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NATO | Founders, Members, & History | Britannica

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 terrorist 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, 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 | Founders, Members, & History | Britannica

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.

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NATO: Definition, Purpose, History, Members

NSO > Home – NATO School

By Ms. Liliana Serban, ROU-CIV,Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Course Director/ Liaison Officer

On 17 Oct 19, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO), together with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Monterey, USA, concluded the second cyber security course at the NATO-Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) Regional Centre in Kuwait.

The first course, Introduction to Network Security, held from 24 Mar to 04 Apr 19, was followed by an Introduction to Network Vulnerability Assessment & Risk Mitigation, from 06 to 17 Oct 19. The courses were organised under the auspices of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and brought together 40 IT specialists, network security administrators, technicians and engineers from different governmental agencies representing all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

These tailor-made courses are aimed at strengthening the ties between the countries in the Gulf region and NATO and at developing local cyber expertise by addressing the bits-in-transit aspect of network security and potential vulnerabilities and their mitigation in networked systems.

"The security and stability of the region heavily depend on reliable cyber infrastructure, and these courses represent a significant added value to NATOs efforts on projecting stability to the South of the Alliance", underlined Colonel Brian Hill, USA-AF, the NSO Dean of Academics, in his closing remarks.

Inaugurated in Jan 17, the NATO-ICI Regional Centre is the hub for education, training, and other cooperation activities between NATO and its ICI partners in the Gulf, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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NSO > Home - NATO School

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

Contents

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

Russia’s close ally Belarus explores working closer with NATO – Stars and Stripes

STUTTGART, Germany The top military official in Belarus says his country, a closely tied Russian ally, is open to conducting joint military exercises with NATO.

Belarus defense chief Oleg Belokonev recently told local media his country should be regarded in similar terms as Serbia a country with close ties to Russia but one with a military training connection to NATO.

Belarus is ready for joint exercises with NATO. There are talks on possible formats, Belokonev told Nasha Niva newspaper. But we will agree on this if NATO understands that Russia is our strategic ally.

Belokonev was responding to a question about whether Belarus relationship with NATO should resemble that of Serbia.

The idea of upgraded ties between Minsk and NATO comes amid signs of tension between Russia and Belarus, which serves as a Russian territorial buffer between NATO.

This week, Russia halted oil deliveries to Belarus over contract problems, Russian state media reported Friday. The two countries also have been at odds over payments for weapons systems.

In 2019, Belarus also angered Russia when it refused to play host to a Russian air base.

On Dec. 20, Belarus authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg to discuss deeper economic ties, The Associated Press reported. The meeting drew a rare protest of about 1,000 people in Minsk, who held up signs that said First Crimea, then Belarus and Stop Annexation!

Russia annexed Ukraines Crimean Peninsula in 2014, which has led to continued conflict between the two nations and heightened tensions on NATOs eastern border.

The U.S. has begun to seek out closer ties with Belarus in the meantime. In August, former Secretary of State John Bolton made a visit to the former Soviet state the highest level American official to visit the country in years.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had planned to visit Belarus and other central Asian countries this month but canceled the trip after the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

While Belarus is a member of NATOs partnership for peace program, to date that has mainly involved smaller activities, such as military officials taking part in courses with NATO members.

Belarusian personnel are attending courses in NATO countries and practical cooperation is being developed in areas such as civil preparedness, crisis management, arms control and scientific cooperation, a NATO official said under customary condition of anonymity Thursday.

Meanwhile, Belokonev told Belarusian media that it also is considering taking part in international peacekeeping exercises that could involve training with Italian forces.

vandiver.john@stripes.comTwitter: @john_vandiver

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Russia's close ally Belarus explores working closer with NATO - Stars and Stripes

Nato suspends Isis operations in Iraq, as Iran vows revenge on Trump after killing of top commander – The Independent

Iran and its allies continued to threatenrevenge yesterday as a rocket exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad following the killing of an Iranian leader by American forces.

Irans ambassador to the United Nations has warned the US has started a military war by an act of terror with the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, as Donald Trump claimed he ordered the Quds Force generals death to prevent war rather than provoke it.

The countrys UN diplomat declared Iran has to act, and we will act, while UN secretary general Antonio Guterres joined global calls for de-escalation as he cautioned the world cannot afford another Gulf War.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Meanwhile, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo criticised allies, including the UK, for not backing the airstrike. But former UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt criticised the action, calling it extreme.

Natohas suspended ongoing efforts to fight Isis in Iraqamid demands by Iran and its allies for revenge against the US.

Thousands of supporters of Soleimani and Iraqi Shia militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes gathered in Tehran, Baghdad and other cities to mourn the two men, who were killed in a US airstrike outside the Iraqi capital on Friday and whose funerals took place in Baghdad yesterday.

Yesterday Irans supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared three days of mourning, a move followed by the Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who declared three days of national mourning in Iraq.

A witness in Tehran described shops putting up portraits ofSoleimaniand funereal banners being hung in the citys neighbourhoods.

Hes seen as a guy who has fought terrorists and brought security for Iranians at home, saidAbas Aslani, a researcher at the Centre for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran, in a phone call from the Iranian capital.

Several Iranian officials reiterated longstanding warningson Saturday that Tehran could target US ships in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway through which a significant chunk of the worlds energy reserves travel, with one noting that Irans missiles could reach Israel.

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This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday 3 January

AP

The wreckage of the car in which general Soleimani was travelling when a targeted US airstrike struck outside Baghdad International Airport on 3 January

Ahmad Al Mukhtar via Reuters

Demonstrators burn the US and British flags during a protest in Tehran after general Soleimani was killed in a targeted airstrike by American forces

Reuters

A burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike. The Pentagon said Thursday that the US military has killed general Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, at the direction of Donald Trump

AP

Protesters burn Israeli and US flags as thousands of Iranians take to the streets to mourn the death of general Soleimani at the hands of America

EPA

Supporters of Donald Trump pray at an 'Evangelicals for Trump' campaign event held on the day following the killing of general Soleimani. At the event, the president praised the "flawless strike that eliminated the terrorist ringleader"

AFP via Getty

A huge procession of mourners gather in Baghdad for the funeral of general Soleimani on 4 January

AP

Thousands of Iranians take to the streets to mourn the death of Soleimani during an anti-US demonstration to condemn the killing of Soleimani, after Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran

EPA

Iraqis perform a mourning prayer for slain major general Qasem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards at the Great Mosque of Kufa

AFP via Getty

A billboard reading 'Death to America and Israel', installed by Iran-backed shiite armed groups at a street in Jadriyah district in Baghdad, Iraq

EPA

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him visiting the family of Soleiman

KHAMENEI.IR/AFP via Getty

Thousands of Iranians take to the streets in Tehran

EPA

Pakistani Shiite Muslims burn a mock of a US flag as they hold pictures of General Qasem Soleimani during a protest against the USA, outside the US Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan

EPA

Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Jalal Feiruznia, looks to a portrait of Soleimani, as he receives condolences at the Iranian embassy, in Beirut, Lebanon

AP

People make their way on the street while a screen on the wall of a cinema shows a portrait Soleimani in Tehran

AP

Aziz Asmar, one of two Syrian painters who completed a mural following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani poses next to his creation in the rebel-held Syrian town of Dana in the northwestern province of Idlib

AFP via Getty

A demonstration in Tehran

AFP via Getty

An anti-US demonstration to condemn the killing of Soleimani, after Friday prayers in Tehran

