03 August 2018

George Friedman: NATO exists as an organization, does not have the unity that NATO had before 1992

Indira Crasnea | Laura Buciu

NATO exists as an organization because “everyone has a common interest”, but, at this moment, no longer has the unity the Alliance had before 1992, said, in an interview for Defence and Security Monitor, the founder and president of Geopolitical Future, George Friedman.

We are presenting the interview offered by George Friedman, the founder and president of Geopolitical Future, for Defence and Security Monitor.


Reporter: do you think we can talk, at this moment, about a long-term Cold War?

George Friedman: I do not think we are in a Cold War. I think we are in a tense situation, and this is normal for human beings. Russia is not what it once was, neither the US is not what it once was, NATO the same. I think instead of saying “new Cold War” we should talk about the new reality, in which Russia is a certain sort of power, Turkey is very important, Romania and the US are allied. I think it is simply to talk about this as a new era, but not compared to the Cold War.

Reporter: In concrete terms, which is the future of NATO-Russia treaty? It is only suspended or it is about to be cancelled?

George Friedman: NATO existed because everybody had a common interest. Not, everybody in NATO does not have a common interest anymore: Portugal, Italy or Holland does not have the same interests or concerns as Poland or Romania. And so, going to a war is a very serious matter, it is not something done by diplomats, it is by young men and women, many of them who are going to die. The US is prepared to assume commitments regarding military forces for Romania and Poland, about other countries we do not know what commitments assumed, and we know they did not commit any major thinks now. So, I would argue that to discuss NATO you have to discuss how many weapons, how many people you have, how much political will you have to send people to war. And for most of NATO that is not true, they do not have this possibility. So NATO exists as an organization, but it does not have the unity that NATO had before 1992.

Reporter: how do you see the relation between the US and Russia in 5 years?

George Friedman: Russia is an economic weak power. It was hardly hurt by the oil crisis. It is making military and political gestures to show that it is still powerful. The US is an island between the Atlantic and the Pacific, it has other concerns: Korea, China, Middle East and obviously an interest in containing Russia’s influence, but I do not think the Russians can have a serious war, especially with the US. I think that what they will do it to create tensions to try to obtain political results, but I would be very surprised to be at war, but then surprises happen, this is Europe. In Europe never assume best, so that is why we have our Alliance.

(The Global Studies Center of “Lucian Blaga” University in Sibiu organized on 1-2th of June, 2018, the international conference “Emerging Importance of Wider Black Sea Area Security”, with the support of Romania’s President, Romani’s ambassador in the US, being co-financed by Sibiu’s City Hall).