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 and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs