NATO looks strong, but the real picture is very different — RT World News

Fears of American withdrawal, over-reliance on the Russian bogeyman, and Washington’s tilt toward Asia lead to shaky foundations.

NATO is celebrating its 75th anniversary – the founding documents were signed in Washington this week in 1949. NATO is so firmly entrenched in the international scene that even the decisive turn at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s did not shake its position. .

In theory, the bloc should have retired, having accomplished its mission of defending Syria “free world” Against the communist threat. But there was another prevailing logic: why abandon a tool that had achieved such great success? After all, the main achievement was not even victory in the Cold War itself, which was not in doubt in the West, but the fact that it was achieved without direct military confrontation. It was the result of a prolonged containment policy and the gradual social and economic exhaustion of the enemy. In other words, NATO was not a military bloc, but rather a highly effective political structure that could easily be refocused on other tasks.

The task at hand was not trivial – to become one of the pillars of the new world order centered on the West.

Let us leave aside the issue of NATO's eastward expansion and development of previously hostile areas. Much has been said about the role this played in the escalation of European tensions and the emergence of the current political-military crisis. But there is something else more interesting. The international situation in 2024 shows how the contradictions associated with NATO's composition, and its unwillingness to change it, are likely to create increasingly complex problems for the Alliance.

The official story is that the bloc has never been larger (Sweden has just joined as the 32nd country) or more united. As the story goes, Russia's challenge united allies willing to stand together against aggressive imperial tyrants.

In fact, mood is complicated. The main source of danger is now seen not as the adversary (Russia), but as the main ally (the United States). The internal political conflict in America – of which military aid to Kiev has been the main victim so far – and the possibility of Donald Trump entering the White House are among the reasons that force Western European countries to think about the unthinkable. Will the United States abandon NATO completely and change its priorities? Ultimately, Washington's declining interest in the ancient world is not an anomaly of Trumpism, but rather a consistent trend since the beginning of this century.

The panic-mongering over a US exit from NATO under Trump is likely due to political infighting. Even if the mercurial former president wanted to do so, he does not have the authority to do so. Trump is generally focused on something else — in his view, any grand strategy should bring in money, preferably in its most literal form, as tariffs on services. Hence his call for NATO and allies in East Asia to spend more on their own defense, thus reducing the burden on the US budget. The more complex argument that controlling allies requires investment, but pays back a hundredfold through the ability to dictate the rules, is not at all interesting to Trump.

But let us repeat: this is not about him. The administration of Joe Biden, which is considered “pro-European” It does not oppose shifting a significant share of the Ukrainian spending burden to EU countries, and even seems to encourage them to take the initiative, which was not the case before. The idea of ​​strategic independence, which was the subject of intense debate in previous years, is now being reconsidered. However, it is no longer merely a separate political path.

Here it is worth going back to how NATO was viewed in the early 1990s. The contradiction between the Atlantic nature of the alliance and the transcontinental nature of its objectives was not resolved at that time. The bloc remained focused on Europe and its environs, and attempts to use it to solve broader global problems were unsuccessful. Moreover, at the height of globalization, it was felt that the most important tools were not military; economic and social means of influence were far more productive.

Changes on the global scene towards militarization and the intense intensification of major conflicts force a review of capabilities. The United States describes the global confrontation as a confrontation between democracies and authoritarian regimes, as China is considered a strategic competitor between authoritarian regimes. This calls for the globalization of NATO and the expansion of its operational activities (if not its formal mandate) beyond the Atlantic Basin.

The unified world based on the principles of liberal globalization is gone. In it, it can be said that the Western alliance works for the benefit of security for all. Now NATO, or its entities embodied in Asia, cannot claim to perform the tasks that everyone needs. The bloc serves geopolitical interests “The Collective West.” Thus, the problems created by NATO's expansion in Europe, which have already created the potential need to fulfill its military obligations, are likely to be repeated in Asia. Western Europeans view China as a useful partner rather than a threat, but within the framework of a shared political viewpoint with the United States, their priorities must be adjusted.

However, this does not make NATO's future any more certain.

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