The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries agreed at their last summit, which ended this Thursday (30), to reformulate their doctrine document and defined Russia as “the most significant and direct threat to the security of the Allies and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area”.
They also reinforced their positions in Eastern Europe, announced a controversial expansion with new members and also agreed to a joint investment of one billion euros in an “Innovation Fund”.
“At a time when [o presidente da Rússia Vladimir] Putin has destroyed peace in Europe and attacked the very principles of the rule-based order, the United States and our allies are striving to support Ukraine and bolster our defenses,” US President Joe Biden said.
The new doctrinal document also highlights that China, through its “declared ambitions and coercive policies”, seeks to “challenge our interests, security and values”. It can be read in full (in English) in this link.
Military and civil technology
The new Innovation Fund provides for investments in “artificial intelligence; big data processing; quantum technologies; autonomy; biotechnology and human enhancement; new materials; energy; propulsion and space”. Financial contributions are foreseen for dual-use technologies, which can have both civil and military purposes.
The announcements mark good news for the military-industrial complex, according to Flávio Rocha de Oliveira, professor of international relations at the Federal University of ABC (UFABC). As the United States owns the largest military industry in the world, and is also the country that spends the most on weapons, a considerable part of these resources will have to be converted into dollars.
The researcher cites the plan confirmed by the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, of the 30 countries in the alliance to increase their defense spending and cites a specific case: Germany. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Berlin announced substantial investments in its Armed Forces. The German Parliament approved a 100 billion euro package to modernize its military, enough to place Germany as one of the biggest military budgets in the world.
“The military-industrial complex, especially the US complex and the one linked to the US, that is, several European groups that have joint projects to enter the American market with US conglomerates, this industrial complex is clearly a winner [da cúpula da Otan]. There is already an increase in orders”, says Rocha to Brazil de facto.
The US Department of Defense says Washington has sent $6.1 billion in “security assistance” to Ukraine since the start of the war. Resources include helicopters, drones, weapons, artillery system, among others. In addition, reporting by The New York Times revealed that the US has a network of military commanders and spies helping to train Ukrainians in different parts of Europe. Some of them are in Ukraine itself, although not on the front lines, and provide training in areas to Ukrainians.
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The NATO summit was also marked by Turkey’s decision to lift its vetoes and agree to Sweden and Finland joining the military bloc. A memorandum of understanding was signed in Madrid, the capital of Spain and venue of the summit, and will for the first time leave the alliance on a direct border with Russia.
The approach of NATO and the advance of the alliance towards its borders is often pointed out by the Russians as a source of discontent and one of Moscow’s arguments to justify the invasion of Ukraine.
Putin said he sees no problem with the two countries joining NATO, which would increase the number of nations in the alliance to 32, and that he has no “territorial differences” with them, but stressed that “if military contingents and infrastructure were deployed there, we would be obliged to respond symmetrically and make the same threats to those territories from which threats to us have arisen”.
For Flávio Rocha de Oliveira, NATO’s new expansion is nothing new: “In the end, the entry of Sweden and Finland, despite being a diplomatic victory for NATO and a diplomatic defeat for Russia, is actually only confirming the obvious, these countries already have a whole device for the production of weapons, for the defense industry, for diplomatic consultation on the purchase of weapons from Western suppliers that is totally in line with NATO standards”.
Editing: Rodrigo Durao Coelho