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Post NATO Madrid Summit: Success for Alliance, Sanchez
Created by John Eipper on 07/01/22 5:23 AM

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NATO Madrid Summit: Success for Alliance, Sanchez (Consoly Leon Arias, Spain / Canary, 07/01/22 5:23 am)

The NATO summit held in Madrid, on June 29 and 30, has ended with a positive balance both for the unity of action of the allies and for the interests of Spain.

However, we must not lose sight of the fact that this summit has also identified the threats that the West will ultimately have to face in the coming years. The magnitude of these challenges is not minor. And that is why NATO leaves this summit anticipating the new international order that is to come. Thus, the allies have buried the geopolitical framework of the 20th century in Madrid and begun to position themselves in the face of the new challenges of the 21st century.

It is very revealing that the new Strategic Concept of Madrid has snatched from Russia the status of "strategic partner" that it enjoyed in the previous Strategic Concept, that of Lisbon 2010, to come to be considered the main threat to Euro-Atlantic security. Equally relevant is the mention for the first time of China, which the new Strategic Concept qualifies, with diplomatic restraint, as a "challenge." It is not difficult to intuit in this denomination a preparation for the authentic geopolitical threat that is already incubating. Because China, and not Russia, will be the power that will dispute the hegemony of the Euro-Atlantic axis and that will put in check the world order defined by the liberal democracies of the West.

In Madrid, the new international order of the 21st century has been defined--on the one hand, the bloc of democracies, sheltered by the military power of NATO; on the other, the bloc of autocracies, embodied by Russia, China and emerging countries not aligned with the West.  The Spanish Executive has scored several successes in this summit. Among others, for the relaunch of the friendly relationship between Spain and the US, badly damaged since the rudeness of former President Rodríguez Zapatero to the American flag in 2003. The expansion of cooperation in defense matters agreed by Sánchez and Biden is the first part of the success that the Spanish President can boast of. The reinforcements of the naval contingent at the Rota base and the joint commitment to monitor immigration in North Africa are part of the request that Spain has been working on for months.  NATO will take a renewed look towards its southern flank.

Sánchez's diplomatic victory lies in having managed to mark at least partially the agenda of the summit, redirecting the alliance's attention to the instability that threatens the southern border. The Spanish initiative has been decisive for the allies to agree to include in the new Strategic Concept the issues concerning North Africa and the Sahel.

Finally, there is no doubt that in recent days, Madrid has become the epicenter of the news, and has shown the world the image of 32 members.  They are more united than ever and willing to row in the same direction for the sake of humanity.

JE comments:  Possibly the most important outcome of the summit is what did not happen:  there was no breaking of ranks vis-a-vis Putin's aggression.  Still, the Spanish hosts raised a few eyebrows when they put ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad) on the menu.  Granted, this national take on potato salad is every bit as Spanish as olives, paella, and squid in its own ink.

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