NATO in Crisis: Members of Alliance Have Diverging Interests

by Eli Mshomi

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or famously known as NATO, was built when the dust of World War II settled on the global stage.

As countries vowed to embrace the doctrine of collective defense, 76 years down the line, the same alliance is facing existential threats that can be a step forward in retreating globalization.

As the US and the European Union (EU) came at odds with each other over the AUKUS row, the future of this alliance looks bleak.

In fact, this issue is just one of the things that are weakening the alliance. Turkey, for instance, is slowly parting ways with the US, which further dents the alliance.

France and the other countries of teh EU are not very happy with the AUKUS alliance. Both NATO and the EU have 21 members in common which depicts the weakening of NATO.

France and the other countries of teh EU are not very happy with the AUKUS alliance. Both NATO and the EU have 21 members in common which depicts the weakening of NATO.

Twenty-one NATO Members are Chastening Biden for Nationalist Agenda: The Beginning of the End of NATO

The European Union and NATO have twenty-one overlapping members, which makes NATO a subset of the EU.

If given the choice of selecting one of the two organizations, all of these countries are likely to stick with their regional alliance instead of NATO.

This was evident in the recent backlash which the Biden administration faced over the announcement of the AUKUS alliance.

The President of the EU Council and head of the European commission chastised President Biden for continuing the nationalist policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump. 

This is an indicator of an internal rift between the EU and the US, which makes the most of the NATO alliance.

The message from the European ground was simple yet powerful amid the submarine row.

The French Foreign and Defense Ministers’ statement portraying the need for European strategic autonomy is the antithesis of what NATO is made for.

NATO, on paper, pledges for the collective security of all the participating nations. That attack on one country would be considered an attack for all is the thesis of NATO. 

However, the demand for an autonomous strategic partnership in the EU is rising, which puts cracks in NATO’s manifesto.

France is one of the founding members of NATO and is currently facing tensions with the US and the UK.

Although the US and French presidents are expected to meet soon, this dent in relations will stay if France faces a loss of $40 billion at the hands of AUKUS.

Post-Brexit European politics has also played a significant role in straining the relations between the NATO countries.

Now, the UK seems assertive in playing a broader role in global politics. Whether it be a UK-Australia free trade agreement or the hosting of COP26 by the UK, it seems evident that the UK is ready to get connected with more allies.

These new alliances would mean further straining of relations between the EU and the UK, which can expose the fault lines of NATO.

The president of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan has clarified that Turkey will no longer care for US sanctions and can buy further S-400 from Russia, which depicts the diluting faith in NATO alliance.

The president of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan has clarified that Turkey will no longer care for US sanctions and can buy further S-400 from Russia, which depicts the diluting faith in NATO alliance.

Turkey: Another NATO Member Coming at Crossroads with the US

However, AUKUS is just a small crack in the overall NATO picture. Turkey, another important NATO member, is getting closer to Russia in various forms.

Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clarified that the country would not hesitate to buy further S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.

Turkey is already sanctioned by the United States for buying this system from Russia, as the Trump administration invoked the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanction Act (CAATSA) against Turkey.

Despite Biden’s announcement of “America is back,” he has not made any significant effort to mend US relations with this important NATO country.

Turkey is claiming that it will build its defense mechanism independently, without the approval of any third country. Once again, this is a crucial blow to the doctrine of collective security that was initiated under NATO.

If Turkey buys more systems from Russia this time, the US administration is expected to raise sanctions on the country even further, which will be the ultimate attack on the NATO alliance.

The need for NATO existence came into the limelight amid the election of Donald Trump, who raised various questions about the alliance, including cutting the budget for this global compact.

He blamed the EU for enjoying the free lunch at the expense of the US interests. But this was yet another small effort from Donald Trump in his ambitions to put so-called “American interests” at the top.

Final Thoughts

As the US preferred to entertain Australia, a non-NATO member, at the expense of its friendship with twenty-one NATO members of the EU, it is a clear indicator that a decline of this cooperation is imminent in times to come.

Maybe the participating countries do not wrap up the alliance altogether, but it will surely become another useless entity just like many other global alliances right now.

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