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Macron: Trump's Neglect of Allies Is Killing NATO

Macron: Trump's Neglect of Allies Is Killing NATO
(AP)

Thursday, 07 November 2019 06:43 AM

Recent actions by the U.S. and Turkey have wrecked the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, creating such confusion that French President Emmanuel Macron wonders if the 70-year-old alliance is still standing.

“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Macron said in an interview with The Economist published on Thursday, also calling into question the bedrock principle of “collective defense” -- that allies would come to one another’s aid. The French leader also urged European countries, on “the edge of a precipice,” to toughen up quickly to become a “geopolitical power.”

The 41-year-old leader’s words come after the U.S. paved the way for a Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria last month, then agreed on a strategy that left Europe incapable of responding politically or militarily. Turkey and the U.S., both members of NATO, made their decisions without consulting with their alliance partners, something that infuriated Macron.

Donald Trump’s actions confirmed Macron’s January forecast, when he had started doubting the U.S. president’s commitment to NATO values and rules. Trump had said that he wanted to leave Syria, a decision that would be a body-blow to allies in the European Union. Trump’s plan finally happened last month and left Europe dealing with the prospect of released Islamic State veterans and ceding influence in the region to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

“You have no coordination of the United States’ strategic decision with NATO’s partners and we are witnessing an aggression led by another NATO partner, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake, without coordination,” Macron told the magazine. He called for a clarification of NATO’s strategic objectives while still supporting his idea of strengthening a European defense.

Strategic Autonomy

The alliance is meeting next month near London for its annual reunion that will also celebrate the union’s 70 years of existence.

Read More: Syria Shows Risks of U.S. Withdrawal for Europe: Irrelevance

Macron has repeatedly called EU allies to accelerate moves toward “strategic autonomy” that would allow Europe to end its overwhelming military dependence on the U.S., and remake the post-World War II and post-Cold War security architecture.

The French president had already used tough words and images to pressure European members, for example when in 2018 he called for the creation of a “European Army.” Trump opposed any such plan, saying it was “very insulting.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking in Berlin on Thursday, disagreed that the alliance was obsolete.

“We do work, we modernize more and we invest more than we did for decades,” Stoltenberg told reporters. “The U.S. is realizing that NATO is important to them.”

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(Bloomberg) -- Recent actions by the U.S. and Turkey have wrecked the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, creating such confusion that French President Emmanuel Macron wonders if the 70-year-old alliance is still standing."What we are currently experiencing is the brain...
macron, nato, trump, neglect, allies
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2019-43-07
Thursday, 07 November 2019 06:43 AM
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