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NATO united on Ukraine but still not doing enough

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When it comes to the NATO summit and President Joe Biden’s performance as global leader, there’s the good news and the bad news.

Confronted with the dangerous ambitions of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, NATO appeared more unified than at any time since the Cold War. In fact, Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has effectively revived the Cold War.

Most NATO members are upping their defense budgets and pledging to upgrade their forces. A new military doctrine will increase NATO’s readiness to fight in Europe, if necessary. It also recognizes, for the first time, that China presents a challenge to members’ security.

Most amazing, Finland and Sweden, once the poster countries for military neutrality, requested and were invited to join NATO. As Russia’s neighbors, they recognized they needed protection from Putin’s dreams of territorial expansion. As Biden put it, Putin “wanted the Finlandization of NATO, but he got the NATO-ization of Finland.”

So Biden can take a victory lap for putting (potential) muscle behind his warning to Putin in Madrid: “We will defend every inch of NATO territory.” The president can also take credit for having warned Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, “NATO would not only get stronger, but would get more united.”

Yet Biden’s efforts to unify NATO — and thwart Putin — will fail if the alliance doesn’t prevent Russia from........

© Olean Times Herald

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