Revived 10 Nation European Military Coalition: ‘Brain death’ of Nato has placed Europe ‘on a precipice’, warns France’s Emmanuel Macron. America could no longer be relied on to defend its members. Calls for revived ‘military sovereignty.’
Henry Samuel. The Telegraph•November 7, 2019
Nato is experiencing “brain death” and America’s lack of willing to defend its members has placed Europe “on the edge of a precipice,” Emmanuel Macron, the French president,has warned.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such,” said Mr Macron.
“I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what Nato is in the light of the commitment of the United States,” he told the Economist.
And the signs were that America under the presidency of Donald Trump was “turning its back on us,” as it demonstrated starkly with its unexpected troop withdrawal from north-eastern Syria last month, forsaking its Kurdish allies.
“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato,” said the French president in the Elysée interview conducted on October 21.
When asked whether he believed in the effectiveness of Article Five, the principle that if one Nato member is attacked all would come to its aid, he said: “I don’t know but what will Article Five mean tomorrow?”
Europe is now dealing for the first time with an American president who “doesn’t share our idea of the European project”, he is cited as saying. At the same time, Europe is facing the rise of China and the authoritarian turn of regimes in Russia and Turkey. Internally, it is facing Brexit and political instability.
This toxic mix was “unthinkable five (5) years ago,” Mr Macron argued.
Europe stands on “the edge of a precipice”, he said.
“If we don’t wake up […] there’s a considerable risk that in the long run we will disappear geopolitically, or at least that we will no longer be in control of our destiny. I believe that very deeply.”
Mr Macron defended France’s controversial decision to unilaterally block EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, arguing that it was “absurd” to open up the EU to new members before reforming accession procedures, although he said that he would be prepared to reconsider if such conditions were met.
Albania and North Macedonia were blocked from beginning membership talks by France in October, which Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, called “a grave historic mistake.”
Beyond market expansion, Europe must start thinking of itself as a strategic power, said the French president.
That should start with regaining “military sovereignty”, and re-opening a dialogue with Russia despite suspicion from Poland and other countries that were once under Soviet domination. Failing to do so, Mr Macron said, would be a “huge mistake”.
Categories: 10 nation confederation