Nato is firm on tackling Russia - GulfToday

Nato is firm on tackling Russia


Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

The NATO summit at Madrid has revealed a new resolve to strengthen the Western military alliance in the face of Russian invasion of Ukraine.

First, it has committed itself to support Ukraine militarily in its war against Russia and to do so till Ukraine is safe. It has also been decided to increase the force strength of NATO troops to 300,000.

Second, the military alliance has recognised that Russia poses a security threat, and this is reflected in the admission of Sweden and Finland as new members.

The Ukraine war has come as a booster for defence expenditure of NATO. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO has started an Innovation Fund and “Backed by Allies, it will invest one billion euros in start-ups and funds developing dual-use emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence. Together with NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic – DIANA – the new fund will harness the best new technology for Trans-Atlantic security.”

So billions of more dollars will be spend in creating new weapons and this could start a new arms race in Europe with Russia likely to respond to this challenge. The interesting aspect is that NATO is keeping out the nuclear arms and it is focusing on new non-nuclear military ware.

The military alliance has also updated its Strategy Concept, which was last formulated in 2010. In the new one, Russia is identified as the “most significant and direct” threat to the security of NATO members.

At the same time, China, the other ideological adversary is brought into the picture for the first time. Stoltenberg said, “In the current concept, we do not mention China with a single word. In this, Allies state that China’s coercive policies “challenge our interests, security and values.” So, China seen as potential security threat.

But there is indication whether NATO would join the United States in the Indo-Pacific security operations. It is to be recalled that NATO, which was supposed to guard Western democratic Europe against communist Russia had entered the war in Afghanistan, which is beyond its strategic area in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack by the Daesh in New York and Washington.

What can be seen is a renewed enthusiasm in the NATO that there is work to be done, war to be fought against Russia if Moscow threatens any of its members, including the new members, Finland, and Sweden, who became part of the alliance because of their apprehension of a Russian threat.

Europe will then become a fortress again, guarded by NATO. It can be said that NATO has found a renewed calling in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

Though there is no question of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO at this stage, NATO has made no secret of the fact that it will provide military and financial aid to Ukraine. A reactivated NATO seems to make the leaders at its helm happy and determined to fulfil their duty to protect Europe.

NATO is a group of knights in shining armour in this ideological war, though unlike the medieval Christian knights, NATO is an alliance of many countries in Western Europe. Though the European Union has expanded east after the fall of Soviet Union, there has been a tighter control over who should be allowed into the NATO.

From September 2001 to August 2021, the West had fought a war against global terrorism. Now it has returned to its old ideological game of fighting Russia, which could never integrate itself as a European power. It is possible that NATO’s sense of urgency in fending off Russia might weaken if the war in Ukraine becomes a protracted one, and it looks like that it will be long drawn-out.

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