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Thread: Obama Administration opens the door for Russia to join NATO

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    Default Obama Administration opens the door for Russia to join NATO

    Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    (AP) – 14 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is not ruling out the possibility of Russian membership in NATO.

    Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday that the United States would consider Russian membership in the military alliance that was founded to protect Europe from Soviet aggression.

    Gordon said NATO should be open to European democracies. He added that "if Russia meets the criteria and can contribute to common security, and there is a consensus in the alliance, it shouldn't be excluded."

    NATO is often vilified in Russia, which has objected to NATO's expansion to include Russia's neighbors.

    But the Obama administration, seeking better relations, says it wants to convince Moscow that NATO is no longer a threat.

    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    ...on a related note, Obama suggests that bloods should now be able to join crips.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Malsua View Post
    ...on a related note, Obama suggests that bloods should now be able to join crips.

    He has a special place being prepared for the rest of us.

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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO


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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    Russia may be invited to join alliance

    Zimbabwe Star

    Wednesday 29th July, 2009

    Russian membership in NATO has become a distinct possibility under the Obama administration.

    Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon has said the United States will consider Russian membership in the name of common security.

    Gordon said Russia should not be excluded from NATO if it can meet the criteria for membership and there is agreement within the rest of the alliance.

    The NATO military alliance was originally founded to protect Europe from Soviet aggression.

    Russia has often objected to the alliance's expansion, especially as it grows to include the countries on Russia’s border.

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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    Russia can join NATO, Obama administration says

    Today, 12:26 PM



    Philip Gordon / Photo: www.gdb.rferl.org

    Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon told US lawmakers Tuesday that the United States would consider Russian membership in the military alliance that was founded to protect Europe from Soviet aggression, AP writes.

    Gordon said NATO's doors should be open to democracies in Europe. He added that "if Russia meets the criteria and can contribute to common security, and there is a consensus in the alliance, it shouldn't be excluded."

    NATO is often vilified in Russia, which has objected to the alliance's expansion to include countries on its border.

    But the Obama administration is seeking better relations and says it wants to convince Moscow that NATO is no longer a threat.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    NATO proposes new era of cooperation with Russia

    Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:33pm EDT
    By David Brunnstrom and Timothy Heritage

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO proposed a new era of cooperation with Russia on Friday, calling for joint work with Moscow and Washington on missile defense after the United States scrapped a planned anti-missile system.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described as "correct and brave" President Barack Obama's decision to drop the missile shield intended for Europe by predecessor George W. Bush. Russia's NATO envoy welcomed the NATO cooperation proposals.

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    Some military experts saw the moves as a sign of weakness by Obama that Moscow hardliners would want to exploit further. Putin called in a speech on Friday for Obama to follow up with concessions on trade and technology transfer.

    Others described abandonment of the system as a bold gesture that could improve frosty relations between the West and Russia but also said many obstacles remained to better ties between the former Cold War foes.

    "I do believe that it is possible for NATO and Russia to make a new beginning and to enjoy a far more productive relationship in the future," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in his first big policy speech since taking office in August.

    "We should explore the potential for linking the U.S., NATO and Russian missile defense systems at an appropriate time."

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Armavir radar in southern Russia "actually would fill a gap in coverage."

    "And we would welcome the Russians networking with us in this. We think that we could make that happen," Gates told reporters in Washington.

    Rasmussen called for more cooperation on ending the conflict in Afghanistan, fighting piracy at sea and ensuring Iran does not develop nuclear arms. He also proposed a joint review of global security threats.

    He gave few details of how his proposals would work but they were welcomed by Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and one of Moscow's loudest critics of the planned U.S. missile shield.

    OBSTACLES REMAIN


    "It was very positive, very constructive and we have to analyze together all the sec-gen's proposals for the new beginning of NATO-Russia cooperation," Rogozin said.

    He indicated Russia would not go ahead with plans to deploy medium-range missiles in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, if the United States abandoned its plans to place ground-based interceptors in Poland and use a radar site in the Czech Republic.

    NATO's ties with Russia have improved since the Cold War ended but deteriorated again following the Defense alliance's eastward expansion to take in former Communist-ruled countries in eastern Europe and Moscow's war in Georgia last year.

    Contentious issues include NATO's offer of eventual membership for Georgia and fellow former Soviet republic Ukraine, which was opposed at a NATO summit last year by France and Germany, and is deeply resented by Russia.

    NATO is troubled by Russia's recognition of the rebellious South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions in Georgia as independent states, and there is lingering mutual mistrust.

    "If I was only born yesterday, I would be delighted, but I was not born yesterday," Rogozin said, adding that there had been several false starts in efforts to improve relations.

    CONCERNS OVER IRAN

    Washington had proposed the shield because of concerns Iran was trying to develop nuclear warheads -- something Iran denies -- and could mount them on long-range missiles. But Russia saw it as a threat to its own missile defenses and overall security.

    Under a new plan, Washington would initially deploy ships with interceptors and in a second phase would field land-based Defense systems.

    The United States has agreed to take part in talks on October 1 between Iran and the so-called "P5+1," which includes Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Russia, Britain, China, France and the United States.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran to use the talks to ease fears over its nuclear program or risk greater isolation.

    "There will be accompanying costs for Iran's continued defiance; more isolation and economic pressure, less possibility of progress for the people of Iran," Clinton said.

    (Additional reporting by Phil Stewart and Andrew Quinn in Washington; Writing by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Charles Dick and Bill Trott)

    © Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    Russia should consider joining the EU and NATO, says Medvedev’s institute

    7 February 2010 - Issue : 872



    According to a paper released on 3 February by the Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR), a think tank headed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia will join NATO and the EU, reduce its military, reintroduce gubernatorial elections and four-year presidential terms and disband its Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service, news agencies reported.

    The essay, 21st-Century Russia: Reflections on an Attractive Tomorrow, published by the institute says the country should consider joining both the European Union and NATO.

    “This will stimulate (Russia’s) further positive transformation, it says.

    Relations with the European Union should be raised to a level that could eventually lead to Russian membership in the trade bloc, the institute said. The US should become “strategic partner” with Russia as a member in a “substantially transformed” North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”

    The paper calls for drastic measures but also embraces modernization appeals formulated by Medvedev last fall in his “Go, Russia!” article and his state-of-the-nation address. Medvedev chairs the institute’s board of trustees.

