Sunday, June 13

NATO turns to Joe Biden to close the wounds of Donald Trump


The leaders of the Alliance meet this Monday in Brussels to talk about collective security and rebuild ties after four years of permanent tension and existential doubts.

US President Joe Biden.
US President Joe Biden.LEON NEALAFP
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It has been five months since the transfer of powers in Washington but the wound is still open. NATO has lived through very tense moments throughout its history, from the kick of de Gaulle’s France to the crisis over the Iraq War in 2003, but four years of Donald Trump were the most tormenting and surely when the tragedy was closer to consummating with an abrupt exit from the United States. The drama was avoided and now, with the first Summit with Joe Biden at the White House, the air in Brussels is very different.

There is no talk of “brain death” of the Alliance, nor of dissolution, the basic idea of ​​NATO is not questioned, the commitment to go whatever happens to the aid of an attacked partner. And no one is shouting from the rooftops that others are delinquent and profiteers. If that holds until Wednesday night, the Summit will be seen by many as a success. If besides the leaders manage to advance the agenda for 2030 and deepen the philosophy that not only have to spend more, but we must do better, and that is more efficient for it can be start coordinating investments not go each on his own, secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, sleep like never before.

“We are at a crucial moment for the Alliance and our collective security. We are in an era of global competition, with many simultaneous threats and challenges. The aggressiveness of Russia, the rise of China, the permanent threat of terrorism, increasingly sophisticated sabotage. , climate change … No one, not a country or a continent, can deal with all this alone, but neither Europe nor the US are alone, we are together in NATO. 80% of citizens believe that the transatlantic relationship is the most important thing for security and defense“He has pointed former Norwegian Prime Minister at the press conference prior to the big event.

Stoltenberg was these days in the White House to prepare for the meeting with your team and the American delegation, the most important one. The US agrees that a more ambitious security and defense agenda is necessary, that it is necessary to speed up political consultations, reinforce collective security and increase preparedness. Everyone knows that for this it is essential to continue advancing in the promise made in 2014 by all members (during the Obama-Biden Administration) to invest at least 2% of GDP in Defense, but the reading varies greatly from one place to another in the world. planet.

In the past seven years the collective security spending has risen by 260,000 million euros, despite the economic situation of many of those affected. The commitment is still going towards 2%, but there are more factors. Trump, for example, would not accept another scale that figure, while the structure of NATO understands and remembers that there are more elements, such as participation in missions, infrastructures that are put at the disposal. Stoltenberg himself has said countless times that what counts is spending well. If everyone invests 2% but does so in material, training or redundant elements, the added value for the Alliance is better than if everyone does it well, in a coordinated way or even together, and all flanks are covered efficiently. But it is one thing to say it and another to do it.

Data released Friday show in Brussels allies have increased their investment by more than 4% on average throughout the last five years and they expect to do so by 4.1% during this fiscal year. In 2014, only three countries were spending more than 2%, Greece, the US and the UK. Now there are 10 who have exceeded the promised threshold and another nine have more than 1.5% of GDP. A queue list, however, remain the same. Luxembourg, with 0.57% of GDP and Spain, with 1.02, in light of what was agreed.

At the last summit in Brussels in July 2018, the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, received severe criticisms from Trump for those numbers, which have improved little since then. The president promised, inside the room and outside, to go up, remembering that Spain is an ally that takes what has been said seriously and that its contribution covers much more than pure spending. But Trump was not satisfied at all.

From Moncloa have reported that President Biden will do with these days in Brussels. It is not clear what type of meeting it will be, its duration, if it will be just an informal greeting to the new occupant of the White House or it will be possible to address substantive issues, and specifically what is happening with Morocco and the Shara. Rabat is using the support of the Trump administration for its demands to put pressure on Europe, and although Biden’s team has managed to navigate these days without getting into more trouble, for Spain it is a vital issue.

From Moncloa they also show these days that Spain could be the chosen venue for a meeting of the Alliance next year. The offer is on the table and it would be a way to smooth things over and show interest, and also a way that all eyes are not only on the image of the graph. The situation in our country in the last decade is well known, the damages of the pandemic are very well known, but Right now the country that invests the most in Defense in the entire Atlantic Alliance is Greece, with 3.82% of GDP. And the truth is that if something is well known in Europe, it is that few countries have suffered more than they have in the last two decades, economically and with political instability.

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