How would you redesign NATO - if at all?

Has NATO expanded too far?

  • Yes

    Votes: 29 64.4%
  • No

    Votes: 11 24.4%
  • Maybe, but it should stop where it is

    Votes: 5 11.1%

  • Total voters
    45
NATO can anticipate an enhancement of military and diplomatic capability at the end of this month.;)

'North Macedonia on Tuesday cleared the final hurdle to becoming the 30th member of the NATO military alliance after the Spanish Senate ratified its accession. Spain’s office at NATO said that 259 of the 264 senators endorsed the move. The bill was immediately signed by King Felipe and will be submitted to the U.S. State Department for official confirmation within the next 72 hours. Hailing the move, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: “With that, all Allies have welcomed our soon-to-be 30th member. Congratulations, North Macedonia!”

 
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All go for the 30th flag in the car park, so another minnow, bringing issues but little capability, will have an equal seat at the table.

'President Stevo Pendarovski of North Macedonia has signed the final accession document for the small Balkan country's entry into NATO. Pendarovski signed the instrument of accession on March 20 that will shortly make the country the 30th member of the Western military alliance.

'The president was able to sign the document after Spain on March 17 became the last alliance member to ratify the membership of the former Yugoslav republic. The Spanish parliament was forced to vote remotely on the membership because of fears of holding a session amid the coronavirus crisis. Following the Spanish parliament's vote, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter that "with that, all allies have welcomed our soon-to-be 30th member. Congratulations, North Macedonia!"


 
Like much about our world. NATO is something from the past, that has tried to reinvent itself for political reasons and is one of many zombie like organisations, which exist now to faciliate globalisation and operates far beyond its original purpose of containing communism..

NATOs great enemy Russia, is a hollowed out kleptocracy. However as a large independent nation, which has refused to continue moving in the globalist channel, is deemed an enemy. I've noticed that many serving and recently served have not made the links to whom they're really serve. Anyone who has distance from the subject can quickly determine that nothing is done without politics and money considerations and ideology, even our tiresome democratic/human rights cry is shallow and simply a front.

What we need is to be rational and accept that globalisation is divided into two competing schools:-
1. A Grouping who still believe in nations and free trade. Call them Oceania.
2. A Grouping who are insular and only interested in protectionism for itself and free trade, where it benefits them. Call them the continentals (europe/china).

The very ugly truth, is we have more in common with moscow than brussels.
 
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Yokel

LE
Curiously, for an alliance named after the North Atlantic, the NATO Centres of Excellence do not include Anti Submarine Warfare.

NATO should form one - based in the UK and using the FOST organisation and facilities at Devonport, and Culdrose for ASW helicopter training. From there the European navies would not have to far to travel, the largest naval dockyard in Western Europe, and easy access to the Eastern Atlantic and South West Approaches.

We have afterall agreed to provide a carrier to NATO and the roles will include ASW. As such it is a good idea that ships and aircraft in a future NATO ASW task group train together.

Also should SACLANT be recreated as a separate command to SACEUR?
 
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Like much about our world. NATO is something from the past, that has tried to reinvent itself for political reasons and is one of many zombie like organisations, which exist now to faciliate globalisation and operates far beyond its original purpose of containing communism..

NATOs great enemy Russia, is a hollowed out kleptocracy. However as a large independent nation, which has refused to continue moving in the globalist channel, is deemed an enemy. I've noticed that many serving and recently served have not made the links to whom they're really serve. Anyone who has distance from the subject can quickly determine that nothing is done without politics and money considerations and ideology, even our tiresome democratic/human rights cry is shallow and simply a front.
Tremble in fear all who oppose our values! NATO is now 30 'strong'.

'North Macedonia on Friday officially became the 30th member of the NATO military alliance.

“North Macedonia is now part of the NATO family, a family of 30 nations and almost 1 billion people. A family based on the certainty that, no matter what challenges we face, we are all stronger and safer together,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. North Macedonia’s flag will be raised alongside those of the other 29 member countries at NATO headquarters in Brussels and two other commands simultaneously on Monday.

'Given the impact of the coronavirus around the world, Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski said “we cannot rejoice and mark the event as it should (be marked)… But, this is a historic success that after three decades of independence, finally confirms Macedonian security and guarantees our future. Congratulations to all of you! We deserve it!”

'U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the country’s membership “will support greater integration, democratic reform, trade, security, and stability across the region. North Macedonia’s accession also reaffirms to other aspirants that NATO’s door remains open to those countries willing and able to make the reforms necessary to meet NATO’s high standards, and to accept the responsibilities as well as benefits of membership.”


