By 2020, NATO will have 30 mechanized battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels in Europe, which can be deployed against Russia within 30 days or less. President Trump will thus have stronger cards in his hands at the bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Helsinki. The situation in Europe will depend fundamentally on what the U.S. president determines at the negotiating table.
NATO’s reach extends far beyond Europe and the Alliance’s own members. It has a number of partners, linked to the Alliance by different military cooperation programs. Among the currents that are included in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership are Austria, Finland and Sweden. The Mediterranean partnership includes Israel and Jordan, which have permanent official missions to NATO headquarters in Brussels, plus Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania.
The Gulf region includes Kuwait, Qatar and the Emirates, with permanent missions to Brussels, plus Bahrain. NATO also has nine “Global Partners” in Asia, Oceania and Latin America – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Colombia – some of which “actively contribute to NATO military operations.”
NATO – founded in 1949, six years before the Warsaw Pact, formally based on the defensive principle established by Article 5 — has been transformed into an alliance which, based on the “new strategic concept,” commits member countries to “conduct crisis response operations not provided for by Article 5, outside the territory of the Alliance.” According to the new geostrategic concept, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has extended to the Afghan mountains, where NATO has been at war for 15 years.
What has not changed, in the mutation of NATO, is the hierarchy within the Alliance. It is always the President of the United States who appoints the Allied Supreme Commander for Europe, who is always a U.S. general, while the Allies simply ratify the choice. The same applies to the other key commands. U.S. supremacy has been strengthened with the enlargement of NATO, since the countries of the East are tied more to Washington than to Brussels.
The same Maastricht Treaty of 1992 establishes the subordination of the European Union to NATO, which includes 22 of the 28 countries of the EU (with Great Britain leaving the Union). Article 42 of the Treaty states that “the Union shall respect the obligations of certain Member States,