French President Emmanuel Macron told The Economist, a weekly, that the lack of US leadership is, as he put it, the death of NATO’s brain. He warned European countries that they could not count on US defense assistance.
Asked if he still believed in the effectiveness of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, according to which an attack on one of the allies is considered an attack on all NATO members, he replied: “I don’t know.”
Macron added that the US is showing signs of “turning its back on us,” as evidenced by Donald Trump’s sudden decision last month to withdraw troops from north-eastern Syria without consulting allies. As Reuters writes, this move surprised the most important European forces in NATO – France, Great Britain, and Germany. It also made it easier for Turkey – a NATO member – to conduct an armed operation against the Syrian Kurds. Macron then criticized NATO’s lack of response to the Turkish offensive.