EPA

Mujtaba al-Husseini, the representative of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivers a speech in the holy shrine city of Najaf

AFP via Getty

Pakistani Shiite Muslims burn a mock of a US and Israeli flags as they hold pictures of General Qasem Soleimani during a protest against the USA, outside the US Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan

EPA

Protesters demonstrate in Tehran

AP

Pakistani Shi'ite Muslims hold pictures of General Qasem Soleimani during a protest against the USA, in Peshawar, Pakistan

EPA

Protesters, holding a photograph of the leader of the People's Mujahedin of Iran Massoud Rajavi, outside Downing Street in London

PA

Protesters burn a US flag in Tehran

AP

A Syrian man offers sweets to children to mark the killing

AFP via Getty

Iranian worshippers attend a mourning prayer for Soleimani in Iran's capital Tehran

AFP via Getty

Kashmiri Shiite Muslims shout anti American and anti Israel slogans during a protest

AP

Iranian worshipers chant slogans during Friday prayers

Reuters

A protest against the USA, in Islamabad, Pakistan

EPA

Iranians burn a US flag in Tehran

EPA

Supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Germany (NWRI) protest outside Iran's embassy in Berlin, Germany

Reuters

Supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Germany (NWRI) protest outside Iran's embassy in Berlin

Reuters

Iranian worshippers in Tehran

AFP via Getty

Vehicles of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrol a road in the southern Lebanese town of Kfar Kila near the border with Israel. Following morning's killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani, Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement called for the missile strike by Israel's closest ally, to be avenged

AFP via Getty

Iranian women take to the streets in Tehran

EPA

This photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office shows a burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday 3 January

AP

The wreckage of the car in which general Soleimani was travelling when a targeted US airstrike struck outside Baghdad International Airport on 3 January

Ahmad Al Mukhtar via Reuters

Demonstrators burn the US and British flags during a protest in Tehran after general Soleimani was killed in a targeted airstrike by American forces

Reuters

A burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike. The Pentagon said Thursday that the US military has killed general Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, at the direction of Donald Trump

AP

Protesters burn Israeli and US flags as thousands of Iranians take to the streets to mourn the death of general Soleimani at the hands of America

EPA

Supporters of Donald Trump pray at an 'Evangelicals for Trump' campaign event held on the day following the killing of general Soleimani. At the event, the president praised the "flawless strike that eliminated the terrorist ringleader"

AFP via Getty

A huge procession of mourners gather in Baghdad for the funeral of general Soleimani on 4 January

AP

Thousands of Iranians take to the streets to mourn the death of Soleimani during an anti-US demonstration to condemn the killing of Soleimani, after Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran

EPA

Iraqis perform a mourning prayer for slain major general Qasem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards at the Great Mosque of Kufa

AFP via Getty

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Nato suspends Isis operations in Iraq, as Iran vows revenge on Trump after killing of top commander - The Independent

Poland takes charge of NATO high readiness force – NATO HQ

The Polish army will take the lead of NATOs Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) on Wednesday (1 January 2020), placing thousands of soldiers on standby and ready to deploy within days. Poland takes over from Germany, which provided the core of the VJTFs land forces in 2019.

"I thank Poland for leading NATOs high readiness forces this year, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, our Spearhead Force, is a substantial contribution to our collective defence and a strong display of Polands capabilities. This force is available to move immediately to defend any Ally against any threat. At a time of unprecedented security challenges, it is more important than ever, the Secretary General added.

The core of the VJTF in 2020 will be Polands 21st Podhale Rifles Brigade, supported by units from Polands 12th Mechanized Division, the 3rd Transport Aviation Wing, Military Police, as well as logistics experts and Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (C-CBRN) specialists. Around 6,000 soldiers will serve on the Spearhead Force, including around 3,000 from Poland. Units from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Turkey and the United Kingdom will also serve on the force. The United States stands ready to support the VJTF with airpower and other combat support.

The VJTF is made up of land, air, maritime and special forces, and is part of the Alliances 40,000-strong NATO Response Force. Exercise Trident Jupiter 19, which took place in November 2019, certified the forces and commands for the 2020 NATO Response Force.NATOs Joint Force Command in Brunssum has command of the NRF in 2020. NATO heads of state and government agreed to create the VJTF at the Wales Summit in 2014 in response to a changed security environment, including Russias illegal annexation of Ukraines Crimea and turmoil in the Middle East. Turkey will lead the VJTFs land forces in 2021.

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Poland takes charge of NATO high readiness force - NATO HQ

US briefing: deadly bushfires, e-cigarettes and Russia in Nato – The Guardian

Good morning, Im Mattha Busby with todays essential stories.

Two more lives have been claimed by Australias bushfire crisis and more people are missing after fires tore through several towns on the east coast as skies turned black, with homes and school buildings destroyed and thousands forced to take shelter on beaches. A father and son died when fire hit the New South Wales town of Cobargo on Tuesday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 11.

Worst bushfire season on record. The NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, warned the true scale of the damage would only become clear once the extraordinary fires were under control.

Over the last three years, much of what the Guardian holds dear has been threatened democracy, civility, truth. As 2020 approaches, the need for a robust, independent press has never been greater. Were asking our US readers to help us raise $1.5m by early January to support our rigorous journalism in the new year. Help us reach our goal! Contribute now.

The rise of e-cigarette use has been celebrated for contributing to reductions in smoking in the UK during an otherwise disappointing decade for healthcare developments. A recent review in the British Medical Journal said vaping had given tobacco cessation a boost at no cost to the public purse. There have been scare stories but the evidence remains consistent and studies published this year showed that e-cigarettes help smokers quit and can benefit cardiovascular health.

Next steps. Proportionate regulation of e-cigarettes and effective tobacco controls must be realised throughout the world or the public health opportunity presented by e-cigarettes to many smokers will be lost, say Prof Linda Bauld and Dr Suzi Gage.

Declassified government papers reveal the MoD had sought to end decades of east-west antagonism and allow Russia to become an associate member of the North Atlantic military alliance 25 years ago. The Downing Street files also provide insights into Boris Yeltsins drinking habits and illustrate concern over his health. He was described as a bad insurance risk and a message of condolence from the prime minister was prepared in case of sudden death.

Realpolitik. If Russian representatives were present at all Nato meetings, what effect would this have on Natos own decision-making? Foreign Office officials wondered. How much do we care about Ukraines or Belarus independence?

Former Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has fled court-imposed bail in Japan before his trial for alleged financial misconduct, arriving in Lebanon where he said he would escape injustice at the hands of a rigged Japanese justice system.

The security team at a church in Fortworth, Texas, who killed a shooter who had shot dead two people, could not have responded as swiftly if it were not for further liberalisation of state gun laws in 2017, the NRA has claimed.

Liberal Jewish groups warned against communities being divided and criticised the police after the decision by the New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, to increase patrols in multi-ethnic neighbourhoods to combat a rise in antisemitic hate crimes.

Authorities in Chile have been urged to investigate whether the murder of a young female photographer, Albertina Martnez, after she was seen going to a protest in Santiago was linked to her reporting of violent clashes between demonstrators and police.

The future family: artificial wombs, robot carers and single fathers by choice

Although predictions by the Guardian in 2004 that it would be very hard to talk about a typical family by now have fallen flat, technology and economics could transform our understanding of the family in the coming years.

Conquistador Hernan Corts still looms large on both sides of Atlantic

About 500 years after the Spanish began their conquest of Latin America, Cortss enduring legacy is being invoked in both Mexico and Spain by politicians seeking to use the divisive figure for their own purposes. How will he be remembered in another five centuries?

Furry, cute and drooling herpes: what to do with Floridas monkeys?

Hundreds of wild monkeys infected with herpes await visitors to Floridas beautiful Silver Springs state park. The troublesome non-native macaques also prey on birds nests. The state is in a lose-lose position, and has advised people not to feed them, as Adam Gabbatt reports.

How voter purging tactic could help Republicans win in 2020

Alarm over the way people are aggressively taken off voter rolls is growing after Wisconsin and Georgia dubiously removed hundreds of thousands of people and one of Trumps reelection advisers told of an aggressive suppression programme.

31 December comes through like a party guest who bursts in after everyone has left, demands that the music is turned back up, then throws up, writes Hamilton Nolan, who argues that we dot need another holiday after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Mostly, New Years Eve is about getting wasted. Because I do not drink, I find this a boring pretext for a national holiday Tomorrow morning, I will wake up refreshed.

Inter Miami, David Beckhams new MLS team, has its first coach. Uruguayan Diego Alonso, twice-winner of the Concacaf Champions League, said he was excited to be part of a winning project before the season curtain-raiser on 1 March.

Megan Rapinhoe, the Guardians footballer of the year, has told of her responsibility to make the world a better place and dismantle white privilege as she recalled incurring the presidents wrath before the USAs World Cup triumph this year.

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US briefing: deadly bushfires, e-cigarettes and Russia in Nato - The Guardian

One Of NATO’s Greatest Fears: A Russian Invasion Of Iceland – Yahoo News

Key Point:The Soviets couldve taken Iceland. Or at least caused a lot of chaos and disruption if the United States did not bolster the defenses beforehand.

Tom Clancys 1986 novel Red Storm Rising depicts a conventional war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Its one of Clancys best books and, interesting for a story about a Third World War, doesnt involve a nuclear apocalypse.

It does describe a ground war in Germany, naval and air battles in the North Atlantic and central to the plot an invasion of Iceland by a regiment of Soviet troops. Clancy, who died in 2013, was known for his realism and extreme attention to technical detail.

In Red Storm Rising, the Soviet troops overwhelm a U.S. Marine company in the Nordic island country after sneaking to shore inside the MV Yulius Fuchik, a civilian barge carrier loaded with hovercraft. Before the amphibious assault, Soviet missile target and destroy NATOs F-15 fighters based at Naval Air Station Keflavik.

Iceland was an overlooked by highly strategic location in the Cold War. Were the Soviet Unions attack submarines to break out into the Atlantic and threaten NATO shipping, neutralizing Iceland and penetrating the GIUK gap would be of vital importance.

But that doesnt mean the Soviets really couldve invaded Iceland right?

For a possible answer, lets consult The Northwestern TVD in Soviet Operational-Strategic Planning, a 2014 report by Phillip Petersen an expert on the Soviet and now Russian militaries for the Potomac Foundation.

In December, the Pentagons Office of Net Assessment made the report public and available on its website.

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One Of NATO's Greatest Fears: A Russian Invasion Of Iceland - Yahoo News

Don’t Believe in Ankara’s Hoax about its Romance with NATO Allies – Modern Diplomacy

In the course of many visits to Iran over the years I have come torealise that no country is the subject of such fascination and mistrust in Iranas the United Kingdom. So my friends at Tehran Times are interested to hearmy thoughts in relation to Anglo-Iranian relations following the recent UKelection.

This election was fought and won by Johnsons Conservative party inorder to Get Brexit Done so that the UK will now definitively after threeyears of political paralysis leave the European Union. I believe this resultto be positive for Iran for two reasons, the first being Prime Minister Johnsonas a person, and the second being the new role and responsibilities ofJohnsons office as UK Prime Minister in international diplomacy and commercefor an independent UK.

Johnson as a Person

Those are my principles, and if you dont like them.well, I haveothers.. Groucho Marx.

As with President Trump it is a mistake to view Prime Minister Johnsonthrough the lens of rational statecraft. Johnson combines intelligence,idleness and pure expedience in equal measure. He owes his success to hiscapacity to delegate strategy and responsibility to capable and diligentsubordinates such as Dominic Cummings, the Grand Vizier to Johnsons ByzantineCaliph.

Perhaps the most important point for Irans decision-makers to bear inmind with PM Johnson is that, like his father Stanley before him, he genuinelylikes and respects Iran and Iranians, and the countrys great culture, historyand heritage. So, all things being equal, the accession to power of Johnson asa person is positive for Iran.

Johnson as UK Prime Minister

Unfortunately, all things are very far from equal for Iran in terms ofaccess to the global economy, and the question is to what extent Irans accessmay improve after UKs imminent Brexit departure from the European Union underJohnsons leadership.

While much is made of the UKs special relationship with the US, thishas been poisoned by a unilateralist Trump administration which is thoroughlydespised by the UK ruling class from which PM Johnson springs. Despite agreat deal of pro-American and anti-European rhetoric from within Johnsonsparty, the reality is that, not least for geographic reasons, two thirds of UKtrade is with EU members and this is unlikely to change soon.

PM Johnson is pragmatic enough, and has a big enough parliamentarymajority for the next five years, to allow his more anti-European & pro-USelements to say what they like while he does what he likes. So what practicalsteps could be taken to improve UK/Iranian relationship?

Trade Clearing

That PM Johnson is willing to engage with Iran was clear from his visitto Tehran two years ago in December 2017. Unfortunately for him, hispredecessor PM Theresa May, under instructions from the US, killed the releaseto Iran via the banking system of long outstanding funds which could open theway to further trust-building measures.

New financial technology (Fintech) presents new options for innovativeUK trade clearing which enable bank payment channels to be transcended. In theenergy field, the UK may go beyond the political EU Energy Union project whichaimed to both create a pan-European market in energy as a commodity and supportthe Euro as a currency by securing denominated debt on energy.

The fundamental flaw of the INSTEX mechanism is that it is reliant onbanks as payment channels, and no major bank wishing to clear dollars isprepared to participate in INSTEX even for trade permitted under US sanctions.The UK may now transcend the INSTEX Euro trade clearing mechanism by creating acomplementary trade clearing system in London.

So a new UK/Iran trade clearing system may directly connect businesseswishing to supply for use in Iran permissible technologies such as desalinationand renewable energy in particular.

How may this be achieved?

Petro Fintech

Financial Technology is the combination of law & accounting withinformation and communications technology (ICT). A new generation of onlinebusinesses emerged around 2001 from the Internet Bubble of complex and crazyventures. A similar new wave of Fintech is now emerging from the initial waveof Blockchain secure shared databases and Coin financial instruments withcomplex and vulnerable connections to the conventional financial system.

In the field of energy fintech Venezuelas Petro instrument is anexcellent case study. The first problem with this Petro is that it istechnically backed, not by (say) gasoline or diesel fuel which the averageVenezuelan can use, but by heavy grades of crude oil useful only to a fewcomplex refineries. Secondly, this technical oil backing is useless even tocomplex refineries because Venezuela will not accept the Petro from theminstead of dollars or even Euros in payment for oil.

In October 2008, the global banking system froze and the oil pricecollapsed, which OPEC mistook for lack of demand, but was simply due to theinability of oil buyers to clear payments using bank channels. Meanwhile, inTehran I proposed, at a major conference chaired by H E Nematzadeh, a simpleprepay instrument (Petro) returnable in payment for fuel supply.

As an energy prepay (credit) instrument Irans reality-based Petrowill be issued by fuel producers or refiners, not by Irans banks orgovernment. The NewClear combination of transparent issuance, professionalsystem management and mutual assurance by a Protection and Indemnity (P&I)club agreement will enable a Petro Clearing Union.

Proofs of Concept

Every network is founded by its first connection. There is no reason whyIrans frozen assets in the UK, whether long outstanding debts, or ongoing gasproduction, cannot be mobilised using simple effective energy credit clearing.In this way, projects may be mobilised in Iran exempt from US sanctions and withsuppliers and contractors willing and able to implement them, but unable toaccess conventional payment via banking channels.

Moreover, in Iran itself, all of the elements now exist to rapidlyintroduce the Petro domestically in order to reduce the initial frictions fromreducing subsidies.

My colleagues and I stand ready, as we have since 2004, to at lastcommence the implementation of a new generation of financial technology bothdomestically and in bilateral UK/Iran trade clearing: in this way Iran may advancefrom nuclear to NewClear agreements.

From ourpartner TehranTimes

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Don't Believe in Ankara's Hoax about its Romance with NATO Allies - Modern Diplomacy

The World This Year: Return of the leaderless protest, NATO’s ‘brain death’, the Greta effect – The world this week – FRANCE 24

Issued on: 27/12/2019 - 16:51Modified: 27/12/2019 - 16:51

2019has been a year of protests around the world: from France, with the most recent demonstrations against Macron's pension reform and the leaderless Yellow Vestprotests;to Chile and Hong Kong, with a mix of social and political grievances. It proved contagious: in the Arab world, leaderless movements brought down not one but two longtime strongmen in Algeria and Sudan. In Lebanon,ordinary citizens are rejecting systems built on sectarian power-sharing. They are alsofed up with mismanagement and corruption.

Meanwhile, 2019 wasa year of challengesamongst NATO members. Especially with French President Emmanuel Macron evokingNATO's "brain death" and with the Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria.It was a triumphant Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was welcomed to the White House. Two weeks before a NATO summit in London, Donald Trump had gifted him a partial withdrawal from Syria.

In India,2019 was the year the world's largest democracy re-elected Narendra Modi.In his first term, Modi promised to put toilets before temples and work on development.But a February suicide attack targeting Indian security forces in disputed Kashmir changed the tone.After that, it was identity politics all the way and sincewith parliament approving the Citizenship Amendment Act, which offers a path to citizenship for immigrants from neighbouring states - so long as they are not Muslim.

Finally, our panel of journalists tell us who they think is their "person of the year", afterclimate activist Greta Thunberg was named Time Person of the Year 2019.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ariana Mozafari.

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The World This Year: Return of the leaderless protest, NATO's 'brain death', the Greta effect - The world this week - FRANCE 24

NATO Was Never Only About Russia – Modern Diplomacy

On December20, 2019, US President Donald Trump signed the National Defense AuthorizationAct, creating the newest military service since the US Air Force wasestablished in 1947. Although the United States Space Force is intended tobolster this countrys overall power in an expanding geostrategic competitionwith Russia the usual or orthodox sort of national response amidst our structuralglobal anarchy its plausible effects will likely be destabilizing. At itscore, the critical US policy error committed here is both conceptual andhistoric; that is, it consists of failing to recognize that literally millenniaof Realpolitik-generated competitionshave ended in more-or-less catastrophic forms of war. In essence, therefore, bycreating Space Force, Donald Trump will merely have passed Americas most basicmilitary posture from one untenable position to another. Apropos of this flawed transmittal, thisarticle by Professor Louis Rene Beres will further clarify certain assorteddetails and informed expectations.

What is the good ofpassing from one untenable position to another, of seeking justification alwayson the same plane?-Samuel Beckett, Endgame

Significantly,US President Donald Trumps newly announced Space Force represents an ironicreaffirmation of past policy failures. More precisely, when understood as a wittingextrapolation from core Trump policies of America First, the operational roleof this newest US armed service will be to extend Realpolitik[1] or power politics vertically, intospace. Prima facie, at best, the predictableresult will be the same as it has always been here on earth. At worst, this result could be utterly banefuland uniquely catastrophic.

Space Forcewill be founded upon certain conspicuous failures of the past. It will projectentire centuries of intellectually vacant policy expectations into still anotherdimension. Accordingly, Americans should now be inquiring: What conceivable goodcan be expected from such a persistently injurious military posture?

The answeris plain. Instead of America First or any of its prematurely celebrated derivatives,a rational and well-intentioned American president should reject all zero-sumderivatives or corollaries of classical belligerent nationalism. Any Americanpolicy that intentionally seeks to maximize its own national well-being at theexpense of others will be acting against certain peremptory norms ofinternational law[2] and against its own dominant securityinterests. By definition, any such policy especially in the midst of ColdWar II [3] could prove incoherent, indefensibleor even altogether irrational.

Nothingcould be more apparent to anyone who bothers to take the trouble to thinklogically and historically about such serious matters.[4] In candor, the requisite analysesare by no means dense or esoteric. Indeed, on such long-documented matters ofpolicy, history is unambiguous.

To clarifyfurther, the world is a system. Always, everything is interrelated. Interalia, no American foreign policy success can ever be achieved at the sacrificialexpense of other countries and peoples. And absolutely no such presumptivesuccess is sustainable if the rest of the planet must thereby expect a consistentlymore violent and explosive future.[5]

Here, on earth, the basic story is always thesame; it is always about certain inane and self-destructive inter-statecompetitions.

Here, onthis irremediably interdependent planet, the national tribe, in one belligerent manifestation or another, has long underminedall needed opportunities for creating a durable and authentic world order.

Still, itis exactly this latest expression of corrosive national tribalism that is championedby Mr. Trumps Space Force. When all cumulative policy impacts are taken into carefulaccount, this soulless[6] derivative of America Firstwill inevitably emerge as anything but patriotic. What else should we reasonably conclude about a planned militaryposture that injures this country and various others abjectly, and at the sametime?[7]

Thoughcounter-intuitive, Space Force represents a US security posture that is badly misconceivedand prospectively lethal. Left unchallenged, it will further exacerbate thedeliberate Presidential choice of endless belligerence as a favored medium of Americanmilitary well-being. What is required, instead, is the readily decipherable opposite of Space Force. What is needed,immediately, is a markedly broadened US awareness of human and societal interconnectedness.

Always, history is instructive. From the 1648 Peaceof Westphalia to the present fragmenting moment, world politics has been shapedby a continuously shifting balance of power and by variously relentless correlatesof war, terror and genocide.[8] Ideally, of course, hope shouldcontinue to exist. To be sure, there is no rational alternative. But now itshould sing much more softly, unobtrusively, in an aptly prudent undertone.

For Americans increasingly endangered byseat-of-the-pants Trump foreign policies, however, more will be required than sotto voce modulations. Merely tosurvive on this imperiled planet, all of us, together, will have to rediscoveran individual human life, one consciouslydetached from ritualistic patterns of conformance, mindless entertainments, shallowoptimism, or any other disingenuously contrived expressions of someretrospectively imagined tribal happiness. At a minimum, such survival willdemand a prompt and full-scale retreat from what Donald Trump has termedAmerica First and from all of its rapidly dissembling correlates. In thisregard, Trumps Space Force is the foreseeable result of a much deeper societalpathology, a know-nothing American populism that drives out intellect andreason in favor of deliberate mystifications and a collective self-delusion.

