Macron: NATO experiencing 'brain death'

Macron: NATO experiencing 'brain death'
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French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronFrance's Macron exposes profound shifts in global strategic priorities World leaders to gather in Israel for fight against anti-Semitism forum Putin is making a move while America is distracted MORE warned in a new interview that NATO is undergoing "brain death" due to a lack of commitment from its primary benefactor, the United States.

In an interview published Thursday with The Economist, Macron warned that the Trump administration's decision to conduct unilateral military actions such as the withdrawal of troops from Syria indicated that nations in the alliance were less committed to upholding long-standing mutual defense agreements.

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"What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO," Macron said.

"I don't know [whether Article Five remains in effect]," Macron said, referring to the collective defense agreement. "But what will Article Five mean tomorrow?”

NATO "only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such," the French leader continued. "I'd argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States."

Macron's remarks are some of the harshest public criticism President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE has faced from world leaders over his decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria ahead of a Turkish invasion of the region last month.

The president faced bipartisan furor on Capitol Hill over the move, which Republicans and Democrats alike denounced due to Turkey's subsequent assault against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in the region.

NATO's future as a defensive alliance appeared in question earlier this year when it was reported that the president had floated withdrawing the U.S. from the pact multiple times throughout 2018.