- (october 2020)
The view from Europe: is NATO obsolete?
NATO never did much for Europe in economic terms. NATO protected the oceanic
trade routes but that mostly benefited the USA.
The European members of NATO had little interest in protecting oceanic
trade routes since most of their trade was with the Middle East and Africa
(and with the very protector of that route, the USA), but they accepted
NATO to protect themselves from the Soviet Union. Today NATO still exists
and, in fact, it has expanded to Eastern Europe, but the reason for its existence must have changed because the Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore.
The reason for its existence actually depends on whom you ask. From the US viewpoint, NATO is there to keep Europe and Canada anchored
to the USA, making them de facto a protectorate of the USA.
From the European viewpoint NATO exists to foster European integration, and
to prevent continental wars. A secondary goal for both the USA and Europe is
to protect Europe from Russia. Honestly, noone thinks that Russia is going to
invade Germany or Britain any time soon.
European trade has changed: it is less oriented towards the former colonies of Africa and the Middle East and more oriented towards China; and that route is not protected by NATO. It is only indirectly protected by the USA because of its own interests in the Middle East: by protecting the route from the USA to the Middle East, the USA is also protecting the route from Europe to China that China is developing with ports and railways.
Ironically, it is the USA that protects China's OBOR (the new Silk Road), and it's Europe that gets a free ride.
TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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