UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The actions of the United States and Turkey in Syria caused outrage among other NATO members. The first was outraged by French President Emmanuel Macron.
He said that he learned about the Americans leaving on Twitter, and Turkey did not discuss the military operation with other members of the alliance. A situation arose when some members of the military bloc ignored their partners in the organization. But the contradictions within NATO, in fact, are even greater.
Trump’s American opponents have long blamed him for not appreciating NATO, undermining Atlantic solidarity – and now a similar rebuke has been voiced by the French president. Speaking in Brussels, Emmanuel Macron called NATO’s inability to respond to the Turkish operation a “serious mistake” on the part of the West.
France, the US and Turkey are members of NATO, Macron recalled:
“But I, like everyone else, learned from messages on Twitter that the United States decided to withdraw its troops from Syria and free the zone. And I understand that another NATO state decided to attack those who were a regional partner of the international anti-terrorist coalition …
What happened in recent days is a gross mistake of the West and NATO in the region. I think that for a long time weakened our reputation among partners in the area who fought with us. I also think that this calls into question the functioning of NATO … Therefore, it is important that we can get together and coordinate actions. At least three European countries (France, Germany, Great Britain) and Turkey. ”
Indeed, NATO has shown itself to be completely incapacitated – the actions of its members did not agree with the rest. The states left northern Syria, Turkey began a military operation there, and the Europeans could only resent and demand a halt to the Turkish offensive. Then the United States agreed with Turkey to suspend the operation – and again the Europeans had nothing to do with it.
Although not the NATO formally acts in the Middle East, but the international coalition assembled by the Americans, everyone understands that this is a military presence of the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance. And when they cannot even coordinate actions in Syria among themselves, this increases the distrust of them from all regional powers. The states surrendered the Kurds, and France supports them, albeit diplomatically. Turkey does not respond to European calls and intends to drive the Kurds from their borders. And all these countries are part of one military alliance.
Of course, this is not the first time that NATO has been confronted with internal contradictions. It is enough to recall Turkish-Greek disputes over Cyprus in the 60s and especially in 1974. Then the matter could even have reached a military clash between the two countries – NATO members (Greece and Turkey). But the current crisis is taking place in completely different geopolitical conditions.
There is no opposing military bloc. That is, in the 70s it was possible to frighten Turkey with the Soviet military threat and the Warsaw Pact, and now Ankara is buying the Russian S-400 and coordinating its military operations in Syria, primarily with Moscow, and not Washington.
Secondly, Donald Trump really weakens NATO, simply because he wants to remove the responsibility for Europe from the United States and shift most of the costs and concerns about European security onto the shoulders of the Europeans and the European Union themselves. Of course, Trump cannot dissolve NATO, but he wants America to make its own decisions. The influence of Great Britain and France on their NATO ally in these conditions is even more falling, not to mention the influence of such a non-nuclear and not completely sovereign country like Germany.
Thirdly, understanding this trend, the great European powers (France and Germany) themselves begin to talk about the need to create a European army. Although timidly and accurately, with reservations that the defense policy of the European Union is tied to NATO, the process has begun anyway.
Fourth, Turkey, although stronger than before, is tied to the European Union, no longer looks at the West as a whole as a guarantor of its sovereignty. She is more and more able to independently guarantee it.
Dreams of European integration have long been buried, and the presence in NATO makes sense to Turkey only as the design of its military partnership with the United States. Problems with the Americans immediately hit the Turkish attitude towards the North Atlantic Alliance, and the pressure of Europeans and the EU on Turkey only adds to Ankara’s discontent. In general, Europe and the United States have no way of influencing Erdogan: during the years of his reign and especially in recent years, they went through almost everything, and each time they were forced to look for ways to reconcile. Everything is simple…
The West needs Turkey more than it needs it, and certainly NATO cannot afford to lose its only Asian member.
Fifth, the alliance is indeed losing credibility in other parts of the world, in this case, the Middle East. Not because the Americans surrendered the Kurds, but they will draw conclusions regarding the whole of NATO as such. And because the whole policy of the West, that is, NATO, in the region in recent decades, is inconsistent and inconsistent. States attack Iraq – France and Germany against. States press on Iran – EU against. States in every way plays along with Israel – the EU is trying to help the Palestinians. And so on almost all issues. Yes, NATO fought together with ISIS, but now they are leaving, and Iran, Russia and Turkey remain, but not as a member of NATO, but as an independent regional power.
The US military presence in the Middle East is huge, it is an order of magnitude larger than the presence of any other non-regional country. But what is the use of this for NATO if the participation of other countries of the alliance in regional conflicts depends on the will and desire of the United States? And if tomorrow the United States leaves the Middle East – and say that this is a European problem, as they already say about Ukraine? Trump, in principle, is already talking about Syria.
Under these conditions, the internal crisis in NATO takes on a completely different character. It is not clear who is now generally interested in smoothing out the contradictions within the alliance. It’s clear that American globalists are interventionists — but they are partly constrained by Trump. It is clear that the British strategists are atlantists, but they have a difficult situation with Brexit. Only the Franco-German tandem remains, but in principle it cannot be the center of a military bloc constructed by the Anglo-Saxons to control Europe and maintain the dominance of the global Atlantic project.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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