Is NATO becoming an “alliance on which the sun never sets”? – Middle East Monitor
The report entitled “NATO 2030: Unity for a new era”, which was discussed at the NATO leaders’ summit in Brussels on June 14, 2021, showed that a new concept had entered into force in the history of the covenant. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced concrete decisions in eight key areas.
The fifth of these decisions stated that the alliance would “intensify its work to preserve the rules-based international order and, to this end, strengthen partnerships with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. in Asia-Pacific”.
This statement highlighted the idea that NATO’s eastward expansion goals were even aimed at moving beyond Russia and reaching China. With the approach of the NATO summit in Madrid, where the answer to this question will be given, the developments concerning the war in Ukraine have shown that NATO is on the verge of a change of concept and paradigm. NATO is preparing to integrate new members into its body, as it increases its dominance in the world with the new alliances developed by the United States and the United Kingdom. NATO is becoming an organization on which the sun never sets, like what was once the British Empire.
Why didn’t NATO complete its mission after the end of the Cold War?
The North Atlantic Alliance was conceived in 1949 as a defense organization that would permanently protect Western Europe from the threat of a totalitarian force, such as Germany. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was the main reason for the existence of the alliance during the First Cold War. With the disintegration of the USSR and after the Warsaw Pact ceased to have any effect, the question of “What is the need of NATO if there is no more communist threat?” prevailed, even in the Western world. The “sixth strategic concept”, published in Washington in 1999, laid the foundations for the turning point reached by the alliance today. With the adoption of the new concept, the alliance had decided to transform itself into a “global security provider” instead of having a Europe-centric structure. Ignoring the voices coming from Russia, the first step of expansion “on the way to globalization” was taken with the inclusion of Czechia, Hungary and Poland in the alliance. The terrorist attack perpetrated by the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001 on American territory was the beginning of a new process for the administration of Washington and the globalization of NATO. Article 5 of the Washington Treaty entered into force for the first time. Thus, the fight against global terrorism has been included in the joint defense obligations of the North Atlantic Pact.
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Even though Turkey, which has been fighting PKK terrorism since the 1980s, has demanded that this article be applied to itself as well, NATO members, including France, Italy, Greece, Belgium , the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, have embraced the PKK terrorist organization for years. PKK actions were defended against Turkey under the guise of “peaceful protests”, and funding of PKK camps in northern Iraq with perceived tribute in those countries was tolerated. It is no coincidence that Ocalan, the so-called leader of the PKK, knocked on the doors of NATO members Italy and Greece after having to leave Syria in 1998. The Lisbon Summit in 2010 marked the beginning of a new era in which the global role of the alliance was emphasized until 2021. The 11-year period was also a process in which NATO was criticized for having lost its military power.
The process leading to the globalization of NATO
Although the alliance decided to become a global security organization in 1999, no action was taken on this issue until the UK left the EU with the “Brexit” decision in 2016. Another critical step was the renaming of the US Navy’s “Pacific Command” to “Indo-Pacific Command” in 2018. Preparations have begun for the US-British fleet to patrol the Indian Ocean. The announcement of the AUKUS Alliance, made up of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, in September 2021, formed the most crucial pillar of the NATO-led global security structure outside of Europe. Japan was invited to this alliance in April 2022. On the other hand, the United States has launched a process to end the strategic relations between India and Russia through the QUAD (Quadruple Security Dialogue) formed with India, Japan and Australia.
With their decision to include India in the AUKUS Alliance, the United States and the United Kingdom aimed to end India’s dependence on Russia in the industry in the short term. of the defense. The US attempt to provide $500 million in foreign military aid to India, with 60% of its weapon systems coming from Russia, will be recorded as one of the significant developments that will alter geopolitical balances in 2022. If this goal is achieved, India, which acquired the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, will be the country that will receive the most military aid from the United States, after Israel and Egypt.
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“Eastern Mediterranean Energy Forum”, which was first initiated as an energy cooperation project and then acquired a military character, as well as the security agreements signed by the United Kingdom with Poland and Ukraine on February 17, and with Sweden and Finland on May 11, can be cited as an example the moves of the NATO regional alliance to expand its sphere of influence with the help of the United Kingdom and the United States.
