North Atlantic Treaty Organization was set up in 1948 to defend Western Europe against Stalin’s aspirations, through military support to countries devastated during the Second World War. After downfall of the Soviet Union, countries from the former Eastern block have joined NATO. At that time NATO has lost enemy that justified its existence for over 40 years. Organization had to change strategy.
While still being an organization that protects its members, NATO started to involve itself into international crisis situations and conflicts as a mediator, striving to bring peace between all sides of a conflict.
Threats to Europe
Events that took place over last few years will probably change NATO again. Firstly, migrant crisis carries equally big terrorist threat for the whole of Europe. Turkey, the country that has second biggest army in the NATO is also a transit country for migrants and it becomes more and more often an arena of terrorist attacks. Last year in Ankara 150 people were killed, a few days ago at the airport in Istanbul – 41. Recent event of shooting down the Russian fighter jet, which violated Turkish airspace, haven’t improved security in Europe.
Furthermore, conflict in Ukraine (which is not a NATO member), resulting in Crimea annexation by the Russian Federation, has raised fears among countries of the former socialist block. Additionally, we have heard statements that were undermining feasibility of the article five of the North Atlantic Treaty. This article is the most important part of the Treaty, since it guarantees collective self-defense against external aggression.
Recently, probably for these reason NATO began to firmly demonstrate its strength. In June largest military exercise since 1989 were conducted in Poland. Steps towards deploying 4,5 thousand of troops in Poland and Baltic states were also taken.
Additionally NATO Summit will be held in Warsaw, in the heart of the dissolved Warsaw Pact military alliance. This decision is regarded by some political commentators as a demonstrative move.
What subject will be discussing during NATO Summit in Warsaw? Certainly terrorist threat and migration crisis. Few days ago the EU had issued a document pointing its strategic assumptions. The document proposed to deepen cooperation between EU and NATO.
Looking at the current situation, it is worth answering a question whether the time of new cold war is coming.