2022 NATO Leaders Summit, Spain

by Surajeet

June 29-30, Madrid, Spain

On the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, NATO leaders are again meeting in Madrid, Spain on June 29-30 to strengthen their resolve in bolstering their support to Ukraine. From the very beginning of the conflict, NATO has provided logistic, military, intelligence and economic support to Ukraine, in order to effectively resist the Russian occupation, and still continues to do so. This 2022 NATO Leaders Summit in Madrid has brought together all 30 Allied countries, leaders, founding members and NATO partners, showcasing their unity, and strength, thereby pledging support, full humanitarian assistance and solidarity for Ukrainian citizens and the Zelenskyy led government that is putting up a brave face and stiff resistance. 

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This meeting is also to brainstorm NATO’s eastward expansion strategy, and how it is going to forge an even stronger Transatlantic alliance, enrolling new NATO member countries like Finland and Sweden. As the US is a major contributor to NATO troops in Europe, it is thinking of increasing the existing number of military personnel in Eastern Europe, as it has already stationed more than 100,000 troops. As this alliance follows the principle that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all; NATO is thinking of bolstering its presence even further, from Baltic Sea to Black Sea.

Focus on Russia & China

The main focus of this summit is predominantly on Russia and China, as well as the growing strategic, military and economic partnership between these two countries. It is obviously a threat for Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, where NATO has plans of further expansion, taking into its fold some new member countries. For the first time, NATO has also invited its Asia-Pacific members (Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea) to this summit in Spain. This shows how this Transatlantic alliance is seriously thinking about forging bonds with new blocs, members and partners for further strengthening its resolve to create a dynamic world order, and build a robust mechanism or resistance for fighting the threat of ‘expansionism’, as posed by countries like the People’s Republic of China.

Security Challenges

This summit also focuses on fighting challenges and threats like cyber attacks, climate change and also on how to strengthen democratic values and traditional institutions. But, the primary focus is on expanded global partnership, wherein to include new alliance partners like Finland and Sweden, apart from building a stronger deterrence against any kind of future invasion by non-NATO blocs or countries. In this ever evolving security scenario in Europe, particularly on the eastern flank, NATO is planning to work on a new Strategic Concept, which was conceptualized and adopted in 2010, clearly outlining this alliance’s transformation, which is quite in line with NATO’s 2030 agenda.

The Bottomline

The crux of the matter is to strengthen, bolster and safeguard Euro-Atlantic security in response to Russia’s unwanted aggression in Ukraine, and the serious threats posed by China, its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its dangerous ‘expansionist’ ideology. This present summit is basically to brainstorm appropriate mechanisms and collective responses to protect countries, nations, individuals and groups against conflict related violence, and ways to minimize threats posed to member as well as non-member countries in Europe, as a whole. This is only possible by bigger contributions by alliance partners, both in terms of military assistance and economic support. This 2022 summit will also endorse a cohesive defense posture across mainland Europe, especially on the eastern flank to improve readiness of forces and enhance interoperability in every thinkable domain. Overall, this NATO summit in Spain is all about defense mechanisms, security, deterrence and inclusion of new members for redefining the existing world order in a new way. A world free from conflict, fear and threats.

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