French President Emmanuel Macron once said the 'NATO is brain dead.' Considering all the confusion the alliance is facing at critical moments, this statement has some basis. Lack of trust among the member countries and lack of cooperation and coordination have become some pervasive features of the strongest military alliance in modern history.
The NATO leaders' meeting went better than expected. In the alliance's final communique, released after talks concluded on Dec. 4, nations reiterated their commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, stressed the importance of financial burden-sharing and underlined their intention to seek a common position regarding migration, as well as a united front on cyber and hybrid threats. Noting Russian aggression as posing a possible threat, NATO members called for dialogue with Moscow on intermediate-range missiles. Furthermore, as per Washington's request, the organization hinted it would be turning its attention to the Asia-Pacific region, in a nod to Beijing's expanding influence.
Sallust, a Roman historian and a contemporary of Julius Ceasar was popularized in writings on contemporary international relations after the end of the Cold War. Those who connect the works and writings by him to the evolving international order mostly used the concept of "metus hostilis," the fear of an enemy. Sallust in his writings stated that a lack of common enemy can be detrimental for the unity and integrity of the state. According to him, the destruction of Rome's rival Carthage brought significant domestic discord for Rome.
NATO will celebrate its 70th birthday on Dec. 4 in London. The celebratory summit, which 29 world leaders plan to attend, is expected to be somewhat painful. The trans-Atlantic alliance, which has major accomplishments under its belt, is deeply divided over the diverging interests of its members.