NATO Faces Challenges Amid Trump Criticism And European Right-Wing Surge; VIDEO

NATO Faces Challenges Amid Trump Criticism And European Right-Wing Surge; VIDEO

NATO allies congregating to celebrate the 75th year of North Atlantic treaty organisation in Washington Dc come at an interesting juncture. This 32-nation bloc seems to be in a quandary owing to two big factors.

Afrida Rahman AliUpdated: Thursday, July 11, 2024, 12:04 AM IST
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NATO Faces Challenges Amid Trump Criticism And European Right-Wing Surge; VIDEO | X

NATO allies congregating to celebrate the 75th year of North Atlantic treaty organisation in Washington Dc come at an interesting juncture. This 32-nation bloc seems to be in a quandary owing to two big factors. First is the Trump factor- it is what is being called the elephant in the room and the second not entirely disconnected, is the rise of the right wing in the European nations after the recently concluded European parliamentary elections.


Trump’s possible return to power is the single biggest concern for NATO given his recent statement deriding NATO allies as ‘freeloading’ on US and draining off defence resources without making enough contributions themselves. The real fear therefore is that Trump would not hesitate to renege on the commitment of Article 5 that binds NATO countries on the basis of the premise that attack on one is attack on all. It is highly possible that for Trump to stay committed to that principle he would raise the heckles on the other European nations to ramp up their contributions.

The second factor is the growing reluctance within European nations to stay invested in the Ukraine war. The rise of the right-wing forces in the recently concluded European parliament elections signal an ideological shift not fully consistent with NATO principles. With protectionist policies likely to gain ground and anti-immigration policies likely to gather momentum, it is only natural to expect that the ideological shift would also mean a relook or rethink on NATO commitments.

This of course comes at the worst possible time for Ukraine and consequently the best possible time for Russia. With Trump repeatedly saying that the war on Ukraine would never have happened if he was in power, the indication that it is Biden who started the fire by nudging the process of Ukraine joining NATO making it one of the main triggers for the war.

The larger concern now is that if the world’s largest military alliance of 32 nations buckles at this point it would embolden Russian expansionist moves, and as the Japanese PM said what happened in Ukraine today can happen in Asia tomorrow. To avert such an eventuality, it is imperative for NATO to keep its house in order. NATO was formed to counter the Soviet Union during the World War 2, and that mission remains its centrepiece even today.

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