With Turkey’s veto no longer an obstacle, Sweden and Finland now have a clear pathway to NATO membership. On June 28, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance had reached an agreement allowing the two countries to quickly join its ranks in an accelerated accession process, a compromise that satisfied the objections of Turkey, the sole holdout. It is likely that no country in NATO envisioned Turkey as a gatekeeper, but it is not inconceivable that this compromise could make that the norm. If this sets a precedent for Turkey to drag Erdogan’s agenda into global security and make them the rest of the alliance’s problem, such a precedent could enable authoritarian governments to function as spoilers and sow mistrust between allied countries, leaving human rights and democratic principles more vulnerable to becoming casualties of NATO protocol. I have written more on this subject here.
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