Page 11234..1020..»

Category Archives: NATO

Secretary General participates in NATO seminar on security and the environment – NATO HQ

Posted: September 18, 2020 at 1:10 am

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today (17 September 2020) participated in a seminar at NATO Headquarters in Brussels entitled NATO and Nature, a changing climate: why the environment matters to NATO, and what to do about it. The event discussing security and the environment was jointly organized by the delegations of Italy and the United Kingdom.

The Secretary General was joined via video conference by Franois Bausch, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Luxembourg, Stefano Sannino from the European External Action Service, Josefa Sacko from the African Union, and Nick Bridge, the UK Foreign Secretarys Special Representative for Climate Change. Members of the North Atlantic Council and experts in climate security also joined the discussion.

NATO Allies agree on the need to adapt to future threats and challenges over the next decade and beyond, issues that are part of the Secretary Generals NATO 2030 reflection process. Climate change is already addressed by the Alliance in its 2010 strategic concept, which highlights it as one of the factors that will shape the future security environment in areas of concern to NATO and have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.

The seminar highlighted the importance of cooperation between NATO and other international organisations, including the European Union, the United Nations, and the African Union.

Read more from the original source:
Secretary General participates in NATO seminar on security and the environment - NATO HQ

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on Secretary General participates in NATO seminar on security and the environment – NATO HQ

US delivers four aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, as part of NATO continued support to the Afghan security forces – NATO HQ

Posted: at 1:10 am

Today (17 September 2020), the United States, as a contributing nation to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, transferred four A-29 Super Tocano aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, during a ceremony in Kabul.

As we receive these planes, they are a message that NATO is committed to the Afghan Forces, said acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid. During these important times this a good example of their continued cooperation, and shows this will continue until the defeat of terrorism in the country and the region.

The A-29 is the Afghan Air Force's fastest and most powerful aerial interdiction and close-air-attack aircraft. The U.S. has now provided 18 A-29s to the Afghan Air Force since 2016, and plans to transfer an additional six in February 2021.

I congratulate you all on receiving these new airplanes, Minister Khalid told a large assembly of pilots and security officials. I hope they will fly day and night if necessary in order to defend our country.

Since 2007, NATO has worked to rebuild and modernize the Afghan Air Force, first with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and then under the Resolute Support Mission, which began in 2015. U.S. and Coalition advisors provide training, advice and assistance to the Afghan Air Force from the ministerial level down to the wing, group, and squadron levels.

NATOs objective in Afghanistan has always been to deny safe havens for international terrorism, said Lt. Gen. John Deedrick, commander of NATOs Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. The best way to do this is to generate competent, trained and professional Afghan security forces which can maintain security independently. As we work toward peace, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission continues to work closely with all branches of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

Since 2015, Resolute Supports modernisation efforts have helped to transform the Afghan Air Force into some of Afghanistans most capable security forces. As a result of NATO-led train, advise, assist efforts, the Afghan Air Force now independently plans and executes logistics, resupply, humanitarian relief, casualty evacuation, and combat support missions.

The education, training and experience which our Afghan Air Force, our Afghan Army and our Special Forces have gained in the past few years is unique in the region, said Minister Khalid. The sense of dedication and morale, which is more important than anything, is strong in the soldiers and young people of this country, and were always witness to that. The defense minister noted advances in the security forces are only one part of the gains the country has made over the last 19 years through cooperation with the international community. In the past two decades, we have seen the reconstruction of the country, the education of the youth, the independence of Afghanistan, and other achievements such as the free media that today we are witnessing here with several cameras present, Minister Khalid said. He included the increasing role of women in those accomplishments. In the past two decades, Afghan women have flown in the sky, become pilots, doctors, teachers, ministers and deputy ministers, and they will never go back to those days of the past.

NATO remains committed to supporting the Afghan forces with advisors and funding, as they work to ensure lasting peace and long-term security for the benefit of all Afghans.

Read the original:
US delivers four aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, as part of NATO continued support to the Afghan security forces - NATO HQ

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on US delivers four aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, as part of NATO continued support to the Afghan security forces – NATO HQ

Increase in NATO scrambled jets from Norway | The Independent Barents Observer – The Independent Barents Observer

Posted: at 1:10 am

We can confirm NATO QRA from Bod on mission today, says spokesperson Major Brynjar Stordal.