Jefferson and Americas other Founding Fathershad already understood: There is always a necessary and respectable place forserious erudition. Learning fromhistory, Americans may yet learn something from America First that is useful toopposing any actual iterations of a planned Space Force. They may learn, evenduring this national declension Time ofTrump, that a ubiquitous mortality is far more consequential than anyglittering administration promises of supremacy, advantage or victory.[9]

In The Decline of the West, first publishedduring World War I, Oswald Spengler asked: Can a desperate faith inknowledge free us from the nightmare of the grand questions? Assuredly, thisremains a vital query, but one that will never be adequately raised in our universities,on Wall Street or anywhere in the Trump White House. Still, we may learnsomething productive about these indispensable grand questions by moreclosely studying American roles and responsibilities in a changing worldpolitics.

At thatpoint we might finally come to understand that the most suffocatinginsecurities of life on earth can never be undone by further militarizing spaceand abrogating pertinent international treaties.

In the end,even in American foreign policy decision-making, truth is exculpatory. In whatamounts to a uniquely promising paradox, Space Force can help illuminate a blatantlie that may still help us see the underlying truth. This peremptory truth is notreally mysterious or unfathomable. Americans require, after all, a substantiallywider consciousness of unity and relatedness between individual human beingsand (correspondingly) between adversarial nation-states.

There is nomore urgent requirement.

None.

Thoughseemingly oriented toward greater American power and security, building anAmerican Space Force would merely propel this countrys military strategy fromone untenable posture of belligerent nationalism to another. What theproponents of Space Force ignore, interalia, is that all national security options should be examined from thestandpoint of their cumulative impact.Accordingly, if the credible effect of this new America First policy initiativewill be to spawn various reciprocal postures of belligerent nationalism among principalfoes (e.g., Russia and potentially China) the net effect will prove sorely andcomprehensively negative.[10]

Far betterfor President Trump to consider the relevant insight of Pierre Teilhard deChardin offered in his masterwork, ThePhenomenon of Man: No element can move and grow except with and by all theothers with itself. While not conceived with any particular reference to globalchaos[11] or national military strategies,this elucidating fragment of the French Jesuit philosophers wisdom applieshere with substantial purpose and an altogether exquisite perfection. Summingup, Space Force, in all its apparent detachment from historical experience, representsa move in the wrong direction, a determinative step forward into anotherdimension of prospective international conflict, but a consequentiallyretrograde step nonetheless.

[1] See, by this author, Louis Ren Beres, Reason and Realpolitik: US Foreign Policyand World Order, Lexington Books, 1984; and Louis RenBeres, Mimicking Sisyphus: AmericasCountervailing Nuclear Strategy, Lexington Books, 1983. Regardingphilosophical foundations of Realpoliitk:Right is the interest of thestronger, says Thrasymachus in Bk. I, Sec. 338 of Plato, THE REPUBLIC (B.Jowett tr., 1875). Justice is acontract neither to do nor to suffer wrong, says Glaucon, id., Bk. II, Sec. 359. See also, Philus in Bk III, Sec. 5 of Cicero,DE REPUBLICA.

[2] Accordingto Article 53 of the Vienna Convention onthe Law of Treaties: a peremptory norm of general international law is anorm accepted and recognized by the international community of states as awhole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modifiedonly by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.See: Vienna Convention on the Law ofTreaties, Done at Vienna, May 23, 1969. Entered into force, Jan. 27, 1980.U.N. Doc. A/CONF. 39/27 at 289 (1969), 1155 U.N.T.S. 331, reprinted in 8 I.L.M. 679(1969).

[3] In expresslypolitical science terms, positing the influence of Cold War II meansexpecting that the world system is becoming increasingly bipolar. Forearly writings, by this author, on the global security implications of justsuch an expanding bipolarity, see: Louis Ren Beres, Bipolarity, Multipolarity,and the Reliability of Alliance Commitments, Western Political Quarterly,Vol. 25, No.4., December 1972, pp. 702-710; Louis Ren Beres, Bipolarity,Multipolarity, and the Tragedy of the Commons, Western Political Quarterly,Vol. 26, No.4., December 1973, pp, 649-658; and Louis Ren Beres, Guerillas,Terrorists, and Polarity: New Structural Models of World Politics, WesternPolitical Quarterly, Vol. 27, No.4., December 1974, pp. 624-636.

[4] Butone should be reminded here of Bertrand Russells trenchant observation in Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916):Men fear thought more than they fear anything else on earth more thanruin, more even than death.

[5] To the extent that anysuch American foreign policy violates international law, it would alsorepresent a corollary violation of US law. In the sober words of Mr. JusticeGray, delivering the judgment of the US Supreme Court in Paquete Habana (1900): International law is part of our law,and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice ofappropriate jurisdiction. (175 U.S. 677(1900)) See also: Opinion in Tel-Oren vs. Libyan Arab Republic (726F. 2d 774 (1984)).The specificincorporation of treaty law into US municipal law is most expressly codified atArt. 6 of the US Constitution, theso-called Supremacy Clause.

[6] Both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung thought ofsoul (in German, Seele)as the intangible essence of a human being. Neither Freud nor Jung everprovided any precise definition of the term, but it was not intended by eitherin some ordinary religious sense. For both, it was a still-recognizable andcritical seat of both mind and passions in this life. Interesting, too, in thepresent context, is that Freud explained his already-predicted decline of Americaby various express references to soul. Freud was plainly disgustedby any civilization so apparently unmoved by considerations of trueconsciousness (e.g., awareness of intellect, literature and history),and even thought that the crude American commitment to perpetually shallowoptimism and material accomplishment at any cost would occasion sweepingpsychological misery.

[7] From the standpointof classical political and legal philosophy, such a national policy would bethe diametric opposite of the statement by Emmerich de Vattel in The Law of Nations (1758): The firstgeneral law which is to be found in the very end of the society of Nations isthat each Nation should contribute as far as it can to the happiness and advancementof other Nations.

[8] International law remains avigilante system, or Westphalian. This latter referenceis to the Peace of Westphalia (1648),which concluded the Thirty Years War, and created the now still-existingdecentralized, or self-help, state system. See: Treaty of Peace of Munster, Oct. 1648, 1 Consol. T.S. 271; and Treaty of Peace of Osnabruck, Oct. 1648,1., Consol. T.S. 119, Together, these two treaties comprise the Peace of Westphalia.

[9] Seeby this author, at Oxford University Press:https://blog.oup.com/2016/04/war-political-victories/

[10] Included in thisassessment must be the expanding risks of US Presidential nucleardecision-making. By this writer, see Louis Ren Beres, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientistshttps://thebulletin.onuclearrg/2016/08/what-if-you-dont-trust-the-judgment-of-the-president-whose-finger-is-over-the-nuclear-button/

[11] Although composed inthe seventeenth century, Thomas Hobbes Leviathan still offers anilluminating vision of chaos in world politics. Says the English philosopher inChapter XIII, Of the Natural Condition of Mankind, as concerning theirFelicity, and Misery: During chaos, a condition which Hobbes identifiesas a time of War, it is a time where every man is Enemy toevery man and where the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, andshort. At the time of writing, Hobbes believed that the condition ofnature in world politics was less chaotic than that same conditionexisting among individual human beings -because of what he called thedreadful equality of individual men in nature being able to killothers but this once-relevant differentiation has effectively disappearedwith the spread of nuclear weapons.

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NATO Was Never Only About Russia - Modern Diplomacy

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 Republic

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

NSO > Home – natoschool.nato.int

By Ms. Liliana Serban, ROU-CIV,Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Course Director/ Liaison Officer

On 17 Oct 19, the NATO School Oberammergau (NSO), together with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Monterey, USA, concluded the second cyber security course at the NATO-Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) Regional Centre in Kuwait.

