NATO is reborn in Madrid and does so to vFacing up to its classic threat, the one that was its reason for being between 1949 and 1989: Moscowwhose current and Sovietized leader, Vladimir Putin (former KGB spy), «seeks to establish spheres of influence and direct control through coercion, subversion, aggression and annexation».
With this reflection, the same Atlantic Alliance that in 2010 he saw Russia as a “partner” now it defines it in its new Strategic Concept as «the most significant and direct threat to the security of the Allies and the peace and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area».
The new roadmap approved yesterday by the 30 NATO leaders meeting at Ifema warns that Russia “uses conventional, cyber and hybrid media against us and our partners.
And, as if we were suddenly back in the black and white of the Cold War, he warns: “The Russian Federation is modernizing its nuclear forces and expanding its novel and disruptive dual launch capability system, while employing coercive nuclear indicators.”
In other words, NATO warns allies that Russia has sophisticated nuclear weapons and missile launch platforms that can be used with nuclear warheads or conventional explosives. Which can switch from conventional to nuclear war with agility. Following the order of the leader.
The Alliance also focuses on the geographical nature of the Russian threat, which it is no longer limited to the mere area of influence of the USSR or to its borders. “It aims to destabilize the countries of our east and south. In the Arctic, its ability to undermine free navigation across the North Atlantic is a strategy and challenge to the Alliance. Moscow’s military build-up, including in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas, along with its military integration with Belarus, challenge our security and interests.”
In the face of the Russian threat, NATO has decided to “significantly strengthen deterrence and defense for all Allies, enhance our resilience against Russian coercion, and support our partners in countering malign interference and aggression. In light of his hostile policies and actions, we cannot consider the Russian Federation as our partner».
49 point document
The road map approved yesterday by NATO is a document that consists of 49 points in 16 pages. It is divided into five sections: preface; objective and principles; strategic environment; key NATO missions; and three measures to ensure the continued success of the Alliance. Obviously, the Russian invasion of Ukraine changed everything and forced to change the course of a Madrid Summit that was prepared to reinvent NATO -after the 20-year fiasco in Afghanistan- towards other objectives and more generic threats and with the challenge of China on the horizon.
“Putin, you will not win”exclaimed the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, when the NATO Forum started yesterday, a meeting of ‘think tanks’ parallel to the summit of leaders. Quite a knock before the start of the North Atlantic Council.
“We met in the middle of the most serious security crisis that we have had since the Second World War”, explained the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, in his first press conference.
And the USA of Biden? “By land, air and sea” it will increase its military footprint in the old-new Europe. It will do so at a time when all the geostrategist gurus predicted that the Asia-Pacific region was their only area of interest. However, Washington returns strongly to Europe after the Madrid Summit.
The White House detailed yesterday that in addition to the two additional destroyers that will be added to the four already based in Rota (Cádiz), it will station other two squadrons of F-35 fighters in the UKwill establish an Army headquarters in Poland, improve its air defense in Italy and Germany, its rotational deployments in the Baltic countries, and its ground deployment in Romania.
“We are sending an unequivocal message: that NATO is strong, it is united and the steps we are taking during this summit will further increase our collective strength,” said Biden, who acknowledged that the change in script was caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Remember that NATO will increase its rapid response force from the current 30,000-40,000 military to 300,000. A structure, especially made up of local troops from the countries, which Stoltenberg hopes to have ready next year.
Zelensky asks for more help
Precisely, the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, was yesterday the guest star of the summit when he addressed the 30 NATO leaders by video call. “Next year the situation may be worse. Not only for Ukraine but also for other countries, possibly NATO members, if they are attacked by Russia,” said Zelensky, who gave the example of Lithuania, “which Russia wants to enslave.” “The question is who is next for Russia after Ukraine.” Zelensky estimated the necessary aid at 5,000 million dollars a month in their country to defend themselves against Russian aggression. He also called for ending the “gray areas” on the eastern flank. For its part, NATO pledged more “long-term” support.
In this context of the Second Cold War, Stoltenberg underlined Allied engagement for NATO countries that may suffer an attack by Putin: “We have a responsibility to help the countries attacked by Russia”.
In this way, NATO’s article 5 of collective defense – an attack against a member country is considered against all – is put back on the table to “defend every inch of allied territorypreserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the allies and prevail against any aggressor”.
As in the First Cold War, there is still a ‘hotline’ in NATO: “We remain willing to maintain open communication channels with Moscow to manage and mitigate risks, prevent escalation and increase transparency.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism