Minister calls for "strategic discussion" on NATO’s future

NATO – Reply by Mme Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, to a question in the Senate (excerpts)

Paris, 13 November 2019

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At the summit in London, France will argue for a genuine discussion to be embarked on about the Alliance’s future. NATO must be a mutually-supportive and responsible alliance in which every member, in particular the Europeans, contributes credibly to the defence effort. France doesn’t wish to weaken NATO, because it is and remains a key element of European security. There will be no European defence without NATO, and vice versa!./.

NATO – Reply by Mme Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, to a question in the Senate

Paris, 13 November 2019

When the French President mentioned NATO’s brain death, it didn’t mean NATO’s [actual] death.

It meant no one can ignore the crisis the organization is going through.

At strictly military level, things are working: NATO is a robust tool that enables us to plan, standardize and interoperate. But it mustn’t conceal the essential thing: there’s serious doubt about the American security guarantee and therefore about Article 5 of the treaty; there are also profound questions about allied solidarity, when the Turks attack the people who are combating Daesh [so-called ISIL]; finally, as you said, there’s a glaring lack of defence efforts by the Europeans, yet they should be forming their own pillar within the Alliance.

We can’t make do with this situation. The President’s wish is to sound the alarm on the eve of the London summit: NATO is the cornerstone of European defence and security, but it must adapt, profoundly.

The Head of State has spoken about this to the United States President, with whom common ground exists; they’ve agreed to meet again before the London summit.

NATO has already experienced a number of crises, and we mustn’t feel sorry for ourselves because of it; on the contrary, it’s healthy for an organization to rethink itself. What we’re proposing is to embark on a genuine strategic discussion with the allies on the Alliance’s future and the strength of our commitments within it. We’ll soon be making some specific suggestions to this effect./.

Published on 21/11/2019

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