The aim of the NATO summit in Madrid was to prepare the post-World War II military alliance for the new era, and this has been done.
The declaration on NATO’s new strategic structure lists new threats, ranging from the climate crisis to global terrorism, as well as measures NATO can take to deal with them.
- A mink cull has sparked a political crisis in Denmark: Country in trouble with mutated virus
- Earthquake in Iran
However, it is also possible to say that these measures are reminiscent of the “cold war era”.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia ceased to be a “threat”, even going as far as consultations with NATO as a “strategic partner”. Many countries of the Soviet system in the European continent also became members of NATO themselves. However, the world did not survive the “unipolar global system” under the leadership of the United States for long. The rise of China and Russian leader Putin’s dreams of turning his country back into an “empire” paved the way for NATO to return the military power it had been withdrawing from Europe for years.
This is the most striking element of the NATO summit in Madrid;
The Ukraine war ended the era of peace and stability in Europe. Threats and conflicts are now directly inside Europe, threatening Europe.
According to the new military restructuring, the number of troops in NATO’s emergency response force, which is ready to respond to any security threat, is being increased. This number is currently 40,000. With the Madrid summit, NATO’s emergency response force was defined as “100,000 troops to be deployed within 10 days”. NATO is also restructuring its military structure in such a way that an additional 200,000 troops will be ready within 10 to 30 days and an additional 500,000 troops within 180 days at the latest. Just like during the cold war.
Another “cold war-era” practice coming out of Madrid will be the storage of military and logistical supplies in Eastern European countries that have long been abandoned. NATO’s 5th Corps headquarters will be located in Poland. A 5,000-strong operational force will be deployed in Romania.
GREECE’S IMPORTANCE GROWS
Within the framework of the new concept, the number of US military forces and equipment to be deployed in Europe is also increasing. It is in this context that the US’s intensive troop and weapon shipments to the Balkans via the Greek port of Alexandroupoli and from there to Eastern Europe should be read. In the new Cold War era, Greece’s importance in the eyes of both the US and NATO as a whole is increasing due to this shipment opportunity. It is not for nothing that Greek Prime Minister Mitçotakis was made to speak at the US Congress and hosted at the White House.
In addition, the number of US warships in Spain is being increased from 4 to 6, and two squadrons of F-35 fighter jets are being stationed in the UK. The NATO air defense umbrella for Germany and Italy is also being strengthened.
While the defenses of almost all NATO countries are being strengthened, Turkey has been dealing with the “veto adventure” put forward by the AK Party government throughout this process.
In fact, Turkey is one of the countries in NATO that needs the most support in terms of its air defense system; due to the S-400s purchased from Russia – which cannot be used – the deficit in the air defense system for protection with missiles continues. On top of this, Turkey was kicked out of the F-35 project, leaving Turkey with only the aging F-16 fighter jets.
This is the reason why the Biden administration has warmed to Turkey’s request to buy new F-16 fighter jets and modernize the old ones;
If Turkey’s air defense collapses, the air defense of NATO’s southeastern flank will also be weakened. This is how Washington approaches the issue.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SWEDEN AND FINLAND
As for the memorandum signed in exchange for the green light for Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership, which the AK Party government touts as a “success”;
It has already been written and drawn a lot;
With this memorandum, Sweden and Finland do not recognize FETÖ or the PYD-YPG in Syria as “terrorist organizations”. As a matter of fact, official statements from both Sweden and Finland have clearly stated that this is the case – contrary to the claims of pro-government pens in Turkey.
But it is not too late to turn the memorandum with Sweden and Finland into a real counter-terrorism document. Because Turkey’s green light for their membership at the Madrid summit is only the beginning of the process.
According to Fatih Ceylan, retired Ambassador Fatih Ceylan, who served as Turkey’s permanent representative to NATO, there are other “levers” Sweden and Finland can use to remind Turkey of its counterterrorism demands throughout the accession process. In particular, Ambassador Ceylan noted that the accession documents of the two countries will also need the approval of NATO members, and emphasized that “it is necessary to formally insert the trilateral memorandum into these accession documents.” That way, even after Sweden and Finland become full members of NATO, the anti-terrorism commitments in the trilateral memorandum could remain in force. The process of ratification of the enlargement decision by the national parliaments of NATO member states could also be used to squeeze Helsinki and Stockholm.
Of course, all this would require intensive diplomatic and political efforts.
But will the AK Party government, which touted the trilateral memorandum, which is not very valid at the moment, as a “victory”, pursue the matter politically?
This is where the real issue lies…