Germany warns France against undermining NATO alliance
BERLIN: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Sunday against undermining NATO, in Berlin's strongest response to date to French President Emmanuel Macron's critical remarks about the security alliance.
Macron told The Economist this week that NATO was experiencing "brain death", citing a lack of coordination and U.S. unpredictability under President Donald Trump. He also expressed doubt about the U.S.-led alliance's security maxim that an attack on one ally would be treated as an attack on all.
"It would be a mistake if we undermined NATO. Without the United States, neither Germany nor Europe will be able to effectively protect themselves," Maas wrote in a column published online by Der Spiegel magazine.
Maas supported Macron's call to strengthen Europe's defence capabilities. "That's why together with France, we are working hard to build a Europe that works much closer together in security policy," Maas wrote.
France has traditionally had an ambivalent role in NATO, taking no part in its strategic military planning from 1966 to 2009 despite being a founding member.
Still Macron's comments - a month before NATO's Dec. 4 summit in London - were unexpected. Germany, for its part, has been accused by the United States and European allies of spending too little on defence.