The Missed Opportunity of the June NATO Summit,

Daniel R DePetris, foreign affairs columnist at Newsweek and Rajan Menon, director of the Grand Strategy Program at Defense Priorities

Russia’s five-month-old war in Ukraine has given NATO a reinvigorated sense of purpose, illustrated most visibly during its summit meeting last week. The alliance rolled out several initiatives to enhance deterrence on its eastern flank, formally began the process of admitting Finland and Sweden as member states, and published its first Strategic Concept document in over a decade. NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg lauded the gathering as a demonstration of the alliance’s “unity and resolve,” while President Joe Biden declared it as “history-making.”

While there are legitimate concerns regarding China’s territorial claims, power projection capabilities, and pace of military modernization, it’s unclear why NATO should be responsible for countering Beijing in the Indo-Pacific and what capacities the vast majority of its members—the United States, Britain, and France aside—bring to this major undertaking.  Can an alliance which has struggled to maintain a state of readiness on the European continent extend its mission to East Asia? It took a Russian invasion of a sovereign country for Germany, one of NATO’s wealthiest member states, to finally begin a process of rearmament after decades of skimping on its defense budget. If Russia is as dangerous as NATO claims, then the last thing NATO should be doing is simultaneously seeking to contain China. […]

Last week’s summit wasn’t a transformational moment for NATO as much as it was a missed opportunity. Instead of encouraging Europe to take more responsibility for its own defense, commensurate with its $17 trillion GDP, about ten times Russia’s, the Biden administration chose to double down on the status quo and deploy thousands of additional American troops to the continent. The Strategic Concept could have codified a clear, detailed, comprehensive framework for safeguarding Europe’s security more effectively. What we got instead was a word salad. Läs artikel

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