Macron hits the sensitive nerve of nato
Macron hits the sensitive nerve of nato

Image: Kremlin.ru/CC BY 4.0

With his statements on Turkey and Russia, he violated the NATO principle of ducking uncomfortable questions

The French president’s revision, according to which the "Nato on the way to brain death" obviously hit a sensitive nerve.

The transatlanticists are in a tizzy – not only on the excitement-ridden Twitter podium. The fact that the German Chancellor Merkel reacted immediately with appeasement confirms that a sore tooth is being felt here. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg hastened like a good schoolboy to recite the mnemonic that "any attempt to distance Europe from North America", the transatlantic alliance will weaken. The fear of a split is raised. If Marcron’s auberation had not touched a sore spot after all, the reactions had been different.

Merkel also admitted that NATO is in trouble. But Macron apparently goes even further. It is said that he had already spoken in the closed circles, which he preached, about the fact that the federation could be disintegrated in 5 years. In the past, this was dismissed as a crank, but today it is different. Trump has expanded the possibilities of what a head of state can say. Macron admires Trump.

His remarks to the British magazine "The Economist" have bang effects, which one knows otherwise from the US-President. But this does not mean that they can be relegated to the irrelevant. They show a gap. Macron wants a more self-confident role for Europeans, which goes against the consensus of court-like subservience that dominates the Nato spirit.

Macron meets the mude museum attitude within NATO when he speaks of the relationship with Russia and in the case of Turkey. The latter shows how little it is about a community of values. The French president addresses what was otherwise only read in a few media commentaries, but was booed down within NATO.

How can it be that the SDF, on whose side Nato member countries have fought against IS terror, is then left speechless, without any resistance, to be shot down by the other Nato member country, Turkey – by an attack contrary to international law, which, according to all available evidence and experience with Afrin, amounts to an annexation??

While Merkel from "our security alliance" and does not want to start a discussion, Macron addresses the uncertain position in an essential point of the NATO alliance.

What will become of Article 5? If the regime of Bashar al-Assad decides to respond militarily to Turkey, will we engage? This is a real question. We have committed ourselves to fight against the IS. The paradox is that the American decision and the Turkish offensive have the same result: The sacrifice of our partners on the ground who have been fighting against IS, the SDF.

Emanuel Macron, Le Figaro

No one else from the political leadership of the NATO countries has spoken out about a possible federal case. One ducks away from uncomfortable questions in NATO. Instead, they cling unwaveringly to fixed enemy images and one-sided catch-alls in order to reare themselves. The example of Russia and the Crimean crisis, which is portrayed as an aggressive act by Russia and is the basis for arguments that are more "Defensiveness" of NATO in Eastern Europe.

In NATO, the field of what is talked about is politically narrowed to a certain corridor. Trump’s confirmation of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights is not considered in the annexation argument, nor is Turkey’s annexation of Afrin and other Syrian territories (near Jarbulus). This is left aside, as is the EU’s own role and that of the EU in the events in Ukraine in 2014, which led Russia to secure Crimea.



Do not stop at a hostility against Russia

Macron’s call for a different relationship with Russia, a more cooperative one, is the second sting in the tail of a Nato leadership that holds its views. Prefer to talk about further increases in arms in order to remain, as always, courteous to the leading power. A new orientation toward Russia, on the other hand, as Macron is talking about, is tantamount to breaking a taboo.

At the same time, as French newspapers point out – and as he signaled in his meetings with Putin – Macron does not shade his views on Russia. He holds its political model "not justifiable", as Le Monde quotes him. Turkey and Russia classify Macron as a "Authoritarian countries" in the neighborhood of the EU, which weakens the European community.

Nevertheless, he clearly indicates in the interview that he does not want to stop at hostility toward Russia, but to overcome it in order to build a new security architecture based on common interests and greater trust. Apparently, Macron also spoke along these lines during his brief visit to Hungary, with his European policy opponent Orban.

The French President maintains his concept that Europe can be a geopolitical power that can further decouple itself from the USA. The fact that Trump has run afoul of him in his political maneuvers with Iran, or loved to run him down, was allowed to play in on the sidelines here.

In fact, he seems to be convinced that Europe can defend itself without NATO. The question of the enemy also arises.

NATO member states will meet in London in early December; whether Macron has advanced the discussion in the alliance will be seen then.