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NATO, Not the EU, is the Protector of Europe

Much has been said of the need to tackle the threat from Russia and China in recent weeks. In particular, when they spread lies, misinformation, and bullying around Europe in relation to the Coronavirus. Even trying baselessly to cast the blame on our American and British allies.

The European Union has so far failed to stand up and tackle the issue of misinformation in an appropriate way, showing constantly this weakness which her foes look for. I had to write to High Representative Borrell to demand answers in relation to allegations that they had allowed the Chinese Communists to alter phrasing in a report on the matter. His answers in the Foreign Affairs Committee were weak and instead accused the press of using racial stereotypes rather than directly addressing the issue. Days later, the EU Delegation in Beijing bowed again to pressure from the authorities of the Chinese Communist Party to amend an open letter that removed references to China’s responsibility for the pandemic.

Thankfully, NATO has been doing better. Showing a firm stance and resolution in the defence of our actual Allies in the world. Whilst the European External Actions Service has more or less passively and timidly reported on the spread of Russian and Chinese propaganda. NATO, by contrast, has been using its resources to counter the threat from misinformation. They have been working hard to create reliable fact sheets for the press to point out disinformation as they find it. At the same time, their public diplomacy division has been working in overdrive to produce content directly aimed at demonstrating the cohesion between member states.

They have been fast to demonstrate that their airlift capacity is being used to bring vital supplies of medical equipment across borders. My own country of Spain has received such deliveries from friends and allies in Eastern Europe in a diligent manner in stark contrast with the disastrous record in crisis management of the leftist government in Madrid. Foreign, local and private help could not save Spain of being catastrophically hit both by coronavirus and the Socialist-Communist government which will have to respond to Justice for the highest death rate per million inhabitants and the highest number of infected medical workers due to lack of equipment.

NATO has shown its true strength during this crisis – as an international organisation that can deliver for its members and its allies. All the talk in past years about difficulties in coordination among countries and soul searching inside NATO disappeared. And there we had effectiveness when we needed as we needed. NATO demonstrated again that it stands not just for the protection of its members during conflicts but also in other times of struggle. It is because of NATO’s strength that Russia and China have an interest in trying to undermine it.

And they’re messaging is targeted. Both Russia and China aim their propaganda claiming that NATO is divided at those on the left and on the collectivist-right. It is these people who share our enemies desire to undermine NATO – making them useful idiots or remunerated fellows in the campaign to weaken the west. For what I call the “social democratic mainstream” it is a matter of not just undermining or destroying NATO but replacing it with the fanciful dream of a European Army controlled by the council. It looks more moderate but it is not. Because every European defence force not fully integrated into NATO  would ultimately be a useless force in defending our nations in the same way – first and foremost because we would no longer have the decisive and essential support of the Americans, British or Canadians.

Of course, there is much more that NATO could be doing. And the new constellation after Coronavirus and the foreseeable polarisation will put the Chinese threat and expansionism on the NATO agenda. On the eastern border and the southeast with its new members, Northern Macedonia and Montenegro, NATO is fulfilling its duty of blocking Russia’s ambitions, while at the same time expanding the freedom of countries like Georgia, Ukraine and others who continue to live under in the shadow of Moscow.

A NATO partnership in Latin America with regional actors such as Brazil and Colombia, maybe Bolivia and Ecuador now in transition to democracy, could create inroads for aid and humanitarian work to help Venezuelans who are fleeing a communist regime backed by Russia and China. A partnership with Brazil and other Latin American countries could spur a combined international effort to combat organised crime and drug cartels that have filled the power vacuum in a region that has failed because of collectivism.

And in this sense, we should insist on one subject that has to be dealt with because it is a moral imperative for the Western democracies – freedom for Cuba and the end of generations-old Communist tyranny. The dictatorship in Havana is nowadays the command and control centre for international organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, laundering and political subversion in democracies. It is feasible and necessary to eliminate this 60 years old hyperactive epicentre of evil on the American continent.

Equally, they could take a more active role in stopping the traffic of illegal immigrants and cracking down on the bases of the trafficking gangs and militias in Libya and the whole North African coast on the Mediterranean. The EU has shown a complete lack of competence when it comes to managing the defence of the borders and returns of illegal immigrants and I have no doubt that a NATO mission there would be far more robust – especially as it would not have to listen to every petty complaint from those out of touch voices on the left mainstream in the European Parliament.

NATO is in far better shape than many thought and even desired. With President Donald Trump in the White House, discussions have been more outspoken and sometimes harsh but far more effective. And many countries are complying like never before with their promises. NATO has proven for the last 71 years, in very difficult times from the start of the Cold War, the Berlin Crisis or the Double Decision on Deployment of Cruise and Pershing to the intervention on the Balkans.

NATO is the only true and credible military defender of our way of life and has proven itself a model for international cooperation among free nations in the face of adversity. We should continue to place our full trust and support behind it for years to come.