3 Ways Europe Is Looking at a Fraying NATO
A close look at France, Germany, and Poland reveals important divisions in the 70-year-old alliance — and suggests a way forward.
When 29 foreign ministers gather this week to mark NATO’s 70th birthday in Washington, D.C., their bonhomie will seek to mask important divisions within the alliance, not only across the Atlantic but also within Europe.
In Paris, the talk is all about strategic autonomy. Many French feel America has gone bad. President Trump’s antipathy toward NATOhas led them to conclude that the U.S. security guarantee, enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty pledging each ally to collective defense, can no longer be relied on. Even with their nuclear-weapons capacity and permanent seat on the U.N.Security Council, the French admit that they are far from strategic autonomy today given their clear dependence on the United States for their security and defense needs. Unsurprisingly, they are the most ardent evangelists about the need for Europeans to double down on building their own independent assets and capabilities.