    The 23,000-word essay — published on the institute’s web site, Insor-Russia.ru, and signed by its chairman, Igor Yurgens, and sociologist Yevgeny Gontmakher - argues that Russia’s economic modernization depends on political reforms that will transform the country into a western-style democracy. “We’re talking about the very survival of Russia, at least within its geostrategic parameters and as a leading nation,” the paper read, which was sent to “all relevant government agencies.” Among the paper’s more radical contents is a sweeping reform of the law enforcement authorities, which are often seen as a haven for the country’s conservative hard-liners, the so-called siloviki.

    The authors propose that the Interior Ministry be disbanded and replaced with a Federal Criminal Police Service. Simpler police duties like road traffic would be carried out by a new force subordinated to regional leaders.

    The paper also proposes to replace the Federal Security Service with a Counterintelligence Service and a Service for the Protection of the Constitution, the latter of which would be responsible for fighting terrorism and separatism — a model that seemingly mimics the intelligence organization of present-day Germany. The military is to be slashed in half to 500,000 to 600,000 servicemen in peacetime.

    The paper also calls for the return of popularly elected governors and reducing the presidential term to five years. A Medvedev-backed amendment extended the term to six years, from four previously.

    The decision to abolish gubernatorial elections in 2004 has been criticized as a leading example of Putin rolling back democracy during his presidency, which ended in 2008. Medvedev has said he personally participated in this decision and that it should remain intact for the next 100 years.

    The idea of working out a systemized approach and defining exact steps in moving towards desired aims has long been in the air. The Russian business daily Vedomosti writes that the idea of a report on the issue came up last summer.

    Kremlin aide Arkady Dvorkovich said that Medvedev had received a draft of the proposals a few weeks ago, but had yet to comment.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    Can I join NATO too?

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    03/08/2010
    Open Letter

    It's Time to Invite Russia to Join NATO



    Trans-Atlantic security needs have changed fundamentally in the last two decades. The East-West confrontation has ended, and Moscow now shares many interests with NATO. It is time for the alliance to open its doors to Russia, say German defense experts Volker Rühe, Klaus Naumann, Frank Elbe and Ulrich Weisser.

    Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt has noted with concern that many of today's politicians have too little knowledge of history. He could well have added that those same politicians are also frighteningly deficient when it comes to understanding strategic and security issues. In Germany, there is no significant discussion about the future of NATO, its self-image, its strategy for the future and the question of how Russia can be included. Berlin is not showing any opinion leadership, nor is it spurring international debate. This has been a disappointment for other members of the alliance, who are asking themselves whether the Germans are afraid of the debate or are simply no longer capable of contributing to it in a forward-looking way.

    Europe's security, though, remains a constant task, and new challenges require different responses than in the past. The Euro-Atlantic region needs peace and stability at home, but it also needs protection against external threats. Ultimately, the emergence of a multi-polar world requires finding a way to offset the political, economic and strategic dynamics of the large Asian powers.

    NATO, in its current form, is not up to these tasks. In the future, the alliance should see itself as a strategic framework for the three centers of power: North America, Europe and Russia. This trio has common interests that are threatened by the same challenges, and which require the same responses. If the alliance intends to be the primary forum for addressing all crises -- because it is the only forum where North America, Europe and Russia sit at the same table -- then it must now establish the requisite institutional framework for that to happen. The door to NATO membership should be opened for Russia. Russia, in turn, must be prepared to accept the rights and obligations of a NATO member, of an equal among equals.

    'The Hand of Friendship'

    The country would undoubtedly have a long way to go before all the conditions of membership are met. But the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington in 1949, contains no obstacles to Russian membership. By unanimous resolution, the parties to that treaty can invite any other European country to apply for membership, provided it is capable of promoting the basic principles of the treaty and contributing to the security of the North Atlantic region.

    In the 21st century, the concept of security encompasses not only the protection of human rights, but also respect for the principles of the constitutional state, which include political pluralism, a free market economy, freedom of the press and other basic rights. Respect for these norms and principles is the real foundation of European stability and security within both NATO and the EU. For this reason, NATO will be quick to point out that the alliance is also an alliance of values, and it will take time before Russia fully satisfies these criteria. In the past, however, the prospect of membership has always triggered a process in candidate countries that has eventually led to a consensus of values.

    In recent years, NATO has willingly opened its doors for the membership of Central European countries. Commenting on this development, the Russian president recently said that almost all countries have found their place in Europe -- except Russia. The alliance has long neglected Russia and has not given it the same amount of attention. The bilateral relationship was not developed in the spirit of a genuine strategic partnership, and Russia has forfeited opportunities by upholding the image of NATO as its enemy. At the same time, the NATO countries have been less and less willing, over the course of two decades, to develop cooperative approaches to security policy with Russia -- particularly when compared with the mood of positive change that prevailed in 1990, when NATO leaders offered the Soviet Union "the hand of friendship" at their summit meeting in London.

    With, and not Against, Russia

    There is no consensus over how to appraise and handle Russia, a fundamental question over which the members of the alliance and the EU are deeply divided. One of the key bones of contention is that, for historical reasons, the new members of NATO define their security as being directed against Russia, while the imperative for Western Europe is that security in and for Europe can only be achieved with and not against Russia.

    Russia has repeatedly made it clear that it feels sidelined by the expansion of NATO and the shift in the alliance's borders by 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) to the east. It has also objected to countries that were once part of the Soviet Union becoming NATO members. But NATO insists that every country in Europe has the right to join the alliance of its choosing. Should the two sides come to a deadlock over this controversy, it holds the potential to trigger serious conflict. A Russian membership of NATO would make it easier to integrate Georgia and Ukraine into European structures -- the mere willingness to become a member presupposes recognition of the territorial integrity of European countries.

    The Euro-Atlantic community needs Russia for many reasons: for energy security, disarmament and arms control, to prevent proliferation, to solve the problems in Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East conflict, to contain the potential for crisis and conflict in Central Asia, and to facilitate opinion-making and decision-making in the United Nations Security Council and within the framework of the G-8 and the G-20. It is a necessity for NATO to figure out now how Russia can find its way into the Euro-Atlantic community.

    Russia's participation in collective security would have an internal and an external dimension. Complete transparency in the alliance on the basis of strict reciprocity, as well as political and military integration into the alliance system and participation in the shared decision-making process, would put an end to any perception of a supposed threat to Russia by the West. At the same time, the entire alliance would benefit from the political and military means Russia has at its disposal to fend off external threats and solve problems that affect the Euro-Atlantic community.

