Oct 10, 2021
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Bickering in NATO

Sharp contradictions between the European NATO countries are growing, already turning into open bickering and insulting attacks on each other. “Touchy Macron is putting NATO on the brink of disintegration,” under this headline, the British newspaper Telegraph writes that “a separate defense pact signed by France with Greece and strong support for the latest European concept of” strategic autonomy “are tearing NATO apart.”

“The terms of the deal,” the newspaper continues to attack the French president, “certainly set a dangerous precedent for NATO. For decades, European defense has been underpinned by Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that an attack on one member state is an attack on an entire alliance. Macron violated this fundamental principle by signing a separate mutual defense pact with Greece, which obliges France to defend Greece’s interests independently of NATO. ”

The willingness of other NATO states – especially America – to continue to tolerate France’s tiring behavior may soon reach a limit if the French leader continues to pursue policies that could ultimately lead to the collapse of the alliance, the Telegraph points out.

It is characteristic that such attacks on a NATO ally were actively supported by the readers of the Telegraph. The British comments are reminiscent of reports from the war. “Shoot French ships!”

France doubts NATO

Doubts about NATO and reproaches against the allies are louder and louder in the nuclear country of the alliance – France.

“The call of French sovereignists such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour for France’s withdrawal from NATO is not an empty phrase! And now he is acquiring more and more supporters who do not agree with the actions of the United States, ”writes the influential newspaper Figaro, listing the names of leading French politicians.

“It is worth remembering the words of Emmanuel Macron in October 2019 that“ NATO is in a state of brain death, ”the newspaper recalls. – At that time, Turkey, a member of the alliance, led a military offensive against our Kurdish allies in Syria. The recent fiasco with the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and humiliation in connection with the cancellation of the contract for the purchase of our submarines by Australia under US pressure only made the situation worse, ”says Figaro.

And Eric Ciotti, a Republican MP in the French Parliament, bluntly stated that France’s withdrawal from the NATO joint command would allow Paris to restore sovereignty and independence, in particular, on the basis of the French nuclear deterrent forces, the only ones in Europe … The MP noted: NATO was created in the context of the Cold War against an enemy that no longer exists. Instinctively, the alliance takes Russia (which is no longer the USSR) as an enemy, when this is no longer the case. “But we coexist with Islamist Turkey!”

“The intervention in Mali proved that France was alone despite alliances, and the defeat in Afghanistan proved that NATO is outdated today. The era of American supremacy has come to an end. Our diplomacy must adapt to such a reality, regaining a special opinion in the community of nations, for which de Gaulle advocated, ”the French deputy concludes.

The French presidential candidate, leader of the National Association Marine Le Pen, spoke out for the withdrawal of France from the joint command of NATO. “I will change French foreign policy,” she said, pointing out that France’s entry into NATO’s joint command “was a mistake.”

Afghanistan’s reaction

Such demarches against NATO in the largest European countries of the alliance and their mutual accusations are not only evidence of irritation over the conclusion of a mutual defense pact between Greece and France within the alliance, but also a reaction to the $ 100 billion “slap in the face” that France received from the United States. Britain and Australia, when the Anglo-Saxons intercepted a major contract from France for the supply of submarines to Australia.

This is also evidence of the confusion that gripped the European members of NATO after they suddenly became convinced, especially after the shameful flight of the United States from Afghanistan, that Washington is no longer able to protect them and can at any time “throw”, like its Afghan allies.

On October 6, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, known for his pro-Atlantic orientation, announced his disappointment with NATO. “The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in the form in which it was carried out, as well as a change in intentions regarding the contract between Australia and France in favor of the supply of American-made submarines – and here I am talking not only about the content, but also about how this was announced – these are two very strong signals that tell us that NATO, from a geopolitical point of view, has become less interested in Europe and areas of interest to Europe, and has moved its sphere of interest to other parts of the world ”, Draghi said.

NATO members such as Greece and Turkey have long been fiercely squabbling among themselves. Between them there is a whole tangle of sharp contradictions: disputes over sea borders and the sovereignty of a number of islands, and the problem of Northern Cyprus, where Ankara created an unrecognized “republic”, and the struggle over the huge reserves of hydrocarbons discovered in the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, the conflict between these NATO countries has almost turned into an armed clash several times.

Voices against NATO are also being heard in Germany, where so far, due to the difficult post-election problems with the formation of a new ruling coalition, they are only observing fierce squabbles between neighbors.

Recently, there were massive demonstrations in the country against the aggressive policies of the alliance. They were held under the slogan: “Germany must pursue an aggressive policy of peace. This task is now facing the country. For example, it should withdraw from NATO and stop supplying weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia. “

Sawing a branch on which they themselves sit?

Even the actions of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who backed Macron’s recent call for the EU to gain “strategic autonomy” by providing the EU with the means to carry out its own military operations, independent of NATO’s existing command structure, is actually weakening NATO. An EU summit on closer cooperation in the alliance in the military sphere is scheduled for next year in France.

“Such a move will undoubtedly weaken NATO’s effectiveness. Most European states are no longer able to fulfill their existing commitments to NATO, and any new commitments they undertake in the framework of the new EU armed forces will only lead to a further decrease in their already negligible contribution to the defense potential of the alliance, ”complains the Telegraph.

It is clear that NATO is unlikely to disintegrate in the near future, however, the growing contradictions between the allies, and most importantly, the loss of the role of the world hegemon by the United States, demonstrated in Afghanistan, the obvious ineffectiveness of the American military machine and Washington’s cunning towards its allies, and in fact, seriously weaken the North Atlantic community.

And against the background of the West’s constant lamentations about the alleged “Russian threat”, squabbles and accusations against each other of NATO allies look also like an absurd desire to cut the branch on which NATO members themselves are sitting.

Vladimir Malyshev

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