Despite the fact that the leaders of NATO countries have criticized the Alliance, from the organization still looks imposing and threatening, writes Le Figaro. However, as the newspaper notes, many countries do not understand the current goals of NATO and consider it useless in the modern world, and a dominant position in the organization of Washington is the hostility.
Despite the ringing in recent years, statements by world leaders that NATO “out of date” or is in a state of “brain death”, rare military alliances in history lasted more than 70 years of age and have such a wide geography, says Le Figaro. The agreement, initially signed by 12 Nations, now includes 29 countries, the total defense budget which approaches $1 trillion (versus $60 billion in China and $60 billion from Russia).”Looking inside, we often forget that, but if a little distance, two qualities the NATO command respect, whether we like it or not: first, his longevity, the second is its strength,” — says research Director of the Institute of international and strategic relations Barthelemy Sermon. Indeed, if you look at NATO through the eyes of Asia, Russia and the Middle East, its weight cannot be underestimated, the newspaper said.”In Asia, NATO is perceived as a successful, reliable and consolidated organization. Criticized from the inside, from the outside it sometimes causes envy. South Korea, Japan or Taiwan would dream of the existence of the Fifth article, which could to protect them,” explains associate Professor of the Institute for policy studies Cyrille Bret, Recalling the “cornerstone” of the Charter of the Alliance — the principle of mutual assistance between member countries.”The reverse side of the coin”, however, is a “structural imbalance” of the Alliance, since about 80% of defense spending in NATO falls on the share of the United States. As stressed by Corman, this imbalance is fuelling a sense of hostility from many countries of the world who associate NATO with the United States. “The Alliance often to a lesser extent, perceived as a collective organization, rather than as a paramilitary wing of the Washington” — the expert explains, Recalling the military campaign in 1999 in Kosovo and the attacks of the Western forces in Belgrade, initiated without legal grounds.It tells Sermon, in military operations, NATO’s selection of targets must be approved by all member States, however, in the case of Serbia, France and Italy, to the disappointment of Washington, was meticulously chosen target, forcing the Americans, eventually, to start a parallel operation under its own flag. “We are too soon forgot about it, unlike those who survived the bombing. For them, NATO and US are one and the same”, — concluded the expert.As the newspaper notes, such a hostility to NATO is typical for Russia. According to historian and Deputy Director of the Franco-Russian Observatory Igor Delanoe, Vladimir Putin, whose arguments are built around the concepts of sovereignty, understand the point of view of Europeans, dependent on the “American protector”. As recalled by the expert, NATO was created in 1949 with the aim to unite the United States and Western Europe in opposition to “Soviet threat”.In response, in 1955 was signed the Warsaw Pact, collapsed in 1991, several months after the collapse of the Soviet Union. “For Russians it’s pretty simple: NATO should disappear at the same time,” continues Delanoe. According to him, the Alliance for Russia is both “useless” and “threatening” organization. “In their eyes, NATO continues the American policy of containment during the cold war,” — says the historian. According to Delanoe, the conflict with Ukraine, Moscow is also considering through the prism of their attitude towards NATO enlargement and NATO operations in the former Yugoslavia.Open crisis between Russia and countries — members of NATO after the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbass in 2014 was again forced Moscow to think about the goals of the Alliance. “In the 1990-ies, NATO has played the role of policeman of the Balkans, and later, immediately after the terrorist attacks of 2001, has joined the global fight against terrorism. But exactly who was his enemy?” — asks Cyril Bray. According to him, the Ukrainian crisis of 2014 has, paradoxically, came in handy, as it allowed the Alliance to “regain their enemy during the cold war”. “It was uneven, given the extent of the threat that Russia poses today, but it is convenient,” emphasizes the Professor.As for Asia, where NATO often produces the impression of the organization not to abandon the “binary” vision of international relations, inherited from the era of the cold war, while today is important, the process is shifted to the Asian continent, says Korman. The main problem of NATO, its break with the modern strategic realities. Limited to your geographical area Alliance, for example, have nothing to say about tensions in the South China sea, says the expert, adding that China does not regard NATO as a “strategic competitor”.If in 2000 years was developed the project “global NATO” including Japan, South Korea and Australia, today he came up with the idea of creating an Indo-Pacific Alliance, which would unite the countries of the region in opposition to China. Thus, although initially the idea originated in American circles today, the Indo-Pacific partnership are primarily interested in the “supporting actor”, such as France, Australia and India who want to gain weight in a region where the rule of “duet Beijing to Washington.”At the same time Donald trump does not act to protect regional military Alliance to counter Beijing, organized according to the principle of NATO enlargement. “Trump is well understood that China’s neighboring States do not want to be on the first line in potential conflict between China and the United States, but would like to negotiate with Beijing as efficiently as possible, even if I have to rely on Washington,” suggests Korman.”Thus, NATO continues to inspire fear, but if the foreign country will consider it carefully, they may wonder, whether we are talking about the club, members of which can hardly explain why he entered”, — the expert concludes.