Hagel Warns NATO Faces North-South Split

Southern Members Sick of Talking About Russia

Fresh from his last NATO meeting, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel today warned that there is a growing division within the alliance along a north-south axis.

Hagel saw the problem as two-fold, and seemed to blame southern member nations on both counts, saying the north wants to focus on “the growing threat from Russia,” while southern nations are worried about Northern Africa.

That’s a big, obvious division, but Hagel also saw a problem in that many of the nations with less gargantuan militaries believe the alliance can only handle a war with one or the other, while Hagel assured it was a time for unity and heavy military investment so NATO could fight a whole bunch of conflicts at once.

Ultimately, this split reflects the reality that NATO hasn’t had a “unified threat” since the Cold War ended, and keeping the alliance around for the sake of hostility toward whoever the US is riled up against at any given time is making less and less sense.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.