News / USA

    NATO Redefines Role, Relationships in 2010

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at the NATO summit in Lisbon (file photo – 20 Nov 2010)
    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at the NATO summit in Lisbon (file photo – 20 Nov 2010)

    Multimedia

    Jennifer Glasse

    NATO is remaking itself to meet the needs of the future. Yet for 2011, that means continuing the war in Afghanistan. Here's a look at the past year and what lies ahead for the world's oldest military alliance.

    Strategy

    NATO unveiled its new strategic concept in 2010, outlining the need to adapt to new challenges such as cyber-security and missile defense.

    Perhaps NATO's biggest achievement of the year was resetting its relationship with Russia. At the NATO summit in Lisbon in November, Secretary-General Anders Foch Rasmussen outlined how NATO and Russia will work together in Afghanistan.


    "Russia will allow more NATO supplies through Russian territory to support our mission in Afghanistan and now we will be able to bring equipment out as well," Rasmussen said. "We will enhance our training of counter-narcotics personnel, from Afghanistan and from the region."

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sign a declaration between NATO and the Afghan government on enduring partnership, as UN General Secretary Ban ki-Moon, centre, looks on at the NATO summit in Lisbon (file phot
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sign a declaration between NATO and the Afghan government on enduring partnership, as UN General Secretary Ban ki-Moon, centre, looks on at the NATO summit in Lisbon (file phot

    Afghanistan remains a pressing priority for NATO. The alliance has thousands of troops there and has invested years in trying to save the country. Michael Clarke is the director of the Royal United Services Institute, a London security research organization.

    "From now until 2014-2015, it is still the main game, and NATO somehow has got to be seen to have been effective in helping to implement Western policy so that whatever happens in Afghanistan is judged a basic success," Clarke said.

    Expansion

    Differences over NATO expansion and missile defense had hampered NATO's relationship with Russia. Expansion is on hold for now, and in Lisbon, NATO invited Russia to join in building a missile defense shield. Rasmussen was optimistic.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are seen prior to participating in a NATO Russia Council meeting at a NATO summit in Lisbon (file photo)
    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are seen prior to participating in a NATO Russia Council meeting at a NATO summit in Lisbon (file photo)

    "For the first time in history, NATO nations and Russia will be cooperating to defend themselves, Russia will know without a doubt that the system cannot be directed against her," Rasmussen added. "Our citizens in Europe will share enhanced security that is unprecedented."

    But in his annual address to his nation in December, Russian President Medvedev warned there could be a new arms race if Russia did not feel it is an equal partner with Europe and the United States in missile defense.

    Security

    NATO's traditional military role is only part of its focus. Cyber-security is another concern. Again Michael Clarke of the Royal United Services Institute.

    "The things that NATO has to cope with even in its own neighborhood are more variable than they ever were in the past, and so NATO has got to be much more agile, and frankly it's got to better at deciding where to put the weight of its forces and effort," Clarke added.

    In December, NATO's biggest member, the United States, took stock in Afghanistan.

    "In many places the gains we have made are still fragile and reversible, but there is no question we are clearing more areas from Taliban control and more Afghans are reclaiming their communities," Mr. Obama.

    As the year draws to a close, the fragility of those gains is evident in Afghanistan, where forces continue to battle militants. Training Afghan forces to take care of their own country is at the heart of NATO's strategy to leave Afghanistan.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora