Monday, October 3

The true defense of peace



Since its foundation in 1949, NATO has been the most relevant military organization of its time and has fulfilled its main mission, which is none other than to guarantee the security of its members. Peace is an extremely fragile asset that we have too often taken for granted, as if it were something natural, when in fact in many parts of the world it is an exception among those who live in a permanent situation of violence. For Europeans, peace has been the rule until the unwarranted Russian invasion of Ukraine has reminded us that we are somehow at war. Although the worst part, and by far, is being suffered by the Ukrainians themselves, for the rest of Europe it is having consequences and effects that have changed our socioeconomic environment.

The increase in inflation, energy problems, the threat of food shortages in many parts of the world or the arrival of millions of Ukrainian refugees are symptoms that reveal the extreme gravity of the situation that is outlined on our horizon. The need to deploy more forces on Europe’s eastern flank is more pressing than ever, as is the need to increase defense budgets, at least up to the 2 percent of GDP commitment and, if possible, trying to take advantage of all possible synergies with our main European partners.

The strategic doctrine that will be approved at the Madrid summit must define precisely what threats NATO will have to face in the future. In the last wording of these guidelines, approved in 2010, all the emphasis was on jihadist terrorism and instability in the Middle East. At the moment, the only thing certain is that as long as a dictator like Vladimir Putin remains in the Kremlin, Russia will represent the main risk factor for the Euro-Atlantic democracies. Despite all attempts to offer Moscow a constructive relationship with NATO, Putin has chosen the path of confrontation and war, an attitude that only confirms the correctness of the reasons of all the countries that have escaped totalitarian orbit that he insists on continuing, and who have turned to NATO to protect their freedoms under the cloak of collective defense. The decision of Finland and Sweden to end their neutrality to request their entry into NATO is the palpable demonstration that there is no plan to harass the Russian borders, but quite the opposite: it is the natural response to intimidation -very real- by Russia. There is no reasonable proportion between the objections that Turkey can invoke to oppose this enlargement and the obvious advantages that the contribution of these two Scandinavian countries represents for all the allies.

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NATO’s main strength, however, is not in the weapons of its armies, but rather in the unity and solidarity among its members, the foundations of collective defense. That is why it is regrettable that a part of the Spanish Government, the same one that hosts the meeting, has decided to take a position against the Alliance. It is not a question of ending the war, nor of patrimonializing a peace desired by all, as they erroneously proclaim, but of expressing their support for Putin and the atrocities that his soldiers commit in Ukraine. Peace is not defended with a blind equidistance, and even less with winks of understanding towards the aggressor. It is precisely the effective and credible deterrence that NATO represents the only thing that prevents Putin’s Russia from extending its attacks to the rest of Europe.

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