In this debate, one voice has been notably, embarrassingly, absent. Gordon Brown, attempting to sit on the fence, has missed a huge opportunity. He could have taken a lead in explaining to Moscow the need for a Europe-wide alliance. He could have shamed Germany into a more robust defence of freedom in the East. And he could have urged sharper diplomacy on Mr Bush. Britain must remain at the heart of Nato in its new role. Instead, it has slunk to the sidelines, letting other determine strategy and policy. Mr Brown has put himself and his country at the heart of this Nato summit's historic non-decision.
There has, in fact, been very little from the Prime Minister or the UK in the media this week. Why is the British Government so silent in an Alliance it claims to value so much?
The Prime Minister's most recent briefing on NATO simply says:
The PMS gave an update on who the Prime Minister would be having meetings with at the NATO Summit. There would be a bilateral with the Romanian President and he was then meeting with the Danish Prime Minister. Danish and UK troops were in the same area of operation in Afghanistan, so they would be discussing related issues.
There would be a working dinner this evening, preceded by a gathering of Heads of State for various bilateral discussions.Where is the big policy speech? Where is the vision for the future of NATO? Where is the explanation for the British people of what a 21st Century NATO is for? The Prime Minister must be worried that Rupert Murdoch thinks he has let the side down.