London — Since US President Donald Trump entered the White House in 2017, Nato summits have often proved diplomatically messy events. This year’s gathering in December in London could be the most volatile of the lot — taking place not just against the backdrop of unpredictable looming British and US elections, but now open questioning of the alliance’s future by French President Emmanuel Macron.

In an interview with The Economist published on Thursday, Macron said US strategic absence was leading to what he called Nato's "brain death”, also pointing to the US withdrawal from Syria as a sign that Washington was no longer interested in its allies or the world. European nations, he said, should "re-assess the reality of what Nato is”...

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