The conviction came quickly, but was not very convincing. Imagine that: Emmanuel Macron, president of one of the most powerful members of NATO, a nuclear power, had declared the transatlantic alliance dead. Well, for the dead brain. Hirntot is a patient whose circulation is artificially maintained even if his brain activity is completely extinguished. The body of a dead brain still seems to live, in fact, the human being is dead and every therapy is useless. So far, therefore, the French president of NATO.
The German chancellor found him exaggerated. Macron had chosen "drastic words", such a "sweep" would not have been necessary, he said. In truth, it was a very boring defense of NATO. Even for Merkel it is clear that the patient is in critical condition.
The diagnosis of Macron, which he made at an interview with the British magazine Economist, is truly devastating. He accuses the partners of the alliance – meaning the United States and Turkey – of "uncoordinated and aggressive action" and doubts that the alliance guarantee of the alliance is still valid, so if the Allies would be ready in case of an attack on a member, the To defend the allies. This is brain death: an alliance that still exists but no longer works.
In an emotional appeal, Macron calls on Europeans to develop their own geopolitical strategies. For him, the consequence of the state of the Alliance is clear: Europe must work for its military sovereignty and also seek dialogue with Russia. It can be called this "neo-zeroullism". Or simply realism. In fact, Macron continued to think, as the German chancellor had formulated more than two years ago, in that beer tent in Trudering, Bavaria, where he diagnosed in the summer of 2017 that Europe could not more to rely on the United States as before and therefore its security "a little away" also in the hand must.
Macron wants to put an end to the development
Macron does it now, with his drama. "If Europe cannot see itself as a great power", he warns, "it will disappear". Obviously, he wants to shake off his drastic choice of words before the alliance's summit in the beginning of December. Europe, which is the true message of the French president, must finally stop polishing the NATO state. Because it's just dangerous. Precisely because it is true what the NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg said in a Körber Foundation event in Berlin on Thursday: "The European Union cannot defend Europe". Especially since, according to the legitimate request of Macron, Europe has much more to do to change it.
With great benevolence today we can speak of conflicting signals from Washington. But the problem with security strategies is that they are better off in the worst case than wishful thinking. On the one hand, the United States is transferring so many troops to Europe as never before since the end of the Cold War. On the other hand, Trump has declared NATO obsolete and declared war at the EU. Furthermore, it ignores the vital security interests of Europeans with its Iranian policy. The transatlantic relationship is, one must say, in a state that is not compatible with a guarantee of alliance.
Those who wish to continue to believe in NATO cling to the conventional update of Americans in Eastern Europe. Exactly, but only a small part of the security risks for Europe. In talks with NATO representatives, it is usually still around 90 percent in Russia. This fixation on the Cold War opponent has something anachronistic about it. For the safety of Germany and much of Europe, other threats are likely to be at least as dangerous in the coming decades, such as developments in Egypt, Lebanon or Iran. For these threats, NATO is not designed. At the same time, a generation is growing in the United States that is no longer characterized by the cold war. It will no longer be possible to explain why American soldiers must risk their lives for the security of Latvia. This generation will be in power in the near future.
Macron could have remembered Mikhail Gorbachev 30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, and the famous quote attributed to him: those who arrive too late, punish life. What was then for the GDR could become the fate of NATO: anyone who understands too late that something is radically changing will one day be overwhelmed by events.