    The Primary Security Institution

    The trio comprising North America, Europe and Russia has an objective interest in surviving the consequences of the global economic crisis, thwarting the development of new power centers at the expense of old structures, facing challenges in the southern crisis region and cooperating in the Arctic. Nevertheless, there will be resistance to Russian NATO membership.

    For this reason, in its internal debate with Eastern European skeptics, NATO must make it clear what the alliance stands to gain if Russia is gradually brought on board as a full member. It will be in the interest of both sides to define concrete interim steps. This could include the NATO countries and Russia issuing a joint declaration, at the beginning of the accession process, to use none of their weapons against each other, and that their nuclear weapons serve only one purpose: to prevent the use of nuclear weapons. On this basis, all Russian tactical nuclear weapons could be withdrawn to central storage facilities, where they would be subject to international monitoring at all times, in return for the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Europe. And a joint missile defense system could be installed to protect the territory of NATO countries and Russia.

    The trans-Atlantic bond between Europe and North America would remain irreplaceable in a triple constellation -- it is the only way we can survive together in a troubled world. But now that the East-West confrontation has ended, Europe, including Germany, is no longer as strategically important to the United States as in past decades. The US's focus on the Asia-Pacific region is unmistakable.

    NATO has provided the stability framework for the integration of Central European countries into European structures, enabling the EU and the alliance to address the historic task of reorganizing Europe after the end of the Cold War and giving it peace and stability. Now, with the inclusion of Russia, a comparatively major task is on the agenda. Russia's membership in the Atlantic alliance would be the logical consummation of the Euro-Atlantic order, in which NATO would remain the primary security institution.

    Volker Rühe was Germany's defense minister from 1992 to 1998, retired General Klaus Naumann was inspector general of the German Armed Forces and chairman of the NATO Military Committee, retired Ambassador Frank Elbe was director of the Planning Committee at the German Foreign Ministry and ambassador to India, Japan, Poland and Switzerland, and retired Vice Admiral Ulrich Weisser was director of the Planning Committee at the German Defense Ministry.

    Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    21:1008/03/2010
    Russia's European security initiative should get fair hearing - Merkel

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's European security initiative should be discussed in the OSCE framework, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.

    "President Medvedev and I spoke by telephone last week and we reiterated that we should discuss his initiative on partnership in the security sphere; it should be discussed within the framework of the OSCE," Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

    She said the discussion of the Russian proposal "will be invigorated" in the near future.


    The Russian draft security European treaty was posted on the president's website November 29, 2009.

    However, it has received a lukewarm reaction from the West.

    In late February, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected Russia's call for a new European security treaty, saying Europe's security would be strengthened by a closer cooperation between Russia and NATO.

    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in December NATO was ready to discuss Medvedev's ideas, but there was no need for a new security treaty.

    The NATO chief added there are enough documents ensuring Euro-Atlantic security, and that conflicts happen because some countries do not comply with the principles enshrined in these documents.

    BERLIN, March 8 (RIA Novosti)

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Obama administration says Russia could join NATO

    Russia, NATO ready to combat global threats together


    Russia, NATO ready to combat global threats together

    15:29 23/07/2010

    © AFP/ Armend Nimani

    Related News



    Russia and NATO military chiefs are ready to combine their efforts in combating international challenges to global security, the Russian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff said.

    On Thursday a NATO delegation, led by the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, arrived in Moscow to review Russia-NATO relations and discuss, among other topics, anti-piracy issues, Russia's assistance to the NATO contingent in Afghanistan and further bilateral strategy.

    "We have made a good start: around half of the planned projects have already been implemented," Gen. Nikolai Makarov said.

    NATO froze ties with Russia following the August 2008 armed conflict with Georgia and the recognition by Moscow of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    However, Russia-NATO relations have improved over the past year as a result of the reset in relations between Moscow and Washington.

    In late January, the Russian and NATO chiefs of staff met in Brussels for the first time since relations improved. As a result of the talks, a framework military cooperation treaty was approved, which is seen as an important step toward the restoration of military ties between Russia and the alliance.

    Russia has allowed land transits of non-lethal NATO supplies to Afghanistan and promised more assistance to the bloc's operations in the war-torn country by expanding transits, supplying helicopters and training Afghan security forces.

    Russia has also been actively participating in international efforts to fight piracy along the Somali coast since October 2008.

    MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti)

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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    NATO unveils draft of new mission statement

    Updated 5/17/2010 12:14 PM

    BRUSSELS — NATO must win the war in Afghanistan, expand ties with Russia and even China, counter the threat posed by Iran's missiles, and assure the security of its 28 members, according to the alliance's proposed mission statement for the next decade.

    The draft document, released Monday, seeks to bridge a growing rift between the U.S., which favors a greater international role for NATO, and European nations that want it to retain its traditional defensive focus.

    "NATO must be versatile and efficient enough to operate far from home," said former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, head of the team of experts who wrote the document. "(But) in order to sustain the political will for operations outside its area, NATO must see that all its members are reassured about the security of their home territories."

    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will use the draft as a basis for a new strategic concept that will be submitted for approval at the alliance's next summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in November.

    Founded in 1949 to counter the threat of a Soviet invasion, the 28-member alliance is in the midst of a mid-life crisis as it searches for relevance almost 20 years after the collapse of its communist rival.

    The previous strategic concept focused mainly on NATO's peacekeeping role in places like Bosnia and Kosovo. It was adopted in 1999, soon after the end of the Cold War and before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States forced the alliance to take on missions such as counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan.

    The war is the largest mission ever attempted by the alliance. More than 100,000 NATO troops, about two-thirds of them American, are currently deployed there. Nearly 1,800 NATO soldiers have been killed in the escalating conflict.

    "In today's world we may have to go beyond our borders to defend our borders. I can mention Afghanistan as a case in point," Fogh Rasmussen said.

    "But Afghanistan is not a make or break situation for NATO," he said. "NATO is about much more than Afghanistan ... despite the fact that there is so much focus on Afghanistan right now."

    The new document said the alliance should focus on improving ties with Moscow, which has helped NATO in Afghanistan by opening an overland supply route from Europe to that landlocked country.

    NATO and Russia should work more closely together on other fields of mutual interest such as missile defense, counterterrorism, counternarcotics and maritime security, the document said.

    "It means a real partnerthisp with Russia based on shared interests," Fogh Rasmussen told reporters.

    The new statement emphasized the threat posed by Iran's nascent ballistic missile capability.

    "Missile defense is most effective when it is a joint enterprise, and cooperation ... between the alliance and its partners — especially Russia — is highly desirable," the blueprint said.

    It favors U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons remaining in Europe, another legacy of the Cold War. Several European governments have requested that they be withdrawn, saying the outdated bombs no longer serve any military purpose.

    "As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO should continue to maintain secure and reliable nuclear forces ... at the minimum level required by the prevailing security environment," the document said.

    Albright noted that the alliance must look to forging stronger partnerships with all global partners, not just the European Union and Russia, in order to foster security and resolve emerging crises.

    "We were open minded in terms of partnerships around the world," she said. "We've looked into ways of partnering with China in various ways."

    (This version CORRECTS NATO founding date.)

    Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    Alliance Chief Introduces 'NATO 3.0'


    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO would strive for global supremacy unmatched by anyone else and remain the preeminent forum for political consultations between the United States and its European allies.

    October 08, 2010
    By Ahto Lobjakas

    BRUSSELS -- NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has showcased NATO's new strategic concept as a "blueprint" for the alliance's third coming.

    Borrowing from computer jargon, Rasmussen described the alliance of the Cold War era as "NATO 1.0," followed by "NATO 2.0" between 1991 and 2011.

    Now, Rasmussen said, "NATO 3.0" is being forged, "an alliance which can defend the 900 million citizens of NATO countries against the threats we face today and will face in the coming decade. The strategic concept is the blueprint for that new NATO."

    The new concept will mark the first time in the alliance's history that Russia is not characterized as a threat.

    Indeed, during a 40-minute speech, the NATO chief did not refer to Russia once. Pressed for details by reporters, he described the country as a "partner" in a range of collective endeavors ranging from counterterrorism activities to a possible joint missile-defense venture.

    This spring, a report drawn up by experts led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright noted that some of the allies have "strained feelings" when it comes to Moscow and are "more skeptical than others about the Russian government's commitment to a positive relationship."

    End Of Article 5?


    Rasmussen's conciliatory tone comes after months of fierce pressure from Moscow, which rejects characterizations of it as a threat. This tension is why Russia has not yet confirmed its participation at the NATO-Russia Council meeting that the alliance hopes to arrange on the sidelines of the Lisbon summit.

    Diplomats say there is disagreement within the alliance as to how much prominence to give Article 5, which enshrines NATO's commitment to collective defense.

    Speaking to Estonian TV on September 27, Estonia's ambassador to NATO, Juri Luik, said, "There are countries that would like to focus on new threats and stress that the world has completely changed and that everything that happened during the Cold War is no longer relevant."

    The new strategic concept will be a "relatively short document," Luik noted, adding that "the question is how the issue [of Article 5] will be balanced vis-a-vis other issues."

    Estonia, together with the other Baltic countries and Poland, has made no secret that it continues to view Russia as a threat. All four have protested vociferously against French plans -- now confirmed -- to sell Russia Mistral-class advanced amphibious-assault ships. All four also want NATO to draw up detailed contingency plans in case they should be attacked.

    Another issue that continues to divide the allies is the future of nuclear weapons in Europe. Germany and France lead a group of countries intent on removing U.S. warheads from the continent.

    Global Partnerships

    Rasmussen said NATO's "fundamentals" would not change and the commitment to collective defense will remain the cornerstone of the alliance. He said NATO would strive for global supremacy unmatched by anyone else and remain the preeminent forum for political consultations between the United States and its European allies.

    But Rasmussen also said that NATO was now facing "new types of threat" -- including cyberwarfare, attacks on energy infrastructure, and missile strikes. For that reason, he said, the alliance must renew its capabilities, with an emphasis on mobile and easily deployable forces.

    The NATO chief also underscored the need for better coordination with the European Union and the United Nations and said the alliance needed its own civilian crisis-management capability.

    Rasmussen avoided the phrase "out-of-area" and said NATO was not looking for "new involvements or new missions."

    In an attempt to address other countries' unease when it comes to NATO's possible global ambitions, Rasmussen said the new strategic concept would spell out provisions for what he called "cooperative security."

    "There is a third area where NATO must take the next step, engaging with the wider world to build cooperative security," Rasmussen said. "In [a] nutshell, the alliance must develop deeper, wider political and practical partnerships with countries around the globe."

    Rasmussen listed China, India, and Pakistan as potential leading partners.

    The NATO secretary-general also issued another impassioned plea to European allies to not let the economic crisis impact their funding contributions to the alliance.

    He said some governments risked "cutting into [NATO's] muscle and bone" in their austerity drives, and warned that a militarily emasculated Europe might force the United States to look for partners "elsewhere."

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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    NATO ministers to review draft of new mission statement dealing with emerging threats

    By Slobodan Lekic (CP) – 3 days ago

    BRUSSELS — NATO ministers will this week consider changes in the alliance's strategy seeking to bridge a rift between the U.S., which favours a greater international role for the alliance, and European nations that want it to retain its traditional defensive focus.

    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Thursday's meeting of defence and foreign ministers will focus on reforming the Cold War alliance to allow it to deal with emerging threats such as ballistic missiles and cyber warfare.

    The alliance's heads of state and government will meet in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov. 20, when Fogh Rasmussen will unveil NATO's new strategic concept, which will attempt to reconcile the American and European approaches.

    "The new strategic concept must reconfirm NATO's core task — territorial defence — but modernize how we do it, including cyber defence and missile defence," he told journalists in Brussels on Monday. "It must also define clearly NATO's mission to manage the full spectrum of crises (and) mandate NATO to reach out further than it ever has before."

    The previous strategic concept focused mainly on NATO's peacekeeping role in places such as Bosnia and Kosovo. It was adopted in 1999, soon after the end of the Cold War and before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States forced the alliance to take on missions such as counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan.

    Washington now wants NATO to be prepared to contribute forces to missions outside its traditional theatre of operations in Europe, such as in Afghanistan or the anti-piracy naval patrols in the Indian Ocean. But many European governments remain wary, arguing that the alliance should not be transformed into a global policeman.

    Earlier this year, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates — who will attend Thursday's meeting along with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — criticized Europeans' aversion to military force, calling it an "an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st century."

    Ministers will also discuss streamlining the alliance's structure — which still reflects its Cold War origins — at a time of shrinking defence budgets.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    NATO’s New Strategic Concept. What should Russia prepare for?



    NATO’s New Strategic Concept. What should Russia prepare for?

    15:42 13/10/2010
    © AFP/ Armend Nimani
    Related News



    The conference broadcast live here

    2:00 p.m. October 15, 2010. Hall 2.

    Moscow-Brussels video conference, NATO’s New Strategic Concept. What should Russia prepare for?

    NATO’s debate around the new Strategic concept developed by an expert group, the so-called group of wise men, has entered its final stage.

    The draft concept will be approved at a summit in Lisbon on November 19-20 where the Russia-NATO Council will also hold a meeting. What place does Russia have in the new strategic concept of the alliance?

    Will Russia and NATO have closer relations after the concept is approved? What can be the scenarios for developing relations between Russia and NATO in the near future? Is Russia’s accession to NATO possible in principle and what would this mean for Russia?

    What is Russia’s role from NATO’s viewpoint in the European missile defense project? What concessions is Russia ready to make to strengthen its partnership with the alliance? Is NATO ready to take Russia’s concerns into consideration?

    Is it easy for Russia and NATO today to find common ground on the basic directions of bilateral cooperation? Do the parties share the same viewpoints on the challenges of the 21st century?

    What issues will be discussed during a Munich Security Conference offshoot meeting in Moscow on October 19-20, which will gather leading politicians from Europe and the United States?

    Can we expect any determining recommendations for cooperation between Russia and NATO? These and other issues will become the topic for the discussion.

    Participant in Moscow:

    - Head of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, Alexander SHARAVIN
    Participants in Brussels:
    - Russia’s permanent envoy to NATO, Dmitry ROGOZIN;
    - member of the group of wise men set to prepare recommendations for the project of NATO’s new strategic concept, Hans-Friedrich von PLOETZ.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    NATO's Lack of a Strategic Concept

    October 12, 2010 | 0856 GMT




    By Marko Papic
    Twenty-eight heads of state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will meet in Lisbon on Nov. 20 to approve a new “Strategic Concept,” the alliance’s mission statement for the next decade. This will be NATO’s third Strategic Concept since the Cold War ended. The last two came in 1991 — as the Soviet Union was collapsing — and 1999 — as NATO intervened in Yugoslavia, undertaking its first serious military engagement.

    During the Cold War, the presence of 50 Soviet and Warsaw Pact armored divisions and nearly 2 million troops west of the Urals spoke far louder than mission statements. While Strategic Concepts were put out in 1949, 1952, 1957 and 1968, they merely served to reinforce NATO’s mission, namely, to keep the Soviets at bay. Today, the debate surrounding NATO’s Strategic Concept itself highlights the alliance’s existential crisis.

    The Evolution of NATO’s Threat Environment


    (click here to enlarge image)

    The Cold War was a dangerous but simple era. The gravity of the Soviet threat and the devastation of continental Europe after World War II left the European NATO allies beholden to the United States for defense. Any hope of deterring an ambitious USSR resided in Washington and its nuclear arsenal. This was not a matter of affinity or selection on the basis of cultural values and shared histories. For Western Europeans, there was little choice as they faced a potential Soviet invasion. That lack of choice engendered a strong bond between the alliance’s European and North American allies and a coherent mission statement. NATO provided added benefits of security with little financial commitment, allowing Europeans to concentrate on improving domestic living standards, giving Europe time and resources to craft the European Union and expansive welfare states. For the Americans, this was a small price to pay to contain the Soviets. A Soviet-dominated Europe would have combined Europe’s technology and industrial capacity with Soviet natural resources, manpower and ideology, creating a continent-sized competitor able to threaten North America.

    The threat of a Soviet invasion of Europe was the only mission statement NATO needed. The alliance had few conventional counters to this threat. While the anti-tank technology that began to come online toward the end of the Cold War began to shift the military balance between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, much of it remained unproven until Operation Desert Storm in 1991, well after the Soviet threat had passed. This technological and qualitative innovation came at an immense expense and was the direct result of the alliance’s quantitative disadvantage. The Warsaw Pact held a 2-to-1 advantage in terms of main battle tanks in 1988. There was a reason the Warsaw Pact called its battle plan against NATO the Seven Days to the Rhine, a fairly realistic description of the outcome of the planned attack (assuming the Soviets could fuel the armored onslaught, which was becoming a more serious question by the 1980s). In fact, the Soviets were confident enough throughout the Cold War to maintain a no-first-use policy on nuclear weapons in the belief that their conventional advantage in armor would yield quick results. NATO simply did not have that luxury.

    It should be noted that Western Europe and the United States disagreed on interests and strategies during the Cold War as well. At many junctures, the Western Europeans sought to distance themselves from the United States, including after the Vietnam War, which the United States fought largely to illustrate its commitment to them. In this context, the 1969 policy of Ostpolitik by then-West German Chancellor Willy Brandt toward the Soviets might not appear very different from the contemporary Berlin-Moscow relationship — but during the Cold War, the Soviet tank divisions arrayed on the border of West and East Germany was a constant reality check that ultimately determined NATO member priorities. Contradictory interests and momentary disagreements within the alliance thus remained ancillary to the armored formations conducting exercises simulating a massive push toward the Rhine.

    The Cold War threat environment was therefore clear and severe, creating conditions that made NATO not only necessary and viable but also strong in the face of potential disagreements among its members. This environment, however, did not last. Ultimately, NATO held back the Soviet threat, but in its success, the alliance sowed the seeds for its present lack of focus. The Warsaw Pact threat disappeared when the pact folded in mid-1991 and the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of 1991. Moscow unilaterally withdrew its sphere of influence from the Elbe River at the old West-East German border to behind the Dnieper River some 1,000 kilometers farther east. Throughout the 1990s, the danger from Russia lay in nuclear proliferation resulting from its collapse, prompting the United States and its NATO allies to begin to prop up the chaotic government of Boris Yeltsin. Meanwhile, the momentary preponderance of American power allowed the West to dabble in expeditionary adventures of questionable strategic value — albeit in the former border regions between NATO and the West — and the alliance searched for a mission statement in humanitarian interventions in the Balkans.



    (click here to enlarge image)

    Disparate Threats and Interests

    With each passing year of the post-Cold War era, the threat environment changed. With no clear threat in the east, NATO enlargement into Central Europe became a goal in and of itself. And with each new NATO member state came a new national interest in defining that threat environment, and the unifying nature of a consensus threat environment further weakened.

    Three major developments changed how different alliance members formulate their threat perception.

