A NATO summit to fight them all
NATO leaders will be in Madrid this week for their first summit since the war in Ukraine began. They will focus on arming Kyiv, tackling Turkey’s misgivings about membership for Finland and Sweden (Ankara is miffed at the Nordic countries for supporting dissident Kurds), and bolstering Europe’s “southern flank.”
Host Spain and others fear Russia could use North Africa as a launchpad — Moscow has mercenary forces expanding their operations in the Sahel and beyond — to threaten Europe. The key takeaway will be the Strategic Concept, NATO’s big-picture security plan, which gets updated every decade. The last one, in 2010, assessed the risk of war in Europe as “low,” and the most significant risk to NATO was member apathy (many weren’t paying their dues).
With a hot war raging on the alliance’s borders, the new security calculus is also likely to single out China as a security threat. That’s why US President Joe Biden will huddle on the sidelines with South Korea’s President Yoon Seok-youl and Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida, both serious China skeptics, in the first trilateral meeting between the East Asian neighbors and the US, their only military ally, since Yoon was elected earlier this year.