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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (2)
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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid