The 2019 NATO summit was held in the United Kingdom from December 3rd to 4th. A big highlight around the summit was the verbal criticisms of leaders of various countries on French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron throws out the “NATO brain death” argument, criticizing the United States for its wrong pace and lack of strategic coordination within NATO. US President Donald Trump shelled Macron, saying that the latter’s remarks about “NATO brain death” are really “very bad” and this is “disrespect” for other NATO members. “In my opinion, France has a high unemployment rate and a sluggish economy.” “No country needs NATO more than France.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that Macron is exaggerating and does not need to make such “blank comments.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whom Macron considers responsible for “NATO brain death,” even more directly called Macron, “You should check to see if you are brain dead … Will you drive Turkey out of NATO? Did you decide? “Macron resolutely refused to apologize for” brain death. “
In addition, Trump vowed to ask other NATO members to increase the “tightening spell” of military spending, Turkey required NATO to list Syrian Kurdish Armed People’s Protection Forces as terrorist organizations in an official text, and other NATO members during the summit Continuing to pressure Turkey to abandon the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, Macron questioned that Turkey’s entry into northern Syria in early October to combat Kurdish forces was a unilateral operation, while Merkel believed that Turkey is of great significance to NATO and should remain in NATO.
It can be said that the quarrel between the United States and Europe, between Germany and France, and between France and Turkey has made NATO’s internal conflicts increasingly open.
This is certainly not the first chaos at the NATO summit. The focus of the NATO summit in 2017 and 2018 was on military spending and Trump’s attack on Merkel.
At the NATO summit in July 2018, Trump said that Germany had been controlled by Russia and that Germany had become a prisoner of Russia. He also condemned German Chancellor Merkel for having the money to buy Russian oil and gas, but could not pay enough military expenses for NATO. , Saying that NATO countries should greatly increase their commitment to double this commitment to 4% of GDP. “(The defense expenditure of each country) must immediately reach 2% of its GDP, and don’t wait until 2025.”
Trump, who attended the NATO summit for the first time in May 2017, said, “At present, 23 of the 28 member states have failed to pay their share. This is unfair to the American people and their taxpayers.” He pushed away the Prime Minister of Montenegro, stood at the front desk, and once again criticized Germany’s trade surplus with the United States.
The main tone of the NATO summit before 2017 was to discuss traditional policy issues such as Udong and expansion. After Trump came to power in 2017, NATO’s military spending power distribution and direction have been detonated. The military conflicts are actually differences between the United States and other NATO member states. This is the conflict between the largest member states and other members. Macron’s “NATO brain death” argument at this year’s NATO summit sparked a tumultuous nature. The essence is the meaning of NATO’s existence and the direction of NATO.
Quarrels between NATO members continue, but the focus of the quarrel is changing. The problem that NATO faces is no longer a simple internal policy difference or a dispute over the rights and obligations of member states. It is a question of whether NATO will exist and whether it will be necessary.
NATO is a military security alliance born 70 years ago to compete with the members of the Eastern European bloc led by the Soviet Union. Its premise is to have consistent enemies. The Cold War was the golden heyday of NATO. After the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, NATO has lost powerful hostile targets, but given Russia ’s military power is still strong, NATO continues to target Russia, but as the world ’s multipolarization trend becomes more and more obvious, NATO will find it difficult to find A consistent hostile target.
The most obvious change is the disagreement between the United States and Europe on the strategic judgment of whether Russia is an adversary. France and Germany believe that relations with Russia should be improved. The United States still defines Russia as a strategic goal. As we all know, the more participants, the more difficult it is to unify consensus. Ironically, a NATO, which has a difficult time unifying its goals, is constantly expanding. This objectively exacerbates the difficulty of unifying consensus among NATO countries. What’s more, the importance of counter-terrorism issues to various countries is difficult to replace the issue of strategic security and become the glue of NATO.
As a product of the Cold War era, NATO is faced with the problem of how to function normally in the contemporary era. Macron explicitly proposed that NATO brain death, Merkel repeatedly proposed the formation of a common EU army, the point is very clear, that is, NATO can no longer meet the EU’s military strategic security needs.
The China-US contradiction is the most important contradiction in the world today. With the continuous fermentation of the China-US trade war, the EU has recently actively adjusted its diplomatic distance with China and the United States. As Merkel said, Europe should not adopt an attitude of isolation and isolation from China. The “cold war” era of isolation and isolation is not suitable for handling today’s relations with China. Macron also repeatedly stated on important diplomatic occasions that “we are experiencing the end of Western hegemony”, “the political imagination of emerging countries far exceeds today’s Europeans”, and “China has changed the world with its own actions.” China cooperation. Macron suggested that France does not “emphasize its own camp belonging”. The United States is a strategic and military ally, and European countries are also cooperative ally. “To put it plainly, the enemy of our friends is not necessarily our enemy, or “Forbidden to speak to them”, “This is where the French power is,” is the “independent strategy” that is in our best interests.
In a nutshell, when the EU, led by France and Germany, re-judged the world structure and readjusted its strategic layout, NATO, which had previously abducted the EU ’s military security strategy, was naturally out of place. The rift will only grow wider when the United States targets China and other NATO members are reluctant to follow in the footsteps of the United States. This also shows that the competition between China and the United States is not a Cold War confrontation, and the ability of the United States to pull up a military strategic alliance against China is being questioned. Perhaps the most important goal of NATO is not Russia, but it is difficult to continue to move to China.