The Future of NATO, is it on the Verge of Collapse?

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

This month has marked the seventieth anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) founding. It seems that NATO’s 70th anniversary brings daunting challenges that may result in a complete change in its nature. NATO faces internal divisions and serious and complex challenges to its purpose, effectiveness, and unity. These challenges are mainly focused on the alliance’s relationship with three countries: America, Russia, and Turkey. France’s President has described the alliance as “brain dead”,  Turkey is asking for more support in its unilateral invasion in Syria and President Donald Trump continues to complain over the allies’ low defense spending. 

Before approaching to discuss NATO’s current strategic challenges, it is crucial to briefly introduce its major roles and duties. NATO alliance provides protection and support for Europe by defending it from conventional and nuclear attacks, “NATO’s article 5 stipulates that an attack on one is an attack on all”.  This alliance also grants the European Union and the United States a secure geopolitical landscape. This alliance which includes 29 members is seen to be the largest and most effective alliance of democratic countries in the world. It has a powerful role in fighting Russian attacks and helping over 100 million East Europeans enjoying an atmosphere of democracy and freedom after the fall of communism.

As credible reports, national officials and political commentators indicate, NATO nowadays seems to be brittle, struggling to stand up to a looming perilous threat from within. The main core of the alliance which is democracy, is degraded by some allied governments. To illustrate,  Turkey’s operation targeting the Kurdish fighters in northern Syria has caused new divisions in NATO. The Turkish attack on YPG/PKK terrorists who played a major role in the fight against ISIS faced widespread international criticism and urged some NATO countries to stop making new arms deals for Turkey. This operation particularly

Days before NATO’s December summit, the French and Turkish presidents exchanged accusations. The French president Macron described the alliance of NATO brain dead and considered the Turkish operation in northern Syria as a threat to international coalition operations against ISIS. In rebuff of the French leader, the Turkish president said that ” French President Emmanuel Macron should check his own head before describing NATO “brain dead”. Consequently, French politicians criticized the insults of the Turkish, calling for France to take firm steps against Erdogan, impose sanctions on Turkey and sever mutual ties.

In addition to the Turkish operation, President Trump withdrew his forces that were close to the French forces east of the Euphrates without coordination with France, this would strongly affect the relationships between the NATO state members and weaken the position of NATO as a democratic and powerful organization. Needless to say, committing such unplanned actions threatens the long-standing values of NATO, which are democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

NATO significantly suffers from Challenges from Beyond its Borders. Russia poses a serious security threat and a strategic challenge facing NATO.  Russia’s aggressive attacks in Georgia and Ukraine are considered a serious threat to the European continent. Also, the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty mainly contributed to intensifying the current challenges.

Russia’s sophisticated S400 surface-to-air missile system and other weapons exporting to Turkey are considered as a strategic challenge facing the alliance. By buying weapons from Russia, resulted risks give Russia the military advantage. The recent relationship between Turkey and Russia contradicts  NATO’s direction of travel. This has always been the case that Putin wants, which is seizing every possible opportunity to enlarge the gap between Turkey and the West.

The US President Donald trump’s reiterated criticism of the NATO and its members poses a major problem threatening the future and present of the historical organization. Amid the wave of the US election campaign, Donald Trump described NATO as an “obsolete” organization. This worried the European Union, which promptly took needed precautions by rearranging its defense plans to maintain its security away from Washington. According to the New York Times, US President Donald Trump has also proposed the United States withdrawal from NATO on different occasions and expressed his desire to do so several times, a decision that would broadly affect the global community and indicate a major victory for Russia. Weakening NATO has been a goal for Putin a long time ago, and America’s
Russia’s sophisticated S400 surface-to-air missile system and other weapons exporting to Turkey is considered as a strategic challenge facing the alliance. By buying weapons from Russia, resulted risks give Russia the military advantage. The recent relationship between Turkey and Russia contradicts NATO’s direction of travel. This has always been the case that Putin wants, which is seizing every possible opportunity to enlarge the gap between Turkey and the West.


The US President Donald trump’s reiterated criticism of the NATO and its members poses a major problem threatening the future and present of the historical organization. Amid the wave of the US election campaign, Donald Trump described NATO as an “obsolete” organization. This worried the European Union, which promptly took needed precautions by rearranging its defense plans to maintain its security away from Washington. According to the New York Times, US President Donald Trump has also proposed the United States withdrawal from NATO on different occasions and expressed his desire to do so several times, a decision that would broadly affect the global community and indicate a major victory for Russia. Weakening NATO has been a goal for Putin a long time ago, and America’s withdrawal from NATO would be an ideal step for the Russian leader. This persistent thought of trump to withdraw from NATO has raised concerns among national security officials, and as reports say the NATO officials have done their best over the past year to persuade Trump to stay committed to the uprooted alliance.

Trump repeatedly complains that the European governments do not spend enough on the mutual defense costs, burdening the US seriously. He also expressed his disappointment with European leaders as they had not immediately pledged to spend more. Moreover, he indicates that his country would not shoulder the burden of protecting European countries without adequate spending. Trump additionally proposed the withdrawal of US forces unless they were paid in return, which sparks many questions on the relationship developments between NATO and America. His complaint seems to be convenient as nowadays only nine alliance members are spending on defense the agreed-upon proportion, which is 2 percent of their GDP.


To conclude, NATO has been a symbol of security in Europe—and of U.S. foreign policy—for seventy years. This alliance was formed in 1949 to deter the Soviet Union, to link the United States with Europe, and to prevent Soviet aggression against European states that are located just to the west of Soviet or satellite border lands. But its ability to paly such an essential rule is unobvious at the moment. Accordingly, some commentators and political officials believe that the alliance is on the verge of collapse, while several states members consider the current challenges could be tackled like any past problems faced the alliance and solved with unity, democracy, and understanding.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit