French President Emmanuel Macron says he believes NATO is undergoing “brain death,” lamenting a lack of coordination between Europe and the United States and unilateral actions in Syria by key member Turkey, in an interview published Thursday.
“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” Macron told The Economist magazine in an interview.
“You have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its NATO allies. None.
“You have an uncoordinated aggressive action by another NATO ally, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake,” he added, according to an English transcript released by The Economist.
Macron’s comments questioning the effectiveness of NATO threaten to send shock waves through the alliance ahead of a summit meeting in Britain next month.
NATO has already been hit by Turkey’s latest military operation against Kurdish militia in northern Syria — which was staunchly opposed by fellow members like France — and President Donald Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for the organization.
“There has been no NATO planning, nor any coordination. There hasn’t even been any NATO deconfliction,” Macron said.
And while NATO works well in communicating between armies and commanding operations, “strategically and politically, we need to recognize that we have a problem,” he said.
“We should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States,” he warned, adding that “In my opinion, Europe has the capacity to defend itself.”
Macron argued that Europe could do this if “it accelerates the development of European defense.”