Tribune. No one has forgotten that Emmanuel Macron described, in 2019, a NATO “Brain dead”. In Brussels, we commented on this decidedly French positioning, we found the expression a little lively, while recognizing that Donald Trump was putting the Atlantic Alliance to the test. But, above all, we did everything to put the dust under the carpet. A “committee of the wise” has issued a report on the future of NATO, which has embarked on the preparation of a new “strategic concept”. But nothing has fundamentally changed at the headquarters of the Atlantic Alliance, where a sigh of relief was breathed when barely elected, Joe Biden said: “America is back. “
And yet… The weak signals that should have alerted the Alliance have become signals of weakness and this is not good news.
What do we see? First, Turkey, NATO’s second army, which is getting comfortable with the Alliance without really paying the price. Purchase of a Russian missile defense system, tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, refusal of NATO inspection on compliance with the Libyan embargo, blocking of Polish and Baltic defense plans, assaults on Kurdish militias who support the coalition against[organisation] Islamic State … In recent months, Ankara has been quieter, but it is an understatement to say that it took time for the legitimate concerns of Europeans to be heard.
Let us come to Afghanistan. The first and most important NATO operation outside its perimeter, the first and only time that Article 5 of the Charter [qui oblige à se porter au secours d’un membre attaqué] was invoked to come to the aid of the United States after 9/11. And, today, the biggest failure of the Alliance, which nevertheless struggles to recognize it. The Taliban have won, the terrorist risk has become real again: a sad record for an alliance.
Within NATO itself, the American withdrawal took place without consultation or consideration of the allies. When the British, Germans and French pleaded with the Americans for an extension of the deadline for their military withdrawal, were they heard? No. Did this conversation take place at NATO? Not at all. It took an extraordinary G7 for it to take place. Has NATO debated its exit strategy? Did Alliance defense ministers just meet to coordinate the withdrawal? At no moment. It was summer, we are told. Did you say brain dead?
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