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美国选情为北约峰会蒙上阴影,成员国如何克服信心危机?

DAVID E. SANGER, LARA JAKES

2024年7月10日

美国总统拜登、乌克兰总统泽连斯基以及其他领导人去年在立陶宛的北约年会上。北约成员国将于周二在华盛顿举行峰会。 Doug Mills/The New York Times

When President Biden and his aides planned the 75th anniversary of NATO, which opens on Tuesday evening in Washington, it was intended to create an aura of confidence.

美国总统拜登及其助手策划于周二晚在华盛顿举召开的北约成立75周年峰会时,为的是营造出一种充满信心的氛围。

The message to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and other potential adversaries would be that a larger, more powerful group of Western allies had emerged, after more than two years of war in Ukraine, more dedicated than ever to pushing back on aggression.

他们想传递给俄罗斯总统普京及其他潜在对手的信息是,在俄乌战争进行了两年多之后,一个更大、更强有力的西方盟友团体已经出现,这个团体比以往任何时候都更加致力于反对侵略行径。

But as 38 world leaders began arriving here on Monday, that confidence seems at risk. Even before the summit formally begins, it has been overshadowed by the uncertainty about whether Mr. Biden will remain in the race for a second term, and the looming possibility of the return of former President Donald J. Trump.

但随着38名世界领导人自周一起抵达华盛顿,这种信心似乎处于危险中。有关拜登是否继续竞选连任的不确定性,以及前总统特朗普再次上台的迫在眉睫的可能性,甚至在峰会正式开始之前就给其蒙上了阴影。

Mr. Trump once declared NATO “obsolete,” threatened to exit the alliance and more recently said he would let the Russians do “whatever the hell they want” to any member country he deemed to be insufficiently contributing to the alliance. In recent days, as Mr. Trump has edged up in post-debate polls, key European allies have begun discussing what a second Trump term might mean for the alliance — and whether it could take on Russia without American arms, money and intelligence-gathering at its center.

特朗普曾宣称北约“过时了”,威胁要让美国退出北约,他还在最近一度表示会放任俄罗斯对那些在他看来对北约贡献不足的成员国“随便干什么都行”。近日来,随着特朗普在大选辩论后的民意调查中领先,欧洲的主要盟友们已开始讨论特朗普再次当选对北约意味着什么,以及北约能否在没有以美国的武器、资金和情报收集为核心的情况下同俄罗斯较量的问题。

Mr. Biden will greet the leaders in the vast Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium a few blocks from the White House on Tuesday night — the same room where the treaty creating NATO was signed in 1949, in a ceremony presided over by President Harry S. Truman. Mr. Biden was 6 years old at the time, and the Cold War was in its infancy.

周二晚,拜登将在距离白宫几个街区的巨大的安德鲁·梅隆礼堂欢迎各国领导人。创建北约的条约就是1949年在这个礼堂签署的,主持签约仪式的是杜鲁门总统。拜登当时只有六岁,冷战才刚刚开始。

He is now 81 and perhaps the most vocal advocate in Washington for an alliance that has grown from 12 members in 1949 to 32 today as the era of superpower conflict has roared back. But as they gather on Tuesday evening, the leaders will be watching Mr. Biden’s every move and listening to his every word for the same signals Americans are focused on — whether he can go the distance of another four years in office.

拜登现已81岁,他也许是美国政府中最为坚定的北约倡导者,随着超级大国冲突的时代回归,该组织已从1949年的12个成员国增加到今天的32个。但各国领导人将在周二晚密切观察拜登的每个举动,注意听他的每句话,寻找美国人同样在关注的信号——他能否在总统位置上再坚持四年。

Mr. Biden knows that, and said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC on Friday that he welcomed the scrutiny. “Who’s going to hold NATO together like me?” the president asked rhetorically. “I guess a good way to judge me,” he said, is to watch him at the summit — and to see how the allies react. “Come listen. See what they say.”

拜登知道这点,并在上周五接受美国广播公司的乔治·斯特凡诺普洛斯采访时说,他乐意接受这种审视。“还有像我这样把北约团结在一起人吗?”总统反问道。他说,“我以为,评判我的好办法”是在峰会上观察他的举止,观察盟国的反应。“来听听。看看他们怎么说。”

08dc biden nato 1949 hjmw master1050美国总统杜鲁门(左二)1949年在华盛顿出席北大西洋公约组织条约签署仪式。

As they arrived, NATO leaders acknowledged that the alliance was facing a test they did not anticipate: whether it could credibly maintain the momentum it has built in supporting Ukraine when confidence in its most important player has never been more fragile.

北约的领导人们抵达华盛顿时承认,北约正面临着他们没有预料到的考验:在北约对其最重要的成员国信心前所未有的脆弱之际,该组织是否能可靠地保持在支持乌克兰方面形成的势头。

And they know that Mr. Putin and Xi Jinping, China’s leader, are watching as well.

而且他们知道,普京以及中国领导人习近平也在观察。

“NATO has never been, and is not, and will never be, a given,” Jens Stoltenberg, the outgoing secretary general of the alliance, said on Sunday in a wide-ranging discussion with journalists. “We have done so successfully 75 years. I’m confident that we can do so also in the future. But it’s about political leadership, it’s about political commitment.”

“北约从来不是、现在不是、将来也永远不是一个既定事实,”延斯·斯托尔滕贝格周日与记者进行广泛交流时说,他即将卸任北约秘书长的职务。“我们已成功地合作了75年。我相信,我们也将在未来继续合作。但这关乎政治领导力,关乎政治承诺。”

Months before the meeting, the alliance began hedging its bets in case of a second Trump presidency. It is setting up a new NATO command to ensure a long-term supply of arms and military aid to Ukraine even if the United States, under Mr. Trump, pulls back.

在峰会召开前的几个月里,北约已经开始为特朗普再次当选的可能性做两手准备。北约正在设立一个新的指挥部,以确保即使美国在特朗普领导下退出北约,该组织也能向乌克兰提供长期的武器和军事援助。

But in conversations with NATO leaders, it is clear that their plans to modernize their forces and prepare for an era that could be marked by decades of confrontation with Russia are not matched by commensurate increases in their military budgets.

但在与北约领导人的交谈中,能明确感受到他们计划将各国的军队现代化,为可能与俄罗斯对抗数十年的时代做准备,但他们的军事预算还没有相应地增加。

More than 20 NATO members have now reached the goal of spending 2 percent of their gross national product on defense, making good on pledges that some made in response to Mr. Trump’s demands, and others to the realities of Russia’s invasion. That percentage — a goal established more than a decade ago, in an era when terrorism appeared to be the biggest threat — seems wildly undersized to the task at hand, many of Mr. Biden’s aides say.

北约目前已有20多个成员国实现了将国民生产总值的2%用于国防的目标,一些国家兑现了它们在特朗普提出要求后做出的承诺,另一些国家则是在俄罗斯入侵乌克兰的现实面前开始实现承诺。这个占比目标是十多年前制定的,当时的最大威胁似乎是恐怖主义,但拜登的许多助手说,该目标与手头的任务相比似乎远远不够。

In Europe, Germany has described plans for upgrading its military capabilities to deter Russian aggression, a transformation promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the weeks after the Russian invasion. But Mr. Scholz’s grand plans have yet to be matched by a budget to pay for them, and the politics of bringing the public along have proved so fraught that German officials resist putting a price tag on them.

在欧洲,德国已提出了升级军事能力、以遏制俄罗斯侵略行径的计划,这个改革是德国总理奥拉夫·肖尔茨在俄罗斯入侵乌克兰几周后承诺的。但肖尔茨的宏伟计划尚未得到与之相匹配的预算支付,而让相关计划得到公众支持的政治问题已被证明如此之棘手,以至于德国官员们拒绝给这些计划贴上价格标签。

Carl Bildt, the co-chairman of the European Council on Foreign Relations and a former prime minister of Sweden, wrote recently that European nations “will need to double” their budgets “yet again in order to credibly deter threats from an increasingly desperate Russian regime.”

欧洲外交关系委员会联席主席、瑞典前首相卡尔·比尔特最近写道,为了“有效地遏制来自越来越不惜冒险的俄罗斯政权的威胁”,欧洲国家“需要将其(军费)预算再增加一倍”。

Despite that, White House officials said on Monday that Mr. Biden would not press for new military spending targets.

尽管如此,白宫官员周一表示,拜登不会推动制定新军费开支目标。

But the more immediate problem for Mr. Biden and Mr. Scholz is to avoid another public blowup with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine over the question of how his country’s eventual accession to NATO is described.

但对拜登和肖尔茨的来说,更紧迫问题是,在描述乌克兰如何最终加入北约的问题上避免与乌克兰总统泽连斯基再次公开发生冲突。

Last year, as he headed to Vilnius, Lithuania, for the annual NATO meeting, Mr. Zelensky vented his displeasure at the lack of a timetable for Ukrainian entry into the alliance. “It’s unprecedented and absurd when a time frame is not set, neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” he wrote on social media at the time.

去年,泽连斯基在前往立陶宛的维尔纽斯参加北约年度会议时,曾对乌克兰加入北约缺乏时间表表示不满。“在邀请以及批准乌克兰加入北约的问题上没有设定时间表,这是史无前例的,也是荒谬的,”他当时在社交媒体上写道。

He was temporarily placated when he arrived, with a commitment from the alliance that Ukraine could skip some of the hoops other nations have had to jump through before they could join.

抵达后,他获得了暂时的安抚,北约承诺,乌克兰可以不必经受其他国家在加入北约前必须经受的一些磨难。

But for months now, NATO nations have been negotiating over language that would work around the problem, without allowing Ukraine’s entrance while it remains at war.

但北约的成员国已在解决这个问题的措辞上进行了数月谈判,不让仍处于战争状态的乌克兰加入北约。

In recent weeks, negotiators began to settle on a new approach: It is expected that the alliance will declare Ukraine’s eventual inclusion in NATO “irreversible,” diplomats involved in the talks said.

谈判人员已在最近几周开始采取一种新办法。参与谈判的外交官说,预计北约将把乌克兰最终加入北约宣布为“不可逆转”。

While “irreversible” sounds definitive, it does nothing to solve Mr. Zelensky’s central demand — a date when his country would fall under the protection of the NATO umbrella.

虽然“不可逆转”听起来是明确的,但这个说法并不能解决泽连斯基的核心要求,那就是何时可以将他的国家纳入北约保护伞。

Mr. Zelensky’s case is, obviously, the most dire. But it is hardly the only one.

虽然泽连斯基的情况显然是最紧迫的,但那远非唯一的情况。

Seventy-five years after NATO was created to deter threats posed by the Soviet Union at the dawn of the Cold War, a few current and potentially future leaders among the alliance’s member states appear sympathetic to Russia’s diplomatic entreaties despite Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

冷战之初成立北约的目的是遏制苏联的威胁,75年后,尽管俄罗斯入侵了乌克兰,但北约成员国中一些现任和潜在的未来领导人似乎对俄罗斯的外交乞求表示同情。

Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary visited Russia the other day, and in public remarks alongside Mr. Putin he said nothing critical of its invasion, or continued attacks on civilians. He hinted at looking for an opening to peace negotiations on terms similar to Russia’s demands.

匈牙利总理欧尔班几天前访问了俄罗斯,他与普京一起发表公开讲话时,没有批评俄罗斯的入侵或继续攻击平民的行为。他暗示,他正在寻求在与俄罗斯的要求类似的条件下开始和平谈判。

The White House criticized the visit on Monday. John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said Mr. Orban’s visit “certainly doesn’t seem to be productive in terms of trying to get things done in Ukraine,” adding, “It’s concerning.”

白宫周一批评了这次访问。国家安全委员会发言人约翰·柯比说,欧尔班的访问“就试图解决乌克兰问题而言确实似乎没有成效”,并补充说,“访问令人担忧。”

But to avoid any public split within NATO on the eve of the summit, Mr. Stoltenberg stopped short of criticizing Mr. Orban, noting that “NATO allies interact with Moscow in different ways, on different levels.”

但为了避免在北约峰会前夕出现任何公开的分歧,斯托尔滕贝格没有批评欧尔班,而是指出“北约盟国以不同的方式、在不同的层次与莫斯科沟通”。

Still, he suggested that trying to reach a settlement while Mr. Putin advances in Ukraine would not, ultimately, bring peace. “We all want peace,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “It is always possible to end a war by losing a war. But that will not bring peace — that will bring occupation, and occupation is not peace.”

尽管如此,他暗示,在普京的乌克兰战争取得进展的情况下,寻求和解不会带来最终的和平。“我们都想要和平,”斯托尔滕贝格说。“通过输掉战争来结束战争总是一种可能。但这不会带来和平,这将带来占领,而占领不是和平。”


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