What's next for NATO in the Indo-Pacific after Ukraine?
What do you think?
The invasion of Ukraine has altered the European security architecture for generations to come. Finland and Sweden announced they will be applying for membership in the NATO alliance. This comes after decades worth of time being neutral and is just an indication of the first statement.
Even as the Nordic countries look to get added on board, Turkey has repeatedly stated it will not accept the membership of Findland nor Sweden due to past support for the Kurdish PKK. It is also very doubtful that Turkey ever changes this outlook.
The acceptance of Findland into NATO will more than double the length of the alliance’s borders with Russia, so how will this affect the relationship of NATO with Russia? Military resources have been ultimately consumed in Ukraine, so are the NATO allies decreasing focus and resourcing in the Indo-Pacific?
NATO was never meant to be engaged in the Indo-Pacific region and these areas have nothing to do with the defense of the countries within NATO. Expansion even close to this region would cause relations with Russia and China to dissolve almost immediately.
All in all, it doesn’t seem good for the United States. NATO has witnessed declines in relevance for some time now (since the Cold War) and this is a fortunate thing from the American perspective. Many American lawmakers have been anxious surrounding the topic of China as a peer competitor.
Remember, during Obama's first term, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed to a "Russia reset," hoping to strengthen relations between Washington and Moscow in anticipation of an American "Pivot to Asia" to contain the PRC.
It is vital to this strategy of containing China that the United States alone draw down commitment to Europe and the Middle East. However, the United States hasn’t been able to pull this off with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dragging on much longer than expected, and now the Russian - Ukraine war is causing the United States to redouble its commitment to NATO.
That aspect is very bad from the American perspective. The primary interest should be in maintaining hegemony by containing potential peer competitors. Russia is currently too weak to be a genuine peer competitor to the United States. However, this is also enticing Russia to build a bigger alliance with China and the United States is left in a new Cold War.