North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) | Founders …

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); Albania and Croatia (2009); and Montenegro (2017). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATOs military command in 2009.

The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that

an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in 2001, after the September 11 attacks organized by exiled Saudi Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing some 3,000 people.

Article 6 defines the geographic scope of the treaty as covering an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America. Other articles commit the allies to strengthening their democratic institutions, to building their collective military capability, to consulting each other, and to remaining open to inviting other European states to join.

After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscows sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.

In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low CountriesBelgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourgconcluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.

By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup dtat in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.

Spurred by the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 (see Korean War), the United States took steps to demonstrate that it would resist any Soviet military expansion or pressures in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the leader of the Allied forces in western Europe in World War II, was named Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) by the North Atlantic Council (NATOs governing body) in December 1950. He was followed as SACEUR by a succession of American generals.

The North Atlantic Council, which was established soon after the treaty came into effect, is composed of ministerial representatives of the member states, who meet at least twice a year. At other times the council, chaired by the NATO secretary-general, remains in permanent session at the ambassadorial level. Just as the position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, the secretary-generalship has always been held by a European.

NATOs military organization encompasses a complete system of commands for possible wartime use. The Military Committee, consisting of representatives of the military chiefs of staff of the member states, subsumes two strategic commands: Allied Command Operations (ACO) and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). ACO is headed by the SACEUR and located at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium. ACT is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. During the alliances first 20 years, more than $3 billion worth of infrastructure for NATO forcesbases, airfields, pipelines, communications networks, depotswas jointly planned, financed, and built, with about one-third of the funding from the United States. NATO funding generally is not used for the procurement of military equipment, which is provided by the member statesthough the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force, a fleet of radar-bearing aircraft designed to protect against a surprise low-flying attack, was funded jointly.

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NATO: Definition, Purpose, History, Members

NATO is an alliance of 28 countries bordering the North Atlantic Ocean. It includesthe United States, most European Union members, Canada, and Turkey. NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The United States contributes three-fourths of NATO's budget. During the2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said other NATO members should spend more on their military. Only four countries reach the targeted spending of 2% of gross domestic product. They are the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, and Estonia.

At the July 11, 2018, NATO summit, President Trump requested that NATO nations increase their defense spending to 4% of GDP. In 2017, the United States spent 4.5%. That's $886 billion in military spending divided by $20 trillion in U.S. GDP.

Trump also criticized Germany for asking the United States to protect it from Russia while importing billions in natural gas from it.

Trump has accused NATO of being obsolete. He argued that the organization focuses on defending Europe against Russia instead of combating terrorism.Member countries worry that Trump's criticism of NATO and praise of Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, mean they can no longer rely on the United States as an ally in case of attack.

NATO's mission is to protect the freedom of its members. Its targets includeweapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber attacks.

At its July 11, 2018, meeting, NATO approvednew steps to contain Russia. These include two new military commands and expanded efforts against cyberwarfare and counterterrorism. It also contains a new plan to deter Russian aggression against Poland and the Baltic States. Trump agreed to these measures.

On July 8, 2016,NATO announced it would send up to 4,000 troops to the Baltic states and eastern Poland. It increased air and sea patrols to shore up its eastern front afterRussia's attack on Ukraine.

On November 16, 2015, NATO responded to theterrorist attacks in Paris. It called for a unified approach with the European Union, France, and NATO. France did notinvoke NATO'sArticle 5. That would be a formal declaration of war uponthe Islamic state group. France preferred to launch air strikes on its own. Article 5 states, "an armed attack upon one... shall be considered an attack upon them all."

NATO responded to U.S. requests for help in theWar in Afghanistan. It took the leadfrom August 2003 to December 2014. At its peak, it deployed 130,000 troops. In 2015, it ended its combat role and began supporting Afghan troops.

NATO's protection does not extend to members' civil wars or internal coups. On July 15, 2016, the Turkish military announced it had seized control of the government in a coup. But Turkish President Recep Erdogan announced early on July 16 that the coup had failed. As a NATO member, Turkey would receive its allies' support in the case of an attack. But in case of a coup, the country will not get allied help.

NATO's secondary purpose is to protect the stability of the region.

If the stability is threatened, NATO would defend non-members. On August 28,2014, NATO announcedit had photos proving that Russiainvaded Ukraine. Although Ukraine is not a member, it had worked with NATO over the years. Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatenednearby NATO members. They worried other former USSR satellite countries would be next.

As a result, NATO'sSeptember 2014 summitfocused on Russia's aggression. President Putin vowed to create a "NewRussia" out of Ukraine's eastern region.President Obamapledged to defend countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

NATO itself admits that "Peacekeeping has become at least as difficult as peacemaking." As a result, NATO is strengthening alliances throughout the world. In the age of globalization, transatlantic peace has become a worldwide effort. Itextends beyond military might alone.

NATO's 28 members are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Each member designates an ambassador to NATO. They supply officials to serve on NATO committees. They send the appropriate official to discuss NATO business. That includes a countrys president, prime minister, foreign affairs minister, or head of the department of defense.

On December 1, 2015, NATO announced its first expansion since 2009. It offered membership to Montenegro. Russia responded by calling the move a strategic threat to its national security. Its worried by the number of Balkan countries along its border that have joined NATO.

NATO participates in three alliances. They expand its influence beyond its 28 member countries. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council helps partners become NATO members.Itincludes 23 non-NATO countries that support NATO's purpose. It beganin 1991.

The Mediterranean Dialogue seeks to stabilize the Middle East. Its non-NATO members include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. It began in1994.

The Istanbul Cooperation Initiativeworks forpeace throughout the larger Middle East region.It includes four members of theGulf Cooperation Council. They are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. It began in 2004.

NATO cooperates with eight other countries in joint security issues. There are five in Asia. They are Australia,Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and New Zealand. There are two in the Middle East: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

NATO'sprimary purpose was to defend member nations from threats by communist countries. The United States also wanted to maintain a presence in Europe. It soughtto prevent a resurgence of aggressive nationalism and foster political union. In this way, NATO made the formation of the European Union possible.U.S. military protection gave European nations the safety needed to rebuild after World War II's devastation.

During the Cold War, NATO's mission expanded to prevent nuclear war.

After West Germany joined NATO, thecommunistcountriesformed theWarsaw Pact alliance. That included the USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and EastGermany. In response, NATO adopted the "Massive Retaliation" policy. It promised to usenuclear weaponsif the Pact attacked. NATO'sdeterrence policy allowed Europe to focus oneconomic development. It didn't have to build large conventional armies.

The Soviet Union continued to build its military presence. By the end of theCold War, it was spending three times what the United Stateswas with only one-third the economic power. When theBerlin Wallfell in 1989, it was due to economic as well as ideological reasons.

After the USSR dissolved in the late 1980s, NATO's relationship with Russia thawed. In 1997, they signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act to build bilateral cooperation. In 2002, they formed the NATO-Russia Council to partner on shared security issues.

The collapse of the USSR led to unrest in its former satellite states. NATO got involved when Yugoslavia's civil war becamegenocide. NATO's initial support of aUnited Nationsnaval embargo led to the enforcement of ano-fly zone. Violations then led to a few airstrikes until September 1999. That's when NATO conducted a nine-day air campaign that ended the war. By December of that year, NATO deployed a peace-keeping force of 60,000 soldiers. That ended in 2004 when NATO transferred this function to theEuropean Union.

Protecting democratic freedom among its 28-member nations remains NATOS core purpose. As a political and military alliance, the coalitions value to global security continues to be paramount.

Its longevity, since its inception in 1949, is attributed to its members shared values championing democracy, freedom, and free market economies.NATO has remained Americas most important alliance.


NATO: Definition, Purpose, History, Members

Formation of Nato – Purpose, Dates & Cold War – HISTORY


In 1949, the prospect of further Communist expansion prompted the United States and 11 other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union and its affiliated Communist nations in Eastern Europe founded a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. The alignment of nearly every European nation into one of the two opposing camps formalized the political division of the European continent that had taken place since World War II (1939-45). This alignment provided the framework for the military standoff that continued throughout the Cold War (1945-91).

Conflict between the Western nations (including the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries) and the Communist Eastern bloc (led by the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics or USSR) began almost as soon as the guns fell silent at the end of World War II (1939-45). The USSR oversaw the installation of pro-Soviet governments in many of the areas it had taken from the Nazis during the war. In response, the U.S. and its Western allies sought ways to prevent further expansion of Communist influence on the European continent. In 1947, U.S. leaders introduced the Marshall Plan, a diplomatic initiative that provided aid to friendly nations to help them rebuild their war-damaged infrastructures and economies.

