It was announced as transformative and historic and failed to deliver. It lasted a war, but NATO has been wounded in the greatest changes in decades.
Jolted by the brutal, unprovoked attack on Ukrainethe alliance has upgraded itself to a secure stage-controlled top.
The ghost of a divided top overshadowed by Turkish objections The accession of Sweden and Finland was rejected at eleven o’clock.
It is still not clear what price was paid to persuade the Turks, especially by the Kurdish allies of the west leading the fight against the Islamic State. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems particularly pleased with the outcome.
NATO has updated its Strategic Concept, a 16-page mission statement last revised in 2010 when it did not name China and referred to Russia as a strategic partner. How the world has changed in ten years.
Many famous plans to increase their Rapid Response Force from 40,000 to 300,000 now seem to be aspirational, but will transform NATO’s ability to respond quickly to emergencies.
And thousands of additional troops will be deployed in Eastern Europe. Britain says 1,000 more troops are deploying to defend Estonia, for example, although confusingly, they will still be based in the UK, ready to deploy as needed.
Leaders have worked to the point that Vladimir Putin gets exactly what he does not want. The Russian president is fighting the war, his diplomats say, in part to stop NATO enlargement. The opposite happens.
His worst fears are fulfilled. An expanded NATO, with new members and more troops and materiel at its borders.
The changes will only fuel Russia’s historic insecurity over an exposed western flank that has been torn several times by invaders from Napoleon to Hitler.
Russia’s leader is only to blame. Two countries with long-standing proud traditions of neutrality are so appalled by his aggression that they are running to join NATO. Baltic states have looked to the fate of Ukraine and demanded more robust NATO defenses.
After years of giving Mr Putin the benefit of the doubt, NATO leaders believe that strength and resolution are the best way to contain a new militant Russia.
NATO’s new stance may be necessary, but it will not make the current situation any less dangerous. A new iron curtain is coming down through Europe. The gap between the democratic west and the autocratic east is deepening.
Putin’s advisers have long told him that NATO is a growing threat to Russia and out to get him personally. None of this will reduce his paranoia.
Britain says the next phase in the conflict is beginning. Ukraine will be helped to turn from its defensive position to a more offensive one. To drive Russia out, Ukraine’s military will need transformation and many more weapons. That will take continued commitment from the allies.
The more they succeed, the more dangerous Mr. Putin can become. Dictators cannot afford to lose.
NATO enlargement does not ease Vladimir Putin’s paranoia – and dictators cannot afford to lose | World news
Source link NATO enlargement does not ease Vladimir Putin’s paranoia – and dictators cannot afford to lose | World news