News / Europe

Ukraine, Iraq Conflicts Reinvigorate NATO Alliance

Ukraine, Iraq Conflicts Reinvigorate NATO Alliancei
X
Henry Ridgwell
June 17, 2014 7:20 PM
The role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] in the 21st century is in sharp focus now with the conflicts underway on the bloc's eastern and southern borders. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the alliance born at the outset of the Cold War is in resurgence as new threats emerge around the globe.
Henry Ridgwell
The role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] in the 21st century is in sharp focus now with the conflicts underway on the bloc's eastern and southern borders. The alliance born at the outset of the Cold War is in resurgence as new threats emerge around the globe.
 
NATO's long campaign in Afghanistan is coming to an end.

The end of this mission, however, does not herald the slow demise of NATO as once thought, according to Professor Jonathan Eyal of the Royal United Services Institute.

"Interestingly, NATO is now more relevant than it has been for probably a decade," said Eyal.

Eastern Europe

That relevance, said Eyal, is largely because of Russia. NATO published satellite images this week that appear to show tanks crossing from Russia into the east of Ukraine. It follows Moscow's tacit support for Ukrainian separatists and forceful takeover of Crimea in March .

Eyal said former Soviet-controlled states in Europe are getting nervous.

"The east Europeans used to be dismissed up to now as being neurotic, as being too frightened about Russia that supposedly is no longer an enemy," he said. "Well, the east Europeans were right and we were wrong about Russia. So in many respects this is the moment where the alliance will have to reassure its members."

NATO is doing that through the bolstering of troops and sea and air defenses along member states' borders in the east.

Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner -- and that means a strategic shift in deployment, said General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO operations in Europe.

"We've seen a nation cross an internationally-recognized sovereign border, and annex by force a portion of a sovereign nation. That changes the way we do business," said Breedlove. "And so we are now re-evaluating how we do these things as it relates to force readiness, responsiveness and positioning."

Defense spending

A NATO-commissioned report into the future of the alliance calls for a reaffirmation of its core objective of collective defense. The authors say European members should halt defense spending cuts.

But Europe is divided over how to best respond to Russia, said Eyal.

"Countries like Germany, or France, or the UK, who believe that we should not make too much out of the current Ukrainian crisis, and countries such as Poland or Romania, the big former Communist countries on the borders with Ukraine, who believe that Ukraine is a sign of a fundamentally different Europe from the one that we knew," he said.

Eyal said NATO also must confront the conflicts brewing on NATO's southern borders. "Turkey, for instance, asked for a NATO meeting to discuss the crisis it sees at its borders."

That crisis in Syria and Iraq is escalating, with extremist Islamist militants in control of large swathes of both countries.

NATO's secretary general already has said he sees no role for the alliance in  Iraq. But Western security chiefs say the lawlessness is a haven for terrorists -- and NATO should continue to play a key role in collective defense.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
June 17, 2014 6:31 PM
MY OPINION? -- NATO was formed as a defense to counter the threat of the communist Warsaw Pact Countries in the cold war -- (BUT NOW?) -- the communist Warsaw Pact countries have dissolved, and there's no further need for a NATO organization now.....

MY OPINION? -- NATO has now become a heavily armed attacking/offensive group of (28) nations, that attack and politically interfere in other countries like Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and now Ukraine, (bringing nothing but violence, killings, destruction and wars, and it continues on to this day), -- (AND?) -- and NATO has never ever come to the defensive aid of any of their member states, -- (FACTUAL FACTS?) -- NATO has never ever won any of the conflicts or wars they started or that they took part in. -- (AND?) -- NATO has never ever brought peace of any kind to the countries they attacked, or politically interfered in.... CRAZY isn't it?


by: James McQuaid from: Michigan
June 17, 2014 6:08 PM
Recent Russian propaganda content repeats several false narratives:

1) NATO is responsible for violence in Ukraine,
2) the Ukrainian government lacks broad support in the population,
3) Ukraine does not exist as a country, and
4) support for Ukraine is support for Nazism.

The language of the Russian propaganda is calculated to dehumanize:
the Ukrainian government and its supporters are called "a junta", "swine", "Nazis", "Bandits", etc.

The underpinning ideology of the Russian propaganda is articulated by Alexander Dugin, a fascist political thinker who has captured Putin’s imagination.

Dugin insists that Ukraine does not exist, and that it has never existed. Dugin calls upon Russia to complete its invasion of Ukraine.

This Eurasian neo-Fascism is a blend of fascism and Stalinism that calls for a revived Russian empire to extend its borders and to challenge the US and EU. It has become Moscow’s bedrock ideology.

Documents Show How Russia Attacked American Social Media:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/documents-show-how-russias-troll-army-hit-america

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/10/russias-online-comment-propaganda-army/280432/

http://www.itnews.com.au/News/313493,russia-creates-social-media-propaganda-systems.aspx

In Response

by: John from: NYC
June 18, 2014 5:52 PM
Take a fresh look at the US propaganda.
Freedom fighters in Afghanistan
IRAQ WMD
Syria freedom fighters
Do not forget that every post or conversation is recorded by government.

In Response

by: great ukrop from: Ukropia
June 18, 2014 4:57 AM
James McQuaid: Have you tried own head treated? Or trolls is not to be treated?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid