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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid