Is NATO a walking dead man? – OpEd – Eurasia Review

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By José Niño*

While geopolitical commentators obsess over the Russia-Ukraine border, a more interesting development is slowly bubbling beneath the surface of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict that could potentially reshape international relations, namely the death of the Treaty Organization. of the North Atlantic (NATO).

Founded in 1949, NATO started with only twelve member countries. Currently, NATO has around 30 member nations, with national security elites in the Anglo-American sphere keen to bring Georgia and Ukraine into the fold. In the case of both countries, NATO membership is in limbo.

Despite calls for NATO enlargement, the military alliances that underpin the organization could see an unexpected upheaval. Since French President Emmanuel Macron declared in 2019 that NATO was “brain dead”, a new reality has gradually emerged on the European continent.

Moreover, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is currently exposing contradictions within Europe regarding security and economic priorities. Countries like Italy have taken more balanced positions towards Russia, emphasizing the importance of dialogue while maintaining strong trade ties. Croatian President Zoran Milanović recently announced that Croatia would withdraw all NATO forces from Eastern Europe if a heated conflict between Ukraine and Russia erupts. Germany itself has refused to send weapons to Ukraine amid alleged threats of an imminent Russian invasion. Other NATO members, such as Hungary, believe Russia’s security concerns are reasonable and aimed at boosting natural gas trade with the country.

In France, populist presidential candidates like Eric Zemmour have explicitly called for a rapprochement between Russia and France. This includes lifting sanctions against Russia and moving away from American-dominated institutions such as NATO.

Zemmour is not a fan of American hegemony. He previously suggested that the 1944 American and British landings in Normandy opened the door for France to become a client state. Zemmour’s skepticism of American influence in France continued through much of his presidential campaign, during which he called on France to stop “being a tool of the United States“.

Zemmour argues that Washington is trying to turn European countries against Russia, proclaiming: “The United States is trying to separate Russia from France and Germany, and every time they get closer to each other , the Americans are finding a way to divide them”. In many ways, the United States is the geopolitical successor to the United Kingdom when it comes to the divide and rule tactic it pursues to ensure that a Berlin-Paris-Moscow rapprochement never happens on the European continent.

Macron himself is not the most enthusiastic supporter of a US-led order, but he frames his opposition in centrist terms. Instead, Macron wants to copy and paste the American-dominated rules-based international order, but give it a Eurocrat flavor.

In fairness, Macron recognizes the need for a dialogue between Russia and France, a type of dialogue that other Western powers do not wish to have. Most “liberal democracies” are completely consumed with moral rectitude and believe that any country that deviates from their political standards is not worthy of dialogue and should be isolated internationally.

French concerns about US influence reflect a residual legacy of former President Charles de Gaulle’s foreign policy vision. During the former French military officer’s tenure, de Gaulle made it a point to maintain France’s equidistance with the behemoths of the Cold War – the Soviet Union and the United States – so that France could chart its own course. De Gaulle’s decision to remove France from NATO’s integrated military command was one of the boldest steps he took to distance the country from American influence.

One of the drawbacks of the universalist foreign policy dogma followed by the Washington blob is its failure to realize that countries have their own unique national interests. Members of the blob always assume that countries will always follow Washington’s agenda, completely ignoring the various priorities and grand strategies of different countries. These interests often conflict with Washington’s strategic vision.

In addition to the problems created by the Russian question, NATO faces internal problems among its member states. For example, Turkey and Greece, both members of NATO, squabbled over disputed energy claims in the eastern Mediterranean in 2020. France considered sending warships and imposing sanctions on Turkey if it continued to escalate with Greece at the time. Cooler heads ultimately prevailed.

Even when it comes to China, which many in the DC blob are beginning to see as America’s top strategic challenge, NATO members aren’t on the same page. For example, in the summer of 2021, Hungary blocked the European Union’s statement criticizing China’s national security law in Hong Kong and opened up to Chinese investment. Poland, a key ally in DC’s slashing of Russia, did not participate in the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics and had President Andrzej Duda meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Changing realities on the domestic and international fronts could make a substantial shift in European foreign policy a not-so-far-fetched possibility. After all, America’s descent into waking madness, coupled with its unsustainable economic policies, will set it on a path to socio-economic instability, making it a less attractive partner to align with. With so many problems at home, the United States will find it difficult to devote resources to its international misdeeds.

The potential collapse of NATO could mark the beginning of the end for American geopolitical supremacy and usher in a new era of heightened competition across the world, with countries having distinct views on trade, foreign policy and a broader art of governing, which is long overdue. The vast military footprint of the United States has done little to defend average American interests, but it has fattened the pockets of the defense industry and kept many self-proclaimed foreign policy “experts” employed in DC think tanks.

Moreover, the disintegration of NATO would encourage countries to pursue more independent foreign policies and begin to take defense matters into their own hands, as any self-respecting nation that believes in sovereignty should.

*About the author: José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Subscribe to his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Receive his premium newsletter here. Subscribe to his Substack here.

Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute

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