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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
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