Nato at 70
The moment of crisis has arrived
It was meant to be a celebration of the 70th anniversary of NATO. But the mood at a gathering of the alliance’s leaders this week in London was anything but celebratory. There was no disguising the fact that NATO is in deep — even existential — trouble. Nothing illustrated this unease more than the brief elation among NATO hands over Donald Trump’s surprising defence of the alliance. If the American president, previously a NATO-sceptic, had had a change of heart, perhaps things were not so dire after all. Except Trump hadn’t had a change of heart. His defense of the alliance was little more than a rhetorical stick with which to beat French President Emmanuel Macron, who had previously bemoaned the institution’s “brain death.” Credit must also go to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who has done a masterful job of managing Trump, calming the president’s tantrums and stroking his ego.
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