News / USA

Obama, Rasmussen Meet as Multiple Crises Face NATO

Obama, Rasmussen Meet As Multiple Crises Face NATOi
X
July 09, 2014 10:23 AM
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has met with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the pressing crises facing the alliance in two different parts of the world. Tuesday's meeting at the White House came as NATO prepares for a critical summit in September. VOA's Jeff Seldin reports from the Pentagon.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has met with President Barack Obama to discuss the pressing crises facing the alliance in two different parts of the world.  Tuesday's meeting at the White House came as NATO prepares for a critical summit in September. 

There were smiles as t Obama met Rasmussen in the Oval Office. But half a world away, in Afghanistan, their concerns were front and center.  Four NATO soldiers were killed Tuesday in a suicide bombing in eastern Parwan province…while allegations of fraud marred the result of the country’s presidential election with both candidates claiming victory --- clouding NATO's future in the country.

“If there is no clarification before the NATO summit in September, then of course it’s hard to see how the security agreement can be signed before the summit and in that case we would be faced with severe problems as regards planning for a training mission after 2014,” said Rasmussen.

The U.S. has 31,000 troops in Afghanistan, with another 17,000 from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

But without that new security agreement, those levels could drop to almost nothing, opening the door for more instability.
 
Then, there’s pressure from Russia, which continues to occupy Crimea and back separatists in eastern Ukraine.

“Given renewed concerns or new concerns - about Russian policy and Russian behavior, you’re going to see a renewed focus in NATO on the alliance’s original purpose, which was to provide for the collective defense,” stated former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer.

The U.S. and NATO have taken steps to reassure members like Poland and the Baltic states, who are worried that Russia may try something similar against them.
 
But there are differences over how far NATO and its partners should go.
 
“I don’t think you can totally isolate a country like Russia, neither do we seek to do that but we are sending very clear signals that their policies are not acceptable and it has an economic price,” noted Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. 
 
But others, like Jorge Benitez at the Atlantic Council say the U.S. and NATO have not been clear enough.  “We’re very much risk averse here, and even though Putin is in a very much weaker position, he is willing to incur cost and pay the cost to enforce his position and that’s why his position is winning so far," he said.
 
Another concern for NATO - a lack of support for defense spending.  
 
The secretary general says if all members met their minimum requirement, the alliance would have had an extra $90 billion …a critical issue at a time when NATO is facing threats on multiple fronts. 


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lev Havryliv from: Sydney
July 09, 2014 9:05 PM
It appears that Kremlin-inspired trolls have been given instructions to bang on about two themes in relation to Ukraine.

1.Ukraine's move towards Europe is just a NATO plot to weaken Russia.

2.Ukrainians who resist Russian aggression are "neo-Nazis".

Both notions are patently absurd ,but this does not stop the massive, mendacious Russian propaganda machine.

by: meanbill from: USA
July 09, 2014 10:38 AM
Will Somebody please tell me.... If the US and NATO combined military forces, (the greatest in the history of the world).... that hid behind those (30) foot high blast-proof walls, couldn't defeat a few thousand Taliban guys riding donkeys, wearing nightshirts, gym shoes and sandals, in (13) long years..... (do now with only 10,000 US troops, what they couldn't do, in (13) long years?)..... The US "Unequal Treaty" surely won't defeat the Taliban, but it'll help kill the enemies of America, won't it?..... and not the enemies of Afghanistan?

With the Afghans signing the "Unequal Treaty" the US gets to kill as many innocent Afghan men, women and children, and babies as they want, when trying to kill (suspected) enemies of America, without being prosecuted by the Afghan government for their crimes.... Yea, the US "Unequal Treaty" is the only thing the US wants, to kill American enemies, not the Afghans....

PS;.. and 10,000 US troops can't do, what hundreds of thousands of US and NATO troops couldn't do in (13) long years..... REALLY

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More