Felipe González regrets the lack of interest of the youth of NATO and the return to “looking at the navel”

Aznar and Rajoy agree on the importance of the Alliance looking to the south and the threats coming from Africa


Former Prime Minister Felipe González believes that, 40 years after joining NATO, there is a “return to looking at the navel” and “withdrawing” in society, showing interest only in what is happening in Spain.

This phenomenon is manifested above all among those under 45 years of age, who are the ones who show “least interest” in the Atlantic Alliance, according to González in an article published by the Elcano Royal Institute as part of a special for the anniversary of the entry of Spain in the international organization.

The work has the contribution of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez; all his predecessors in the Executive; the Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares; Defense, Margarita Robles; and his predecessors in the Department; in addition to other protagonists and international leaders.

In his article, González asserts that Spain’s entry into the Atlantic Alliance changed the perspective of the Armed Forces, causing them to “stop looking at the internal enemy and begin to contemplate a European and international horizon”.

“Now it seems that there is a return to looking at the navel, to retreat, showing interest only in what is happening in Spain –he laments–. Despite the fact that today there is wide support for NATO and its membership, they are the youngest , those under 45, those who seem to show less interest.

Instead, he claims that the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has demonstrated the “usefulness” of NATO and shown that it is a “necessary instrument”, “at least to limit his imperialist desires and reduce them to his sphere of sovereignty”.


In this regard, Aznar reviews Spain’s accession to the NATO integrated military structure that took place during his mandate and that allowed Spain access to positions of responsibility and recalls that one of Spain’s efforts has always been the recognition of existing risks in North Africa. “A look to the south that in no way detracts from what NATO can and must do to guarantee the stability and security of allies in the east,” he explains.

Mariano Rajoy agrees with him, who assures that this was precisely one of his greatest “endeavours” during his years in office, with the aim that “attention towards eastern Europe would not be to the detriment of the southern flank”.

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, for his part, explains his “desire for dialogue and availability” from the Palacio de la Moncloa in favor of NATO, which recognizes that it is currently at a “difficult crossroads”.

In his opinion, after “the failure” of Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, it is necessary to reconfigure a global security scheme that “should be anchored in the United Nations and in which NATO must continue to play its role as a transatlantic alliance.”

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