 
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Curiously, for an alliance named after the North Atlantic, the NATO Centres of Excellence do not include Anti Submarine Warfare.

NATO should form one - based in the UK and using the FOST organisation and facilities at Devonport, and Culdrose for ASW helicopter training. From there the European navies would not have to far to travel, the largest naval dockyard in Western Europe, and easy access to the Eastern Atlantic and South West Approaches.

We have after all agreed to provide a carrier to NATO and the roles will include ASW. As such it is a good idea that ships and aircraft in a future NATO ASW task group train together.
Centres of Excellence aren't 'formed by NATO', they are offered by nations, and NATO invariably accepts them. If the UK is so concerned about ASW, it's up to the UK (which currently hosts no NATO COEs) to offer it. Such an offer makes sense, given the UK's hosting of JOINT WARRIOR (ex-JMC), but the UK, and specifically the RN, needs to get off its spotty behind, put up the money and make it happen.
 
Poland further polishing its credentials as the US' bestie in Europe, and being rewarded for it.

'NATO head Jens Stoltenberg has praised Polish military doctors currently on their way to Chicago to help their peers in the daily fight against the coronavirus.

"Great to see military doctors from Warsaw heading to help their colleagues in Chicago," Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter, he also posted a photo of a Polish government aircraft being boarded by the medics on Thursday. "NATO Allies are responding to COVID-19 together, sharing expertise and supplies across the globe. In NATO, no Ally ever stands alone," Stoltenberg added.

'The nine-member team will visit various hospitals in Chicago over the course of their week-long mission, and are due to share their knowledge through seminars and webinars with medical institutions including the John H. Stroger Hospital, Cermak Health – Cook County, and the Rush University Medical Center. The Polish doctors will also work alongside their US counterparts to treat patients at the McCormick Place Convention Center, the largest field hospital in the city.

'NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu welcomed the mission, saying: "NATO Allies stand in solidarity in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working together, our nations have been helping each other to save lives, including by sharing medical expertise. The Polish medical mission to Chicago shows once again that in facing global challenges, we are stronger together."

'Polish doctors from the Military Institute of Medicine, together with their colleagues from the Polish Center for International Aid, previously helped doctors in Italy’s Lombardy region, and are currently also working with Slovenian doctors in Ljubljana.'



'The permanent stationing of a US general in Poland will strengthen the presence of US forces in the country, National Security Bureau (BBN) head Pawel Soloch said on Thursday in connection with the expected nomination of a Polish-stationed US Army colonel to general's rank. Colonel Thomas O'Connor, Commander of the United States Division Headquarters (Forward) in Poznan, western Poland, was due to receive the nomination on Thursday.

'Soloch said that the permanent stationing of a US general in Poland was in line with agreements between the Polish and US presidents. He added that O'Connor's nomination will raise the standing of the Division Headquarters in Poznan as well as strengthen the US military presence in Poland. The Poznan-based United States Division Headquarters (Forward) is the major US military command unit on NATO's Eastern Flank and oversees all US forces in the region.'


 
What happens when the SecGen forgets the 'Secretary' part of the job and concentrates more on the 'General' element. His predecessor did the same, so it appears to be typical of the job that as the incumbent gets further into their tenure, they get into the mindset of being the executive of NATO rather than its senior front-man, and forget that concensus is everything in NATO political decision-making. Probably more cross-Aegean mischief-making on the way.

'Greece responded sharply on Thursday to news that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had referred to the Muslim Brotherhood faction, led by Fayez al-Sarraj, as the legitimate government of Libya.

'In an interview published Thursday in the Italian daily La Repubblica, Stoltenberg said “In Libya there is an arms embargo that needs to be respected by all sides. However, this doesn’t mean to put on the same level the forces led by Haftar and the government of Fayez al-Sarraj, the only one recognised by the UN. For this reason, NATO is ready to give its support to the government of Tripoli.”

'Reminding NATO officials that no such decision has been taken by its member countries, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexandros Yennimatas stated that NATO’s foreign policy decisions must be unanimously agreed upon by member countries. He further declared that Stoltenberg’s recognition of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Libya ”Clearly does not reflect the positions of the Alliance.”