The first course, Introduction to Network Security, held from 24 Mar to 04 Apr 19, was followed by an Introduction to Network Vulnerability Assessment & Risk Mitigation, from 06 to 17 Oct 19. The courses were organised under the auspices of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and brought together 40 IT specialists, network security administrators, technicians and engineers from different governmental agencies representing all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

These tailor-made courses are aimed at strengthening the ties between the countries in the Gulf region and NATO and at developing local cyber expertise by addressing the bits-in-transit aspect of network security and potential vulnerabilities and their mitigation in networked systems.

"The security and stability of the region heavily depend on reliable cyber infrastructure, and these courses represent a significant added value to NATOs efforts on projecting stability to the South of the Alliance", underlined Colonel Brian Hill, USA-AF, the NSO Dean of Academics, in his closing remarks.

Inaugurated in Jan 17, the NATO-ICI Regional Centre is the hub for education, training, and other cooperation activities between NATO and its ICI partners in the Gulf, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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NSO > Home - natoschool.nato.int

Milestones: 19451952 – Office of the Historian

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.

Signing of the NATO Treaty

NATO was the first peacetime military alliance the United States entered into outside of the Western Hemisphere. After the destruction of the Second World War, the nations of Europe struggled to rebuild their economies and ensure their security. The former required a massive influx of aid to help the war-torn landscapes re-establish industries and produce food, and the latter required assurances against a resurgent Germany or incursions from the Soviet Union. The United States viewed an economically strong, rearmed, and integrated Europe as vital to the prevention of communist expansion across the continent. As a result, Secretary of State George Marshall proposed a program of large-scale economic aid to Europe. The resulting European Recovery Program, or Marshall Plan, not only facilitated European economic integration but promoted the idea of shared interests and cooperation between the United States and Europe. Soviet refusal either to participate in the Marshall Plan or to allow its satellite states in Eastern Europe to accept the economic assistance helped to reinforce the growing division between east and west in Europe.

In 19471948, a series of events caused the nations of Western Europe to become concerned about their physical and political security and the United States to become more closely involved with European affairs. The ongoing civil war in Greece, along with tensions in Turkey, led President Harry S. Truman to assert that the United States would provide economic and military aid to both countries, as well as to any other nation struggling against an attempt at subjugation. A Soviet-sponsored coup in Czechoslovakia resulted in a communist government coming to power on the borders of Germany. Attention also focused on elections in Italy as the communist party had made significant gains among Italian voters. Furthermore, events in Germany also caused concern. The occupation and governance of Germany after the war had long been disputed, and in mid-1948, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin chose to test Western resolve by implementing a blockade against West Berlin, which was then under joint U.S., British, and French control but surrounded by Soviet-controlled East Germany. This Berlin Crisis brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of conflict, although a massive airlift to resupply the city for the duration of the blockade helped to prevent an outright confrontation. These events caused U.S. officials to grow increasingly wary of the possibility that the countries of Western Europe might deal with their security concerns by negotiating with the Soviets. To counter this possible turn of events, the Truman Administration considered the possibility of forming a European-American alliance that would commit the United States to bolstering the security of Western Europe.

Signing of the Brussels Treaty

The Western European countries were willing to consider a collective security solution. In response to increasing tensions and security concerns, representatives of several countries of Western Europe gathered together to create a military alliance. Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Brussels Treaty in March, 1948. Their treaty provided collective defense; if any one of these nations was attacked, the others were bound to help defend it. At the same time, the Truman Administration instituted a peacetime draft, increased military spending, and called upon the historically isolationist Republican Congress to consider a military alliance with Europe. In May of 1948, Republican Senator Arthur H. Vandenburg proposed a resolution suggesting that the President seek a security treaty with Western Europe that would adhere to the United Nations charter but exist outside of the Security Council where the Soviet Union held veto power. The Vandenburg Resolution passed, and negotiations began for the North Atlantic Treaty.

In spite of general agreement on the concept behind the treaty, it took several months to work out the exact terms. The U.S. Congress had embraced the pursuit of the international alliance, but it remained concerned about the wording of the treaty. The nations of Western Europe wanted assurances that the United States would intervene automatically in the event of an attack, but under the U.S. Constitution the power to declare war rested with Congress. Negotiations worked toward finding language that would reassure the European states but not obligate the United States to act in a way that violated its own laws. Additionally, European contributions to collective security would require large-scale military assistance from the United States to help rebuild Western Europes defense capabilities. While the European nations argued for individual grants and aid, the United States wanted to make aid conditional on regional coordination. A third issue was the question of scope. The Brussels Treaty signatories preferred that membership in the alliance be restricted to the members of that treaty plus the United States. The U.S. negotiators felt there was more to be gained from enlarging the new treaty to include the countries of the North Atlantic, including Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, and Portugal. Together, these countries held territory that formed a bridge between the opposite shores of the Atlantic Ocean, which would facilitate military action if it became necessary.

President Truman inspecting a tank produced under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program

The result of these extensive negotiations was the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. In this agreement, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom agreed to consider attack against one an attack against all, along with consultations about threats and defense matters. This collective defense arrangement only formally applied to attacks against the signatories that occurred in Europe or North America; it did not include conflicts in colonial territories. After the treaty was signed, a number of the signatories made requests to the United States for military aid. Later in 1949, President Truman proposed a military assistance program, and the Mutual Defense Assistance Program passed the U.S. Congress in October, appropriating some $1.4 billion dollars for the purpose of building Western European defenses.

Soon after the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the outbreak of the Korean War led the members to move quickly to integrate and coordinate their defense forces through a centralized headquarters. The North Korean attack on South Korea was widely viewed at the time to be an example of communist aggression directed by Moscow, so the United States bolstered its troop commitments to Europe to provide assurances against Soviet aggression on the European continent. In 1952, the members agreed to admit Greece and Turkey to NATO and added the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955. West German entry led the Soviet Union to retaliate with its own regional alliance, which took the form of the Warsaw Treaty Organization and included the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe as members.

The collective defense arrangements in NATO served to place the whole of Western Europe under the American nuclear umbrella. In the 1950s, one of the first military doctrines of NATO emerged in the form of massive retaliation, or the idea that if any member was attacked, the United States would respond with a large-scale nuclear attack. The threat of this form of response was meant to serve as a deterrent against Soviet aggression on the continent. Although formed in response to the exigencies of the developing Cold War, NATO has lasted beyond the end of that conflict, with membership even expanding to include some former Soviet states. It remains the largest peacetime military alliance in the world.

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Milestones: 19451952 - Office of the Historian

LAWSON: NATO’s 70th anniversary marks a decisive moment for its future – University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump and other world leaders convened in London for a NATO summit commemorating the military alliances 70th anniversary. As predicted, Trump focused his attention on many member countries failure to devote 2 percent of their GDP to national defense a financial obligation for participants in the alliance. The tense meeting came to a tumultuous end on Wednesday, after footage of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mocking Trump with European leaders came to light. Trumps abrupt cancellation of the summits closing news conference, and his denunciation of Trudeau as two-faced, are revealing of the deep-seated disjointedness in the organization.

The aggravation of longstanding problems with NATOs solidarity, going back to its founding, threatens its future in a decisive period for the worlds balance of power. In order to counter mounting military threats from adversaries like China and Russia, NATO must reevaluate its collective goals and commitments.

From its founding in 1949, NATO has been one of the most effective international alliances in modern history. It was devised by Western powers in response to rising Soviet influence in Europe, and has been financially and strategically bulwarked by the United States ever since. For 42 years, the organization created a period of strained coexistence between the worlds competing hegemons in all likelihood, preventing a nuclear conflict. When the threat that prompted its conception disintegrated in 1991, NATO struggled to reorient and coordinate its unifying objective in an entirely new geopolitical environment. Beginning with the Clinton administration, the alliance has experienced a gradual recession from global prominence politically, militarily and financially.

Despite Trumps rhetorical attacks on the organization and its member states, however, American commitment to NATO remains disproportionately firm. Almost 70 percent of national defense spending is supplied by the United States, well over the 2 percent GDP threshold set for member states at 3.4 percent of the U.S.s GDP. In the past three years, the U.S. has significantly raised the budget for the European Defense Initiative, pledged to increase its military presence in Poland and headed the effort to counter Iranian aggression in international waterways. At its creation, the United States asymmetrical power and financial responsibility in NATO was a way to help weakened European countries counter a growing military threat from the Soviet Bloc with the implication that European members would eventually uphold their end of the deal. Even as Western Europe has accumulated wealth over the past 70 years, it has never set about fulfilling this task.

As the United States seeks to displace the financial burden of NATO on its allies, it faces increased criticism. Leading up to last weeks summit, French President Emmanuel Macron called into question Americas willingness to contribute to the alliances collective defense, stating, What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO. His statements from last month came in response to Trumps decision to pull U.S. forces out of northern Syria, leaving the Syrian Kurds vulnerable to a Turkish offensive. To President Macron, Americas abrupt decision signalled the decline in U.S. collaboration with its transatlantic allies.

However, the real failures of NATO arise not due to a lack of coordination across the Atlantic, but due to the disjuncture between its European member states. Since the organizations founding, France has sought to cultivate European unity by propagating hostility toward American influence. Overall, these efforts have been ineffective because of Frances inability to estimate the goals of its European neighbors. Macron advocates for the creation of an independent European army under its lead, but disregards the aims of Germany which would be primarily responsible for financing the project. And far from rallying Europe under a common cause, Macrons comments about NATOs brain death at the hands of the U.S. have provoked harsh criticism from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

NATO is at a crossroads. Although many of the issues it faces have plagued the organization for decades, the exacerbation of these tensions could lead to the downfall of the worlds most effective defensive alliance. This breakdown would coincide with rising threats to international security from China, Russia and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. To restore the transatlantic alliance to its former prominence, the U.S. must play a leading role in establishing consensus among member states. It must set collective goals for the organization and promote mutual investment from countries not paying their dues. NATOs challenges extend beyond the trivial spats of world leaders, and must be met with corresponding commitment.

Charlotte Lawson is an Opinion Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at opinion@cavalierdaily.com.

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LAWSON: NATO's 70th anniversary marks a decisive moment for its future - University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily

Stop The Madness of NATO Expansion Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary – Breaking Defense

Secretary Pompeo meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in Brussels in December 2018.

Little noticed amid the controversies President Trump sparked at the recent NATO summit, the United States will support North Macedonias membership in the NATO alliance. Although fewer than one in 100 Americans could find North Macedonia on a map, the United States will pledge its entire arsenal of ground, air, naval, and even nuclear capabilities to defend North Macedonia. In return, North Macedonia cant provide much. It has only 12,000 troops in its armed forces, using old equipment and possessing little military capability.

Its time to stop NATO expansion. A larger NATO embroils the United States in obscure regional disputes, commits it to defend exposed countries, and unnecessarily antagonizes the Russians. By incorporating weak states with short democratic histories, expansion also undermines public support for NATO, one of the worlds most successful military alliances.

Mark Cancian

NATO expansion began at the end of the Cold War, bringing the former Communist states of eastern Europe into the Western alliance. This made a lot of sense for countries like Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania. But the process kept going, incorporating countries progressively weaker and closer to Russia. NATO came to be regarded like the United Nations, where broad membership was desirable, and anyone could join after meeting some minimal requirements. Thats how the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and Balkan countries like Montenegro, Albania, and Croatia were able to join.

Lost in the good feelings of expansion was the alliances purpose: military security. Extending NATOs security guarantee to the Baltic countries, for example, later created a major new military challenge to prevent a Russian incursion. Meeting this challenge required greatly expanded deployments to Eastern Europe and billions of dollars of additional spending. Yet, expansion continues. At the 2018 Brussels Summit, the alliance invited the Republic of North Macedonia to begin talks to join NATO.On November 22 the U.S. Senate voted 91-2, with virtually no debate, to approve the accession.

North Macedonia is not a bad country. It has transformed itself from a communist economy and polity and has contributed troops to NATO. However, incorporating it into NATO creates several problems.

First, eastern expansion angers Russia. When the Cold War ended, Russia believed it was promised that NATO would not expand eastward. Whether the United States made such a promise is still hotly debated. What is clear is that Russia believes NATO made the promise. Now Russia sees a hostile NATO increasingly squeezing its periphery. It notes that, except for Belarus, NATO with its client state Ukraine is today at the Wehrmacht front line of 1942. That NATO might someday launch an attack on Russia seems ludicrous to us. NATO has a hard time agreeing on anything. If the United States said the weather was partly sunny, the French would say it was partly cloudy just to show they were an independent force. Russia, however, looks at military capability, not intentions, and sees an existential threat.

Source: DIA, current as of Oct. 2018

Expansion also inflames anti-NATO sentiment by feeding skepticism about its benefits. One of the strongest arguments for the alliance is that it is better to have lots of rich, powerful allies when facing threats. Adding weak nations undermines this argument. Thus, President Trump has regularly criticized NATO as a bad deal for the United States while French President Emmanuel Macron has called NATO brain-dead.Finally, expansion incorporates countries with short and shallow democratic traditions. North Macedonia, like the newly added NATO countries of Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania, has made great strides in improving governance, for which they all deserve credit, but they lack the robust institutions that justify military burdens to NATO publics.

Someday this over-expansion will produce a crisis. Perhaps the crisis will arise from an intra-NATO dispute; perhaps from a local dispute that involves, for example, long-standing tensions between Serbia and its NATO neighbors Croatia or North Macedonia; or perhaps the treatment of an ethnic minority like Russians in the Baltic countries.

If dragged into messy conflicts in which they have few interests, countries may come to openly question the entire NATO project and endanger a key element of European, indeed, global stability.

NATO needs to draw the line now. Behind North Macedonia are nearly 20 other partners who might also want to join NATO. And who can blame them. By joining NATO they gain security and status at little cost. Stopping expansion does not mean abandoning the many partner countries working with NATO. They can remain as partners, participating in military training and diplomatic coordination, but without the security commitment that is so costly to the United States and irritating to Russia.

Mark Cancian, a member of the Breaking D Board of Contributors and former senior OMB official, is a defense expert at theCenter forStrategic andInternational Studies.

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Stop The Madness of NATO Expansion Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary - Breaking Defense

Senate committee passes bipartisan bill to stop Trump withdrawing from Nato – The Guardian

Legislation to stop Donald Trump from withdrawing the US from Nato has been approved for a Senate vote, amid uncertainty over the presidents intentions towards the alliance.

The Senate foreign relations committee on Wednesday voted unanimously for the bipartisan bill which will now await a slot to go to the Senate. Senator Tim Kaine, the draft legislations lead Democratic sponsor, said it was a response to fears that the Trump administration is actively considering withdrawal.

