“We are in one of the most complicated and atrocious moments since the fall of the Berlin Wall.” Margaret Oaks she is one more among the authors to point out that diagnosis, and she is clear in her prescription: “If we want a better future in Europe and with more opportunities for Africa, it will be with NATO as guarantor”.
The Minister of Defense has closed this Tuesday, in the auditorium of the Diplomatic School, the conference on The future of NATO after the Madrid Summitinaugurated in the morning by his cabinet mate, Jose Manuel Albares. The truth is that Robles’ message was categorizedrich: “Security and peace are not going to be given to us by anyone, it is our obligation to preserve them”.
Thus, if the foreign minister marked the summit as the starting point of “a job that Putin will not make easy for us”, Robles highlighted the fact that “distant democracies such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea came to Madrid to, under the umbrella of the Alliance, defend our values and principles against Putin’s Russia”.
[Albares: “La Cumbre de la OTAN en Madrid es el inicio de un trabajo que Putin no nos pondrá fácil”]
For more repeated, that phrase from the beginning, that of the Wall, is still true. Barely 33 years have passed and already a large part of the adult population barely remembers the world order change that happened in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Or he didn’t even experience it.
But we live in a moment, in a certain way, similar, according to the head of Defense: “That two great democracies like Sweden and Finland, which had neutrality as one of their hallmarksjoined NATO on Tuesday clearly indicates the threats to our values and principles.”
Robles wanted to value “the success of the Alliance Summit in Madrid”. And despite the fact that she is one of the most responsible for her organization and for the objectives achieved, he assured that the sentence was “absolutely objective”.
And in that sense, he valued the logistics exhibition, “the work of the Security Corps and Forces”, which in more than 10,000 troops were mobilized last week in the capital “and the Air Force that patrolled the skies those days”.
“Trenches and Attrition”
As head of Defense, it was to be expected that the minister would put the weight in two aspects. The first, the one in which Spain is a leader within the Alliance, which is in the commitment to send troops to NATO missions abroad. “In the 40 years of our country as an ally, we have participated in almost all the missions, and today we have more than 650 personnel in Latviathree ships in the Mediterranean Yet the air police guarding the skies in lithuania“.
Robles did not want to stop “remember and honor the 119 men and women who have died on those missions”. For the minister, “there is no better way to defend peace than by sacrificing even one’s own life.”
Because that is the objective of the Alliance: “Those who know me -I am already a few years old- will understand how important it is for me to read the first paragraphs of the new Strategic Concept full of words like peace, rule of law, freedom, human rights… it moves me“.
The second aspect that Robles referred to was the commitment of all the allies to increase their investment in Defense and in contributions to NATO: “We are experiencing a conflict in Europe that is not like the Second World War, but the First, a trench warfare and attrition“, he diagnosed. “So it is presumed long.” And that implies a total commitment of the (already 32) members of the Alliance.
“The main image we gave was one of unity, and that’s a strong message to Putin“, he remarked. “What we are playing for in Ukraine is our model of freedoms, let no one doubt that each State has the right to choose its present and its futureand that you cannot allow another country to try to impose them.” If today is Ukraine, he said, “Tomorrow it could be Moldova, or Georgia… and then?”.
unity and message
That is why, he insisted, it was so important that the thirty allies joined, those days in Madrid, the four EU partners that are not in NATO -Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and Austria-, the Indo-Pacific states , or the delegations of Jordan and Mauritania. “I was in the sessions and each delegation used the word ‘unity’ I don’t know how many times in defense of peace and democracy”.
As a new message to the minority partners of the government coalition, the minister demanded that “Hopefully that unity of action and in the objectives we can also see in Spain”.
The world has changed “and it has been Russia,” he said Joe Biden at the last press conference of the Summit. The first anniversary of the “heroic evacuation of Kabul”, piloted by our Armed Forces. That was the premiere of the American president in the international concert and also one of the episodes in which, according to the minister, Spain showed its best side.
But the withdrawal of the West was also, “a real flop”Robles recalled, after 20 years of mission. “And the women and girls of Afghanistan have returned to the burka and to the confinement in their houses without freedom”, she concluded sadly. “That has to make us reflect, and continue working for freedomthat nobody gives it away”.
Follow the topics that interest you