The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is continuing to try to return to normalcy after the dramatic end of four years of former US President Donald Trump. There is no doubt that it will be very challenging to restore the image and influence of NATO that has already been damaged by Trump’s negative rhetoric.
However, the initiative taken by the new US president Joe Biden to revitalize the NATO member states into a coalition military force is reviving the European Alliance. This is not the first time that NATO is trying to recover from the crisis. Even before this, the alliance has been in crisis several times, and each time it has been able to overcome the crisis.
Even before the Cold War, the Suez Canal Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the emergence of authoritarian governments in the Allied Powers these have been deeply in crisis. And during the Cold War, they united most actively to ensure their own protection from the grip of the Soviet Union. When the Eastern Bloc collapsed in 1969, Western European relations with the United States were strengthened to keep the Soviet Union at bay.
After the Nine-Eleven attacks in 2001, NATO followed Article Five (paragraph allowing member states to carry out joint armed operations if attacked). But the long-running NATO war in such a remote area as Afghanistan has finally brought a kind of exhaustion to the whole alliance. However, there was no break in the alliance. On the contrary, until the Trump administration, that unity was quite intact and the membership increased from 18 to 30.
The alliance has always overcome all crises through mutual understanding and there is a hint of unity among the member countries at the conference to be held in Brussels on June 14. The frustration among European leaders over Trump’s frustrating behavior is expected to be overcome by a conference led by Joe Biden. In this conference, he will give this message to the member countries that all the members of the alliance will benefit if they are on the path of unity rather than division.
In my opinion, the alliance needs to be strengthened to expand its economic and trade interests. The countries in this alliance are home to about 1 billion people and their gross domestic product (GDP) is half of the world’s GDP. So they understand that NATO must return to its global leadership position to protect the clubs of the world’s most privileged countries.
Russia and China are the two main challenges facing NATO at the moment. Cyber, space, and geopolitics the country has emerged as a threat from three perspectives. Russia has increased its influence in the Middle East in the wake of Trump’s reluctance to address global issues. On the other hand, China has stepped on the path of monopoly in the whole of Asia. Beijing has been able to exert widespread influence in the South China Sea.
Europeans now see China not only as an economic competitor but as a rival. They are already bridging the gap with China on various issues, starting with the technology sector. But Joe Biden’s the United States sees China through a different lens. Washington sees China’s attempt for a single hegemony in Asia as the biggest threat to its future influence. With this in mind, Joe Biden has focused on strengthening NATO and making the United States “global” again. But the future will tell how successful he will be.