Were aware that it has been seriously debated and seriously considered in the White House at the highest levels, Kaine told the Guardian. Trumps former national security adviser, John Bolton, reportedly warned last month that, if re-elected in 2020, Trump could go full isolationist and withdraw from the 70-year-old North Atlantic alliance.

Kaine predicted his bill to block a Nato withdrawal would gain overwhelming support from the House of Representatives and win a veto-proof majority in the upper chamber of at least 67 votes.

I dont think [Trump] would veto this bill if it came to his desk because of the signal that it would send would be such an unfortunate one, Kaine told the Guardian. It would be seen as so destabilizing by our allies that I dont think he would do it. And furthermore, I dont think the president would veto a bill if he thought hes going to be overridden, and I think he would be overridden on this one.

The bill aims to close a loophole in the US constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate to ratify a treaty, but is silent on what it takes to exit a treaty. Kaines bill requires the president to seek the advice and consent of the Senate to pull the US out of Nato. The president would have to notify Congress of any effort taken towards termination of US membership, and any no congressionally mandated funds could be spent on withdrawal. Congressional legal counsel would be authorized to challenge the White House in the courts over any presidential attempt to withdraw.

It specifies clearly, that the the law of the land will now be that a president cannot withdraw from Nato absent a congressional vote, Kaine said. So he could announce he was withdrawing, but that would be an illegal action, and we would feel completely confident that a court would uphold us.

Trump has raised doubt over whether he would order the US to fight if certain Nato allies were attacked, as required by article 5 of the alliances founding document. The president has suggested that collective defence should be made conditional on member states meeting the alliance goal of spending at least 2% of GDP on defence.

At a leaders meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of Nato in the UK earlier this month, Trump defended Nato against criticism from the French president, Emmanuel Macron, but did little to allay fears that he did not fear bound by Natos collective defence obligations.

We may not change Donald Trumps minds about these things. But I think what our allies are looking for is some assurance that the American public still finds value in the alliance, Senator Kaine said. And I think a bill like this, in addition to having some practical effect, would start to answer that question positively.

Constanze Stelzenmueller, the Kissinger chair on foreign policy and international relations at the Library of Congress, said the legislation, if passed, might go some way to steadying European nerves ahead of the 2020 US elections.

For Europeans, its reassuring to know that there is support for Nato in Congress, Stelzenmueller said. But there is also a sense in Europe that if, if there is a second Trump term, then all bets are off. Secondly, the more important issue is how Trump is already changing the world in ways that make Natos work obsolete or impossible.

She added: There is still a strong feeling in Europe that his default attitude to Nato has been a sense that this is a con that attempts to take advantage of America.

Officials from some European Nato members privately voice concerns that, whatever the views of the Congress, a reluctant US commander-in-chief raised doubts over whether the US would come to their defence in a crisis.

Kaine acknowledged that it was a novel dilemma.

Presidents have sometimes wanted to go to war and Congress has said no, but if youve hardly had a situation where Congress was wanting to go to war and a president said no, the Virginia senator said. You could potentially foresee that here, although frankly, my worry about this president is more that he will blunder us into a war we shouldnt be in.

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Senate committee passes bipartisan bill to stop Trump withdrawing from Nato - The Guardian

NATO Conference Is Canceled After U.S. Ambassador Barred a Trump Critic – The New York Times

The United States ambassador to Denmark barred an American NATO expert critical of President Trump from speaking at an international conference hosted by the American embassy and a Danish think tank, prompting the events cancellation, organizers said.

The expert, Stanley R. Sloan, was scheduled to give a keynote speech at the conference, which was celebrating the 70th anniversary of NATO, on Tuesday.

Mr. Sloan, a visiting scholar at Middlebury College in Vermont, a fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, planned to speak about the future of trans-Atlantic relations.

One day before he was set to leave for Copenhagen, Mr. Sloan was informed that the United States Embassy in Copenhagen had vetoed his participation because of his previous criticisms of President Trump, Mr. Sloan said on Facebook on Saturday.

Carla Sands, the United States ambassador to Denmark, did not want Mr. Sloan to participate, and the Danish Atlantic Council had no other option than to revoke his invitation to speak, Lars Bangert Struwe, the secretary general of the council, said in a statement.

Mr. Sloan said the decision had left him stunned and concerned about our country.

On Sunday morning, Mr. Struwe canceled the NATO conference.

After serious consideration, we have decided not to proceed with the conference, he said on Twitter. The progress of the process has become too problematic; and therefore, we cannot participate in the conference, let alone ask our speakers to participate.

From a Danish point of view, the decision to bar Mr. Sloan would turn the conferences focus to internal American politics and away from the future of NATO, Mr. Struwe said in an interview on Sunday. There were 12 people scheduled to speak, and about 100 attendees were expected, he said.

We have all the time known that Mr. Sloan has a critical approach towards President Donald Trump, Mr. Struwe said in the statement. That is no secret, especially when following his Twitter and Facebook profile. We have, however, never doubted that Mr. Sloan at our conference would deliver an unpolitical and objective lecture.

In his book, Defense of the West, published in 2016, Mr. Sloan discussed the impact that the Trump administration could have on the deterioration of trans-Atlantic relations, given its questionable support for NATO, its relationship with Russia and its response to threats from the Islamic State.

The United States Embassy in Denmark in a series of tweets on Sunday said Mr. Sloan had been added to the program at the last minute without the same joint decision-making used in recruiting the other speakers.

The events cancellation was unfortunate, the embassy said, as it would have provided speakers and attendees an opportunity to exchange views and strengthen NATO for the future.

Mr. Sloan posted the speech he had prepared for the conference on Facebook, in which he thanked Ms. Sands for her expression of support for the democratic values that the alliance promotes.

Ms. Sands, who previously worked in the entrepreneurial, investment and philanthropic sectors, was confirmed by the Senate in 2017, according to the embassys website. She also served as a board member of several arts and education institutions in California and has a doctor of chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College, now Life University, in Marietta, Ga.

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NATO Conference Is Canceled After U.S. Ambassador Barred a Trump Critic - The New York Times

News: Another milestone in enhancing defence education in Afghanistan, 24-Nov.-2019 – NATO HQ

The 2019 Executive Senior Leaders Seminar (ESLS) took place at SHAPE and at NATO Headquarters from 24 to 29 November. Fourteen executive-level officials and practitioners representing Afghanistans defence sector ministries participated. This year, for the first time, three women delegates took part and gender integration in defence and society was one of the subjects on the agenda.

ESLS has been a component of the defence institution-building portfolio of NATOs Defence Education Enhancement Programme with Afghanistan since 2010. It brings carefully selected Afghan civilian and military officials together with experienced academics, subject matter experts and senior officials from NATO countries in the setting of NATOs strategic headquarters.

The Seminar is unique and achieves impressive results over time by focusing on building strategic thinking and practical skills at the senior leadership levels and within the Marshal Fahim National Defense University.

Delegates form interagency working groups in an academic setting that is firmly grounded in Afghanistans strategic and operational circumstances. The methodology includes historic case studies, lectures, Socratic dialogue, practical exercises, engagement with subject matter experts and presentations by the Afghan participants.

ESLS is more than an academic endeavour promoting how to think strategically. It also embraces practical reality and fosters professional relationships and intellectual operability among the Afghan participants and between NATO and Afghanistan.

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News: Another milestone in enhancing defence education in Afghanistan, 24-Nov.-2019 - NATO HQ


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