Author Claudia Major is a senior associate of Science and Politics Foundation (SWP), one of most important German research institutes for foreign and security policy issues. The SWP advises Bundestag and federal government.
NATO summits are usually due to choreographed events. The Heads of State and Government meet previously negotiated decisions and establish work plans until next summit. Above all, y demonstrate cohesion and solidarity, so that friend and enemy believe that Allies actually stand up for each or in event of a crisis.
But this summit is threatening to deviate from routine. The reason is once again US President Donald Trump: No one knows how he will behave, but many fear worst.
Is re a new edition of G7 summit when President Trump agreed to send a tweet from final communiqué? Or will he give to strict patriarch, who is rumbles, but family ultimately holds toger? The problem is: everything is imaginable, not only because President Trump ignores traditional rules of conduct, but mainly because common transatlantic base is crumbling. The differences between foreign policy objectives and principles of Europeans and United States are increasing – that is what is actually troubling, and that goes beyond NATO.Previously, conflicts were controlled
As always, summit is perfectly prepared. Above all, it is intended to continue 2014 refocusing on Alliance defense, which was decided after Crimean annexation, for example with better defence and deterrence in east. In South, alliance wants to stabilize even more effective crisis regions and fight terrorism. Also on agenda are EU-NATO cooperation and an invitation to Macedonia to join NATO. The issue of burden-sharing, fair distribution of effort that is necessary for a common defence in Nato, could dominate. President Trump finds that Europeans spend too little and have ir security funded by US.
The lines of conflict on se issues are well known. The diplomatic routine in NATO has always been able to keep it in public domain. At each summit, States were able to demonstrate solidarity as a key precondition for alliance's ability to act and to be credible. That was important to all allies, because in end NATO is ir life insurance.
At this summit, solidarity demonstration is in danger of failing. Instead, it could come to public conflicts, endorsed, if not actively instigated by President Trump.Claudia Major
A conflict is so likely because US and Europe are now often opposed to foreign policy positions and President Trump does not shy away from demarcation. In this way, United States wants to leave Paris climate agreement, to which Europeans hold firm. Washington has unilaterally terminated Iran agreement, while Europeans want to keep it. President Trump announces a bilateral summit with Russia and his security advisor does not want to rule out that he recognizes annexation of Crimea. This was precisely reason why NATO is reinventing itself.Updated Date: 09 July 2018, 12:02