Military alliances have been a constant in human history. The majority of military alliances from ancient to modern warfare were never genuinely comprehensive, and this would lead to politicking and, ultimately, a breakdown of the defensive pacts that led to renewed conflicts.

Learning from past mistakes, some of the most prominent military alliances today have incorporated accords, articles, and measures to enact if member states were to be embroiled in open conflict. One such alliance that has held firm since has been the NATO alliance, currently in its 74th year.

Amidst heightened geopolitical tensions today, some military alliances, including NATO, have found themselves intertwined with bureaucracy, which has wasted valuable time and resources when they are most needed.

NATO Attempts to Overcame Struggles with Turkey and Hungary

During the ongoing war in Ukraine, Finland, and Sweden, two neutral countries during the Cold War, reassessed their security apparatus. Realizing Russia would never give up its imperial ambitions, Stockholm and Helsinki applied for the NATO ascension last year.

The premiers of Turkey and Hungary realized they had a chance to blackmail the alliance into giving concessions as both member states have come under increased scrutiny over the past several years. Through their EU disputes, Hungary stalled the ascension of the Scandinavian nations alongside Turkey. Turkey, whose economy is in a recession, wanted upgraded F-16s and new EU negotiations.

Through months of struggles, NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, announced Turkey was ready to approve Sweden’s ascension at the Vilnius Summit, several months after they agreed to Finland. Hungary, which relies on fellow Turkic Council member Turkey, will now support both Scandinavian countries in the alliance.

Though NATO’s bureaucratic practices and politicking have wasted valuable time for potential member states, negotiations for ascension can be approved with member states on the same page. Nevertheless, NATO’s core charter will need to be revisited and perhaps rewrote to meet the age of politicking and blackmail today, with each member state having unlimited veto power.