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"We are all agreed that NATO remains indispensable to our security and that we are stronger in spite of our differences, if we jointly look to the future" is the conclusion of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg the meeting of NATO foreign ministers from November 20, 2019.

In the advance des Summit in London met dhe Minister decisions for further customizations NATO. The space was the fifth application Allianz in addition to air, land, sea and cyber. This may allow NATO planners to ask allies to provide skills and services such. As satellite communications, "said the Secretary General. He added that NATO had to bring no intention of weapons in outer space, The approach remains in fully consistent with international law.
In addition, the foreign ministers brought ERECOMMENDATIONS to strengthen the role of NATO in the field of energy security on the road. They wanted the Improve situational awareness and the risks for critical infrastructure protection better understand, With the aim that the NATO forces always have the necessary energy resources. What could improve the resilience of the Member States (such as direct indirect).

Also discussed dhe Minister NATO's role in combating terrorism and sighted the progress made in strengthening security in the Black Sea region. Almost as if to confirm the self-understanding of the Alliance as a community of values ​​agreed the minister to a wide NATOprevention of sexualr Exploitation and abuses - measures adopted over the 2018,NATO / EAPC Women, Peace and Security Policy and Action plan go out. A decision to upgrade and modernize the AWACS fleetTo enable their use by 2035, was also on the agenda properly filled (Note: on 27 November 2019 NATO and Boeing signed a contract for one billion dollars to modernize the AWACS aircraft fleet of the Alliance). During the dinner, Ministers discussed the coordinated approach of NATO to three strategic themes: relations with Russia, China's rise and arms control. "NATO is the only platform on which Europe and North America to deal daily with such strategic issues that are relevant to our common security is important" formulated the Secretary-General.

With reference to it, that in the distribution in alliance "The trend upwards and unprecedented" is Jens showed Stoltenberg pleased and confident. Im fifth consecutive year increased Defense spending in Europe and in Canada - more than 100 billion US dollars are in addition to Defense flowed. This is an unprecedented progress. And we are determined to maintain the momentum."The publication of the Sunday Times to any reductions of the British defense budget as compensation for the plans of Prime Minister Boris Johnson for enhanced public spending and tax cuts worth GBP 23 billion (€ 26.9 billion) stood pending (Sunday Times, November 24).

Council of the Wise

And of course the supposed or obvious brain death of the Alliance dominated the meeting. The proposal of the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to a "makeover" met with approval and will be further discussed by the leaders in London. Questions about details of the French proposal backed Jens Stoltenberg made in the press conference after the meeting of foreign ministers. it was revealed that as the German also dhe French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian the education anrgroup of Experts (, sages' = modes) provides that deals with the future of the Alliance should employ. Paris floats a small group of politically independent personalities (independent in the sense of not being involved in the daily operations of NATO), which (is involved as an expert NATO) work together with the Secretary-General proposals (to) the next summit in early to be presented to the 2021st "We have the letter and spirit" return of the Atlantic Treaty. Article 5 should "not as an insurance policy, but as a strong collective security commitment" should be understood in each country. this debate was necessaryTo define "the values, objectives, means" the Alliance.

In contrast, the German proposal provides senior Expert commission headed by NATO Secretary General before, up to the next regular NATO summit a report with proposalsto submit.

Fundamental reform offered

Die consideration of space as an independent application area or the view of China are no adequate therapies for the adaptation and modernization of the alliance - in the scope of the President Emmanuel macrons established diagnosis. Although happy downplayed the political trends are evident, the halt further development of the Alliance. There is first of all before the withdrawal of the previous peacekeeping power USA. Although one should not only fix the current American president, whose behavior (think of Afghanistan, Iran, Syria), the two main arms of the Alliance, reliability and unity, has blurred. The preparation of strategic decisions and (admittedly lengthy) consultations in the NATO Council has evaporated Minister Donald Trump to 160 characters: state and government in alliance out of decisions of the President, the effects on their ownSecurity and strategic interests to have, on Twitter.

But even before the 45th President of the United States had launched a reorientation in Washington. The Pacific area with the antipodes China, which swung open not only a powerful economic power, became the focus. The European allies took this Umbesinnung only note of exploring further without the consequences. Individual commitment of the United States as stationing in Poland, installing THAAD in Romania or Defender 2020 euphorisier (ed) European capitals, particularly those affected, ultimately act local anesthetic. In Brussels (as the European metropolis, the seat of NATO and the EU) American policy was vorbeigedoktert on the nature of change. Now, instead of themselves relevant to be within NATO, to progress early military capabilities only marginally in the development. While the EU seeks to gain its - now also through their own budgeting (European Defense Fund). Essential fact remains that the Europeans are too lightweight, the European pillar in NATO does not contribute. The expansion of military contributions from European allies, in cooperation with the EU is slow and always leads to the question of institutional exclusion. By contrast, makes a gain of militaryn Skills the European nations they as a partner for the United States more attractive, This implies load balancing and capacity to act. Bringing the United States (especially under the current Administration) in turn might feel motivated to remain committed to Europe's security. What would strengthen the credibility of NATO by inference, not really bears without their conventional and nuclear deterrence posts. In the global context - not just in the dual relationship with Russia.

The vacuum created the United States in NATO is to fill by the European partners. should learn to recognize their lead nations, the threat level for the margins of Europe that is different than for the center. The "Visegrad" States and the Baltic Rsee epubliken Russia as a threat to their safety.

NATO must find back reliability to the 'old', including the demonstration of deterrence. In their last resort to nuclear deterrence. And how now erkorene about China shows, must be to find a way between political confrontation and economic cooperation. What may also apply to Russia.

Therefore, the proposal of the German Defense Minister, A2A seems' - ability to act - appropriate for the purposes of the Alliance. Unless deeds follow the words. Perhaps even more forms of exercise can souvenirs - such as the establishment of a fund from which less financially powerful nations for building and maintaining military capabilities means received. In the alliance could be strengthened in such a way - and by a coherent treatment in the EU and NATO - then also loads by individual allies easily bypass (allusion to Turkey (arms purchases in Russia's invasion of northern Syria, oil / gas exploration in economic zone Cyprus)).

"It is now time to move from brain death to brainstorm" presented French Defense Minister Florence Parly on Nov. 23 in a speech to the International Institute for SSTRATEGIC Studies in Bahrain firmly. And added: Since the US sometimes look elsewhere, must be a whole grammar of deterrence reinvented. "

NATO Secretary General wanted to during the week 25th-29th Replace November in Paris with President Emmanuel Macron. It will be interesting for the result. As a result, only hope that the summit in London will bring more than the concentration of most allies on avoiding another failure with the US president. And that at the end of whatever kind commission of experts similar portable and the alliance will be a formative effect as the report "Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance" from 1967 - better known under the name of Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel. Or: Can the European countries where NATO should develop without institutional spin-off of European capabilities can agree on?

Hans Uwe Mergener