Reassured by President Joe Biden’s desire to “revitalize” alliances, NATO members participate in a “reunion summit” this Monday in Brussels, but Europeans are suspicious and divided in the face of the strategic reorientation desired by the Americans . Two sticking points emerge: defense financing and China.
“There are convergences and there are differences”, recognizes the secretary general of the Alliance, the Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg. He traveled to Washington last Monday to finalize the summit declaration and echoed the US focus on China.
“We see that Russia and China are cooperating more and more lately, both politically and militarily. This is a new dimension and a serious challenge for NATO, ”he explained in an interview with the German daily Die Welt before the summit.
Joe Biden hoped that “the security challenge posed by China appears in the press release,” said the White House. Some allies resented. “The heart of NATO is the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. Now is not the time to dilute the effort, ”says the Élysée.
“The language about China will not be inflammatory. It will be clear, direct and straightforward, ”US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Sunday.
Facing new threats
The summit begins Monday at 1 p.m. and will last for three hours. It will launch the review of the Alliance’s strategic concept adopted in 2010 to prepare it to face new threats in space and cyberspace.
But NATO must also heal the wounds opened by Donald Trump. The withdrawal from Afghanistan, decided without consultation with the Allies, has undermined the credibility of the Alliance’s external operations.
Europe has also become more vulnerable following the withdrawal of the United States from several treaties concluded with Moscow on the control of nuclear forces.
Finally, Donald Trump’s mistrust of Europeans has scalded the Old Continent. And his refusal to remind Turkey of its duties has exacerbated tensions with the EU. Faced with this observation of weakening, Emmanuel Macron had judged the Alliance “in a state of brain death”.
Support a professional editorial staff at the service of Brittany and the Bretons: subscribe from € 1 per month.