NATO, Europe must prepare to be abandoned by Washington: Atlantic
The report says that Europe must prepare for the worst-case scenario and establish and start implementing military plans to defend itself.
Europe and the United States are on the brink of experiencing a significant and historic separation in their international relations, which could cause a NATO collapse by 2025 if Republicans won the presidency, The Atlantic said in a report on Saturday.
The security interests of Europe and the GOP - which were greatly influenced by former US President Donald Trump - have never been so far apart, despite NATO's "massive success" as a military alliance since its conception in 1949. The security coalition's greatest achievement, according to the report, was winning the Cold War. Since then, it established itself as a constant global pillar.
Europe must prepare for a period where the United States becomes a less reliable partner in case a Republican takes office, given the political party's views on the war in Ukraine - a pointless and money-draining conflict that is not of US concern, but rather a European one.
According to the report, Trump was not an outlier in the Republican foreign policy. His anti-war stance on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and relentless criticism of NATO - considering it a burden on the US - has now become an established view in the party. One of his top arguments is that a prolonged war might end in a direct clash between the United States and Russia.
During presidential rallies in recent weeks, both politicians said that the aid to Ukraine must be heavily scrutinized, or even immediately suspended. While DeSantis made a more pragmatic proposition, Ramaswamy said that Russia should keep the parts in Ukraine it currently controls.
Trump, DeSantis and Ramaswamy collectively have the support of around three-quarters of Republican voters, the report said.
Conservative think tanks, who hawkishly supported Ukraine during the first months of the war and called for its NATO accession, are now saying that Biden should cut financial aid to Ukraine and produce a plan to end the conflict.
This view is even shared by popular Conservative figures. Most famously is Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News talk-show host who recorded the highest-rated primetime program as of 2020, and who has been very straightforward with his perspective on Ukraine: a conflict in which the United States should not be part of and only serves Biden's corrupt leadership and the weapons industry.
The growing sentiment within the GOP against continuing support to Kiev will be an exceptional challenge to the future viability of NATO.
However, European countries have a contrasting position, and see that the war in Ukraine is a direct threat to their future, the report said,
If Russia maintained control over the lands through any agreement, this would not result in peace but a form of permanent conflict where Russians are able to seize any land of countries in its direct vicinity, the report claimed.
If Trump or any Conservative were to win, Europe could come against a US administration that would suspend all aid to Ukraine.
Here, the stability of the continent could be compromised, and NATO would possibly become divided.
Europeans must prepare for such a scenario.
Europeans on their own
For a considerable number of years, Europe has predominantly followed the United States' lead on security issues.
This dynamic has yielded tangible advantages for Washington, as it has reinforced American dominance over NATO and enabled Europeans to reduce their defense budgets and invest their money elsewhere including their economies.
Europe, in that sense, is far behind the US' military capabilities compiled over the decades. This was evident in their support of Ukraine, where Europeans, despite believing that Kiev must be provided with powerful and modern weapons, were unable to deliver advanced weapons systems due to their shortage of military hardware and munition, as well as their lack of modern arms capable of facing the Russian advanced systems.
Here, the continent had to rely on the Americans to deliver weapons that were up to this task, including HIMARS, Abrams tanks, F-16 fighter jets, and Army Tactical Missile Systems equipment among others.
What Europe must prepare for from now, in the event that GOP dominate the American political scene, is shouldering the lion's share of the responsibility to support Ukraine's efforts; a substantial challenge in itself.
Preparations for such a scenario must include increasing defense spending and producing more advanced systems. This should start as soon as possible, as Europeans must devise a mindset that they will be on their own, and plan accordingly.
Over the years, military strategists in Europe have engaged in discussions about the idea of optimizing overall security by having individual European nations specialize their military capabilities to better utilize singular powers and implement them in a collective security framework.
However, if this concept fails to be materialized, a diplomatic crisis between member countries might erupt, as countries neighboring Russia are desperate to see it being defeated.
Also, not adopting a unified, military plan, countries across Europe might find themselves forced to follow the new US administration, even if it won by a Republican seeking to reach a deal with Moscow.
Failure to proactively prepare for the worst-case scenario will leave Europeans with no one else to hold responsible but themselves, the report concluded.
Democrats face grim options
The current reality in the United States, while seemingly complex, is simple. According to recent polls, the majority of Americans, from both parties, have now reached a point where they feel that their country has done enough for Ukraine and that Washington must focus on fixing the struggling economy, which is impacting their living standard severely.
Major American news outlets are also resonating with this realization, including ones that are on the Democrat's side, or leaning toward it. Prominent outlets such as The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times, while fierce advocates of arming Ukraine and supporting its war efforts, began releasing reports offering a darkened picture of the ground situation.
As Ukraine is depleting resources at an unsustainable rate, Biden has made a recent request for Congress to approve $20.6 billion more in aid for Ukraine, arguing that “the United States is committed to maintaining strong global opposition to Russia’s illegal war.”
But this policy is not sustainable at best and would fracture the United States' image and put it on a downhill trend in terms of global power at worst.
This situation may put Washington in a difficult dilemma: face fierce criticism, even from the administration's support base - like after Afghanistan - if it moves to put an end to the war in Ukraine without achieving previously committed terms, or pushing the war longer and bet on success further down the line, while the overall mood in the United States grows wary of the war. Both scenarios would eventually hurt Biden's reelection plans.
Furthermore, the situation takes on added importance when considering Poland's continuous deployment of troops along its border with Belarus. This serves as a stark reminder that a prolonged conflict could drag NATO into a direct conflict with Russia - an event with no predictable outcome for the world.