NATO, the last trench | Article by Rafael Vilasanjuan

On Wednesday Madrid is going to come to a standstill, what should have been a meeting on the road to define a new strategic horizon for NATO, has become the most important summit since its creation 70 years ago. When it was announced that it would take place in Madrid, neither Ukraine was at war, nor was Putin’s Russia threatening total conflict, nor were new countries knocking on NATO’s door. So far were we from the new reality that no one took the hint when donald trump announced that the US would progressively withdraw its support for the alliance if the European countries were unable to provide more resources.

Lost the initial horizon. NATO set as an objective for this appointment to approve a strategic plan focused on the new threats of non-state actors or in the consequences for the security of the new global challenges, from climate change to the enormous socioeconomic fracture between countries. But what the transformation from a military defense agenda to a a broader shared security has vanished. Just when its existence was felt least necessary, what seemed like a weakness, Putin has turned it into a strength. Before Ukraine, public opinion was divided almost evenly between rejection and support for the Alliance. With the war everything has changed. Now 8 out of 10 Europeans see it as the only trench against the threat. That same proportion is what has led Sweden and Finland to request their incorporation after decades of maintaining a neutral position. After the G7 summit, Madrid will become the capital of the war for two days: the support for Ukraine, the entry of new countries, the commitment of the partners to increase their defense budgets -even if it is at the expense of other needs- and, ultimately, even the possibility of attacking, if necessary, make up the agenda. NATO returns to the box where it came from 70 years ago, the last trench west of Russia.

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