Is it already too late to reinvigorate the NATO alliance?

Posted On: 
2nd December 2019

In a new breifing Dods Monitoring's Guin Poncia considers that, even if the UK may be more ready than ever, post-Brexit, to reinvigorate ties to the NATO alliance, is it already too late?

Seventy years after it was founded, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is meeting in London this week. The alliance has so far weathered momentous shifts in global politics and international relations. Today, it faces new challenges, including rapidly evolving threats and mitigating the restlessness of some of its members.

Weeks before the London summit, cracks started to show. French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO was in the throes of “brain death”. This drew criticism from multiple international partners, not least Germany’s Angela Merkel. “I understand your desire for disruptive politics” Ms. Merkel said, “but I’m tired of picking up the pieces”.

Whilst Macron is known for grandstanding on the international stage to appeal to audiences in France, NATO has also been subject to the restlessness of American President Donald Trump. His chief frustration is the failure of member states to fulfil defence spending commitments. It has been rumoured that Trump discussed withdrawing the US from the agreement earlier this year, which would be nothing short of a death sentence for the organisation.

It would also have significant ramifications for East-West relations. NATO has been at the forefront of deterring Eastern aggression for decades, so a weakening of the alliance would be top President Vladimir Putin’s wish list. Trump’s agitation compounds and arguably reflects the rising tide of global populism, which does not lend itself to international cooperation.

Nevertheless, NATO has proved itself to be a robust institution. Many expected the organisation to disappear following the fall of the Soviet Union. Whilst tensions exist, the summit in London represents an opportunity for members to band together to meet the threats of tomorrow.

To download a FREE report from Dods Monitoring, including a full analysis of this year’s NATO Summit agenda, click HERE.