When we look at developments from this broad perspective, we find that the alliance will undergo a complete paradigm shift at the 2022 Madrid summit. At this point, Turkiye reminds us that the new paradigm to be built must serve the goals of the whole alliance. alliance, and not just the American-British duo.
Turkiye’s request is very clear
Turkey’s demand for NATO membership of Sweden and Finland, which emerged with the war in Ukraine, is very clear. Turkey demands that the alliance adopt a common position against terrorism that targets the country, just as Article 5 was put into practice when the United States became the target of a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.
For 40 years, Turkey tried to keep the alliance alive, but its “allies” welcomed the terrorist organizations ASALA, PKK, DHKP-C and FETO, exempting them from trial and even helping them with weapons, as well as trying to give them political legitimacy. However, with such a paradigm shift on the agenda, this unequal relationship within the alliance is no longer sustainable.
The new media reports on Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist’s meetings with the so-called military and political representatives of the terrorist organization PKK/YPG in 2021 and 2022 and their welcome to the Swedish parliament can be found in the archives. While these countries impose an embargo on Turkey in the field of defense industry, Swedish-made weapons are discovered in the arsenals of the terrorist organization. After Turkiye’s statements, including a veto warning, were pushed forward, Swedish Foreign Minister Linde threatened the country saying “strong alliance members” were behind them. After Ankara displayed a determined stance, it defended itself by saying, “My words were misunderstood.”
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Swedish Defense Minister Hultqvist meanwhile said he would send a delegation to Turkey to “try to figure out what the problem is”. The PKK and its proxies, which unfurled the organization’s posters and banners and lit torches on Kungsatan Street in central Stockholm the day after this declaration, provided the necessary response to Hultqvist. What Hultqvist and other like-minded politicians in Stockholm, Washington and Paris need to understand is that Ankara is not the place to go to figure out what the “problem” is. The place to go to understand the “problem” is the US Congress, which has long been a prisoner of Greek and Armenian lobbies, and the Swedish Parliament, where various groups are trying to get the assembly to pass the claim that the Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Pontians were subjected to genocide during the Ottoman Empire.
Sweden, which has embraced all anti-Turkish terrorist organizations since the 1970s, is the pioneer and implementer of all anti-Turkish policies in Europe and has encouraged other countries in this direction. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the meeting of the parliamentary group of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AK) in the capital, Ankara, on May 18: “It is inconsistent that Sweden and Finland are asking our support to join the military alliance as they provide all kinds of support to the PKK/YPG terrorists. Due to this inconsistent Swedish policy, it seems unlikely that the Finnish and Swedish delegations, which are expected to be in Ankara on Monday, will obtain positive results from their meetings with the Turkish authorities.
NATO decisions should not be taken in haste: the example of Greece
Turkey’s approval of Greece’s return to NATO’s military wing and the implementation of this decision by the alliance took place in a short period of 45 days after the military coup of the September 12 in the country. When we look back with the information we have today, we find that the roots of the process go back to the election of Jimmy Carter as President of the United States in 1977 and the appointment of Kenan Evren as Chief of cabinet in 1978. are examples of Evren bypassing the prime minister, Suleyman Demirel, and the country’s political authority, in decisions regarding Greece just before he staged the coup.
The decision, presented as a military-technical matter, was taken in isolation from politics and diplomacy and, without signing any written agreement, caused irreparable harm to Turkey. One of the first actions of PASOK, led by Andreas Papandreou, who came to power in Greece in 1981, was the breaking of promises made to Turkey after its return to NATO’s military wing. Turkey does not have the luxury of making the same mistake again, 40 years later, as the NATO alliance undergoes a paradigm shift.
Keeping the process on hold until the parliamentary elections to be held on September 11, 2022 in Sweden and reconsidering the issue with the moderate conservative-liberal Party, which is more likely to emerge as the leading political party in the elections, would be the solution. the most rational for Turkey. A staunch proponent of NATO membership, moderate party chairman Ulf Kristersson has pursued more rational policies toward Turkey since being elected party leader in 2017. As noted says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there is still a lot to do. time for Sweden and Finland to join NATO, given that the war in Ukraine could continue until 2023.
(Source: Anadolu News Agency)
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