Effect of COVID-19 on the NATO Alliance   [open html - 0B]

From the Article: "It is too early to ascertain the long-term impact of the coronavirus crisis on the health of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease] pandemic is adding strains to pre-existing fracture points within the alliance. The news that former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana has contracted the virus serves as a potent reminder that, like people, an alliance can sicken. Faced with a massive health care catastrophe--along with all of the economic damage that quarantines and lockdowns create--it is going to become increasingly difficult for any political figure in Europe, and increasingly inside the United States itself, to argue that resources, tax dollars, and euros should be earmarked for increased defense spending. Even before the coronavirus burst onto the scene, there were long-standing disputes--exacerbated by President Donald Trump's willingness to escalate the pressure--over spending and burden-sharing among NATO members. Even a perceived threat from Russia--which diminishes the further west and south one goes in Europe--may not be enough to sustain the spending increases that we have seen European states undertake since the 2014 annexation of Crimea and Moscow's intervention in Eastern Ukraine. Economic recovery will take priority over military spending."

Foreign Policy Research Institute
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