As part of the program Regional Initiative for combating disinformation “Western Balkans Combatting disinformation Center: Exposing malicious influences through fact-checking and Analytical Journalism“, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.
NATO could collapse by 2025 due to Ukraine war
The beginning of September was marked by the news of the dissolution of the NATO and USA-Europe division. Numerous portals that are the subject of our research have published an identical or slightly modified version of this news, including the statements of certain analysts.
Namely, the news resonated with the Atlantic article which was afterward conveyed by Russia Today, dated September 3. pointing out that Europe and the United States are at a turning point in relations due to the conflict in Ukraine. The reason behind the deterioration of relations is the potential uprise of the Republicans in the USA, which will radically change foreign policy by ending the previous support for Ukraine and leading to the collapse of NATO. The priorities of the Republican Party and the interests of Europe in the field of security are very different, and Europeans must prepare for an independent policy if Donald Trump comes to power in November 2024, reports RT.
Three days after this news, the Webtribune and Srbin.info portals broadcast the Atlantic article stating identical arguments regarding the deterioration of relations, and the split between the Republican Party and European security priorities, leading to the abandoning of Ukraine by the new administration. As an addition to this narrative, the same portals convey the statement of retired intelligence officer Scott Ritter, that NATO will cease to exist in 5-10 years at the most. As the reason, he cites the lack of unity among the members, which is reflected, among other things, in the behavior of Turkey, which is hindering the expansion of NATO and represents a danger for Greece as a NATO member.
Therefore, the Atlantic article that was reported by the pro-Russian media in Serbia, and then spiced up with the statements of Scott Ritter, is not based on solid foundations and facts, but is based on potential scenarios if the Trump administration wins the 2024 elections, and then deals with speculations about the views of the administration that still do not exist. If we begin with the statement that Trump is trying to abolish NATO because of the administration’s views, we can say that it is pure disinformation, because he never said that. Trump did question the relevance and effectiveness of NATO, he suggested that the US might reconsider its commitment if NATO members did not respect the defense budget and their responsibilities accordingly. His “America First” policy emphasized the need for a fair distribution of costs and responsibilities among NATO members. However, what is important to note is that Trump’s views on NATO have been controversial and have not been universally adopted within his administration or among US policymakers.
Many officials, both within the United States and among NATO allies, emphasized the importance of the alliance and collective defense. Even the officials of the Republican Party themselves do not have as much skepticism as Trump, and as a potential new president, he often uses populist methods and “big” words for campaign purposes.
Furthermore, without taking a position that would advocate for the NATO community, but purely analyzing the factual situation, it is necessary to mention the brief genesis of the existence of this community. NATO was formed in 1949 and during its existence, it faced many challenges such as: the Cold War, adaptation after the Cold War, conflicts in the Balkans, expansion, counter-terrorist operations, adapting to hybrid threats, and many others. Each of the mentioned challenges was said to be decisive for the disintegration of NATO, especially in pro-Russian portals.
Additional reasons that complicate the disintegration of the NATO community are common interests, interconnectedness of members, and their integration into a unified security system. The basic principle of NATO is collective defense, contained in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. This article states that an attack on one or more members is considered an attack on all members, and each member agrees to take measures to maintain the security of other members. This type of interdependence creates a strong bond between member states, making it difficult for any member to withdraw without significant consequences.
Also, NATO member countries share common democratic values and interests. The community provides a certain type of institution for these countries to cooperate on security issues, share intelligence, and coordinate military actions. Alignment of values such as democracy and guaranteed freedoms, fosters a sense of solidarity among members and a kind of raison d’etre (reason for existence) of the community itself.
As mentioned previously, terrorism, regional conflicts, and geopolitical tensions are also mentioned as challenges. NATO, accordingly, serves as a key mechanism for collective security. Member countries recognize the value of a united front in addressing these challenges and thus contribute to the durability of the alliance.
Although challenges and disagreements may arise among NATO members, as certain analysts like Scott Ritter try to show in his latest statement. The combination of shared values, historical ties, common interests, and practical benefits of cooperation make NATO’s breakup difficult. Additionally, the alliance’s ability to adapt and develop in response to changing circumstances further contributes to its durability which can be observed throughout its entire genesis.
Author: Đorđe Terek