The planes were visually identified as two Russian Tu-160 Blackjacks - long-range, supersonic bombers, the British Air Force later reported.

This weekend, Stordal tells, were two Russian Tu-142 anti-submarine warfare planes from the Northern Fleet identified outside Norwegian air space. The planes continued south to north of England before returning home. Two weeks ago, the US Navy submarine Seawolf surfaced outside Troms in northern Norway for crew replacement.

By September 14, Norwegian fighter jets on NATO alert have been scrambled 41 times. In 2019, 38 QRA take-offs took place. The number of Russian aircraft identified last year was 83, one less than so far in 2020, which still has more than 3 months left.

The Norwegian Joint Headquarters underlines that it has several means to identify Russian military planes, so scrambles itself do not necessarily paint the whole picture.

In the first 15 years after the end of the first Cold War, there were very few scrambles. In 2007, Russian long-range bombers (Tu-95 and Tu-160) again started to fly west of the Barents Sea into international airspace in the North Atlantic.

The number of scrambles from Bod airbase increased until 2014. In 2015-2016 the Russian military flight activity in the north was substantially lower again, by the Norwegian military believed to be caused by activities other places, and maintenance challenges with the planes. From 2018, when Norway was host of exercise Trident Juncture, Russias long-distance flights increased again.

Last week, Norwegian, British, American and Danish maritime surveillance aircraft were daily met by Russian fighter jets over international airspace in the Barents Sea as the four-nation NATO naval group were exercising navigation in the area.

Go here to read the rest:
Increase in NATO scrambled jets from Norway | The Independent Barents Observer - The Independent Barents Observer

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on Increase in NATO scrambled jets from Norway | The Independent Barents Observer – The Independent Barents Observer

NATO commemorates the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States – NATO HQ

Posted: at 1:10 am

A ceremony was held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Friday (11 September 2020) to mark the 19th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, US Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, members of the North Atlantic Council, and NATOs diplomatic and military community took part in the act of remembrance.

Speaking at the Article 5 and 9/11 Memorial at NATO Headquarters, which consists of a twisted piece of the Twin Towers, the Secretary General paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 men and women who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks: We remember the suffering and the loss, the bravery of those who put their life on the line to save others, and the solidarity that emerged from the wreckage. Just hours after the attack, we invoked for the first time NATOs collective defence clause, Article 5 of our founding treaty. The attacks were on US soil but we were all hit. We stood with our American Ally and we responded together to terrorism.

Mr. Stoltenberg recalled that NATO went into Afghanistan after the attacks to ensure that the country could never again become a safe haven for terrorists. He paid tribute to NATO and partner troops, the Afghan security forces, and the people of Afghanistan. The Secretary General underlined that as part of the Afghan peace process, NATO is adjusting its military presence on the ground while at the same time continuing its training mission. On the start of the Afghanistan peace negotiations, Mr. Stoltenberg said: This is no guarantee for lasting peace but it is an historic opportunity we must all seize. Through Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace talks, Afghans can shape their own future. These talks must preserve the gains made in the last two decades for women and children, for justice and freedom, and for the safety and security of all.

To honour the victims of the 9/11 attacks and the sacrifices of service members since, flags flew at half-staff at NATO Headquarters, as well as at Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium, and at Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia.

The ceremony at NATO Headquarters concluded with a moment of silence at 14:46, the exact minute of the first attack on the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York nineteen years ago.

Read more:
NATO commemorates the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States - NATO HQ

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on NATO commemorates the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States – NATO HQ

Experts warn of potentially ‘deadly’ great power games in the Arctic – The Independent Barents Observer

Posted: at 1:10 am

By Levon Sevunts

TheRoyal Navy announced last weekthat it has led a multi-national task group of warships and aircraft into the Arctic for the first time in more than 20 years.

HMS Sutherland, supported by RFA Tidespring, commanded a task group comprising the U.S. destroyer USS Ross and the Norwegian frigate Thor Heyerdahl on a deployment to the Barents Sea, the British navy announced on Sept. 10.

The exercise was held in the waters of Russias exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Barents Sea, off the coast of the strategically important Kola Peninsula, home to the Northern Fleet and a large part of the Russian nuclear arsenal,The Barents Observer reported.

More than 1,200 military personnel from the U.S., U.K., Norway and Denmark took part, supported by U.S. P-8 Poseidon and Danish Challenger Maritime Patrol Aircraft along with Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets and refuelling tanker RAF Voyager, the Royal Navy said in a press release.

The exercise marked the first time the U.K. has operated Typhoons in the High North, the statement said.

The U.K. is the closest neighbour to the Arctic states. In addition to preserving U.K. interests we have a responsibility to support our Arctic allies such as Norway to preserve the security and stability of the region, U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement.

It is vital to preserve freedom of navigation when melting ice caps are creating new shipping lanes and increasing the risk of states looking to militarise and monopolise international borders.

The joint NATO exercise came on the heels of a huge Russian exercise in the Bering Sea, off Alaskas coast in late August, involving more than 50 warships and about 40 aircraft.

Almost at the same time, the U.S. flew its B-52 strategic bombers close to the Russian airspace in a show of force that included six aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons making symbolic overflights over all 30 NATO allies, including Canada.

Canadian defence expert Rob Huebert said the decision to carry out an exercise in the Russian EEZ, which adjoins a countrys territorial waters but is considered international waters, was meant to send a signal to Moscow.

From a political perspective, remember the NATO allies havent sailed that close within the Russian EEZ since the end of the Cold War, Huebert said. I cant find any example of a NATO-based group doing that. There is a political symbolism in fact of NATO going into these waters.

NATOs increasingly assertive moves in the Arctic are a response to Russias growing military presence in the Arctic and Northern Atlantic, Huebert said.

This is something that the Russians have been doing for a fairly long time, pushing into the West, Huebert said.

The joint U.S., U.K., Norwegian and Danish operation in the Barents Sea is the latest example of the West back against Russia on a maritime basis, Huebert said.

To a certain degree what we are seeing is a return to great power politics and the games that are then associated with that, Huebert said. Theyre deadly games.

Rebecca Pincus, an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College, said that while the Royal Navy claimed the exercise was intended to assert freedom of navigation, the multilateral exercise was a classic maritime security operation.

A freedom of navigation operation would be an operational assertion that counters excessive maritime claims and there are no excessive maritime claims in the Barents that are being challenged, none of the countries challenge Russias EEZ in the Barents, Pincus said.

It is important to underline the difference between maritime security operations and freedom of navigation operations because the latter are targeted at coastal nations, she said.

A maritime security operation is not specifically targeted at anyone, a maritime security operation like what is going in the Barents Sea is aimed at showcasing the level of coordination among allies and their technical skill at conducting multilateral operations in a challenging maritime environment, Pincus said.

A freedom of navigation operation is a strong assertion against a specific coastal state that is intended to boldly contradict that coastal states claims.

For example, the United States conducts highly visible freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, she said.

Those are bold, they are highly visible, they are very targeted against China and they are part of a much broader campaign to uphold freedom of navigation in the South China Sea thats targeted squarely at China, Pincus said.

Conducting a freedom of navigation operation against excessive Russian claims in the Northern Sea Route, which stretches along Russias Arctic coastline further east from the Barents Sea, would be an incredibly strong signal that would drastically ratchet up the level of tension in the Arctic region, Pincus said.

Nevertheless, the tit-for-tat wargames NATO allies and Russia have been playing in the Arctic with increasing frequency this year carry huge risks of accidents or other unintended consequences, Pincus said.

Last week Russia conducted a joint military exercise in the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska, and they drove naval warships right through the Alaskan fishing fleet, Pincus said. It was incredibly dangerous, if something had gone wrong, who knows what would have happened.

These exercises create a situation of a classic security escalation, she said.

The thing is that these exercises confirm the worst fears of each side, Pincus said.

And thats why each side feels compelled to respond. Russia is increasing military activity and its exercises, its overflights, patrols all send a signal that it has the intention and capability of having an active military presence, which makes its neighbours uncomfortable.

