LONDON – NATO is not in a state of brain death-the Alliance is active, adapts quickly to changes in the world, increases military spending and readiness of forces in Europe. Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on arrival at the meeting in the framework of the summit of heads of state and government of 29 NATO countries.
“No, it’s not. NATO is mobile, active, and adaptable; NATO is the most successful military alliance in history because we could always change repeatedly when the world around us changed. We have just carried out the largest strengthening of our military capabilities in many years, established a presence of our forces on the Eastern edge of NATO. The countries of the Alliance are now increasing defense spending, and we see an increase in the presence of American forces in Europe,” Stoltenberg said.
The statement by French President Emmanuel Macron on NATO’s “brain death” and the subsequent proposal by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to convene a Council of sages or expert group to discuss NATO restructuring is an attempt for the third time to transform the Alliance. NATO failed to complete its first two attempts at transformation.
The first of them was undertaken after the cold war, when, after the liquidation of the Warsaw Pact, NATO refused to dissolve itself and set itself the task of responding to crises in the world. In parallel, a rapid and chaotic process of reducing NATO military spending and arms purchases began. The result of this concept were three wars in which NATO as an organization took part-in Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001 to present) and Libya (2011).
The transformation was not completed, because in 2014, in response to the reunification of Crimea with Russia, NATO decided to return to the containment of Russia, for which the Alliance was originally intended. This was expressed in a tough demand from Washington and Brussels to increase military spending and purchases of new weapons by all countries of the Alliance.
NATO has deployed new forces and military assets at the borders of Russia, from where, according to the NATO Secretary-General, the Alliance now does not experience any military threat. This second attempt at transformation has led to the current accumulation of problems within NATO and the gradual realization by European leaders that the Alliance needs to be rebuilt again.