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Table of Contents:




The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO (pronounced /ˈneɪtoʊ/ NAY-toh; French: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN)), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium,[3] and the organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. Read more from wikipedia here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO 



Current Debates:


1.  Should NATO continue to conduct operations outside the North Atlantic, or limit mission to member nations' borders?

2.  How should NATO define it's mission in the 21st century?




European Union and NATO:


"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."   Read more: NATO's Lack of a Strategic Concept | STRATFOR 











The EU (foreign policy) has difficulty speaking on the global stage with one voice


Example:  2011 - Libya: "Allies Struggle to Unify over Libya" 

  • US, France, Britain, others - wanted NATO leadership
  • Turkey, Cyprus (and Italy) - object to NATO leadership
  • Germany:  "Germany, which has flip-flopped on its support for the coalition strikes, has meanwhile decided to boost troops and air surveillance missions in Afghanistan to help the alliance take on Gaddafi." [1].  Impact on France:  "The Germans refused to go with this operation, and that drove the French closer to the Americans and British."  [2]
  • EU - difficulty asserting position


Turkey & the EU-  in relation to Turkey's bid to join the EU - there was recently a special report on Turkey from the Economist (magazine), where they argued that Turkey would have difficulty in the future trying to please both the EU and their neighbors.  The magazine commented that Turkey was setting off in a new foreign policy direction in which they tried to engage everyone, and please everyone.  Friends with all was the message.  But the Economist magazine argued that Turkey would have difficulty following this path because the interests of neighbors and of the EU were vastly different.  Fast forward to 2011, and these differences have been laid bare.  As reported by EUobserver:  "Turkey, which is keen to maintain good relations with its Muslim neighbours as well as its EU and Nato allies, has said the transatlantic body should only take over if it imposes strict limits on the air strikes in the light of civilian casualties."[3]  It will be interesting to see how this one plays out...


News:  Committee of foreign ministers set to run Libya campaign  Nato ambassadors are to vote on a hybrid command structure for Libya that could see the alliance run day-to-day military operations while a committee of 10 or more foreign ministers makes political decisions.... Under the proposed British-French-US deal, the Nato command centre in Mons, Belgium, would make military decisions on the maritime and no-fly blockades while the new committee would have overall political control.... Nato members France, Germany and Turkey have opposed handover of command to Nato's political body, the North Atlantic Council. France earlier said that Arab countries do not want to see the Nato flag in the Maghreb following Afghanistan and Iraq.  read more here:  http://euobserver.com/9/32042



NATO - maps



Read more:  http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101011_natos_lack_strategic_concept





1.  "NATO is a consensual organization, and a single member can block any mission"[4]

2.  Lack of forces:  "Countries like Germany have no military with which to fulfill the strategy, assuming that any agreement to act could be reached"[5]


Recent Developments


Germany, Russia & Nato:


Over the past year or so, Germany has become somewhat estranged from the United States. Dependent on Russian energy, Germany has been unwilling to confront Russia on issues of concern to Washington. Merkel has made it particularly clear that while she does not oppose NATO expansion in principle, she certainly opposes expansion to states that Russian considers deeply within its sphere of influence (primarily Georgia and Ukraine). The Germans have made it abundantly clear that they do not want to see European-Russian relations deteriorate under U.S. prodding. Moreover, Germany has no appetite for continuing its presence in Afghanistan, let alone increasing it.



NATO faces a substantial split, conditioned partly by Germany’s dependence on Russian energy, but also by deep German unease about any possible resumption of a Cold War with Russia, however mild. The foundation of NATO during the Cold War was the U.S.-German-British relationship. With the Germans unwilling to align with the United States and other NATO members over Russia or Afghanistan, it is unclear whether NATO can continue to function. (Certainly, Merkel cannot be pleased that the United States has not laid the BMD issue in Poland and the Czech Republic to rest.)


As for Germany, NATO was an instrument of rehabilitation and stability after World War II. But Germany now has a complex relationship with Russia, as well as internal issues. It does not want NATO drawing it into adventures that are not in Germany’s primary interest, much less into a confrontation with Russia. No amount of charm, openness or dialogue is going to change this fundamental reality.


source:  www.stratfor.com








NATO Summit : Expansion Issues

At its meeting in Bucharest this week, NATO welcomed Albania and Croatia as new members marking its third wave of eastward expansion since 1990.  These new member states have already been contributing to NATO’s peacekeeping missions including in Afghanistan – a mission to which many NATO members have been reluctant to send troops.  NATO’s eastward expansion has been viewed with distrust by Russia , particularly if it extended to former soviet states like Ukraine and Georgia , whose membership application has been put on hold for now.  President Putin will attend a part of the NATO meeting, the first time a Russian president has done so.  Between Kosovo’s independence, the contentious U.S.-led NATO missile shield, and Russian supply of oil and gas to Europe , there will be much to discuss.  Check out: “NATO Puts Limits on Eastward Expansion: Security Issues and US-Russia Relations” and “Missile Defense in Europe: New Tension Between U.S. and Russia





Related pages from GloboTrends:

















  1. http://euobserver.com/9/32050
  2. Read more: Libya, the West and the Narrative of Democracy | STRATFOR http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110321-libya-west-narrative-democracy
  3. http://euobserver.com/9/32050
  4. Read more: Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania | STRATFOR : http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101115_geopolitical_journey_part_3_romania#ixzz15mDxhDvc
  5. Read more: Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania | STRATFOR : http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101115_geopolitical_journey_part_3_romania#ixzz15mDxhDvc

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