the territorial integrity of Georgia and Ukraine, strengthens its armed powerhouse in the Crimea, interferes in the affairs of Belarus and even contributes to the conflict expansion in Nagorno-Karabakh (!). In a pathetic fuse, he even mentioned the deployment of Russian missiles in Libya, which clearly perplexed military experts.
According to Stoltenberg, in response to Russia's aggressive actions, the alliance will take diverse counter-measures and, above all, expand its presence in the Black Sea basin. Apart from NATO permanent members in this region as represented by Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, an important part in building up the anti-Russian potential is assigned to the "valuable partners" – Ukraine and Georgia.
Undoubtedly, the bloc keeps demonstrating significant progress in the military sphere, as evidenced by its numerous exercises and maneuvers around the borders of Russia both on land and sea. But aren't these actions a deterrent to our country? Mr. Stoltenberg does not apparently think so and considers this quite natural. However, this approach is wrong and means no good.
It is fair to say that, apart from Russia being NATO's major threat, the new report indicates that the rise of China has become another strong challenge, not because the alliance is going to move to the South China sea, but because Beijing is getting increasingly active in Europe. For instance, it buys control of the transport infrastructure in a way that may turn out an obstacle to NATO's freedom of action. It is no coincidence that Russia and China are mentioned in the new report 101 and 104 times respectively. At the same time, the authors prioritize out country over China by hazard due to its nearby location and a subsequent immediate threat to the member states.
The document also says NATO power lies its emphasis on consensus, which was hardly in evidence under Donald Trump. For this reason, NATO headquarters in Brussels is now looking forward to the inauguration of new US President Joe Biden, who is expected to deem the North Atlantic Alliance more positively and reasonably. Only time will tell which will come true...