But when NATO responds with their own exercises, that validates Russian fears that NATO is trying to encircle them, she said.

Its this mirroring where neither side feels comfortable so it acts in a way that increases the anxiety on the opposite side, Pincus said.

Within the last year, there has been a dramatic increase in these military exercises within the Arctic context, Huebert said.

One could make the case that what were seeing is the next level of militarization thats occurring, Huebert said.

All this points to the necessity of a dialogue between the Arctic states and other countries that have been active in the region lately, Pincus said.

Having more channels for communication and dialogue would help provide some reassurance, communication and transparency that would bring down some of these tensions, Pincus said.

Providing advance notice of military exercises would also help alleviate some of the tensions, she added.

This story is posted on Independent Barents Observer as part ofEye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.

Continued here:
Experts warn of potentially 'deadly' great power games in the Arctic - The Independent Barents Observer

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on Experts warn of potentially ‘deadly’ great power games in the Arctic – The Independent Barents Observer

NATO marks 40th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, unveils emblem – NATO HQ

Posted: September 9, 2020 at 11:22 am

Today (9 September 2020), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoan marked 40 years since the start of Solidarno in Poland by unveiling a copy of its famous emblem at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. He was joined by the Permanent Representative of Poland to NATO, Ambassador Tomasz Szatkowski, and other members of the North Atlantic Council.

The Deputy Secretary General said that the independent trade union and movement, which began in the shipyards of Gdansk in 1980, had served as an inspiration for Poland and the rest of the world. It united the Polish people against the Communist regime and would eventually help usher its downfall.

Geoan noted that the idea of solidarity is also at the core of NATO: "Allied solidarity is the foundation of Article 5. It embodies the spirit of consultation, cooperation and burden sharing that connects all members of the NATO alliance, our alliance, in words but also in deeds. He added that NATO also supported the Solidarity movement through its commitment to prevent a Soviet intervention in Poland.

The Deputy Secretary General noted that the basic right to freedom and solidarity applies to all nations, and expressed concern for the violence used today against peaceful protestors in Belarus. He stressed that the people of Belarus have the right to free speech and the right to decide their own future, without interference from abroad.

Continue reading here:
NATO marks 40th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, unveils emblem - NATO HQ

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on NATO marks 40th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, unveils emblem – NATO HQ

What is Nato good for? – The National

Posted: at 11:22 am

if Nato didnt already exist, would it be necessary to invent it today?

Several factors make this a timely question. The first, involving as it does Donald Trump, has provoked fits of the vapours in the usual quarters. According to a new book, the US Presidents former chief of staff, retired marine general John Kelly, said that one of the most difficult tasks he faced with Trump was trying to stop him from pulling out of Nato". Even if Mr Trump doesn't officially do so either before the presidential election or after, if he wins there is speculation that he could effectively destroy Nato by reinterpreting Article 5 of Natos founding treaty.

This has always been deemed to mean that an attack on one member would be followed by collective, armed self-defence. But the wording is not strict. In such circumstances, each member is bound to take such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force". But as Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution told The New York Times: He could just reinterpret it as, I could just send a strongly worded letter'.

This may have partisans of the Atlantic alliance wringing their hands, but in a period when Nato members Turkey and Greece have exchanged threats of war over disputed gas resources in the Mediterranean and may escalate further instant invocation of armed collective action would be impossible. Nato could not come to the defence of both sides, after all.

Greek warships take part in military exercises in Eastern Mediterranean sea, as tensions rise with Turkey over the waters. Greek Defense Ministry/AP

The Greek air force joined the exercises. Greek Defense Ministry/AP

The Tonnerre is escorted by Greek and French military vessels. Greek National Defence/AP)

The French Tonnerre helicopter carrier, rear left, is escorted by Greek and French military vessels during a maritime exercise in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Greek and Turkish warships are also closely shadowing each other. (Greek National Defence/AP)

The Turkish seismic research vessel 'Oruc Reis' heading west of Antalya in the Mediterranean Sea. Turkish Defence Ministry/AFP

Tension are high between Greece and Turkey, over the 'Oruc-Reis' and its mission in the eastern Mediterranean. IHA via AP

Turkeys claims to the waters, which it says are on its continental shelf, have repeatedly been dismissed as illegal by Greece and its allies. Turkish Defence Ministry/AFP

Turkish ships accompany the 'Oruc Reis,' a seismic research vessel. Turkish Defence Ministry/AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for dialogue while still pushing ahead with a Mediterranean gas development plan that has outraged Greece. AFP

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned of the potential for a mishap with Greek and Turkish navies both in the area.. EPA

France will strengthen its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean. Reuters

Further, Nato has expanded so egregiously in recent decades that there is uncertainty that Article 5 is the same cast-iron guarantee that it was during the Cold War. Would all parties go to war for North Macedonia, or over an accidental Russian border incursion into Estonia?

Mr Trump is not alone in asking what Nato is for these days. He is echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who last November declared that the organisation was brain dead. Mr Macron also queried whether Article 5 would still trigger a collective response.

This not only a matter for the 30 members of the alliance. For Nato has long been looking east. It established Global Partnerships with South Korea, New Zealand, Mongolia, Australia and Japan in the first half of the last decade, and is now focusing increasingly on China. Other voices are urging the Quad of the US, Japan, Australia and India to become the basis of an Indo-Pacific Nato, as the US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun put it at the end of last month.

If Nato is to have a larger presence and an enhanced role in East Asia, or is to be joined by a regional version, the question still remains: what is its purpose?

One answer to that is that it is an alliance of democracies. Mr Biegun alluded to that in his remarks, saying that the Trump administrations Indo-Pacific strategy is focused around democracies. Natos London Declaration issued last December also states in the second sentence that the organisation guarantees the values we share, including democracy, individual liberty, human rights, and the rule of law.

As a core raison detre of the alliance this is problematic, however. Firstly because one of Natos current challenges is that a number of members including Hungary, Poland and Turkey remain democracies but are deemed to have taken a markedly illiberal or even authoritarian turn. Secondly, as the US academics James Goldgeier and Garret Martin pointed out in a recent article, being a democracy during the Cold War was not a pre-condition of membership: Portugal did not become a democracy until 1974. As for Greece and Turkey, the former was governed by a military dictatorship from 1967 to 1974, while the latter was the subject of multiple military-led coups.

President Macrons pointed questions remain the key ones. Who is our common enemy? he said. This question deserves to be clarified. Is our enemy today, as I hear sometimes, Russia? Is it China? Is it the Atlantic alliances purpose to designate them as enemies? I dont think so.

I agree with Mr Macron, but there are plenty of Nato boosters who dont. For instance Ian Brzezinski, a senior defence official under former US president George W Bush, proposes setting up a Nato-China Council, which sounds promising. He then writes, though, that its establishment would underscore that this dimension of great power competition is not between China and the United States but between China and the transatlantic community".

The London Declaration similarly oscillates between sounding conciliatory Nato is a defensive Alliance and poses no threat to any country and more bellicose, declaring that Russias aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security and that Chinas growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an alliance".

The truth is that for all the airy talk of the values we share, what bound Nato together during the Cold War was standing up to the Soviet Union. It is a security alliance; it is not and cannot be an alliance of liberal democracies (otherwise several members would have to be expelled and others in Asia would not want to join). For it to be strong, perhaps it does need a common enemy; but that is not an argument for choosing one that makes confrontation more likely.

Better, perhaps, for Nato to expand to become a global security umbrella and agree with Mr Macron when he said that our common enemy is terrorism, which has hit all of our countries".

This would be a much scaled-down, less ambitious Nato. It would be a shadow of the military alliance that once kept the West safe no disadvantage in the Covid-19-straitened present. But with Russia and China inside it, or at least as strong partners, it would be a better one for our times. And it would be a Nato that could adequately answer the question: what is it for?

Sholto Byrnes is an East Asian affairs columnist for The National

Updated: September 8, 2020 02:06 PM

Read more from the original source:
What is Nato good for? - The National

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on What is Nato good for? – The National

US must remain committed to NATO and the Baltic States – Atlantic Council

Posted: at 11:22 am

People hold NATO flags as they celebrate the anniversary of Latvia joining to NATO, in Riga March 29, 2014. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia became members of NATO on March 29, 2004. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The three Baltic countries of Northern Europe have long been allies of the United States and valued members of the NATO community. In the 20th century, the United States refused to recognize the Soviet Unions claim on Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia and supported the restoration of their independence in 1991. Our Baltic friends never forgot this important solidarity, and since then have promoted democracy and stability in their corner of Europe and worked diligently to attain membership in NATO and the EU community through systemic reforms to their economy, governance, and security. Rightfully so, the Baltics saw their integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions as an important deterrent to Russian influence, which continues to loom as a regional threat to their sovereignty and national security.

These threats have only escalated since Russias invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. In this context, it is vital that the United States firmly recommit to NATO and increase its support of the Baltic countries to ensure the continuation of strong bilateral relations and the effective partnerships that have strengthened the entire transatlantic community.

Membership in NATO, a long-time aspiration for the Baltics, required that they undergo robust changes, and the subsequent reform process served as a key element for strengthening bilateral relations with the United States and a foundational pillar of transatlantic security. Since their accession in 2004, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have been responsible members of, and active contributors to, the NATO alliance. Despite the size of their national military forces, each country has actively supported regional security in Europe and participated in global NATO activities, including contributing troops to missions in Afghanistan. By 2019, all three countries increased their defense spending to the recommended two percent of their overall national budgets.

This upwards trajectory has resulted in vital support from the international community. At the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, NATO reaffirmed its support for the Baltics by introducing Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) units to all three Baltic states as well as Poland. NATO also now provides fighter aircraft to the Baltics, which have been increased following the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the non-permanent nature of these programs is not sufficient to guarantee the full military capabilities of the Baltics nor to bring peace of mind to its citizens. Given increased Russian presence in the region, each country must rely heavily on the collective defense agreement of the North Atlantic Treaty if it hopes to stand a chance against foreign interference. The United States together with its European partners and the international community must do more to prevent such foreign interference and ensure that the Baltic states are fully equipped with the tools and support structures that underpin their security.

To date, the United States has demonstrated its support for the Baltic region through the US-Baltic Charter, an alliance of values among the countries signed in 1998. The signatories agreed to a shared vision of a peaceful and increasingly integrated Europe, free of divisions, dedicated to democracy, the rule of law, free markets, and respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people. The Charters emphasis on the vitality of independence and territorial integrity established grounds for a prosperous partnership and paved the way for Baltic integration into NATO. It provides an established path to follow for re-engaging with our allies and strengthening this vital transatlantic partnership. Perhaps even more so than in any recent year, this mission remains relevant and timely.

Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have strongly demonstrated their dedication to the transatlantic alliance and have worked diligently to implement systematic reforms on a variety of shared concerns ranging from energy security, transparency, and economic vitality.

It is therefore highly unfortunate to witness recent statements and actions taken by US President Donald Trump that do not appear to recognize these important achievements nor the Baltics role as vital allies. Recent public comments by the president and in private conversations reported by former National Security Advisor John Bolton indicate that rather than strengthening and appreciating the value of the NATO Alliance, if elected to a second term, President Trump may wish to pull the United States out of the North Atlantic Treaty. This has not gone unnoticed by our European friends. A recent New York Times article notes analysis by the Atlantic Councils Jorge Benitez that some European officials see the escalation of negative steps, and they are definitely concerned that that negative pattern could continue if Trump is re-elected. This concern is not only worrying to Europeans but also to many leaders in the US Congress. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations warned in the same article that withdrawing from NATO would be nothing short of catastrophic.

The United States has profound interests in maintaining NATO and the sovereignty and security of the Baltic region. Now is the time for the United States to rise to this leadership role by deepening our commitment to NATO and supporting the Baltic countries to foster a strong and united transatlantic community. There exists today the opportunity to work on a new US-Baltic Charter to address todays challenges. These could include promoting democracy, free and fair elections, and freedom of the press in the region; combating disinformation; expanding bilateral trade and investment between the United States and the Baltics; and supporting nations that wish to join the Euro-Atlantic family. Just as in 1991, a show of solidarity by the United States can help strengthen and protect the Baltic States, allowing them to continue to grow and faithfully contribute to the transatlantic community.

