News / Europe

NATO Leaders Meet in ‘Changed World’

Mannequins of British soldiers dressed in combat gear are displayed at the entrance of the golf course of the Celtic Manor Hotel ahead of the NATO summit in Newport, Wales, September 3, 2014.
Mannequins of British soldiers dressed in combat gear are displayed at the entrance of the golf course of the Celtic Manor Hotel ahead of the NATO summit in Newport, Wales, September 3, 2014.
Al Pessin

The leaders of the 28 NATO countries will gather for the first time in two years starting Thursday in Wales, in western Britain, with an agenda very different from the one they had for their last summit.

At the last NATO summit two years ago in Chicago, Afghanistan was at the top of the agenda and Russia was considered a partner in addressing issues like terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation. 

This year, responding to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its invasion of eastern Ukraine will lead the itinerary.

The alliance faces a “changed world,” according to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

“We are faced with the reality that Russia considers us an adversary, and we will adapt to that situation,” said Rasmussen.

Alliance leaders will formalize plans for a greater NATO military presence in member countries near Russia and a new force designed, Rasmussen said, to strike hard and fast in response to any attack.  But NATO has also been clear that it will not go to war with Russia to protect non-members, like Ukraine.

NATO leaders will also discuss countering the threat from the militant Islamic State group that has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria and terrorized local people and foreigners in the area. The United States has been bombing the group, and the U.S. and other NATO members have provided humanitarian aid.

But Robin Niblett, director of London’s Chatham House and chair of an alliance advisory group, does not expect much more from the summit on that.

“In the context of the NATO summit, specifics on the Middle East, I think, are going to be very hard to deliver. Terrorism cooperation is a topic that could be referenced. But the idea, I think, of being able to be as explicit about the kinds of responses that will need to be made in the Middle East, as compared to Russia, I think, will be very hard to achieve,” said Niblett.

Afghanistan will also still be a topic for the NATO leaders, as Taliban forces are becoming more assertive. NATO’s combat mission there will end in December, and officials are waiting for the results of the disputed presidential election to get final approval for an agreement on the status of an advisory and training force it plans to deploy.

The leaders will also address what seems to be a permanent topic of post-Cold War NATO: the question of the alliance’s relevance. Niblett thinks today’s crises could help address such concerns.

“The world was not perceived to be as dangerous a place to the West as it has turned out to be.  So I think this is a summit in which all NATO members and their partners need to step up and start to communicate to themselves and externally and to their publics, this is a dangerous world, and there is a purpose to this alliance,” said Niblett.

Experts and NATO leaders hope the crises will help convince people in alliance countries to put more money toward defense in order to fund the rapid response capability and other initiatives designed to confront the new threats to Europe and North America.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs