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Monday , December 16 2019

Contradictions of NATO allies

Yusuf Awadh Al-Azmi

This statement issued recently by the French President Emmanuel Macron caused a political ripple because it touched on issues pertaining to the partnership between the United States of America and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – here I mean the European partners.

President Macron believes this partnership has taken an unusual turn, and he hurled direct criticism and observation towards the USA, especially its President Donald Trump and his controversial policies.

Macron’s statement neither came out of the blue nor was it a quick reaction. His statement is based on the behaviors of the US ally and main pillar in NATO. His observations touched on the controversial role of the USA in its unilateral policies, even from the time of the reign of Trump’s predecessor President Barack Obama.

Some of the NATO members consider Trump’s demeanor in NATO as transgression on the joint interests, and that he has been prodigal in his political approach in the sense that it negatively and directly affects the interests of the NATO partners.

The French statement was also perceived as a “reaction” towards some of the policies that Paris found unpalatable, especially when the USA pulled out of the multilateral arrangement – the Paris Agreement – which is directly linked to the French capital and gives it importance due to its current role in the international scene.

The US decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement would undermine the entire agreement. This did not impress France. Undoubtedly, that wasn’t the first series of the US contradictions.

Perhaps, the USA overlooking the French mediation in Iran’s nuclear crisis and its acceptance of the Japanese initiative towards the same crisis sparked some dissatisfaction on the French side.

Another remarkable statement by Macron concerning his uncertainty about NATO’s commitment to joint defense was also valid. His suggestion to establish a European military force seems to have agitated the US ally. It is clear that the gap between the USA and France is still huge when it comes to mutual understanding of some “interests”.

Macron also raised some question marks concerning the Turkish role in the Syrian crisis and the military incursion in the Levant in clear coordination with the Trump administration while the other NATO members are being sidelined in regard to this issue.

Sometimes you see bilateral understanding between Ankara and Washington, and other times among Ankara, Washington and Moscow amid clear absence of other NATO members.

Political dispute between Paris and Washington is neither new nor recent, but the logical repercussion of the decisions taken by Trump today and then tomorrow withdraws it, while major countries like France cannot yield to being sidelined or ignored.

Therefore, I believe that the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Agreement was merely a statement that overlooked the political role played by France, which rendered President Macron to take a swing on issues that involve the US ally.

In conclusion, we present a question – Did Macron’s statements come after coordinating and deliberating with the European partners, or was it his personal opinion?

Twitter – @alzmi1969

“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO”

– French President Emmanuel Macron.

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