Sally A. Painter is chief operating officer of Blue Star Strategies, LLC, an Atlantic Council board director, and a senior adviser to the Atlantic Councils Future Europe Initiative.

Tue, Jun 2, 2020

Nations in Europes northeast cooperate through a variety of multilateral security and defense arrangements. Geometries of Deterrence assesses how these arrangements individually and collectively contribute to deterrence and defense in Northeastern Europe.

In-Depth Research & ReportsbyHans Binnendijk and Conor Rodihan

Tue, Dec 3, 2019

Russia has shown with its actions that it is a serious security threat, Estonian defense minister Jri Luik said during a panel discussion on Baltic and Black sea security during the NATO engages event in London on December 3. For Lithuania, [Russia] is the only external existential threat we have, added Lithuanian defense minister Raimundas Karoblis.

New AtlanticistbyDavid A. Wemer

See original here:
US must remain committed to NATO and the Baltic States - Atlantic Council

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on US must remain committed to NATO and the Baltic States – Atlantic Council

Allies and Former U.S. Officials Fear Trump Could Seek NATO Exit in a Second Term – The New York Times

Posted: at 11:22 am

It is a real risk, said Thomas Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington. We know from Kelly and Bolton that he wanted to go much further in the first term. If he feels that he has been totally vindicated in the election, and he feels that people have endorsed his policies, I think he could effectively withdraw from NATO.

Congress would most likely move to block any effort by Mr. Trump to exit the alliance altogether, but experts said he could deal it a near-lethal blow in other ways. One would be to undermine a provision in the original treaty, Article 5, that calls for collective self-defense. Previous presidents have interpreted it as a promise to defend any member from military attacks, but Mr. Trump has questioned it.

He could just reinterpret it as, I could just send a strongly worded letter, Mr. Wright said.

Jorge Benitez, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, noted that the Trump administration announced plans in July to withdraw 12,000 American troops from Germany, the strategic heart of the alliance, and sought to cut funding for the Pentagons European Deterrence Initiative, a program whose funding the administration initially called for increasing and pointed to as evidence of the presidents support for the alliance.

European officials, Mr. Benitez said, see the escalation of negative steps, and they are definitely concerned that that negative pattern could continue if Trump is re-elected.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats focused on security issues say a re-elected Mr. Trump could permanently reshape the relationship between the United States and Europe, which has been defined for generations by Washingtons bipartisan role as a leader and protector of the continent.

Withdrawing from NATO would be nothing short of catastrophic and further highlights the historic importance of this election, said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire and a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Bipartisan support for NATO in Congress is unwavering and overwhelming, and there are significant procedural hurdles if any president were to choose this path, Ms. Shaheen added. President Trump has undermined trans-Atlantic relations from Day 1, and the only one reaping the benefits is Vladimir Putin. Speculation of a future withdrawal is in itself a victory for the Kremlin and beyond Putins wildest dreams.

The rest is here:
Allies and Former U.S. Officials Fear Trump Could Seek NATO Exit in a Second Term - The New York Times

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on Allies and Former U.S. Officials Fear Trump Could Seek NATO Exit in a Second Term – The New York Times

Deputy Secretary General addresses meeting of the Aqaba Process – NATO HQ

Posted: at 11:22 am

NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoan took part in a virtual meeting of the Aqaba Process on Wednesday (2 September 2020). The Aqaba Process is an initiative by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan to enhance global coordination and cooperation to counter terrorism.

The Deputy Secretary General spoke to the meeting of world leaders and representatives from international organisations about the security challenges of COVID-19 and NATOs response to the pandemic. Mr. Geoan praised Jordan as a leader in countering violent extremism and for being a valuable partner of NATO.

The Alliance and Jordan are united in their work to counter international terrorism. NATO and Jordanian forces have a long track record of practical cooperation and have worked together from the Balkans to Afghanistan. NATO has also helped strengthen Jordans capabilities, including cyber defence, border security and countering improvised explosive devices.

See the original post:
Deputy Secretary General addresses meeting of the Aqaba Process - NATO HQ

Posted in NATO | Comments Off on Deputy Secretary General addresses meeting of the Aqaba Process – NATO HQ

Page 11234..1020..»