Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The unexpected enemy of the NATO is inside it

Por Rory

Neither the Russians nor terrorism nor the separatist movements, the biggest threat at present for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the Allied fire that comes from Washington and the intentions of President Donald Trump to pass bill to their European partners for the expenses of war. Donald Trump tried. He took advantage of every occasion and every platform, every meeting and every television camera, to take the discussion to his field, but this time he did not catch almost anyone by surprise. He called his allies "defaulters" for not spending all they committed to spend in Defense four years ago.

He accused Germany of being "prisoner" of Russia. And even snapped in the room, just before leaving for a bilateral meeting, to devote 2% of GDP is not enough for NATO members, but should be increased to 4%. He did not change much. One after the other, the Heads of State and Government left the Brussels facility on Wednesday, saying that they should ignore the verbiage and focus on the gestures; Trump barks, but the Pentagon rides. And that the path in which they all move is on the right track. Nobody supports their methods, their personality and their pride, but they have learned to cover their noses and smile, because the alternative of breaking is unthinkable. The USA is the heart of NATO, the one that invests the most and on which much of the common security depends. Its president is contingent and the objective is to navigate his legislature, pray that he does not repeat and so that the damages of his mandate are not irreparable. If you ask for 4% of GDP when half is already impossible and also had already done the previous year, balls are thrown out and the increases already made are praised, but nobody takes it too seriously.

But that the president is not reliable does not mean that Washington's requests are absurd or that they take it as stupid, because their ability to divide and pressure is very high. For this reason, the 29 made clear that "reaffirm the unwavering commitment" agreed in 2014 to increase spending, investment and NATO capabilities in 2024. To Caesar what is Caesar's. "We have had discussions, disagreements, but the most important thing is that we have made decisions to strengthen our Alliance, we all agree that there is no fair distribution of the burden, let's focus first on 2%, which is what we have agreed and for what is left a lot," replied the Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. "It was not a formal proposal," admitted a senior White House official to reporters shortly after the threshold of 4%, but a way to invite colleagues to invest more. And more taking into account that, despite the proclamations of his commander in chief, the organization's data indicate that his defense spending is 'only' at 3.5%. The NATO Summit that started on Wednesday in Brussels had more pressure than almost none before. Last year, in this same scenario, the newly elected US president offended, humiliated and embarrassed his associates by demanding "huge amounts of money", protesting over the expensive building of the new headquarters of the Alliance and refusing to commit to the Common Defense .

This time, the result has been different: his team took care that all the important documents, the 'Declaration on solidarity and transatlantic security' and the 'Declaration of Brussels', were already agreed and closed before the meeting, so that there would be no startles and although there was a very palpable fear in the room before the possibility of Trump announcing troop withdrawals or punishing "defaulter" countries without joint exercises, in the end his performance was limited to an artificial staging and asking for more money. "What good is NATO if they give Russia billions? They have to pay 2% immediately, not in 2025," he tweeted enraged. Because he needs to be talked about him and only him, to be the center, and in that he is frankly good. But in the end, he signed everything he had to sign. After the initial shock, the sighs of relief were heard throughout the day hundreds of meters away. The bipolarity of the American, his uncontrollable explosiveness, clashed with the sobriety of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the infinite patience of Stoltenberg. The strategy of the entrepreneur was very clear early in the morning.

During a working breakfast with the Norwegian and with cameras on, Trump vomited everything he had inside. He assured, while praising Macron, that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia", described as "very sad" that has "massive" agreements to buy gas and oil to Moscow while Washington is responsible for protecting it, something "very inadequate" by inventing one after another all the figures. Afterward, after being face to face with the chancellor, he took a turn and boasted that they maintain excellent relations.

Berlin knows how to play that game too. His foreign minister returned the blow: "We are not prisoners neither of Russia nor of the USA", while Merkel, who perfectly remembers what it means to live under the control of Moscow, gave an example of firmness and elegance very applauded by its partners, without dignify the affront with the least sign of irritation. "We have to thank him because it is the one that has maintained the united position against Russia," said Lithuanian Dalia Grybauskaité, pointing to the sanctions imposed since 2014. "Sometimes the rhetoric is conflictive but the result can be good," she added. "There is a big difference between communication and the content of the United States, its commitment to NATO is increasing, as is the European contribution," agreed the Belgian Charles Michel, hopeful host, even though the summit has not ended yet.