During the recent weeks, NATO military officials have made quite a few attempts to demonstrate the power and the resources of the alliance to Russia. The results of those demonstrations have turned out to be somewhat surprising.
NATO's demonstration of military power (the events that were taking place near Russia's borders can hardly be referred to as "military drills") has given rise to questions, political analyst Dmitry Yevstafiev wrote in an article for the Izvestia newspaper. Many wondered whether NATO drills came as a "cover operation" for NATO strategic forces to strike a preemptive blow on Russia. After the exercises, many assumed that the Baltic States remained just as defenseless as they were before. To crown it all, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier called NATO's actions in Eastern Europe "saber-rattling."
"Undoubtedly, the alliance remains the most powerful military and political coalition in the modern world. Yet, NATO's available resources are no longer sufficient to maintain the political status, which the alliance has been claiming for since the 1990s, not to mention the ambitions that NATO demonstrated during the 2000s," Yevstafiev wrote. According to him, NATO's current leadership is using propaganda mechanisms as a trouble-free substitute for real opportunities and political wisdom.
The problem is that no one is afraid of NATO by default anymore. The alliance is forced to prove its ability to "deter the enemy," although there are not enough resources for such activities, the analyst believes.
The state of affairs inside NATO objectively reflects the state of affairs in Europe, and in the West in general. The image of "winners in the Cold War" still has a significant influence. The structure of the alliance, established in the 1970-1980s, is still striking in its scale, integrity and redundancy. Yet, there are no people to fill this structure. There is no money to maintain it, no forces to make it move and no political will to reform it.
Thus, in the years to come, NATO will have to either trigger profound reforms without any guarantee of survival or sharply increase the military burden for the Europeans. Should the trend does not break in the coming 18 months, the belief in NATO as an alliance of no alternative will begin to evaporate, just like the belief in the indestructible European Union.
"The weak may often attack first in a hope to gain at least temporal advantage , and there were many examples of that in history," the analyst said.
The main threat to stability in Europe is NATO's weakness that the alliance is hiding under the guise of military power. It could be a good joke if it were a joke. One must not look away from NATO now, Yevstafiev concluded.