Calling NATO ‘Brain Dead’ was a ‘useful wake-up call’ - Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his controversial comments on NATO, telling reporters that by referring to the alliance as “brain dead,” he gave its members a “useful wake-up call,” RT reports.
Macron stuck by his words following a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Paris on Thursday. Stoltenberg was in the French capital to discuss, among other things, Macron’s declaration earlier this month that “what we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO.”
Macron diagnosed the venerable military alliance with brain death in light of an increasingly isolationist United States, and following member state Turkey’s military operation against western-backed Kurdish militias in Northern Syria last month.
His proclamation came as the alliance prepares to meet in London early next month. The summit marks NATO’s 70th anniversary. During these years, NATO has transformed from a guarantor of western security against the Soviet Union, to what critics say is an organization without a mission.
The French leader - who has previously called for the creation of an EU army, and envisions a more assertive Europe on the world stage - was heavily criticized for his remarks. Stoltenberg himself declared last week that “European unity cannot replace Transatlantic unity as we need both,” adding “we’re doing more together than we have for decades.”
Other European allies seem to have heeded Macron’s “wake-up call.” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas suggested the alliance set up a “panel of experts” to brainstorm its future, and “develop Nato further, both conceptually and politically.”