    First, 9/11 brought home the reality of the threat represented by militant Islamists. The attack was the first instance in its history that NATO invoked Article 5, which provides for collective self-defense. This paved the way for NATO involvement in Afghanistan, well outside NATO’s traditional theater of operations in Europe. Subsequent jihadist attacks in Spain and the United Kingdom reaffirmed the global nature of the threat, but global terrorism is not 50 armored divisions. The lukewarm interest of many NATO allies regarding the Afghan mission in particular and profound differences over the appropriate means to address the threat of transnational terrorism in general attest to the insufficiency of militant Islam as a unifying threat for the alliance. For most European nations, the threat of jihadism is not one to be countered in the Middle East and South Asia with expeditionary warfare, but rather at home using domestic law enforcement amid their own restive Muslim populations — or at the very most, handled abroad with clandestine operations conducted by intelligence services. Europeans would therefore like to shift the focus of the struggle to policing and intelligence gathering, not to mention cost cutting in the current environment of fiscal austerity across the Continent.

    Washington, however, still has both a motivation to bring the senior leadership of al Qaeda to justice and a strategic interest in leaving Afghanistan with a government capable of preventing the country from devolving into a terrorist safe haven. As STRATFOR has argued, both interests are real but are overcommitting the United States to combating the tactic of terrorism and the threat of transnational jihad at the cost of emerging (and re-emerging) threats elsewhere. To use poker parlance, Washington has committed itself to the pot with a major bet and is hesitant to withdraw despite its poor hand. With so many of its chips — e.g., resources and political capital — already invested, the United States is hesitant to fold. Europeans, however, have essentially already folded.

    Second, NATO’s enlargement to the Baltic states combined with the pro-Western Georgian and Ukrainian color revolutions — all occurring in a one-year period between the end of 2003 and end of 2004 — jarred Moscow into a resurgence that has altered the threat environment for Central Europe. Russia saw the NATO expansion to the Baltic states as revealing the alliance’s designs on Ukraine and Georgia, and it found this unacceptable. Considering Ukraine’s geographic importance to Russia — it is the underbelly of Russia, affording Moscow’s enemies an excellent position from which to cut off Moscow’s access to the Caucasus — it represents a red line for any Russian entity. The Kremlin has countered the threat of losing Ukraine from its sphere of influence by resurging into the old Soviet sphere, locking down Central Asia, Belarus, the Caucasus and Ukraine via open warfare (in the case of Georgia), political machinations (in the case of Ukraine and soon Moldova) and color revolutions modeled on the West’s efforts (in the case of Kyrgyzstan).

    For Western Europe and especially Germany, sensitive to its dependencies on, and looking to profit from its energy and economic exchange with, Russia, Moscow’s resurgence is a secondary issue. Core European powers do not want a second Cold War confrontation with Russia. While it is of more importance for the United States, current operations have left U.S. ground combat forces overcommitted and without a strategic reserve. It is a threat Washington is reawakening to, but that remains a lower priority than ongoing efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. When the United States does fully reawaken to the Russian resurgence, it will find that only a portion of NATO shares a similar view of Russia. That portion is in the Central European countries that form NATO’s new borderlands with Russia, for whom a resurgent Moscow is the supreme national threat. By contrast, France and Germany — Europe’s heavyweights — do not want another Cold War splitting the Continent.

    Third, Europe’s severe economic crisis has made Germany’s emergence as the political leader of Europe plain to all. This development was the logical result of the Cold War’s end and of German reunification, though it took 20 years for Berlin to digest East Germany and be presented with the opportunity to exert its power. That opportunity presented itself in the first half of 2010. Europe’s fate in May 2010 amid the Greek sovereign debt crisis hinged not on what the EU bureaucracy would do, or even on what the leaders of most powerful EU countries would collectively agree on, but rather what direction came from Berlin. This has now sunk in for the rest of Europe.

    Berlin wants to use the current crisis to reshape the European Union in its own image. Meanwhile, Paris wants to manage Berlin’s rise and preserve a key role for France in the leadership of the European Union. Western Europe therefore wants to have the luxury it had during the Cold War of being able to put its house in order and wants no part of global expeditionary warfare against militant Islamists or of countering Russian resurgence. Central Europeans are nervously watching as Paris and Berlin draw closer to Moscow while committed Atlanticists — Western European countries traditionally suspicious of a powerful Germany — such as Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom want to reaffirm their trans-Atlantic security links with the United States in light of a new, more assertive, Germany. The core of Western European NATO members is thus at war with itself over policy and does not perceive a resurgent Russia as a threat to be managed with military force.

    The Beginning of the End

    Amid this changed threat environment and expanded membership, NATO looks to draft a new mission statement. To do so, a “Group of Experts” led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has drafted a number of recommendations for how the alliance will tackle the next 10 years. This Thursday, NATO member states’ defense ministers will take a final look at the experts’ recommendations before they are formulated into a draft Strategic Concept that the secretary-general will present to heads of state at the aforementioned November Lisbon summit.

    Recommended External Link


    Though some recommendations do target issues that plague the alliance, they fail to address the unaddressable, namely, the lack of a unified perception of threats and how those threats should be prioritized and responded to. Ultimately, the credibility and deterrent value of an alliance is rooted in potential adversaries’ perception of the alliance’s resolve. During the Cold War, that resolve, while never unquestioned — the Europeans were always skeptical of U.S. willingness to risk New York and Washington in a standoff with Russia over European turf — was strong and repeatedly demonstrated. The United States launched proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam largely to demonstrate unequivocally to European governments — and the Kremlin — that the United States was willing to bleed in far corners of the planet for its allies. U.S. troops stationed in West Germany, some of whom were in immediate danger of being cut off in West Berlin, served to demonstrate U.S. resolve against Soviet armor poised on the North European Plain and just to the east of the Fulda Gap in Hesse. Recent years have not seen a reaffirmation of such resolve, but rather the opposite when the United States — and NATO — failed to respond to the Russian military intervention in Georgia, a committed NATO aspirant though not a member. This was due not only to a lack of U.S. forces but also to Germany’s and France’s refusal to risk their relationships with Russia over Georgia.

    Thus, at the heart of NATO today lies a lack of resolve bred in the divergent interests and threat perceptions of its constituent states. The disparate threat environment is grafted on to a membership pool that can be broadly split into three categories: the United States, Canada and committed European Atlanticists (the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark); Core European powers (led by Germany and France, with southern Mediterranean countries dependant on Berlin’s economic support in tow); and new Central European member states, the so-called Intermarum countries that stretch from the Baltic to the Black seas that are traditionally wary of Russian power and of relying on an alliance with Western Europe to counter such power.

    With no one clear threat to the alliance and with so many divergent interests among its membership, the Group of Experts recommendations were largely incompatible. A look at the recommendations is enough to infer which group of countries wants what interests preserved and therefore reveal the built-in incompatibility of alliance interests going forward from 2010.