Did you know? NATO continued its existence beyond the Cold War era and gained new member nations in Eastern Europe during the late 1990s. That development was not well received by leaders of the Russian Federation and became a source of post-Cold War tension between the East and the West.

Events of the following year prompted American leaders to adopt a more militaristic stance toward the Soviets. In February 1948, a coup sponsored by the Soviet Union overthrew the democratic government of Czechoslovakia and brought that nation firmly into the Communist camp. Within a few days, U.S. leaders agreed to join discussions aimed at forming a joint security agreement with their European allies. The process gained new urgency in June of that year, when the USSR cut off ground access to Berlin, forcing the U.S., Britain and France to airlift supplies to their sectors of the German city, which had been partitioned between the Western Allies and the Soviets following World War II.

The discussions between the Western nations concluded on April 4, 1949, when the foreign ministers of 12 countries in North America and Western Europe gathered in Washington, D.C., to sign the North Atlantic Treaty. It was primarily a security pact, with Article 5 stating that a military attack against any of the signatories would be considered an attack against them all. When U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (1893-1971) put his signature on the document, it reflected an important change in American foreign policy. For the first time since the 1700s, the U.S. had formally tied its security to that of nations in Europethe continent that had served as the flash point for both world wars.

The original membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) consisted of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States. NATO formed the backbone of the Wests military bulwark against the USSR and its allies for the next 40 years, with its membership growing larger over the course of the Cold War era. Greece and Turkey were admitted in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1955 and Spain in 1982. Unhappy with its role in the organization, France opted to withdraw from military participation in NATO in 1966 and did not return until 1995.

The formation of the Warsaw Pact was in some ways a response to the creation of NATO, although it did not occur until six years after the Western alliance came into being. It was more directly inspired by the rearming of West Germany and its admission into NATO in 1955. In the aftermath of World War I and World War II, Soviet leaders felt very apprehensive about Germany once again becoming a military powera concern that was shared by many European nations on both sides of the Cold War divide.

In the mid-1950s, however, the U.S. and a number of other NATO members began to advocate making West Germany part of the alliance and allowing it to form an army under tight restrictions. The Soviets warned that such a provocative action would force them to make new security arrangements in their own sphere of influence, and they were true to their word. West Germany formally joined NATO on May 5, 1955, and the Warsaw Pact was signed less than two weeks later, on May 14. Joining the USSR in the alliance were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland and Romania. This lineup remained constant until the Cold War ended with the dismantling of all the Communist governments in Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990.

Like NATO, the Warsaw Pact focused on the objective of creating a coordinated defense among its member nations in order to deter an enemy attack. There was also an internal security component to the agreement that proved useful to the USSR. The alliance provided a mechanism for the Soviets to exercise even tighter control over the other Communist states in Eastern Europe and deter pact members from seeking greater autonomy. When Soviet leaders found it necessary to use military force to put down revolts in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, for example, they presented the action as being carried out by the Warsaw Pact rather than by the USSR alone.

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Formation of Nato - Purpose, Dates & Cold War - HISTORY

Member states of NATO – Wikipedia

FlagMapEnglish common and formal names[6][7][8]Domestic common and formal names[6][7]Capital[8][9][10]Date of accession[11]Population[a][12]Area[a][13]NotesAlbania[i]

Republic of Albania

Albanian: Tiran

Kingdom of Belgium

French: Belgique Royaume de Belgique

German: Belgien Knigreich Belgien

Dutch: Brussel

French: Bruxelles

German: Brssel

Republic of Bulgaria

Bulgarian: (Sofia)

French: Canada

Republic of Croatia

Croatian: Zagreb

Czech: Praha

Kingdom of Denmark

Danish: Kbenhavn

Republic of Estonia

Estonian: Tallinn

French Republic

French: Paris

Federal Republic of Germany

German: Berlin

Hellenic Republic

Greek: (Athna)

Hungarian: Budapest

Republic of Iceland

Icelandic: Reykjavk

Italian Republic

Italian: Roma

Republic of Latvia

Latvian: Rga

Republic of Lithuania

Lithuanian: Vilnius

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

French: Luxembourg Grand-Duch de Luxembourg

German: Luxemburg Groherzogtum Luxemburg

Luxembourgish: Ltzebuerg

French: Luxembourg

German: Luxemburg

Montenegrin: , Podgorica

Kingdom of the Netherlands

West Frisian: Nederln Keninkryk fan de Nederlannen

Papiamento: Hulandu Reino di Hulanda

The Hague (seat of government)

Dutch: Amsterdam

West Frisian: Amsterdam

Papiamento: Amsterdam

Dutch: 's-Gravenhage / Den Haag

West Frisian: De Haach

Papiamento: Den Haag

Kingdom of Norway

Nynorsk: Noreg Kongeriket Noreg

Northern Sami: Norga Norgga gonagasriika

Norwegian: Oslo

Republic of Poland

Polish: Warszawa

Portuguese Republic

Portuguese: Lisboa

Romanian: Bucureti

Slovak Republic

Slovak: Bratislava

Republic of Slovenia

Slovene: Ljubljana

Kingdom of Spain

Spanish: Madrid

Republic of Turkey

Turkish: Ankara

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Welsh: Deyrnas Unedig Teyrnas Unedig Prydain Fawr a Gogledd Iwerddon

United States of America

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Member states of NATO - Wikipedia

NATO Gets Positive News for Theaters in $2.2 Trillion Senate Aid Package – IndieWire

At a singular time when just about every stateside movie theater is closed (aside from a few drive-ins), the organization that represents the global major theater chains as well as mom and pop cinemassome 33,000 screens across North America is celebrating the Senates massive nationwide financial package to stem the economic crisis, which passed Wednesday night. The bill will go to the House, where approval is expected, and then to President Trump, who has said he will sign it right away.

The National Association of Theaters is applauding the passage of the bipartisan $2.2 trillion aid package meant to ease immediate economic burdens across the country. Per their press release, theaters can look forward with confidence to reopening and once again serving their communities when this crisis has passed.

Among the items that NATO is cheering:

The loan guarantee fund of $454 billion meant to allow movie theaters, similar to other businesses, to get loan guarantees to cover fixed costs while normal revenue flow is interrupted;


the expansion of programs by the Small Business Agency for similar access to loans, in some cases raising the possibility of loan forgiveness;

specific tax relief provisions including deferring payroll tax payment, provisions for loss carry backs for businesses among other revised rules;

credits for businesses that retain employees on their payrolls;

a maximum of four months of aid to workers through extended and expanded unemployment insurance;

advanced deductions to employees, immediately payable.

For NATO, final passage (the Senate vote was 96-0) brings a much-needed financial boost to theaters, providing confidence that they will be able to weather the storm and reopen at the appropriate time. NATO is grateful to all those who have allied with them in working to support an industry central to our cultural and civic life.

Any return to normalcy is still far away, with many decisions in the hands of the studios that supply the product that theaters will need to show. But in a week where the stocks of major exhibitors have been particularly hard hit, passage of the aid package is positive news to the industry as a needed first step.

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Allied airlift brings urgent medical supplies to the Czech Republic – NATO HQ

A cargo plane carrying several tons of medical supplies from China, including vital respirators and millions of facemasks, landed at Pardubice airport on Tuesday night (24-25 March 2020) to help combat the coronavirus.

The AN-124 plane, one of the largest aircraft ever built, landed overnight in the city of Pardubice. The flight was made possible by the NATO-managed Strategic Airlift International Solution, which provides NATO countries participating in the programme with access to heavy transport aircraft. The Czech Government had tasked the mission.

The plane flew from the city of Shenzhen in China with over 100 tons of equipment, including millions of facemasks, goggles and protective suits. This was the second such flight to the Czech Republic. Further flights to the Czech Republic and Slovakia are planned in the coming days, bringing much needed medical supplies. Special procedures were in place to ensure the safety of the aircrew, with no direct contact with ground crews allowed.

The Strategic Airlift International Solution, or SALIS, provides NATO countries with a strategic air transport capability. Nine NATO Allies (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) currently participate in the programme, managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency. The aircraft is operated by Antonov Logistics SALIS from Leipzig/Halle airport.

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Allied airlift brings urgent medical supplies to the Czech Republic - NATO HQ

The Effect of COVID-19 on the NATO Alliance – Foreign Policy Research Institute

It is too early to ascertain the long-term impact of the coronavirus crisis on the health of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but the COVID-19 pandemic is adding strains to pre-existing fracture points within the alliance. The news that former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana has contracted the virus serves as a potent reminder that, like people, an alliance can sicken.

Faced with a massive health care catastrophealong with all of the economic damage that quarantines and lockdowns createit is going to become increasingly difficult for any political figure in Europe, and increasingly inside the United States itself, to argue that resources, tax dollars, and euros should be earmarked for increased defense spending. Even before the coronavirus burst onto the scene, there were long-standing disputesexacerbated by President Donald Trumps willingness to escalate the pressureover spending and burden-sharing among NATO members. Even a perceived threat from Russiawhich diminishes the further west and south one goes in Europemay not be enough to sustain the spending increases that we have seen European states undertake since the 2014 annexation of Crimea and Moscows intervention in Eastern Ukraine. Economic recovery will take priority over military spendingand this could very easily reignite the acrimonious exchanges across the Atlantic that while some states bear the sacrifices to ensure the common defense of the Euro-Atlantic area, others are prepared to free-ride in order to achieve a more optimal economic outcome.

The coronavirus pandemic is further changing the nature of threat perception within the alliance. Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union some three decades ago, NATO has struggled to find an overarching threat that can hold the nations of the alliance together in common cause. The problem has been that these efforts have either been cast too vaguely (opposing global disorder or the rise of China), are too episodic in nature (as in the fight against terrorism), or are geographically bounded (such as the threat posed by a resurgent Russia). Even before the virus spread outward from Wuhan, NATO was attempting to balance the increasingly disparate geographic perspectives of its members in order to preserve some degree of solidarity and cohesion. This dynamic may become further aggravated, especially between eastern members who still see Russia as a conventional threat and southern members who deal with instability in the Middle East and North Africa and the waves of migration that are createdand who may be inclined to see Moscow as part of the solution.

At the beginning of 2020, after concerns about French President Emmanuel Macrons comments about NATO being braindead and his calls for a new dialogue with Moscow, both Macron (especially after his February 2020 visit to Warsaw) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have worked hard in creating their own version of an Eastern European reassurance initiative, making it clear that any new efforts at promoting a reset of relations with Russia will be accompanied by credible security assistance for NATOs eastern tier. The pandemic, now, threatens the personal security and economic prosperity of millions of citizens in NATO states in a way that much more limited terrorist strikes or the even more theoretical discussions of a Russian incursion do not. NATO is now faced with a coronavirus test: the ability of the alliance to respond to something that directly impacts the voters who have been asked, over the past several years, to support increases in defense spending. It is not accidental that some leading commentators in the Euro-Atlantic community are calling for the virus to be designated, in essence, as an armed attack against NATO members, necessitating joint and effective action on the part of all the allies to craft a collective response.

Of course, pivoting the alliance to deal with the coronavirus (and future pandemic outbreaks) requires a different mix of military capabilities. If we posit that one of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is that military spending in many alliance nations will be reduced, then what remains of those military budgets is likely to be dedicated towards bolstering humanitarian assistance/disaster relief missions, as well as improving internal security and land and maritime border protection. The British decision to withdraw remaining forces from the Iraqi training mission in order to redeploy them for domestic service may become a defining trend in the future. Moving forward, every alliance member will have to strike a clear balance between expeditionary operations and domestic missions.

The spread of the virus has also recast the migration issue. No longer is the threat of refugee flows depicted as a problem that could exacerbate terrorism and economic pressuremigrants are now seen as potential carriers of coronavirus and other diseases. If, in the past, arguments about stopping migrant flows revolved around defending national distinctiveness and the general features of the European welfare statearguments that didnt always gain tractionit becomes harder to ignore if uncontrolled refugee movements pose a risk to public health. Faced with a choice of deploying resources to block any Russian incursion in the east or bolstering capabilities to block migrant flows, more NATO members might choose the latter. The specter of the infected refugee may now create more fear and unease than the notion of little green men showing up unexpectedly to seize territory. While it is too early to tell, the pandemic could further contribute to a shift in NATOs strategic geography from an east-west axis to a north-south oneand shift the emphasis on military spending and defense preparedness away from the eastern frontier towards the Mediterranean zone.

Another trend that the coronavirus may accelerate is the loss of intra-alliance cohesion and solidarity. Just prior to the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in the West, the Pew Research Trust released its latest findings (February 2020) on how NATO is viewed by the publics of the alliance members. Their research concluded:

There is widespread reluctance to fulfill the collective defense commitment outlined in Article 5 of NATOs founding treaty. When asked if their country should defend a fellow NATO ally against a potential attack from Russia, a median of 50% across 16 NATO member states say their country should not defend an ally, compared with 38% who say their country should defend an ally against a Russian attack.

Intra-alliance cohesion was further shaken by the Idlib crisiswhen it appeared that Turkeys NATO allies were not fully on board with giving Ankara the blank check it requested to confront Russia in Syriaand by Turkeys subsequent decision to again permit migrants and refugees to transit Turkish territory in order to be able to reach the European Union. Turkeys perspective, of course, is that since it is not an EU member, it should not have to necessarily carry water for European states. From a security perspective, one member of NATO was choosing not to prevent, but even to encourage, a trend that threatened the security of its ostensible allies.

To be sure, the coronavirus did not create this situation, but it further erodes confidence in the proclamations of solidarity that ritually end every NATO summit. In the past month, as the virus spreads throughout the world, NATO (and EU) allies have seen their partners hoarding equipment and medical supplies. Moreover, intra-alliance borders have been closed down, not only between NATO and EU members within Europe, but also bans forbidding travel across the Atlantic have been enacted. The perception that the United States is prepared to go it alone and look out for its well-being without concern for its closest allies reinforces pre-existing trends; Europeans, in turn, believe that their side of the Atlantic must be prepared to de-couple from Washington for its own securityand the messages they are receiving from the United States over coronavirus adds further grist to that mill.

Meanwhile, Beijing has reaped a public relations bonanza from its moves to send assistance to virus-ravaged Italy and Spain, which has highlighted the initial lack of concrete support from Romes and Madrids Western partners. While the European Union has taken the brunt of the criticism, the United States has not used NATO as a way to develop a coalition to combat the virus. NATO ally Turkey had used indecision over Syria to justify its willingness to buck NATO solidarity to forge a closer relationship with Russia; now, Italy feels justified in closer collaboration with Beijing, including on the Belt and Road Initiative, because of the perception that Western solidarity has failed Rome in its time of need.

Beyond the political perception that NATO has failed the solidarity test, the practical realities of the pandemic call into question the operational basis of NATOs deterrent mission: the ability to field forces in sufficient strength to deter or repel any possible incursion. If one result of the pandemic has been a push for countries to withdraw their national contingents from overseas missions to concentrate on the home front, then a second is a growing reluctance for countries to sendor receiveforces for fear that they will spread the disease. Norway canceled the regional Cold Defender exercise that should have been held in March 2020 over concerns for troops coming into Norway, and other countries, such as Finland, were reluctant to dispatch their forces. The major Europe-wide NATO exercise for 2020, European Defender, which was designed, in part, to demonstrate to outside adversaries (read: Russia) that the United States could quickly reinforce the continent, is being scaled back, amidst a new Department of Defense directive that has halted the movement of U.S. forces and equipment.

Signs of discord in NATO are always carefully monitored by Russia. The 2015 Russian national security strategy categorizes the alliance as a threat to Russian strategic interests, even if some of its member (like Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, and Hungary) are, at a bilateral level, important strategic partners. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Kremlin, even if it has not explicitly commissioned a disinformation campaign, sees value in having its news and information outlets push narratives that seek to accelerate discord and disunity among NATO members. Depending on the course of the pandemic, we could very easily see a new Russian information campaign. Such a campaign would target publics in southern and western Europe and would question the value of an alliance which was ineffective in its response to the virus but which demands that they be prepared to risk conflict with Russiawhile also sowing more doubts in both NATO and non-NATO neighbors about how much faith they are willing to place in alliance guarantees. The Russian decision to dispatch military medical specialists and equipment to Italy is also being contrasted with the initially lackluster EU/NATO response.

Better messaging, however, is not going to be a sufficient response. Nor should NATO assume that once this crisis has passed, it will be a return to business as usual. For one thing, there could be recurrent flare-ups of COVID-19, leading to the re-imposition of travel bans, border closures, and movement of personnel. The economic fallout from the pandemic is going to impact budgets and policies for years to come.

Coronavirus may achieve what earlier summits, the Russian incursion into Crimea, and think tank reports have not: a forcing function for NATO evolution. If we accept that the immediate outcomes from the coronavirus crisis are renewed skepticism about the value of the alliance, less money for defense spending, and the possibility of interrupted supply and transport links, then the principal focus of the alliance moving forward needs to be the resilience agenda. Dan Hamilton, writing in December 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic had hit the West, has made this point clear: When conflict changes, so must defense. NATO must extend its traditional investments in territorial protection and deterrence to encompass modern approaches to resilience: building the capacity of free societies to anticipate, preempt and resolve disruptive challenges to their critical functions, and to prevail against direct attack if necessary. Judy Dempsey, from her perch in Berlin as the crisis swells, reiterates that conclusion: Resilience is about having a long-term approach to protecting vital infrastructures essential for security, stability, and for reassuring the citizens.

