Macron: We are experiencing the brain death of NATO
The French president said that Europe stands on “the edge of a precipice”.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with British weekly The Economist, has warned European countries that they can no longer rely on America to defend NATO allies. “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Macron declares in the interview. Europe stands on “the edge of a precipice”, he says, and needs to start thinking of itself strategically as a geopolitical power; otherwise we will “no longer be in control of our destiny.”
The French president argues that it is high time for Europe to “wake up”. He was asked whether he believed in the effectiveness of Article Five, the idea that if one NATO member is attacked all would come to its aid, which many analysts think underpins the alliance's deterrent effect. “I don't know,” he replies, “but what will Article Five mean tomorrow?”
“(NATO) only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such. I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States,” Macron added.
The United States is showing signs of “turning its back on us”, as demonstrated by President Donald Trump’s sudden decision last month to pull troops out of northeastern Syria last month without consulting the allies, the French leader said.
That move caught NATO’s leading European powers - France, Britain and Germany - by surprise and paved the way for Turkey, another NATO member, to launch a cross-border military operation targeting Syrian Kurdish forces.
Macron decried NATO’s inability to react to Turkey’s offensive and said it was time Europe stopped acting like a junior ally of the United States when it came to the Middle East.