'The Muslim Brotherhood Government of National Accord (GNA), which was created in a 2015 UN-led political deal, had a two year mandate, which expired in 2017. Sarraj, who has the support of Turkey and many jihadist organizations in Libya, has been under attack by the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, since April 2019. Haftar, a Philhellene, is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Greece and France, as well as Russia’s Wagner Group paramilitary organization. Haftar’s troops have regained control of the majority of the population and land from Muslim Brotherhood troops, even as Turkey has sent thousands of Syrian terrorists, including ex-ISIS fighters, to Libya to prop up the Muslim Brotherhood government in the capital.'


 
As sure as night follows day, another US-Russia confrontation, with the USA immediately ceding the moral high ground by going against an agreement signed by all NATO members, but now put in jeopardy by one. Russia's feeling of Gorbachev being played for a mug (again) will only be strengthened, and their domestic and international narrative of US/NATO perfidy given new ammunition. I'm sure Warsaw would love to get more leverage with the USA though!

'On May 15, the U.S. Ambassador in Warsaw, Georgette Mosbacher, suggested relocating U.S. nuclear weapons based in Germany to Poland. One hopes this was just a mistake by a political appointee unfamiliar with NATO nuclear weapons issues, not a reflection of official U.S. government thinking. Moving nuclear weapons to Poland would prove very problematic. Relocating U.S. nuclear weapons to Poland would be expensive, militarily unwise because it would make the weapons more vulnerable to preemptive attack, unduly provocative, and divisive within NATO. This was a tweet best not sent. The one thing it does do, however, is give Mr. Mützenich a new talking point for removing the bombs from Germany; citing Ambassador Mosbacher, he can claim: “We can send them to Poland.”


'Russia’s foreign minister calls redeployment of US nuclear arms from Germany to Poland direct violation of Russia-NATO pact.

'US plans to redeploy its nuclear weapons from Germany to Poland is a direct violation of the Russia-NATO Act, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday. Lavrov recalled that the 1997 agreement between Russia and NATO, drafted to overcome a lack of trust and reduce the threat of war, prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of new members of the North Atlantic Alliance.

"As for the possibility of redeployment of the American nuclear weapons from Germany to Poland, this would be a direct violation of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, in which the alliance pledged not to place nuclear weapons on the territory of its new members at that time or in the future. So I doubt that these procedures will be launched in practical terms," the minister said.



'The member States of NATO reiterate that they have no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy - and do not foresee any future need to do so. This subsumes the fact that NATO has decided that it has no intention, no plan, and no reason to establish nuclear weapon storage sites on the territory of those members, whether through the construction of new nuclear storage facilities or the adaptation of old nuclear storage facilities. Nuclear storage sites are understood to be facilities specifically designed for the stationing of nuclear weapons, and include all types of hardened above or below ground facilities (storage bunkers or vaults) designed for storing nuclear weapons.'

 
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Having spent the last 5 years trying to get allies up to the 2% spending pledge, it looks like the work will all have to start again. Fortunately for them, and Trump, Poland has largely escaped the effects of COVID-19, so can continue to be the shining light of NATO defence spending, and POTUS' European bestie.

'The Dutch government is unlikely to fulfill its NATO defence spending obligations within the next four years. The news comes after parliamentarians called Dutch defence minister Ank Bijleveld in for questioning on the so-called ‘recalibration’ of the defence memorandum.

'NATO member states agreed at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales to spend at least 2% GDP on defence by 2024. The matter has been made a point of contention within the alliance, especially since US President Donald Trump took office and criticised allies for not meeting the target.

'Only nine NATO members met the 2% target in 2019, according to data from the military organization.

'The debate has somewhat dissipated over the last year, as NATO countries stepped up their defence spending.

'But while The Hague has met the goal for the last decade, it could abandon it in the future, according to reports by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

'Asked by an MP what the state-of-play is with the promise made by Prime Minister Rutte in 2014, Bijleveld said “it is clear that we will not reach [the defence spending target] by 2024.”


 
More politics brings more politicking with more national interests and much less chance of achieving consensus, let alone actually doing something. Chasing geography will only make that worse. A supra-national organization searching for continued relevance may have just topped itself.

'Stoltenberg, who spoke at a virtual Atlantic Council Front Page event co-hosted with the German Marshall Fund, said the new effort was born out of last December’s NATO Leaders’ Meeting and that it is about further strengthening the Alliance rather than “reinventing” it. Dubbed “NATO 2030,” the effort will include consultations with experts and Alliance leaders, as well as outreach to “civil society, the private sector, and young leaders,” Stoltenberg explained. The findings, he added, “will inform the direction NATO leaders set out when we meet next year.”

'According to Stoltenberg, the first step to achieving more common ground is getting member states to “use NATO more politically,” rather than viewing the Alliance as merely a means of military cooperation.

'The secretary general also argued that NATO must look beyond the traditional transatlantic space toward the wider global arena. While the rise of China may seem distant to many in Europe, Stoltenberg contended that it is “fundamentally shifting the global balance of power, heating up the race for economic and technological supremacy, multiplying the threats to open societies and individual freedoms, and increasing the competition over our values and our way of life.” The secretary general cautioned that “NATO does not see China as the new enemy or an adversary,” but the Alliance “has to address the security consequences of the rise of China.” To do that effectively, NATO will “need to work even more closely with like-minded countries like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea,” Stoltenberg contended.'


 
It will be interesting to see who else puts up a candidate. A Polish CMC could make for some very lively discussion in the MC, given national attitudes to their Eastern neighbor, and the ultra-conservative character of the current Polish government (assuming it survives into 2021). I'd assume Duda and Trump discussed the topic this week, and US support was forthcoming.

'Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced on Wednesday that he had recommended Rajmund Andrzejczak, chief of the general staff of the Polish armed forces, to take up the position of Chairman of NATO's Military Committee. Blaszczak made the announcement on Twitter, wishing Andrzejczak success in the September election.

'The Military Committee is NATO's highest military authority. It is made up of defence chiefs of the alliance's 30 member states. It is the primary source of military advice to the North Atlantic Council and the Nuclear Planning Group, and gives direction to the two Strategic Commanders, NATO's website states. The Military Committee's chairman in selected by the defence chiefs of the member states for a three-year term.

'The chairman directs the Military Committee and acts on its behalf, issuing directives and guidance both to the Director General of the International Military Staff and to NATO’s Strategic Commanders. He also has an important public role as Committee spokesman and representative, making him the senior military spokesman for the Alliance on all military matters, according to the NATO website.'


 
Not a bad round-up of the current state of play in Evere. As it did in 2011, Libya is again exposing the fault lines between national interest and consensus-based decision-taking.

'The festering dispute between France and Turkey over a naval standoff in the Mediterranean Sea has shone a glaring searchlight on NATO’s struggle to keep order among its ranks and exposed weaknesses in a military alliance that can only take action by consensus. The dispute has also revealed NATO’s limits when its allies are or are perceived to be on different sides of a conflict — in this case in Libya — especially when a major nuclear ally like France has lamented the “brain death” at the world’s biggest security organization due to a lack of American leadership.

'According to French accounts of the June 10 incident in the Mediterranean, the French frigate Courbet was illuminated by the targeting radar of a Turkish warship that was escorting a Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship when the French vessel approached. France said it was acting on intelligence from NATO that the civilian ship could be involved in trafficking arms to Libya. The Courbet was part of the alliance’s operation Sea Guardian, which helps provide maritime security in the Mediterranean.

'In a power-point presentation to French senators on Wednesday, which angered the French officials, Turkey’s ambassador to Paris, Ismail Hakki Musa, denied that the Courbet had been “lit up” by targeting radar and accused the French navy of harassing the Turkish convoy. He also suggested that a NATO probe into the incident was “inconclusive” and that France had pulled out of Sea Guardian. The French defense ministry rushed to release its version of events and underline that it would not take part in the operation until the allies had recommitted to the arms embargo on Libya, among other demands. NATO headquarters refused to provide details saying the report is “classified,” and it’s unlikely that its findings will be made public. A French diplomat said the investigators probably did the best they could, given that they were provided with two very different versions of what happened.

'On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron had accused Turkey of flouting its commitments by ramping up its military presence in Libya and bringing in jihadi fighters from Syria. “I think that it’s a historic and criminal responsibility for a country that claims to be a member of NATO,” Macron said. “We have the right to expect more from Turkey than from Russia, given that it is a member of NATO.” Despite concerns about its direction and close ties with Russia — NATO’s historic rival — Turkey can’t be ejected from the military organization. Legally, there is no mechanism, and decisions require the unanimous agreement of all 30 member nations. In any case, NATO insists that Turkey is too strategically important to lose.

'In normal times, the United States — by far the most powerful and influential of the allies — could be expected to bring its partners into line. But the last four years, with President Donald Trump at the helm in the U.S. have been extraordinary times for NATO. Trump has publicly berated European allies and Canada for not spending enough on defense budgets. He has pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Open Skies aerial surveillance pact, which the Europeans regard as important to their security. Just after Turkey invaded Syria, Trump announced that he was pulling U.S. troops out, surprising and angering his allies. In recent weeks, he’s threatened to take American troops out of Germany, again without consultation.'


 

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