This would shift the focus of NATOand indeed of European Defenderfrom waiting for the United States to arrive in force to an alliance where states possess sufficient porcupine capabilities to fend off attacks, assaults, and challenges. This would also include a situation in which U.S. leadership is less manifested in providing forces in favor of leveraging the remarkable technological ingenuity and skill that still defines the Euro-Atlantic zone to provide capabilities for each alliance member. If reduced budgets and no guarantees of human movement are two new conditions that NATO must adapt to, then the laundry list presented by Harlan Ullman provides a new set of tools: large numbers of unmanned and swarming drones; copious anti-air, anti-surface and anti-vehicle missiles; electromagnetic systems to obliterate . . . command and control in its operational maneuver groups; and low cost sensors including low earth orbiting satellites that could be quickly deployed to ensure command, control, communications and reconnaissance. To this could be added extended new capabilities in terms of manufacturing these types of articles via 3-D printing and the internet of things.

The next NATO summit is scheduled to be held this October in Beverly Hills, California. When alliance leaders left London after their annual conclave in 2019, they werent planning on a pandemic upending NATO. But coronavirus makes the London agenda obsolete. NATO will be challenged to pivot to the new realities that will be the result of the pandemic both in Europe and the United Statesor else it risks being stuck in the past.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a non-partisan organization that seeks to publish well-argued, policy-oriented articles on American foreign policy and national security priorities.

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The Effect of COVID-19 on the NATO Alliance - Foreign Policy Research Institute

Coronavirus crisis: Allied planes carrying supplies arrive in Slovakia, head to Romania – NATO HQ

A planeload of medical supplies, including masks, has arrived in Slovakia on Wednesday (25 March 2020) to help with the coronavirus crisis.

The Antonov AN-124 plane landed around 14.30 local time at Bratislava airport with 48 tons of medical material. The cargo aircraft is part of the Strategic Airlift International Solution or SALIS programme, which is managed by NATO. The supplies, included facemasks, surgical gloves and protective suits arrived from Tianjin in China.

A further 45 tons of medical equipment, including 100,000 protective suits, are set to arrive in Bucharest on Thursday (26 March 2020) from the Republic of Korea. The equipment has been procured by the Romanian government as part of the efforts to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The supplies will be delivered with a C-17 Globemaster aircraft which is part of NATOs Strategic Airlift Capability.

NATO oversees two strategic airlift programmes. As part of NATOs Strategic Airlift Capability or SAC, Allies jointly own and operate three C-17 Globemaster heavy cargo aircraft, sharing flying hours and costs. Allies also charter several Antonov transport aircraft under the Alliances Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) program. These programmes routinely moved personnel and supplies from Europe to NATO bases in Afghanistan and Kosovo as well as humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti and Pakistan.

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Coronavirus crisis: Allied planes carrying supplies arrive in Slovakia, head to Romania - NATO HQ

Staff member with NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk tests ‘presumptive positive’ for coronavirus – wtkr.com

NORFOLK, Va. - An employee with NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk has tested 'presumptive positive' for coronavirus.

A post made by the organizations Facebook states that this is the first potential case at NATO Allied Command Transformation. The individual is in self-isolation.

NATO Allied Command Transformation says they've taken every measure possible to protect the health of military members, civilians and their families.

All official travel by NATO Allied Command Transformation has been suspended. The Command is operating on a distributed working structure.

Strict preventative measures are in place to decrease the potential exposure of staff to the virus, said officials.

The organization's post also says "To the greatest extent possible the Command has minimized the number of personnel on site. Operations continue in an adapted way that reflects the current and evolving situation."

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Staff member with NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk tests 'presumptive positive' for coronavirus - wtkr.com

Covid-19 will cause ‘severe consequences’ for members: NATO – Army Technology

]]> NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presents his Annual Report

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that Covid-19 will cause severe consequences for member states economies and defence budgets.

Speaking during the release of NATOs Annual Report, Stoltenberg said: It is clear that there will be severe economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. And at least in the short term, there will also be severe consequences, not only for the total economy, but also for government budgets.

When we speak about the long-term consequences, that is too early to say anything with certainty about what the long-term consequences will be.

Despite this, Stoltenberg said that in the face of an uncertain world, he expected member states would continue to invest more in defence and security spending, adding that he expected countries to stay committed to their current defence spending targets.

Stoltenberg explained: We have to remember that when NATO Allies decided to invest more in defence, they did so because we live in a more uncertain, more unpredictable world, and therefore we need to invest more in defence. This has not changed. So, I expect Allies to stay committed to investing more in our security.

Stoltenberg added that investments in security often paid off in crisis situations citing how Armed Forces provide surge capacity for all our societies when it comes to responding to natural disasters and other crisis.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread a number of NATO member countries have called upon their armed forces to support civilian authorities, provide medical assistance and logistics capabilities.

Yesterday, the UKs Ministry of Defence announced that it was readying an additional 10,000 personnel for its COVID support force and will begin training 100 personnel to drive oxygen tankers to support the NHS next week.

In his speech, unveiling the report, Stoltenberg said that the Covid-19 pandemic faced NATO with an unprecedented crisis but that NATO had overcome crises before. Stoltenbergs conference on the report was held online for the first time due to social distancing measures, NATO this week also suspended media access to its HQ in Brussels.

In response to the Pandemic, NATO has also looked to modify a number of exercises, but Stoltenberg said this did not affect the organisations ability to act if needed.

The US has already made modifications to exercise Defender Europe that would have seen 20,000 troops deployed to Europe.

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Covid-19 will cause 'severe consequences' for members: NATO - Army Technology

How NATO Hopes to Protect the Baltics From a Sudden Russian Invasion – The National Interest

Key point:The alliance knows that its Easternmost members are vulnerable to a Russian attack. Here's what NATO is doing about it.

NATO has stood up a new command whose job it is to speed alliance troops and tanks around Europe in order to defend against a Russian invasion.

The new Joint Support and Enabling Command, based in Ulm, Germany, achieved initial operating capability on Sept, 17, 2019, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu announced.

This first appeared in 2019 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

The command has its work cut out for it. A recent report revealed just how vulnerable NATOs eastern flank is to a sudden Russian assault -- and how important armored forces could be in the alliances defensive efforts.

Russia keeps around 760 tanks in units within quick striking distance of NATO's Baltic members. NATO countries together keep around 130 tanks in the same region -- and around 90 of those are American M-1s on their temporary rotation.

In 2016 RAND war-gamed a Russian invasion of the Baltics. In RAND's scenario, the Russian forces quickly overrun lightly-armed NATO forces. The Western alliance quickly deploys helicopters and air-mobile troops to confront the Russian advance. But NATO tanks are too slow to arrive.

"What cannot get there in time are the kinds of armored forces required to engage their Russian counterparts on equal terms, delay their advance, expose them to more-frequent and more-effective attacks from air- and land-based fires and subject them to spoiling counterattacks," RAND explained.

Across NATO theres no shortage of tanks and other heavy forces. But very few of NATOs tanks are available on short notice to defend the alliances eastern flank. RAND counted just 129 NATO tanks that realistically could participate in a short-notice Baltic scenario.

By RANDs count they could face as many as 757 Russian tanks that Moscow keeps on high readiness in the countrys western military district. Similarly, Russia deploys around 1,280 infantry fighting vehicles near its border with NATO, while NATO has just 280 fighting vehicles in the same region.

The heaviest most sophisticated American formations in particular are thin on the ground. For decades the U.S. Army maintained heavy forces in Europe in order to defend against the Soviet Union and later Russia. Force levels precipitously decreased following the end of the Cold War, but as late as 2012 the Army had four brigades in Europe, two of them with tanks.

The Obama administration cut the two Europe-based tank brigades in the wake of the 2011 debt-ceiling squabble with Congress that resulted in the Budget Control Act and automatic "sequestration" budget cuts. Army troops permanently in Europe declined from 40,000 to around 25,000.

Two years later in 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine. The Pentagon scrambled to restore its fighting strength in Europe. The Obama administration budgeted billions of dollars for temporary deployments to Europe under the auspices of the European Reassurance Initiative.

But a permanent increase in Europe-based forces was not in the offing. And five years after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Armys 2nd Cavalry Regiment with its 300 Stryker wheeled medium vehicles is the heaviest American formation that's always in Europe.

The Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade also is based in Europe. To bolster the airborne brigade and the 2nd ACR, the Army temporarily deploys one armored brigade at a time to the continent, each on a nine-month rotation. A typical armored brigade has around 90 M-1 tanks and 130 M-2 fighting vehicles plus around 18 M-109 self-propelled howitzers.

NATOs new Joint Support and Enabling Command could help move around the U.S. vehicles as well as tanks belonging to the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Poland another other alliance states.

The new command in Ulm will help our forces become more mobile and enable rapid reinforcement within the alliance, ensuring we have the right forces in the right place at the right time, Lungescu said.

According to Stars and Stripes, the command could have 160 personnel by 2021. In a crisis its strength could swell to 600 people.

Setting up new commands to manage the flow of forces in a crisis is one of the ways the alliance has tried to adapt, Stars and Stripes noted. NATO and the European Union also have discussed the need to streamline diplomatic clearances for troop movements as well as ensure that infrastructure on the continent such as tunnels and bridges are strong enough to handle tanks and other heavy military vehicles.

David Axe serves as Defense Editor of the National Interest. He is theauthor of the graphic novelsWar Fix,War Is BoringandMachete Squad.This first appeared in 2019 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters

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Op-Ed: The US should rally G7, NATO and other global allies together in fight against coronavirus – CNBC

The latest plot twist is a stunner in our ongoing global drama, "Major Power Struggle in the Era of Coronavirus."

President Xi Jinping, who just days ago seemed to have been put on the ropes by this killer pathogen, appears to have turned the tables on the disease, his critics, and his ideological adversaries. Some initially thought the virus might even cost him his job.

Instead, his authoritarian colossus, the People's Republic of China, is rapidly leveraging its position of being the first country to emerge from the worst of the COVID-19. To be sure, China is still suffering its biggest economic hit since the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, with still incalculable damage to growth, industrial production and its role in global supply chains.

Yet with head-spinning speed, President Xi is revving up his stalled economy with fiscal stimulus and is tightening the screws of his authoritarian surveillance state with new technologies. He is ramping up a domestic and international publicity campaign, trumpeting his triumph over the virus and donning the garb of the global champion working to protect others.

At the same time, Chinese authorities are taking aim at the United States by tossing its top journalists out of Beijing, by wooing American allies from Tokyo and Rome in common cause, and by contrasting its perhaps draconian approach to COVID-19 to that of President Trump.

"China can pull together the imagination and courage needed to handle the virus, while the US struggles," trumpeted the People's Daily, the Communist party mouthpiece. Xinhua news agency claimed that Xi's handling of the crisis has demonstrated his "pure heart, like a newborn's."

Pure heart or not, Xi is demonstrating an iron will. This week he stepped up threatening flights near Taiwan, a warning that he won't abide any move toward independence.

In the latest incident on Monday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said it scrambled air reconnaissance and patrol aircraft to drive away Chinese J-11 fighters and KJ-500 early warning aircraft on nighttime missions.

The not-so-hidden message to Washington: We know from our experience how long this virus will drain you and distract you from your external obligations. You also have your messy elections to manage. What better time than now to demonstrate to the world the advantages of China's system and embrace?

Meanwhile, COVID-19's epicenter has moved to Europe where this week Italy surpassed China in the number of fatalities. It has spread in the United States to all 50 states, prompting an economic shutdown that could make the 2008-2009 financial crisis seem mild by comparison.

It's hard to engage in long-term strategic thinking about the neighborhood when your house is burning. However, the Trump administration needs to do precisely that. U.S. policy makers need to wake up to the geopolitical perils of the coronavirus crisis.

American global leadership has enjoyed a wide measure of acceptance not only because of military power or economic might. It also was perceived by its partners as defending larger, common interests and for convening global coalitions when required.

It was precisely that brand of leadership that characterized the U.S. response to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Even so, that crisis shattered much of the world's confidence in the United States' financial leadership. Mismanaging the coronavirus could accelerate further the end of the American era.

"Beijing understands that if it is seen as leading, and Washington is seen as unable or unwilling to do so," writeKurt M. Campbell and Rush Doshi in Foreign Affairs, "this perception could fundamentally alter the United States' position in global politics and the contest for leadership in the twenty-first century."

The authors in this must-read analysis remind us that global orders change gradually at first and then all at once. "In 1956," they remind us, "a botched intervention in the Suez laid bare the decay in British power and marked the end of the United Kingdom's reign as a global power."

So how do United States policy makers avoid their own "Suez moment?"

My columnlast week offered a starting point. It suggested that President Trump, instead of introducing a European travel ban unilaterally March 11, should have triggered NATO's Article 5 for the second time in history. That is the provision, crafted to deter the Soviet Union, that an attack on one member should be treated as an attack on all.

Overly literal readers of that column argued such a response was either ill-advised because it would militarize U.S. response or impossible, as Article 5 was designed for response to an "armed attack." What both arguments missed was the symbolic significance of such a declaration, as was the case when Article 5 was triggered by U.S. allies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

That's particularly true given current transatlantic divisions.

Even if NATO could muster such political will, it would still be insufficient. As the current chairman of the G-7, the United States could convene a "Coalition Countering COVID-19" that would rally the seven leading industrial democracies, the European Union, NATO and, perhaps most importantly, the G-20.

It would thus also involve China as a central and collaborative actor against a common foe.

Yet no other country, including China, has the wherewithal to summon that sort of global response. Failing to do so would further erode U.S. legitimacy as a global leader, a position already damaged through trade wars with its allies and the failure to join galvanizing projects from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accords.

The need is all the greater given Europe's fragmented response even as the virus rages, with the significant exception of European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde's rallying this week of eurozone central bankers.

"European solidarity does not exist," Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

We're only in the opening scenes of this epic COVID-19 drama, which will continue without intermission. The Chinese rebound could prove to be a welcome twist in the plot.

Imagine the far-happier ending, however, if the United States and its allies manage to join forces globally even as they isolate socially.

Frederick Kempe is a best-selling author, prize-winning journalist and president & CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the United States' most influential think tanks on global affairs. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for more than 25 years as a foreign correspondent, assistant managing editor and as the longest-serving editor of the paper's European edition. His latest book "Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth" was a New York Times best-seller and has been published in more than a dozen languages. Follow him on Twitter@FredKempeand subscribe hereto Inflection Points, his look each Saturday at the past week's top stories and trends.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

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Op-Ed: The US should rally G7, NATO and other global allies together in fight against coronavirus - CNBC

Russia’s Alfa-Class: The Titanium Submarine that Stumped NATO – The National Interest

The Alfa-class of Soviet submarines was truly innovative. Their hulls were made of titanium, an extremely light-weight and tensility strong metal, although significantly more expensive than steel. They were powered by a unique reactor as well cooled by a lead-bismuth mixture. They were incredibly fast as well, faster than American or British torpedos. If an Alfa sub detected a torpedo launch, standard operating procedure dictated full steam ahead, and a quick dash to safety.

Silver Subs

In 1969, a photo analystat the CIA stumbled upon the first indication of what would eventually become known as the Alfa-class submarine. Photographic evidence and human intelligence reports told of submarine hull section awaiting assembly that was an oddly reflective, silvery color.

Analysts disagreed on the material. Some said it was part of a massive disinformation campaign, that the hull pieces were simply covered in aluminum paint to confuse the United States.

Titanium itself is three to five times more expensive than steel, and successfully manipulating titanium on a large scale greatly adds to manufacturing costs. Bending and manipulating massive titanium panels for hull sections much more difficult than when working with steel.

Although extremely robust, the manufacture process and conditions required to weld titanium are difficult to implement. At high temperatures (like experienced when welding), titanium easily absorbs oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, causing imperfections in the weld known as embrittlement, which compromise the materials strength.

In order to successfully weld huge titanium panels on a large scale, Soviet engineers had to first create enormous warehouses that were hermetically sealed, then filled with argon, an inert gas that would not interfere with the welding process. Welders had to wear a large cosmonaut-like suit that would supply them with oxygen while inside these warehouses.

Analysts were highly skeptical that the normally conservative design firms would take such a risk, rather than steadily improving on proven designs. However if successful, a titanium hull would offer a few advantages. Titanium is only marginally magnetic, and would thus resist magnetic detection. Titanium submarines would also be able to dive deeper than traditional steel-hulled designs and would be better protected from depth charges or other explosions.

Engine Troubles

Another mystery to western analysts was the reactor that would power this new class of submarines. Its reactor was apparently to be cooled using liquid metal, which would reduce the size of the reactor, and offer a potentially higher output.

The United States Navy believed that liquid metal reactors were harder to maintain and thus more dangerous than the pressurized water reactors, which was the proffered choice for submarine reactors.

A high degree of automation within the Alfa-class would be required to reduce the potential dangers that a crew would face when operating a liquid-metal cooled reactor. Some reports corroborated this theory, stating that the crew would be as low as 15 an incredibly low number that indicated an enormously high degree of automation.

Intelligence Success

The years of intelligence gathering and assessments eventually paid off. Although initial sea trials were a failure, the Alfa-class submarine would become the fastest submarine ever built. Underwater, it could reach a blistering 41 knots or 47 miles per hour. For comparison, the American Arleigh Burke-class destroyers reach top speed for around 30 knots or 35 miles per hour.

The Alfa-class was not without its perfections. Its liquid-metal cooled reactor had to be constantly heated so that the coolant didnt solidify. Many of the Soviet Unions ports were not adequately equipped to service these unique submarines, so they often left their reactors running, significantly shortening the time between necessary servicing. While fast, they were also very loud and sacrificed any stealth for speed.

The last of the class was withdrawn for scrapping in 1990 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union when expensive upkeep was no longer a priority. Still, their design impacted future Soviet designs, which incorporated some Alfa features, such as a higher degree of automation, into their designs.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer with The National Interest. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Image: Russian Military Forums.

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Russia's Alfa-Class: The Titanium Submarine that Stumped NATO - The National Interest

Spanish army asks NATO for international assistance to fight coronavirus – EL PAS in English

The Spanish army has requested international assistance to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which is now expanding at a faster rate than in Italy. Although the country has been in lockdown for over a week, the number of cases has soared in recent days, with 514 deaths in just 24 hours.

On Tuesday, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC) of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) received a request for international assistance from the Armed Forces of Spain in their response to the global pandemic.

The Armed Forces of Spain are acting in favor of civil population to mitigate the virus spread, said the EADRCC in a press release. In order to prevent the spread of the virus in the military units of the Armed Forces of Spain and in the civil population, international partners are asked to provide assistance to the Ministry of Defense of Spain in supplying humanitarian assistance.

In Madrid, the government on Tuesday announced new measures to fight the coronavirus. Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, Health Minister Salvador Illa and Finance Minister Mara Jess Montero gave a virtual news conference to explain what the governments next steps are going to be.

On a day when coronavirus-related deaths reached 2,696 and infections pushed past 40,000, Illa warned that the worst has yet to pass.

Our country is responding, but the response needs to be global or it will not be at all

This week is being tough, very tough. During this phase we are going to reach the peak of the epidemic, and it is very tough to keep up the drastic measures that we are requesting to extend until April 12, he said, alluding to the executives decision to prolong the nationwide confinement measures that went into effect after the government declared a state of alarm on March 13. The decision to extend the lockdown was approved by the Cabinet today and will be debated in Congress on Wednesday.

Illa acknowledged that the Madrid region is bearing the brunt of the pandemic, accounting for over 1,500 deaths. With a healthcare system overwhelmed by the rate of infection, the citys premier exhibition center, Ifema, has been converted into a massive field hospital and a local ice rink is now being used as a makeshift morgue.

Right now we need to show solidarity with Madrid. The government has deployed medical resources from other parts of Spain, redoubled the acquisition of certain products such as ventilators, and activated the countrys capacity to produce these items, said Illa.

Regarding media reports of dead bodies found at senior homes, the health minister said that a special task force has been created to follow up on the situation.

The Cabinet has also agreed to lift the ban on flights from Italy, but only for Spanish citizens and residents of Spain. Anyone flying in from an Italian airport will have to undergo quarantine.

Government spokesperson Mara Jess Montero, who is also the finance minister, listed the upcoming measures to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis. Montero said that 300 million from an extraordinary fund will be distributed among regional governments to shore up social benefits. The money is aimed at helping dependent individuals, single-parent households and other particularly vulnerable groups.

We will take the necessary steps to ensure that nobody is left behind, said Montero. Our country is responding, but the response needs to be global or it will not be at all.

Montero also said that the Cabinet has approved the conditions to release the first 20 billion tranche of a 100 billion guarantee scheme to bring liquidity to small and medium businesses that have been experiencing a significant drop in revenues since much of the economy ground to a halt. Prime Minister Pedro Snchez last week announced a 200 billion package that included the liquidity scheme, tax deferrals and other forms of economic relief for struggling households and businesses.

Everyone is making a titanic effort, especially our healthcare professionals, she said. I hope this crisis is resolved as soon as possible, but it is going to change our values scale, and make us more aware of the welfare state.

English version by Susana Urra.

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Spanish army asks NATO for international assistance to fight coronavirus - EL PAS in English

NATO’s budget virus: How the pandemic could slash military spending | TheHill – The Hill

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden commits to female VP; CDC says no events of 50+ people for 8 weeks This week: Senate balances surveillance fight with growing coronavirus concerns Juan Williams: Trump must be held to account over coronavirus MOREs 30-day travel ban on Europeans entering the United States angered the European Union, whose leaders had not been informed prior to his announcement. In fact, the baninitially was not directed at the EU per se, but rather at the 26 Schengen Area countries whose citizens can travel freely without passports anywhere within Schengens boundaries. Neither Switzerland nor Norway are EU members, for example but they are part of the Schengen group, and their citizens now cannot travel temporarily to the United States. On the other hand, Britain and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area; hence, their initial exemption now revoked from the administration's travel ban.

Health experts will debate whether an area-wide ban was called for. What is not debatable is the likely impact of the ban on the economies of the affected countries.

Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank and a former French finance minister, stated at a news conference that the heightened uncertainty negatively affects expenditure plans and their financing and that even if ultimately temporary by nature, it [the coronavirus epidemic] will have a significant impact on economic activity, in particular it will slow down production as a result of disrupted supply chains and reduce domestic and foreign demand, especially through the adverse impact of the necessary containment measures.

One of the first casualties of the virus may well be European defense spending, which long has taken a back seat to domestic spending in most EU states also are NATO members. This is especially the case in Western Europe. As Sawomir Dbski, director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs, puts it, Defense budgets may be the first victims of [the virus], especially in so-called old Europe, to use (Donald) Rumsfelds phrase, referring to the famous description used by the U.S. defense secretary during the George W. Bush administration.

On the other hand, Dbski adds, In Central Europe, defense budgets are of high priority for obvious reasons that is, close proximity of (an) aggressive Russia. Second, the economic situation of NATO Eastern Flank countries is in much better shape than that of their Western European allies. Poland, for example, for the first time ever, has (a) fully balanced budget for the fiscal year 2020. So if the coronavirus hits Polands economy, the government simply will make necessary budget corrections allowing some deficit, without cutting defense spending.

While Polands defense budget may withstand the ravages of the coronavirus, that may not be the case elsewhere in Russias neighborhood. Spending on emergency measures to combat the virus it is estimated that a European Central Bank bailout for Italy alone could exceed $500 billion Euros, or about $560 billion could increase the pressure on European economies that have only just begun to show growth in their gross domestic products (GDP). Depending on how long the virus continues to ravage Europe, recovery could take years, not months.

Coupled with ongoing immigration from the Middle East and North Africa, it likely will take the European NATO states considerably longer to reach their agreed goal of achieving defense spending that is equal to 2 percent of their respective GDPs by 2024.

NATO already is feeling the ravages of the virus in other ways. Major exercises such as Defender are being radically restructured and trimmed; others have been cancelled. At this time of worldwide crisis, it is crucial that Washington not further complicate Europes challenges by exacerbating tensions over defense spending. Moreover, it should lead the Alliances strategizing for the rapid restoration of all planned training, exercises and deployments immediately upon indications that the threat of the pandemic is beginning to wane.

Unless Washington takes these steps, the major beneficiary of NATOs travails will be none other than that soon-to-be constitutionally-engineered president for life, Russia's Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

Dov S. Zakheim is a senior adviser at theCenter for Strategic and International Studies and vice chairman of the board for theForeign Policy Research Institute. He was under secretary of Defense (comptroller) and chief financial officer for the Department of Defense from 2001 to 2004 and a deputy under secretary of Defense from 1985 to 1987.

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NATO's budget virus: How the pandemic could slash military spending | TheHill - The Hill

Op-Ed: The US should call NATO to action and defend Europe against coronavirus – CNBC

While listening to President Trump announce the European travel ban in his Oval Office address, my mind wandered back in time to the early G20 meetings of finance ministers and heads of government in 2009 when the United States and its European partners worked together to head off a global financial meltdown.

