All Eyes On NATO

Leaders of the free world will arrive in Wales to discuss the actions regarding Russia, ISIS, and how the alliance will reorganize to counter potential threats. It may be, perhaps, the group’s most consequential meeting since the Cold War.

Obama will arrive in Europe Wednesday indefatigably to show that coalition-building and multilateral diplomacy is the best option against imminent security threats from a common enemy. So far, the approach has done little to stave off Russian incursions into Ukraine or to impede the rise of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. Although, sanctions seem to have an effect on Russia’s economy, putting it on the edge of a recession.

“What we are seeing is the old order not working, but the new order not being born yet,” Obama told donors at a private fundraiser Friday in New York. “And it is a rocky road through that process, and a dangerous time through that process.”

Before the NATO summit that begins Thursday, Obama will also make a emblematic show of solidarity with Eastern Europe during meetings with Baltic leaders in Estonia, were US and NATO partners are holding exercises.

The biggest multi-national live-fire exercise in Europe of 2014 at the US Army’s Joint Multinational Training Center in Grafenwoehr, Germany. For the first time US tanks have been brought back to Europe for training purposes. The aim is to enhance NATO’s interoperability and preparedness.

After the second American journalist to be beheaded and on the eve of leaving for Europe, Obama announced the he will send an additional 350 troops to Iraq. These troops are most likely special forces, who will gather further intelligence for continued airstrikes against ISIL.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen held a pre-summit press briefing in which he answered questions regarding the possible Ukraine and Georgian NATO membership. “The Georgia package, is designed to establish a defensive capacity, building missions with a picture focus on the minister of defence and help continue the modernization of Georgian armed forces and improve the ability for Georgian’s force to work with NATO forces by including them in more NATO exercises and with some taking place in Georgia.” The Secretary General also announced that NATO will set up four trust funds in support of Ukraine: Logistics, Command and Control, Cyber Defense, and Non Lethal Support to Ukrainian Troops. You can read further about the announcement in my other article, linked here.

Additionally, the Secretary General announced further cooperation and cohesion in gathering intelligence with help from multiple partner nations, illustrated in the video below.

NATO continues to develop key capabilities to protect the security and freedom of its members.
Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) is one of these capabilities. It is a combination of processes, systems, and people, including air, ground, maritime, and space assets, which feed into one “fused” report.
JISR is vital for all military operations, it provides information and intelligence to decision-makers and action-takers, helping them make informed, timely and accurate decisions.

There have been some who questioned the relevance of the alliance in the 21st century, saying it has an “identity crises” but Putin's actions in Ukraine have certainly reaffirmed its necessity as being the premier counter balance. The Russian incursion into Ukraine has made the member nations more committed than ever to NATO, with nations’ leaders requesting increased defence budgets and the creation of a 4,000 to a 10,000 strong quick reaction strike force. You can read more about the quick reaction strike force by clicking here.

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