    • Atlanticists: Led by the United States, Atlanticists want the alliance oriented toward non-European theaters of operation (e.g., Afghanistan) and non-traditional security threats (think cybersecurity, terrorism, etc.); an increase of commitments from Core Europeans in terms of defense spending; and a reformed decision-making system that eliminates a single-member veto in some situations while allowing the NATO secretary-general to have predetermined powers to act without authorization in others. The latter is in the interests of the United States, because it is Washington that will always have the most sway over the secretary-general, who traditionally hails from an Atlanticist country.
    • Core Europe: Led by Germany and France, Core Europe wants more controls and parameters predetermined for non-European deployments (so that it can limit such deployments); a leaner and more efficient alliance (in other words, the freedom to cut defense spending when few are actually spending at the two percent gross domestic product mandated by the alliance); and more cooperation and balance with Russia and more consultations with international organizations like the United Nations (to limit the ability of the United States to go it alone without multilateral approval). Core Europe also wants military exercises to be “nonthreatening,” in direct opposition to Intermarum demands that the alliance reaffirm its defense commitments through clear demonstrations of resolve.
    • Intermarum: The Central Europeans ultimately want NATO to reaffirm Article 5 both rhetorically and via military exercises (if not the stationing of troops); commitment to the European theater and conventional threats specifically (in opposition to the Atlanticists’ non-European focus); and mention of Russia in the new Strategic Concept as a power whose motives cannot be trusted (in opposition of Core European pro-Russian attitudes). Some Central Europeans also want a continued open-door membership policy (think Ukraine and Georgia) so that the NATO border with Russia is expanded farther east, which neither the United States nor Core Europe (nor even some fellow Intermarum states) have the appetite for at present.

    The problem with NATO today, and for NATO in the next decade, is that different member states view different threats through different prisms of national interest. Russian tanks concern only roughly a third of member states — the Intermarum states — while the rest of the alliance is split between Atlanticists looking to strengthen the alliance for new threats and non-European theaters of operations and the so-called “Old Europe” that looks to commit as few soldiers and resources as possible toward either set of goals in the next 10 years.

    It is unclear how the new Strategic Concept will encapsulate anything but the strategic divergence in NATO- member interests. NATO is not going away, but it lacks the unified and overwhelming threat that has historically made enduring alliances among nation-states possible — much less lasting. Without that looming threat, other matters — other differences — begin to fracture the alliance. NATO continues to exist today not because of its unity of purpose but because of the lack of a jarringly divisive issue that could drive it apart. Thus, the oft-repeated question of “relevance” — namely, how does NATO reshape itself to be relevant in the 21st century — must be turned on its head by asking what it is that unifies NATO in the 21st century.

    During the Cold War, NATO was a military alliance with a clear adversary and purpose. Today, it is becoming a group of friendly countries with interoperability standards that will facilitate the creation of “coalitions of the willing” on an ad-hoc basis and of a discussion forum. This will give its member states a convenient structure from which to launch multilateral policing actions, such as combating piracy in Somalia or providing law enforcement in places like Kosovo. Given the inherently divergent core interests of its member states, the question is what underlying threat will unify NATO in the decade ahead to galvanize the alliance into making the sort of investments and reforms that the Strategic Concept stipulates. The answer to that question is far from clear. In fact, it is clouded by its member states’ incompatible perceptions of global threats, which makes us wonder whether the November Summit in Lisbon is in fact the beginning of the end for NATO.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    Gates, NATO Defense Ministers Discuss New Strategic Concept

    By John D. Banusiewicz
    American Forces Press Service

    BRUSSELS, Belgium, , Oct. 13, 2010 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and his fellow NATO defense ministers are here to discuss myriad issues in advance of next month’s summit meeting of the alliance’s heads of state in Lisbon, Portugal.

    While en route here from Hanoi, Vietnam, where he attended an expanded defense ministers meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Gates told reporters traveling with him that tomorrow will be a busy day for NATO’s North Atlantic Council, but that the alliance’s mission in Afghanistan won’t be part of the agenda.

    “Obviously, Afghanistan will figure prominently in Lisbon, but not tomorrow,” he said. “The work that we have cut out for us in Brussels tomorrow really is about trying to move forward and reach final agreement on a lot of the other aspects of the summit that are important in terms of the future of the alliance.”

    Reaching agreement on NATO’s new strategic concept -- with assured security and dynamic engagement at its center -- will be at the top of the list, the secretary said. Also, he added, the council will try to agree on committing to various “critical capabilities” -- among them missile defense, capabilities to counter improvised explosive devices, cyber defense, and aircraft command and control systems.

    “There are about 10 of these capabilities that we believe we need to commit to as guidance for the defense planning process,” Gates said. “They wouldn’t all be locked in stone, but they certainly should be things that the alliance should focus on.”

    There’s a proposal to slim down the alliance’s command structure to realize “significant efficiencies,” Gates said. NATO has 14 agencies, he explained, and a proposal is on the table to trim that number to three.

    “With all these reform efforts and efforts to bring efficiencies, our position, of course, will be -- just like we’re doing in Washington –- that any savings realized as a result of these efficiencies be plowed back into these critical capabilities that I talked about,” Gates said.

    Amid reports that some allies are planning defense cuts, Gates said he knows they must deal with the issue based on their own internal dynamics, but he’s worried that any such cuts would cause the alliance to look toward the United States to cover any gaps created.

    “At a time when we’re facing stringencies of our own, that’s a concern for me,” he said.

    On missile defense, Gates said he believes broad support exists for the phased, adaptive approach to missile defense in Europe that calls for increasingly capable sea- and land-based missile interceptors and a range of sensors to defend against the ballistic missile threat from Iran.

    “The linkage with national missile defense, so that both territories and populations are covered, is really more a matter of software –- of connecting the command and control of the different national capabilities,” he said. That would require only a modest financial outlay beyond what already has been approved –- perhaps 85 million to 150 million euros over 10 years, he added.

    A defense ministers’ session of the North Atlantic Council will take place tomorrow morning, and they’ll be joined in the afternoon by the alliance’s foreign ministers for a joint session of the council. The foreign ministers will hold a separate meeting among themselves after that.


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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    Turkey to seek NATO consensus on missile



    NATO leaders will decide in November whether they will share the costs of a US-deployed shield in Europe. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy James Townsend told reporters in a press briefing on Tuesday that Turkey has played a very helpful role in sorting out issues related to missile deployment.

    The issue will be decided as defense and foreign ministers from NATO-member nations are set to gather in Brussels today to discuss a proposed update to the military alliance's strategic concept, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said briefly on Wednesday when reminded of remarks Townsend made at a joint press conference with Sudan's visiting foreign minister, Ali Ahmed Karti. “We will assess together what can be done to agree on a common strategy within the alliance system,” Davutoğlu said, noting that he would also participate in the meeting in Brussels.

    US President Barack Obama approved a plan last year that included the deployment of increasingly capable sea-and-land-based missile interceptors and a range of sensors to Europe to defend against the growing ballistic missile threat from Iran.

    The new Obama plan would deploy systems designed to shoot down short and medium-range missiles, with construction to begin, in phases, around 2011. Systems to counter longer-range missiles would be in place around 2020.

    “A general approach that is embraced by all NATO members should emerge on this issue,” Turkish diplomatic sources told Today’s Zaman on Wednesday. When asked whether this amounts to a criticism of the US’ position on the issue, the same sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “The issue should be assessed in detail.”

    While admitting that US officials have been informing the Turkish side on the issue of deciding who would be willing to host missile defense systems, the sources elaborated: “We would be reluctant if the threat is perceived by some NATO members and not by others, the Czech Republic or Poland for example.

    Turkey would say OK to an increase in NATO members’ security in general, but a widely accepted framework should be agreed on for perceiving such a threat.”

    The former US administration designed a plan in 2007 to deploy missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, but Obama had to scrap that plan in order please the Kremlin.

    Washington had said the anti-missile system would defend against a threat from Iran, but Moscow views it as upsetting the strategic balance between Russian and Western nuclear forces.

    Neighboring Romania agreed earlier this year to install anti-ballistic missile interceptors as part of the revamped US missile shield. Townsend, also speaking at the Atlantic Council on Tuesday in a panel discussion, said, regarding Turkey’s decision to host defense missiles, it would probably take much time for Turkish policymaker to wrestle with the issue.

    Townsend also stated that Turkey will attend a NATO meeting in Brussels on Thursday and the NATO Lisbon Summit in November where it will have to face at least two issues. He said the first is Turkey’s vote on NATO’s missile defense capability in Turkey, and the second is what kind of role Turkey wants to play in this. He said Turkey’s decision will impact many items on the national agenda, adding that Turks are thinking very hard about this. “As we talk to Turkey, there is a realization in Ankara of the importance of missile defense systems as a concept and this is not something Turks are thinking of beyond the grasp of the alliance,” he noted.

    As far as Turkey’s decision is concerned, Townsend said what the US is seeing in Turkey is not ambivalence and reluctance, but an attempt to balance what it knows is important for European, transatlantic and Turkish security and how this fits in with Turkey’s political calculations in the region.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration opens the door for the Axis to join NATO

    NATO Must Adapt to Shifting Security Challenges, U.S. State Secretary Clinton Says

    09:14 GMT, October 15, 2010




    BRUSSELS, Belgium | To remain relevant and effective, NATO must be able to anticipate and protect against a variety of shifting security challenges, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said here yesterday.

    Speaking at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at NATO headquarters during a day of meetings for the alliance’s foreign and defense ministers, Clinton said terrorism, ballistic missiles, cyber attacks and the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons are among the challenges NATO must be capable of meeting.

    “Relying on the strategies of past decades simply will not suffice,” she said. “NATO began as a regional alliance, but the threats it now faces are global, and its perspective must be global as well.”

    While en route here yesterday, Gates told reporters traveling with him that today’s meetings would be geared toward reaching agreement on NATO’s new strategic concept – the first update of its security strategy in more than a decade -- and on the capabilities necessary to carry it forward. The meetings here today were a prelude to NATO’s upcoming summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

    Clinton thanked NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for leading the effort to develop the draft of the new strategic concept that the ministers discussed. “Today’s meeting brings us closer to a final product,” she said, “and the member states will continue to discuss and revise as we prepare for our summit next month in Lisbon.” She invoked the words of her fellow Cabinet officer in emphasizing the need for NATO to have the capabilities it needs to meet the challenges it faces.

    “As Bob Gates often says, the new strategic concept won’t be worth the paper it is printed on unless it is backed up by the capabilities needed to carry it out,” she said.

    In a statement today during a joint meeting of foreign and defense ministers, Gates said he’s pleased that the alliance agreed to fund critical capabilities as a matter of priority, and he zeroed in on the emerging threats of ballistic missiles and cyber attacks identified in the draft strategic concept as being key issues that will require action at the Lisbon summit.

    “It is vitally important that we not only talk about these new threats in Lisbon, but act to counter them by agreeing to acquire the capabilities necessary to collectively defend against them,” he said.

    On cybersecurity, Gates said NATO is far behind where it needs to be, and that while the draft strategic concept recognizes that, he’d like to see the alliance address the issue more specifically and agree to fund it properly after the summit.

    “Our vulnerabilities are well-known, but our existing programs to remedy these weaknesses are inadequate,” he said. “The new draft highlights this underappreciated new threat, though the language could be sharpened further.”

    At this morning’s meetings with his fellow defense ministers, Gates said, he urged that they review NATO’s cyber policy after Lisbon as a matter of priority. “We need to identify what more must be done to protect our vital information systems,” he said. “And then we need to agree to fund the capabilities that are necessary to protect these systems.”

    On the missile defense issue, Gates urged his NATO defense colleagues and the alliance’s foreign ministers to take action.

    “We can protect ourselves from ballistic missiles affordably, and over time increase protection over all parts of NATO Europe, consistent with the principle of the indivisibility of security,” he said. “It is time for a decision.”

    During his flight to Brussels yesterday, Gates said he believes broad support exists in NATO for the phased, adaptive approach to missile defense in Europe that calls for increasingly capable sea- and land-based missile interceptors and a range of sensors to defend against the ballistic missile threat from Iran.

    “The linkage with national missile defense, so that both territories and populations are covered, is really more a matter of software – of connecting the command and control of the different national capabilities,” he said. That would require only a modest financial outlay beyond what already has been approved, he added.

    During her news conference with Gates, Clinton reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the alliance.

    “The United States is absolutely committed to NATO, which has safeguarded our freedom for 60 years,” she said. “We will continue to offer whatever support we can to help finalize the strategic concept, and to implement it, to ensure that NATO will always stand as an effective and forceful alliance for its members’ security.


    ----
    John D. Banusiewicz
    American Forces Press Service

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