I then traveled back a little further in time to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a day on which I found myself traveling on the Eurostar between London and Brussels, my two homes at the time. For the first time in NATO's history, our European and Canadian allies triggered the alliance's Article 5 commitment to common defense.

Going back to read the language of this provision, written in 1949 to deter Soviet aggression, it struck me that Trump could have produced a far more presidential moment this week if he had done what the Europeans did for the United States back then. He should offer the transatlantic community an Article 5 declaration of war against this deadly pathogen.

If NATO could bend Article 5 to combat a non-state terrorist actor striking the United States, why not also to combat the Chinese-originated COVID-19, which by Friday had infected more than 28,000 individuals and killed more than 1,200 among NATO allies. Given current transatlantic divisions, there is far greater need now than after 9/11 for a symbolic gesture of unity.

President Trump could have confounded his critics, calmed markets and perhaps even outlined common cause efforts including travel limitations that he and his administration had agreed to during consultations with our NATO partners and the European Union. "Article 5 provides that an attack on one of us is an attack on all," he could have said, Three Muskateer-like. "It's all for one, and one for all!"

There's also a strong America First reason why President Trump should have leaned more in that direction. He's going to need Europe, just as the United States did in 2009, as this health crisis is quickly becoming a markets and financial crisis that could be addressed far more effectively through coordinated public health and fiscal stimulus measures.

Though no one wishes the world a financial crisis of the 2008 and 2009 dimensions, it would be irresponsible not to begin talks among the world's major economies and democracies about what strains they see in the system and what contingency planning they should be undertaking should the coronavirus economic slowdown continue. Compared to 2009, the world's record debt levels and its low to negative interest rates provide far less capability and then demand even more common cause.

Instead, what unfolded on 3/11/2020 in Europe and the United States were events that further underscored how divided the United States and its European partners are when they should be most united. Without consulting our allies at all, he implemented the ban which took effect at midnight Friday in an Oval Office address on all American television networks that left his own national security team scratching their heads, correcting mistakes (cargo wouldn't be banned, as the President initially said), and filling in critical omissions (Americans could still travel home from Europe).

The result was one of the harshest responses ever recorded from EU leaders to an American President. A joint statement by President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel, read: "The Coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action. The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation. The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus."

"When it comes to solidarity and unity, the United States is failing the coronavirus test," Benjamin Haddad, the director of the Atlantic Council's Future Europe Initiative, wrote in the Washington Post. "President Trump's speech Wednesday on the response to COVID-19 marked one of the most consequential foreign policy turning points of his presidency. This moment represents the lowest point in transatlantic relations in recent memory."

Sadly, the recent days have also shown how divided Europeans are among themselves, with Italians that there call for help has brought insufficient assistance to the country so far hardest hit in Europe by the virus. At previous such times of European uncertainty, the United States could provide necessary glue to keep everyone together.

".it's time now for the EU to go beyond engagement and consultations," Maurizio Massari, the Italian permanent representative to the European Union, wrote in Politico, "with emergency actions that are quick, concrete and effective."

He complained that "not a single EU country" had responded to Italy's call to active the European Union Mechanism of Civil Protection for the supply of medical equipment for individual protection. "Only China responded bilaterally. Certainly, this is not a good sign of European solidarity."

Unimaginably, Italian newspapers were full of Beijing's outreach to help on the very same day that President Trump declared his European travel ban.

A plane carrying a team of specialist doctors with battleground experience fighting the virus left China on Wednesday for Italy, the European epicenter of the pandemic, with urgently needed medical equipment. That includes 2 million facemasks, 20,0000 protective suits and 10,000 ventilators.

The gesture was widely publicized in China and Italy. A report in China Daily said that thanks to donations from people living in the East China Zhejian province, some 4,556 boxes of disaster-relief materials were on their way to Italy. More than 300,000 people from the province live and work in Italy.

Crises either make institutions and relationships stronger or weaker, but they don't leave them unchanged. A pandemic's political danger is that countries just like some individuals feel that it's everyone for themselves.

Yet after an unforgivable initial delay, Europeans are beginning to show more solidarity among themselves. EU leaders have committed 25 billion euros to respond to the economic fallout, of which $7.5 billion euros should be available quickly to provide emergency necessities.

Now it's the United States' turn to mend the message of this week. As fanciful as this idea might sound, it's time to invoke NATO's Article 5 to tackle the virus. It may take that dramatic of a symbolic action to repair the transatlantic damage that has been done.

Frederick Kempe is a best-selling author, prize-winning journalist and president & CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the United States' most influential think tanks on global affairs. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for more than 25 years as a foreign correspondent, assistant managing editor and as the longest-serving editor of the paper's European edition. His latest book "Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth" was a New York Times best-seller and has been published in more than a dozen languages. Follow him on Twitter@FredKempeand subscribe hereto Inflection Points, his look each Saturday at the past week's top stories and trends.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

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Op-Ed: The US should call NATO to action and defend Europe against coronavirus - CNBC

Recommitting to NATO, Resisting Putin’s Aggression – Charged Affairs

Editors Note: This article is part of our special series Predictions & Predicaments. It should be read as if written in April 2024. Read more about the special series here.

It is one thing to send little green men to attack Ukrainiansoldiers. It is another to send them to attack the 1st BrigadeCombat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division. Vladimir Putin learnedthat lesson the hard way.

NATO member states could have reacted to Putins recentoffensive by reinforcing their own defenses, preparing for the day Spetsnazcommandos and eastern Ukrainian separatist militias came to their borders. Luckily,the alliance remembered its recent history. As in Bosnia and Kosovo in the1990s, the alliance had a reason to act even though the conflict was outsideNATOs borders.

What led the alliance to dispatch U.S., UK, and Frenchparatroopers to Kyiv International Airport, daring Putins troops to continuetheir march toward the Ukrainian capital? It is possible to label any one ofhundreds of events, large or small, as the decisive one. But three decisionsmade by the United States in the last three years stand out. The fact that theywere U.S. decisions shows how indispensable the country is to Europeansecurity.

First, commanders challenged very long-held assumptions.Take heavy armor, for example. Decades after the threat of Red Army tanksdriving through the Fulda Gap vanished, the U.S. Army in 2019 was still orderingmore M1 Abrams tanks. But with Military Sealift Command strained,and its ability to transport tanks across the Atlantic compromised, plannersquestioned their reliance on armor to fight off a Russian incursion. Theyrealized cyber security was more valuable witness the swiftness with which U.S.cyber units blocked Russian hackers attempts to disable Ukrainian governmentwebsites the same day as the invasion.

Second, the Pentagon began investing more in personnel, rather than putting excessive faith in traditional warfighting technology. As impressive as the United States warships, armored vehicles, fighter planes, and other machinery are, they will be useless if the men and women operating them are not fully prepared. Learning from the two fatal collisions involving Navy destroyers in 2017, and from the Marine Corps high number of deadly aviation mishaps in 2018, the U.S. military paid more attention to the troops training and wellbeing. Today, service members have ample opportunities to upgrade their skills, rest after long missions, and learn from their comrades.

Along with this investment came a different conception of what it means to fight. After much resistance, each of the services now has a cyber auxiliary, a unit whose members, while they must be physically fit, are not expected to meet the same high fitness standards as infantrymen. Former Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller was half-joking when he said a Marine in the Cyber Auxiliary can have purple hair, but he spotted the value of flexibility in particular standards. It was the warrior ethic that mattered, the commitment to using ones skills in service to ones country, not just the number of pushups one could do.

Third, and most importantly, was simply recommitting to thealliance. With a separate European Defense Force still under discussion, andwith Americans domestic economic anxieties flaring up, it was tempting tosimply let the Europeans go their own way. It is their continent, after all, aless committed president might have said. Why not let them boost their defensebudgets, square off with Putin themselves, and leave the U.S. free to confront astill-rising China in the Pacific?

Fortunately, Washington chose the opposite path. Forexample, while continuing the multilateral TridentJuncture exercise in the Arctic, it restarted Marine Corps trainingmissions along the Black Sea, a rejection of the false choice betweenpreparing for conflict in one and in the other. So prepared were the U.S. seaservices that, when the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit sailed towardCrimea aboard an Amphibious Ready Group, in tandem with the paratrooperslanding in Kyiv, there was no doubt the United States was ready to fight.

Putin must have thought he had timed his incursionperfectly. When his troops set off for Kyiv on March 19, he saw no reason toworry. Surely, he thought, NATO members would not risk their soldiers livesfor a non-member. Ukrainian resistance would crumble by April 4, giving NATO ablack eye on its 75th birthday. But he reckoned without U.S. andallied resolve.

As his henchmen withdrew to the Donbass, unwilling to fight a U.S.-led detachment, Putin offered the laughable idea that his intention all along was simply to show the world what Russia was capable of. That remark will quickly fade from memory. Instead, the world will remember the words of dozens of ordinary people who spoke at NATOs summit last week: Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Albanians saved from massacres by NATO airstrikes a generation ago; Ukrainians who fled Crimea and the Donbass after seeing the brutal crackdown on friends who resisted Russian domination; Russians who risked their lives to speak out against the Putin regime. None of them were citizens of NATO members, but all praised NATO eloquently a stark reminder that the alliance, when it summons the will to act, protects millions outside its ranks.

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Recommitting to NATO, Resisting Putin's Aggression - Charged Affairs

Russian Planes Are Flying Thousands of Miles to Track NATO Submarines – The National Interest

A pair of Russian navy Tu-142 patrol planes flew one of the longest-ever flights in international air space in decades on and around March 11, 2020.

The powerful, swept-wing planes with their four turboprop engines flew from Kipelovo-Fedotovo airbase near Vologda in northern Russia, skirted the Arctic Circle as they headed west around Norway and the United Kingdom then south to the waters off Spain -- and then flew back.

NATO fighters rose to intercept the 174-feet-long Tupolevs, but at no point did the planes, which are based on the Tu-95 bomber, stray into any countrys national air space.

The impressive flight was just the latest in a surge of sorties by the small fleet of around two dozen Tu-142s, which with their nearly 8,000-mile endurance are among the farther-flyest military aircraft in the world.

The Tu-142 and other Russian long-range warplanes have flown several epic missions in the spring of 2020, in part in order to keep tabs on NATO submarines conducting exercises in European and Arctic waters.

The Russian sorties mirror a similar surge by NATO patrol planes that took place in late 2019 as the Russian fleet deployed an unusually large number of submarines. The escalating missions below and above the waves point to intensifying preparation for a potential war on both sides of the former Iron Curtain.

The March 11, 2020 sortie might have targeted NATO submarines participating in the alliances Cold Response war game. NATO canceled Cold Response in reaction to the rapid spread of the flu-like novel-coronavirus, but the submarines may have lingered in the exercise zone.

The Norwegian air force scrambled fighters to check in on the Tu-142s as they passed by Norway. Its unclear which types the Norwegians launched, but Oslos air arm earlier in March 2020 sent F-16 and F-35 fighters to intercept a patrol by a Tu-142 and an escorting MiG-31 interceptor.

The Royal Air Force with its Typhoon fighters took over as the Russian patrol planes neared United Kingdom air space. These Russian bombers do not comply with international air traffic rules, are a hazard to airliners and are not welcome in our air space, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston stated. RAF Typhoons, alongside our NATO allies, ensured these Russian aircraft posed no hazard.

But the Russians were back at it a few days later with a pair of Tu-160 long-range bombers. Again, RAF fighters rose to intercept.

British and Norwegian Typhoon and F-16 fighter jets also scrambled twice in late February 2020 to intercept pairs of Tu-142s after the Russian planes flew farther south than normal and approached Norwegian air space.

The Russian patrol surge isnt limited to Europe. On March 9, 2020, a pair of Tu-142s took off from Russias Far East region and flew northeast over the Arctic.

U.S. Air Force F-22s and Canadian air force F/A-18s simultaneously intercepted the patrollers and followed them as they flew over a temporary base for two U.S. Navy submarines conducting the services biennial ice exercise.

American sailors captured dramatic images of the Russian planes buzzing USS Connecticut and USS Toledo.

The Arctic is a potential strategic corridor -- between Indo-Pacific, Europe and the U.S. homeland -- for expanded competition," U.S. Navy vice admiral Daryl Caudle explained in a statement.

As recently as late 2019, NATO was the one launching patrol planes to keep watch over Russian submarines. The Russian navy in mid-October 2019 deployed eight submarines in the countrys biggest undersea exercise since the Cold War.

More than a dozen NATO patrol planes flew back-to-back missions in order to find and track Moscows submarines.

Between Oct. 25 and Nov. 7, 2019, the NATO planes flew more than 40 missions. Six Norwegian air force P-3s, four U.S. Navy P-8s and a Canadian air force CP-140 flew from Andoya in Norway. At least one additional P-8 flew from Keflavik in Iceland. A French navy Atlantic 2 patroller staged from Prestwick airport in Scotland.

The Russian exercise seemed to highlight Moscows new approach to undersea warfare. While the war game reportedly was defensive in nature, the same submarines with their long-range cruise missiles could conduct offensive operations from the same waters.

David Axe serves as Defense Editor of the National Interest. He is theauthor of the graphic novelsWar Fix,War Is BoringandMachete Squad.

Image: Royal Air Force Facebook.

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Russian Planes Are Flying Thousands of Miles to Track NATO Submarines - The National Interest

NATO warships unable to collect intel on Russian Navy in the Black Sea: report – AMN Al-Masdar News

The US and its Western European allies regularly send warships to the Black Sea, with other NATO countries bordering the body of water including Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey maintaining a sizable permanent presence in the region.

NATO warships sailing near Russias borders in the Black Sea around the Crimean peninsula are virtually incapable of carrying out any useful reconnaissance thanks to the Russian militarys powerful coastal electronic warfare systems, a source in the regions security apparatus has said.

Commenting on the alliances attempt to penetrate the regions communications and digital networks, the source indicated that this was made impossible as a result of the deployment and real-world testing of the latest electronic warfare countermeasures.

As a result [of these measures] NATO warships turn around and leave, the official said.

According to the source, Russias electronic countermeasures are powerful enough not only to make snooping impossible, but to screw up warships navigation systems, resulting in false readings on their current coordinates.

The US and its NATO allies have substantially increased their reconnaissance patrols along Russias borders in recent years, deploying dozens of warships in the Black Sea and sending hundreds of drones and spy planes on intelligence-gathering missions around Crimea, the home to Russias Black Sea Fleet.

Late last month, the US deployed the USS Ross guided-missile destroyer into the body of water for drills. The Russian Navy assured observers that it had the capabilities to monitor the warships movement. Earlier this month, the Russian military reported detecting 25 foreign aircraft engaged in reconnaissance activities near the countrys borders, with fighters scrambled twice to prevent illegal entry into Russian airspace.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned the US and its NATO allies over their maritime exercises, drone and spy plane flights and bomber drills near Russias borders, warning that such behaviour only serves to stoke tensions. The alliance has so far ignored these objections.

Credit: Sputnik

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NATO warships unable to collect intel on Russian Navy in the Black Sea: report - AMN Al-Masdar News

Exclusive Von Storch: Turkey Should Be Removed from NATO Following Migrant Aggression – Breitbart

Deputy leader of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Beatrix von Storch has slammed the Turkish government for opening its borders to Europe, demanding that the country be removed from the NATO military alliance.

Ms von Storch commented on the situation along the Greek border, where thousands of migrants have gathered, in an interview with Breitbart London this week, stating that President Recep Tayyip Erdogans government had committed an act of aggression by opening the border.

First of all, what is our approach to this situation? We stand with Greece. This is, I think, the bottom line. We have to strengthen the Greek border and border police and we should do everything we can to help them keep the border clear, von Storch said.

On the actions of President Erdogan, Ms von Storch said: Its an act of aggression, what he is proposing.Its the fight of an Islamic country against a small Christian country and he did it with purpose. He uses it as a weapon.

The AfD deputy leader went on to note the multiple times that Erdogan has threatened the European Union, including as recently as last December when he stated that migrants displaced by military activity in the Syrian province of Idlib could go on to Europe.

Von Storch also referenced threats by Erdogan to transport migrants into buses and ship them to the border. The Turkish government has been accused of bussing in migrants to the Greek border earlier this month as well as transporting them to the area by train.

Many have questioned the suitability of Turkey within the NATO alliance, of which Greece is also a member, following Erdogans latest action and Ms von Storch is no exception.

This is in our basic programme, we have included a passage that says Turkey shouldnt be a member of NATO. Turkey is not alongside all of our national interests and the interests of Western societies, she said.

[Erdogan] is not acting as a member, he is acting like a threat and an opponent of the NATO alliance, she added.

While Turkey has called for aid from NATO in recent weeks to help with the migrant crisis, not everyone within Erdogans own AKP party is supportive of the country remaining a NATO member.

In 2017, MPSamil Tayyar said Turkey should leave NATO, accusing the alliance of helping stage a military coup in the country in 1980 and adding that NATO has become a threat and is spreading terror organisations across the region.

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Exclusive Von Storch: Turkey Should Be Removed from NATO Following Migrant Aggression - Breitbart