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    NATO after Libya: A troubling victory
    The lack of solidarity within NATO is troubling, but may be an inevitable feature of a world that lacks an existential threat to any of the alliance's member countries, but abounds in lesser threats and moral causes. These prompt a wide range of responses. François Heisbourg, a French strategist, argues that NATO has become a service provider with different allies turning to it at different times.
    Zdroj: The Economist (USA)

    What Libya says about future NATO operations
    (by Tomáš Valášek)
    The US's policy has had the desired effect on Europe: It has energized the key allies. French and British air forces, along with other European, Canadian and Middle Eastern colleagues, have performed the majority of the bombing raids since early weeks of the six-month war. In a sense, Libya is the antithesis to Europe's failure to act in Bosnia.
    Zdroj: Foreign Affairs / Ceska pozice (Czech Republic)

    NATO’s teachable moment
    For decades, European nations have counted on a free-spending Pentagon to provide the needed capabilities they failed to provide themselves. The Pentagon is now under intense and legitimate pressure to meet America's security needs more economically. It can no longer afford to provide affluent allies with a free ride.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    NATO drifts into irrelevance
    (by J.L. Granatstein)
    NATO will probably prevail in Libya - if prevailing means that some kind of deal will be struck for power-sharing between the rebel fanatics and the Gadhafi loyalists. NATO is unlikely to win in Afghanistan - unless winning is defined as some kind of deal reached eventually between the theocratic Taliban and the corrupt Karzai government. But what this all means is that the North Atlantic alliance will have fought two wars in the first 11 years of the new century and lost - or failed to win - both.
    Zdroj: The Ottawa Citizen (USA)

    Afghanistan and Libya point NATO to five lessons
    (by Kurt Volker)
    Both the wars in Afghanistan and Libya reveal serious flaws in the alliance. If they can’t be fixed, perhaps it's time for a 'back to basics' NATO and a return to coalitions of the willing.
    Zdroj: The Christian Science Monitor (USA)

    Sketching out a future ASEAN-NATO partnership
    (by Evan A. Laksmana)
    As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enters its seventh decade and as ASEAN consolidates its regional community building ahead of and beyond 2015, the bodies have much to learn from each other. If we can venture into the future for a second, how would a dialogue or partnership mechanism between ASEAN and NATO look?
    Zdroj: The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)

    North Africa and trans-Atlantic defense: The American phase lasted from Suez in 1956 to Libya in 2011
    (by Patrick McKinney)
    The Suez Crisis confirmed American leadership in Western defense and defined the security roles of Europe for generations. The Libyan intervention has defined a new defense reality. After a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, economic recession, substantial national debt, and domestic political stalemate, America appears unable and uninterested in ensuring European defense. With the rise of regional powers such as China and India, the United States will rebalance its presence in Asia, and continue its reductions in Europe. A new security era is upon us, and an intervention in North Africa has once again defined the rules.
    Zdroj: Foreign Policy (blog)

    Retreating from Kandahar to take Tripoli
    (by Jon Elmer)
    If the Afghanistan war was, as one newspaper called it, "the first chapter of a new book on Canadian Forces", the second chapter began before the first ended. In early March, two weeks before the beginning of the NATO war on Libya, Canadian Forces dispatched a warship to join the US-led show of force off the coast of Libya.
    Zdroj: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

    Headed for CIA, Petraeus leaves a revamped warzone
    (by Kimberly Dozier)
    As Gen. David Petraeus shifts from the Afghan battlefield to run the CIA, he leaves behind a legacy of tactical and spycraft changes that spurred more killings and captures of Afghan militants while reducing insurgent attacks to their lowest level in years, senior U.S. officials in Afghanistan said. From April to July this year, officials said, 2,832 special operations raids led to the capture of 2,941 insurgents and the killings of 834. That's twice the number captured or killed during the same period a year ago, when special operations forces captured more than 1,350 insurgents and killed 1,031 in roughly the same number of raids, according to figures shared with The Associated Press by NATO headquarters.
    Zdroj: Forbes (USA)

    Four months on: assessing the Libya conflict
    (by Stuart Ramsay)
    If the Western plan was for a quick end to the Colonel Gaddafi era in Libya, it has either gone terribly wrong or was actually a miscalculation from the very beginning. I suspect the latter. Gaddafi is part of the very fabric of this country, and those who rose against him in February hoping to bring proper change lacked absolute support. Far worse - they never had the support of the military and Gaddafi did.
    Zdroj: Sky News (United Kingdom)

    NATO targets Gaddafi: A rare AWACS ride-along
    (by Lao Petrilli)
    Big Brother is flying over the Libyan war. Here, Big Brother is NATO's Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), which is an airborne radar system designed to detect aircraft. La Stampa was given a rare opportunity to go aboard the AWACS plane used to monitor Libyan-war operations.
    Zdroj: La Stampa / Time

    Counterpoint: In Defense of NATO
    (by Stanley R. Sloan)
    The speech by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates opened the floodgates to a torrent of predictions about the demise of the alliance. Gates was widely reported as having predicted such an outcome. In fact he did not. Rather, he warned that if Europeans did not improve their contributions, the alliance’s future could be in doubt. The warning was appropriate, but much of the post-speech speculation has been shortsighted.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    What has the war in Afghanistan really achieved?
    (by Jonathan Owen, David Randall, Jane Merrick and Rupert Cornwell)
    In a few days' time, a report on Afghanistan from the International Crisis Group will say that violence and the billions of dollars in international aid have brought wealthy officials and insurgents together. As a result, "the economy is increasingly dominated by a criminal oligarchy of politically connected businessmen". The negatives column in the Afghan war's balance sheet does not get any shorter. So far, the conflict has lasted nine years, eight months and 17 days, cost the lives of 2,547 coalition troops, and between 14,000 and 34,000 civilians, created millions of refugees, and opened up a black hole in Western economies that has sucked in more $500bn dollars. Afghanistan costs the US around $10bn (£6.3bn) a month; and Britain will pay £4.5bn this year.
    Zdroj: The Independent (United Kingdom)

    Why the ‘anti-NATO’ won’t grow
    (by Richard Weitz)
    Like previous SCO communiqués, the one issued in Astana called for a multipolar world order (i.e. one not dominated by the United States) in which the United Nations (not NATO) made all important international security decisions. And, in contrast to Western government statements describing Western-style political and civil liberties as universal values, the Astana Declaration called on all governments to respect the sovereignty and independence of countries. This time, the Astana Declaration also contained some specific criticisms of various Western policies. For example, it called for an end to the NATO military operation in Libya. But the comments are likely to have as much impact as past SCO declarations. After all, the organization rarely follows up its collective statements with joint actions, especially on issues outside the organization’s geographic heartland of Central Asia.
    Zdroj: The Diplomat (Japan)

    NATO’s surreal world
    (by Sarwar A. Kashmeri)
    After speaking with over 50 military and political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, I am convinced this will to change will only come about when America decides to take away its defense credit card and asks Europe to take responsibility for its own security. The E.U. is increasingly capable of defending itself under its Common Security and Defense Policy, through which the E.U. has already deployed 27 military and civilian missions from Asia to Africa, and just approved the 28th — a military force for Libya that is ready to be deployed as soon as the U.N. asks for it.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Does Nato have a purpose any longer?
    The reality is that Nato feels like an anachronism, risk-averse, bloated and militarily inefficient, whose purpose increasingly has been usurped by so-called "coalitions of the willing".
    Zdroj: Guardian (United Kingdom)

    Obama has to reassess Afghanistan goals
    (by Daniel Dombey)
    One senior official likens battling the Taliban to a game of "whack-a-mole", a once-ubiquitous US arcade game where the player uses a mallet to bash a random and increasingly frantic series of moles back into their holes. Another official compares it to a "definition of insanity" - doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Indeed, one of the most astounding things about the operation is how difficult it is to explain what it is trying to do.
    Zdroj: The Financial Times (USA)

    Coming in from the Cold War
    (by Charles A. Kupchan)
    The United States has sought to alleviate Moscow’s concerns by making Russia a stakeholder in the evolving system. Through sharing technology and building linkages between the NATO system and Russia’s, Washington contends that Russia would be able to divine the benign nature of U.S. plans and enjoy the additive benefits of working with the NATO system. Russia, however, envisages a level of cooperation that goes well beyond what NATO has in mind. The U.S. is prepared to share only so much sensitive technology with Russia, and NATO would hardly countenance arrangements that would give Russia operational control of its system. Especially for NATO members hailing from Central Europe, sharing privileged technology or command authority with Russia is tantamount to letting the fox in the hen-house.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Why NATO's air might lacks power
    (by Bennet Ramberg)
    Absent a coup or lucky air strike that takes out Qadhafi, success requires what all other wars demanded: a competent, reasonably armed and well-led ground capacity. In the Libya case, this will require time, money, equipment and leadership with far more on-the-ground NATO assistance. For those who think otherwise, they would do well to recall the conclusion Johns Hopkins University strategist Eliot Cohen - the director of the U.S. government's Persian Gulf War evaluation - made in Foreign Affairs in 1994: "Air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment."
    Zdroj: Politico (USA)

    Libya and Syria raise moral questions over when to intervene
    (by Peter Mauch)
    In a word, troops are not an option; yet, without troops, NATO cannot tip the scales decisively in the rebels' favour. Not to labour the point, but NATO is in Libya for the long haul, and it is questionable whether Libya is better for NATO's presence.
    Zdroj: ABC (Australia)

    Libya overshadowed by "Kosovo model"
    (by Wu Liming)
    What happened in Kosovo and Libya may well serve as perfect examples of the so-call "neo-interventionism" pursued by some Western powers. Under the pretext of "human rights above sovereignty," they try to interfere in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, even resort to military means to split them. The strategies of these neo-interventionists are, more often than not, deceptive.
    Zdroj: Xinhua (China)

    War with the wrong enemy
    (by H D S Greenway)
    But the mistake the United States made was to turn its justified attacks against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda into a 10-year war against the Taleban - to treat both groups as synonymous rather than symbiotic. America risked the war morphing it into a war against the Pashtuns. Richard Holbrooke was roundly criticised for saying that the Taleban was woven deep into the fabric of Pashtun society, but he was right. That doesn't mean that all Pashtuns are Talebs, but as the war drags on, and as long as the Pashtuns remain under-represented in the Kabul government, the war becomes more and more a nationalistic struggle for the Pashtuns.
    Zdroj: Khaleej Times (UAE)

    WikiLeaks: A battle to 'carve up' the Arctic
    (by Chris Arsenault)
    Along with exposing an estimated 22 per cent of the world's oil, ice melting due to global warming will open new shipping lanes, the arteries of global commerce, which nations are competing to control. And Russia certainly is not the only country eyeing the frozen prize. Canada, the US, Russia, Norway, Denmark, and perhaps even China, have competing claims to the Arctic, a region about the size of Africa, comprising some six per cent of the Earth's surface.
    Zdroj: Aljazeera (Katar)

    The killing seas
    (by Hans Lucht)
    For years, European countries paid Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to control the flow of African migrants like Ebo across the Mediterranean — even if the methods were inhumane. Now, armed Qaddafi loyalists are forcing migrants onto the high seas to protest the NATO airstrikes in support of Libya’s rebels. African and Asian migrants are the pawns in this brutal geopolitical faceoff. The corrupt participation of the Libyan authorities in human smuggling to southern Europe is an open secret. Ebo told me his journey had been arranged by a group of young Libyan policemen. The Qaddafi regime itself has used migration, or the threat of it, for political leverage. Tellingly, when the protests broke out, Colonel Qaddafi warned Europe not of an oil embargo or new terrorist attacks but that “millions of blacks” could be on the way if he were overthrown.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Comparing how NATO and Taliban report the Afghan war
    (by Uri Friedman)
    There's a lot of news coming out of the Afghanistan today, what with NATO helicopters clashing with Pakistani troops along the Afghan border. But news, lest we forget, is in the eye of the beholder, and reports from Afghanistan often present us with alternate realities. Take today's Washington Post report that the Obama administration has accelerated direct talks with the Taliban. NATO's Kabul-based International Security Assistance Force hasn't commented on today's article but linked to a similar report in the German press earlier this week. Yet the Taliban, whose Twitter feed and website we highlighted last week, is having none of it. The militant group tweeted, "Reports on 'peace' talks with US false. These repeated lies attest to Americas failure in Afghanistan!!!" How else have the Taliban's accounts of the war in Afghanistan differed in recent days from NATO's and the media's? Let's take a look:
    Zdroj: The Atlantic Wire (USA)

    Ready to stand?
    (by Paul McLeary)
    After the killing of Osama bin Laden, momentum has increased from nearly all corners of the political spectrum for an accelerated withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. But before the United States can consider a responsible exit, it must first take stock of its efforts to train the Afghan security forces it hopes will stand up in its stead—and by almost every measure, it’s becoming eminently clear that the effort to recruit and train a competent Afghan National Security Force has thus far been scattershot, uncoordinated, and ignored.
    Zdroj: The New Republic (USA)

    The dangers after bin Laden
    (by Bob Graham)
    It is probable that the next leadership of central al-Qaeda will not cling to bin Laden’s tenet, so if and until the new supreme leader acquires a weapon of mass destruction, Americans are likely to be threatened by significant but smaller attacks.
    Zdroj: Today's Zaman (Turkey)

    Why Turks don’t like NATO
    (by Marc Champion)
    In the vexed debate over whether Turkey is shifting its axis to the east, a new study suggests that if it is, then that may be more about old-fashioned nationalism than rising Islamism.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street journal (USA)

    NATO's decline over Libya
    (by Robert E. Hunter)
    President Barack Obama and the leaders of France and Britain have in effect called for the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, yet the failure to apply sufficient military force is a blow to NATO and U.S. credibility.
    Zdroj: Council on Foreign Relations (USA)

    Libya, Russia And NATO disunity
    (by Malkhaz Gulashvili)
    Libya, however, is not a spark for NATO disunity or a glimmer into future discord. Rather, it is a symptom of a well-progressed disorder that has afflicted the alliance for several years. Bottom line is that the interests of the alliance are no longer compatible. The alliance has not had a common enemy since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. But what is different today, 20 years after the end of the Cold War, is that a powerful Germany is thinking for itself and one of its most cherished new-found signs of independence is a policy toward Russia that is fundamentally incompatible, with security fears of the NATO member states living in the shadow of the Kremlin's sphere of influence.
    Zdroj: Stratfor (USA)

    Nato and Libya: What now?
    (by Jonathan Marcus)
    One phase of this conflict is over, and perhaps the crucial phase is about to begin. Nobody knows how long it will last and that is why a whole raft of other options are now being seriously considered, such as arming the rebels - something Qatar, for one, appears eager to do. UN Security Council resolution 1973 rules out "occupation" of Libya by foreign forces. Might it allow for some limited operation on the ground, say with a robust humanitarian purpose? That is one for the legal experts to argue. But it is instructive that the French at least seem to be raising the possibility of something that appeared unthinkable just a few weeks ago - the prospect of Nato boots on the ground.
    Zdroj: BBC (United Kingdom)

    America's Arab comeback
    (by Daoud Kuttab)
    Without much fanfare, the past few months have seen no anti-American demonstrations and no burning of American flags across the Arab world. Arabs seem increasingly willing to accept -- and even applaud -- the Obama administration’s policy toward the region.
    Zdroj: Today's Zaman (Turkey)

    Libya after the NATO invasion
    (by Mahmood Mamdani)
    The 2010 UN Human Development Index – which is a composite measure of health, education and income – ranked Libya 53rd in the world, and first in Africa. What was a predominantly rural and backward country when the king was deposed 42 years ago is today a country with a modern economy and high literacy. This single fact embodies the gist of Gaddafi's claim to the historical legitimacy of his rule.
    Zdroj: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

    NATO: Too many problems with Libya, Afghanistan and Cyber Defense
    (by Thomas Graham)
    The United States and almost all other members of NATO are facing serious financial problems at the moment. Many are cutting their defense budgets, and the sums given to operations in Afghanistan will be under review. The operation in Libya only complicates the calculation.
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Russia)

    Keeping ahead of Qaddafi 
    There is a much better option: the American A-10 and AC-130 aircraft used earlier in the Libya fighting and still on standby status. President Obama should authorize these planes to fly again under NATO command. Unlike the highflying supersonic French and British jets now carrying the main burden of the air war, these American planes can fly slow enough and low enough to let them see and target Colonel Qaddafi’s weapons without unduly endangering nearby populations.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    NATO evolution, Southeast Asian security
    (by Peni Hanggarini)
    In two respects, analyzing NATO will affect our understanding of the changing perception of security among the members of the alliance and how the member states use different means and approaches to respond to threats. More disagreement emerged as the memberships are enlarged. It is also interesting to see how some new member states enjoy their status as “the free-rider members”, which rely for their security on the alliance, and particularly upon the US. So, how far would NATO go? This “marriage” could go further under the condition that it can still maintain its identity as a collective defense or collective security organization of democratic member states. One of the keys is to seek balance between US and the members of the alliance. Therefore, it is a good step for NATO to share responsibilities in protecting civilians through enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 which was adopted on March 17, 2011.
    Zdroj: The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)

    Looking beyond the no-fly zone
    Denmark already has a tarnished image in the Muslim world – something Gaddafi was quick to exploit by having state-run television report that Denmark was controlling the mission and had “led a campaign against Islam and Muslims for years”. The Mohammed drawings certainly have a lot to do with that, but taking part in military action in Iraq and Afghanistan has done little to improve the country’s reputation. Adding a long campaign in Libya or another Muslim country to the list would serve to entrench those opinions. The country’s image in Washington, on the other hand, remains solid. Denmark has earned high praise from consecutive administrations in Washington for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the US and its Nato allies in the ‘war on terror’. And although we might not have the hotline to the oval office that we did during the Bush-Fogh Rassmusen years, the meeting between Obama and PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen shortly before the bombing began, and the US president’s chummy comments that Denmark “punches above its weight”, shows that the relationship is still valued.
    Zdroj: The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)

    Afghan security handover more signal than real change
    (by Emma Graham-Harrison)
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai will announce within days plans for his security forces to take control of some parts of the country, but the handover from NATO troops is more a statement of intent than the start of real change. Diplomatic and military sources say the areas likely to be chosen are either among the most secure in the country or have been the focus of intense coalition efforts -- that would be unsustainable nationwide -- to pump up the army and police. Rather than providing much real relief to foreign troops, the showpiece transition aims to send a message that Karzai and NATO are both serious about Afghan control, while leaving years to grapple with a knot of recruitment, training and battlefield challenges that beset the national army and police.
    Zdroj: Reuters (United Kingdom)

    A no-fly zone for Libya
    (by John F. Kerry)
    Gaddafi cannot be allowed to think that he can massacre his people with impunity. And he cannot be free to make those attacks more lethal by using his airpower. If the United Nations cannot approve a resolution for implementing a no-fly zone, then the United States and its allies in NATO and the Arab world must be prepared to prevent a massacre like the one that occurred in Srebrenica in 1995, when more than 8,000 men and boys were slaughtered. Even imposing a no-fly zone would not be a panacea. It probably would not tip the balance if Libya deteriorates into a full-scale civil war. But it would eliminate airstrikes and save the lives of civilians. It is a tool that we should be ready to use if the situation warrants and would signal to the opposition that it is not alone. (...) The one option that should not be on the table is American ground troops; no one wants to see U.S. forces bogged down in another war, especially in another Muslim country. And, as President Obama has said, we must not deprive the Libyan people of full ownership of their struggle for freedom or give Gaddafi a useful foil and scapegoat.
    Zdroj: Washington Post (USA)

    Nicolas Sarkozy's diplomatic troubles 
    By most measures, the Arab uprisings ought to have given France a chance to show off its diplomatic prowess. The former colonial power in Tunisia (and Morocco and Algeria), France has long claimed a special understanding of the Arab world, the ancestral home of millions of its citizens. Nicolas Sarkozy talked early in his presidency of the need for Europe to reach out to countries on the Mediterranean’s southern rim. And Mr Sarkozy is presiding over the G20 and G8 clubs, lending him a platform for leadership. Yet France has veered from complicity to confusion.
    Zdroj: The Economist (USA)

    The ‘Long War’ may be getting shorter
    (by Nathaniel Fick and John Nagl)
    Not since the deterioration in conditions in Iraq that drew our attention away from Afghanistan have coalition forces been in such a strong position to force the enemy to the negotiating table. We should hold fast and work for the day when Afghanistan, and our vital interests there, can be safeguarded primarily by Afghans. That day is coming, faster than many Americans think.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Choosing between arms and allies
    (by Imants Liegis)
    Implementation of the common EU position on arms exports has led to more exchanges of information, greater transparency and closer consultation. It has also harmonized export-control arrangements and procedures. But there are obvious limits to what can be achieved. Consultations are currently a bilateral matter, with no rules governing how they should be conducted — and no requirement that any final agreement on arms-export decisions be reached.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    The unnoticed surge in Afghan security
    (by William B. Caldwell IV)
    A little known but potentially decisive story developing in Afghanistan is the "surge of Afghans," that is, how Afghan men and women have swelled the ranks of the Afghan National Security Forces to levels more than double the U.S. surge.
    Zdroj: Chicago Tribune (USA)

    Threatening a sacred cow
    Amid all the agonising over America’s ballooning debt, the once-sacrosanct defence budget, which represents half of all discretionary federal spending, is no longer off limits. Democrats, normally fearful of appearing soft on defence, are losing their reticence. Even some Republicans, urged on by small government militants from the tea-party movement, concede that defence has to be “on the table” if a serious assault on trillion dollar annual deficits is to be launched.
    Zdroj: The Economist (United Kingdom)

    The prospects for missile defense cooperation between NATO and Russia
    (by Daniel Wagner and Diana Stellman)
    Given the advancement of NATO’s missile defense capability, and Russia’s lack thereof, Moscow is highly likely to agree to more comprehensive cooperation with the Alliance in the long-term. Russia knows that it is not in a position to alter the progress of NATO’s territorial missile defense program. Thus, a joint effort under the NRC is the lesser evil.
    Zdroj: Foreign Policy Journal (USA)

    U.S. military says keeps up with China; Is it enough?
    (by Phil Stewart)
    U.S. military commanders are expressing confidence that they can hold their own in the face of faster-than-expected advances by China's military, but looming cost cuts are adding to doubts about the future of American power in the Pacific.
    Zdroj: Reuters (United Kingdom)

    Missile defense: Game-changer in NATO-Russia relations
    (by Simon Saradzhyan)
    The ten-year window outlined by Medvedev is enough time for the two sides to agree on and implement a vision of cooperative missile defense. Perhaps Medvedev's sector proposal can be accepted as long as it does not ban the US and NATO from deploying radars and interceptors to target intermediate and intercontinental missile threats that may emerge from countries located south of Russia, including Iran.
    Zdroj: ISN (Switzerland)

    US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, 2011
    (by Robert S. Norris, Hans M. Kristensen)
    The new Strategic Concept, adopted by NATO at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, reaffirmed the continued importance of nuclear weapons to the security of the alliance. The document, which is intended to establish consensus on NATO missions and methods in light of new security challenges, did not, however, include a decision on the fate of the roughly 150-200 B61 tactical (nonstrategic) nuclear weapons that the US Air Force deploys in Europe for the purposes of extended deterrence. Instead, the NATO countries decided to tie the fate of the deployment to reductions in the Russian tactical nuclear weapons arsenal.
    Zdroj: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (United Kingdom)

    Nato victory in Afghanistan requires political will
    (by Con Coughlin)
    Ever since the summer of 2006, when Nato troops first deployed to Afghanistan in force, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have sought to persuade an increasingly sceptical public that they were on the verge of the decisive breakthrough that will turn the tide of the war. The Taliban would be destroyed, al-Qaeda would be deprived of the safe havens on the Pakistani border that it uses to hatch its plots against the West, and war-ravaged Afghanistan would be restored to something approaching peace and stability.
    Zdroj: The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

    Is Turkey a ‘pariah’ in NATO-EU club?
    (by Abdullah Bozkurt)
    Turkey was at the frontline of defense against the Russian-led Soviet threat for the transatlantic alliance throughout the Cold War, making its military and human assets readily available for deployment by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). With the second largest army in this military alliance, Ankara was what our Western friends often referred to as the “staunch ally” in the most troubled and volatile region of the world. But the picture has changed dramatically in recent years.
    Zdroj: Today's Zaman (Turkey)

    Nato and missile defence - opportunities and open questions
    (by Oliver Thränert)
    In its Strategic Concept adopted at the Lisbon summit, NATO defines the establishment of a missile defence system to defend populations and territories against ballistic missile attack as a core element of its collective defence. The main goal is to secure a damage-limitation option for Europe. In order to prevent the missile defence system from jeopardising relations with Russia or obstructing further disarmament steps, NATO has invited Moscow to participate. The project offers a great deal of opportunities for the alliance. However, important questions remain to be resolved.
    Zdroj: ISN (Switzerland)

    NATO's next mission
    (by Anne Applebaum)
    In Afghanistan a couple of years ago, I flew in one plane with a Portuguese pilot and another plane with a German pilot. I met a Turk who worked in NATO's Kabul headquarters and a Dutch woman who lived on a NATO base in the south. During the course of a very short visit, I also met Frenchmen, Czechs and, of course, Americans. When the International Security Assistance Force leaves Afghanistan in 2014 or thereabouts - as last weekend's NATO summit has agreed - NATO's soldiers can return home having proved, if nothing else, that the Western military alliance still exists.
    Zdroj: Washington Post (USA)

    Afghans: Divided over NATO's new 2014 target
    (by Jason Motlagh)
    The target date pushes the endgame a couple of more years away, but it remains a goal, not a deadline, very much as Barack Obama's summer 2011 promise was. It does not mask the widening cracks in the alliance - specifically, between U.S. military officials, on the one hand, who insist that the current counterinsurgency campaign needs more time to have an impact, and European troop contributors, on the other, who are skeptical of the strategy and looking for a face-saving way out. The Afghans are themselves divided, debating whether the presence of foreign troops is driving the conflict or the only thing keeping the Kabul government from total collapse.
    Zdroj: Time (USA)

    Turning a happy hour into a happy Alliance
    (by Dmitry Trenin)
    President Dmitry Medvedev has called the weekend NATO summit in Lisbon a historic event. NATO's new strategic concept stressed that the alliance is no threat to Russia. Moscow has agreed to expand its logistical support for the alliance's effort in Afghanistan. NATO and Russia have exchanged offers of collaboration on missile defense, which they have decided to explore. This is a strong and useful platform to continue transforming the Russian-Western strategic relationship. Breakthroughs do not abolish processes. Neither quick nor easy, transformation from past enmity to future friendship is nevertheless doable. Here are some tips as to how.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (RUssia)

    Evropský tisk kritizuje afghánskou strategii po summitu NATO
    Výsledek summitu Severoatlantické aliance v Lisabonu, který přinesl mimo jiné termín stažení spojeneckých jednotek z Afghánistánu, je podle komentáře rakouského deníku Die Presse nerozumný. Nizozemský de Volkskrant přirovnal vyslané signály NATO jako pokus o kvadraturu kruhu. Evropský tisk si rovněž všímá sblížení aliance s Moskvou a problematického vztahu s Tureckem.
    Zdroj: České noviny (ČR)

    No road map for Afghan withdrawal
    (by Josh Gerstein)
    President Barack Obama and nearly 50 world leaders attending the NATO summit that concluded here Saturday adopted a call to give the Afghan government control over its own security by 2014. Not so much talked about, in public anyway, were some of the toughest decisions that may be required to get there.
    Zdroj: Politico (USA)

    For Obama, a little help from his friends
    (by Jackie Calmes and Peter Baker)
    Mr. Obama was able to lead on a world stage in a way that he has not been able to do lately at home. He did so with public and private assistance from his European and Russian counterparts, many of whom called the summit meeting historic. Acutely aware of his problems at home after the drubbing Democrats took in the midterm elections — most manifest in Senate Republicans’ resistance to the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia — the other leaders seemed almost to go out of their way to buoy Mr. Obama.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Our Afghan exit is now overdue
    Nato's new policy of disengagement is neither as clear nor as quick as it should be, but it is a welcome recognition that the end state in Afghanistan is never going to be perfect and that an open-ended commitment creates as many problems as it solves. The confusion continued in Lisbon, where Nato leaders managed to contradict each other while insisting that they were completely united.
    Zdroj: The Independent (United Kingdom)

    Turkey claims success for its diplomacy at NATO summit
    (by Carsten Hoffmann)
    Ankara regards it as a major success story for its own diplomacy that Turkey's neighbour, Iran, was not specifically named as an enemy in NATO's decision on a missile shield for Europe. As the only state in NATO which has a majority Muslim population, Turkey is intent on not letting itself be pushed into a hostile relationship with its neighbour. For one thing, there are economic interests with the two countries intent on intensifying their trade relations in the years ahead, the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities notwithstanding.
    Zdroj: M&C News / DPA (USA)

    NATO and Russia: 'Refresh' but no transformation
    (by James Sherr)
    The fact that NATO and Russia now seek a firm partnership reflects two additional realities. First, having made its point in Georgia, Russia has not pressed it. It has shifted from hard power to soft power in its neighbourhood - most successfully in Ukraine. Second, allies believe that NATO's failure in Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear ambitions, ballistic missile proliferation and the globalisation of piracy would damage Russia's interests almost as much as their own. For these reasons, the NATO-Russia Council which convenes towards the close of the summit tomorrow is likely to 'refresh' relations. But it is unlikely to transform them.
    Zdroj: Chatham House (United Kingdom)

    The Case for a NATO Missile Defense
    (by Ivo H. Daalder)
    When the 28 NATO allies gather in Lisbon on Friday, one of the most important issues on the agenda will be how to address a real and growing danger to the trans-Atlantic region: the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    NATO ponders what to do with its nuclear weapons
    (by Eben Harrell)
    On Nov. 19, the 28 NATO member nations will meet in Portugal to draft a new strategic concept — the document that lays out how the military alliance plans to use its forces to respond to a range of future threats and possible attacks. But while 21st century dangers such as terrorism, piracy, cyberwarfare and rogue nuclear states should be the focus of attention in the run-up to the summit, it's an anachronism that is causing the biggest disagreement: what to do with NATO's tactical nuclear weapons.
    Zdroj: Time (USA)

    Nato’s long drift towards irrelevance
    (by Philip Stephens)
    When institutions struggle to explain themselves it seems a reasonable bet they have outlived their purpose. Nato styles itself the world’s most successful defensive alliance. It has spent a year rethinking its mission statement. A rhetorical recasting of its ambitions is not enough to assure its future.
    Zdroj: The Financial Times (USA)

    America's flawed Afghanistan strategy
    (by Steven Metz)
    Both the Bush and Obama strategies assume that al-Qaeda needs state support or sanctuary. That, after all, is the fundamental rationale for continued American involve-ment in Afghanistan. But throughout the “war on terror,” no one has made a persuasive case that the September 11, 2001, attacks would not have happened had al-Qaeda not had bases in Afghanistan. While it may take meetings and phone calls to plot terrorism, these can be done from nearly anywhere. Al-Qaeda's Afghanistan sanctuary was a convenience, not a necessity. Destroying the sanctuary has not stopped bin Laden and his henchmen from plotting new attacks.
    Zdroj: Op-Ed from Strategic Studies Institute (USA)

    Serbia suffers major blow in world court ruling
    (by Adam Tanner and Reed Stevenson)
    Serbia has suffered a major diplomatic blow in a world court ruling on Thursday that Kosovo did not violate international law in declaring independence 2008, a ruling that could also impact Bosnia's future stability. The clear-cut, unambiguous ruling contained little language from which the Serbian government can find solace. Many observers had expected the International Court of Justice to present arguments that would give each side legal reasoning with which to continue making their respective cases.
    Zdroj: Reuters India (India)

    NATO's economy of scale
    (by Ivo Daalder)
    The Atlantic alliance is not just an organization that brings together a community of 28 nations united by their commitment to common values and dedicated to their collective defense and cooperative security. It is a military alliance that, unique in history, fields forces that can operate together in any environment, an integrated military command structure to control operations anywhere, and core capabilities that few allies could buy by themselves. These assets distinguish NATO as a military alliance from a mere coalition of the willing. And they come remarkably cheap. NATO’s commonly funded budget amounts to just 0.3 percent of overall NATO defense spending — 3 pennies for every $10 spent. Yet the temptation in many allied capitals facing austerity is to try and balance their defense budgets on the backs of this common budget.
    Zdroj: International Herald Tribune (France)

    Turkey, US reinvigorate old partnership through fight against PKK
    (by Mahir Zeynalov)
    "Turkey is a country of huge strategic importance. It’s always been at the crossroads of East and West. It’s a NATO ally. Its economy is growing very significantly. And the fact that it’s a democracy and a predominantly Muslim country makes it critically important as a role model for other Muslim countries in the region,” the US president said. It has long been the position of Turkey that old friends should understand that the Cold War is over and that engagement with Turkey is important, not because of allegiance to the West but because of the benefits to be reaped from its improving economy.
    Zdroj: Today's Zaman (Turkey)

    Kyrgyzstan: A test for mutual security
    (by James F. Collins and Matthew Rojansky)
    Both Russia and NATO maintain military presences in Kyrgyzstan — the only country in the world where this is true — and neither can afford to allow the violence there to destroy the vulnerable Kyrgyz state or plunge the region into a wider ethnic war. The crisis in Kyrgyzstan presents an opportunity for three multilateral groups working in the area — NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (C.S.T.O., an alliance of seven former Soviet states currently chaired by Armenia), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (O.S.C.E.) — to do real, immediate good while building trust and demonstrating that cooperation is possible in the increasingly interconnected and fragile Eurasian security space.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Getting Russia right
    (by Wolfgang Ischinger and Ulrich Weisser)
    But the report falls short of providing a blueprint of NATO’s future strategic concept. This is most obvious regarding NATO’s central challenge, the challenge of getting Russia right. Regrettably, fundamental differences between some new members in Eastern Europe and those in Western Europe about how to deal with Russia have not been overcome. The expert group attempts to bridge the differences by proposing to reach out to Russia, but under the condition that any constructive engagement would have to be based on military reassurances within NATO. This means that defense planning activities — against Russia — would continue to be on the alliance agenda. But how can the view expressed in the very same report — that NATO is not a threat to Russia, nor Russia to NATO — be reconciled with continuous defense planning activities against Russia? The report does not really offer a strategic response to Dmitri Medvedev’s proposals on European security.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Turkey’s new role as hero of the Arab world
    (by Bronwen Maddox)
    How does Turkey intend to use Israel’s attack on the Gaza flotilla? By positioning itself as a rising power of the region, capitalising on the new appreciation — even adoration — of Arabs in neighbouring countries. No longer Trojan Horse of the West but Champion of the Palestinians, a cause where Arab leaders have failed — that is the new role opening for Turkey.
    Zdroj: Times Online (United Kingdom)

    Nomad assault fuels Afghan disarray
    (by The Security Crank)
    Pick up the paper — or listen to many military commanders – and you’d think Afghanistan was a two-sided war: NATO vs. the Taliban. The reality is way, way, waaayyyy more complicated than that. Take one the boiling conflict between a group of semi-nomads, the Kuchi, and a long-suffering minority group, the Hazaras. The fight threatens to upend order in Afghanistan’s Wardak province. But there is literally not a peep about it in the Western press.
    Zdroj: (USA)

    We will never defeat the Taliban if they think we're going home
    (by Con Coughlin)
    Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are desperate to escape from the quagmire that is Afghanistan. Yet paradoxically, the only way we stand a chance of extricating ourselves is by sending a clear and unequivocal message that we are going to stay the course.
    Zdroj: Telegraph (United Kingdom)

    Assessing "NATO 2020"
    (by Emiliano Alessandri)
    On May 17, the Group of Experts appointed over a year ago by NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen and chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright presented its final report on the new Strategic Concept for the Alliance. Entitled “NATO 2020,” the document is meant to lay the groundwork for preparation of the Strategic Concept, which is to be approved by NATO leaders at the Lisbon Summit next November.
    Zdroj: Brookings Institution (USA)

    The dangers of nuclear disarmament
    (by Sergei Karaganov)
    Nuclear deterrence — a threat to kill hundreds of thousands or millions of people — is a concept that does not fit into traditional morals. Yet it has worked, preventing catastrophic wars while making people more civilized and cautious. When one pole of nuclear deterrence weakened because of Russia’s political decline in the 1990s, NATO, a defensive union of democratic and peaceful states, committed aggression against Yugoslavia. Now that Russia has restored its capability, such a move would be unthinkable. After Yugoslavia, there was an unprovoked attack on Iraq.
    Zdroj: The St. Petersburg Times (Russia)

    Wo geht’s zum Feind?
    (by Jochen Bittner)
    Am 1. Mai will eine zwölfköpfige Expertengruppe um die ehemalige US-Außenministerin Madeleine Albright erste Empfehlungen für das neue Nato-Konzept vorlegen. Sie wird das Kunststück vollbringen müssen, die unterschiedlichen Vorstellungen über den Umgang mit dem großen Exfeind zu versöhnen. Die Ideen einer neuen Nato lassen sich in drei Varianten zusammenfassen.1. Obamas Projekt: Vom Nuklearklub zur Raketenschild-Gemeinschaft. 2. Besinnung auf alte Aufgaben: Rüsten gegen Russland. 3. Ein ganz neuer Klub: Von Vancouver bis nach Wladiwostok.
    Zdroj: Zeit (Deutschland)

    Rasmussen’s ‘roof’ has some leaks
    (by Vladimir Kozin)
    What’s more, NATO countries and Russia will never lift the veil of secrecy that covers technical aspects system. There is one simple reason why the problem of declassification cannot be solved: Russia is become a member of NATO. And under no circumstances would that alliance ever accept Russia into member. NATO would never be able to share its most sensitive strategic secrets with the Kremlin.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    NATO’s common European roof
    (by Anders Fogh Rasmussen)
    The New START, signed two weeks ago by Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, is a historic achievement and an inspiration for further progress in global arms control. But at the same time, we must also prepare to defend against another, less encouraging trend. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is a threat to both the NATO allies and Russia. A look at current trends shows that more than 30 countries have or are developing missile capabilities. In many cases, these missiles could eventually threaten Europe’s populations and territories.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    Russia’s new place in NATO
    (by Dmitry Trenin)
    Neither the expansion of NATO — even if Russia is added — nor the European security pact proposed by Medvedev are capable of uniting Europe. What is needed is the creation of a common security zone encompassing all of these states in which war and the use of armed forces would be abolished. That has already been achieved within the framework of NATO and the EU. It exists de facto between Russia and most European states, including Germany.
    Zdroj: The St. Petersburg Times (Russia)

    NATO needs to counter growing threat of missile attack
    (by Anders Fogh Rasmussen)
    Proliferators must know that the NATO allies are unwavering in their commitment to collective defence, including nuclear deterrence. Confronted with the spread of missile technology, and unpredictable regimes and leaders, we owe it to our populations to complement our deterrence capabilities with an effective missile-defence capability. NATO allies have been looking at various missile-defence options for some time, and with the new US approach to missile defence there are now much better opportunities for an effective NATO-wide system that would enhance the defence of NATO nations. A true joint European-Atlantic missile defence would demonstrate NATO's collective will and send a clear message that there is nothing to be gained from missile proliferation. It can also provide an opportunity for Europeans to demonstrate again to the US their willingness to invest in self-defence capabilities, and to play an active role in a process that, until now, has been conducted largely over their heads by the US and Russia.
    Zdroj: The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

    NATO’s New Strategic Concept: Not an either-or proposition
    (by Andrew A. Michta)
    The allies need to refocus, agree on the basics and address the perennially most difficult task: how to pay for defense. Today only five NATO members spend at or above the symbolic two percent of GDP on their military, while the majority of European defense budgets continue to shrink. NATO needs to adapt institutionally and operationally not only by addressing the most immediate hard security tasks at hand, i.e., confronting nuclear weapons proliferation and formulating a common position on how to sustain --or wind down-- current operations. If the New Strategic Concept is to provide a meaningful blueprint for the future, it must articulate a new consensus on the meaning of Article 5 as it credibly rebalances out-of-area tasks with regional territorial defense contingencies.
    Zdroj: Center for European Policy Analysis (USA)

    Does Canada still need NATO?
    (by Jack Granatstein)
    But the real reason for NATO to continue and for Canada to remain in it is that the world is not safe. Terrorism today is sporadic, but it is dangerously effective, and it will likely grow in intensity. Failed or rogue states cannot be permitted to offer safe havens to nihilistic zealots, and only NATO, certainly not the UN, might have the will and ability to take them down. Moreover, Putin's Russia continues to flex its (somewhat atrophied) muscles and China, rapidly becoming a military and economic superpower, remains a one-party dictatorship. Prudence demands a watchful eye on these not-quite-peaceful undemocratic regimes. Canadian national interests in peace, trade and a free international community cry out for a world without threat. NATO is the best indicator that Canadians remain willing to do their share to create and protect it.
    Zdroj: Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)

    The gang that couldn't shoot straight
    (by T. Christian Miller, Mark Hosenball, and Ron Moreau)
    America has spent more than $6 billion since 2002 in an effort to create an effective Afghan police force, buying weapons, building police academies, and hiring defense contractors to train the recruits—but the program has been a disaster. More than $322 million worth of invoices for police training were approved even though the funds were poorly accounted for, according to a government audit, and fewer than 12 percent of the country's police units are capable of operating on their own. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the State Department's top representative in the region, has publicly called the Afghan police "an inadequate organization, riddled with corruption." During the Obama administration's review of Afghanistan policy last year, "this issue received more attention than any other except for the question of U.S. troop levels," Holbrooke later told NEWSWEEK. "We drilled down deep into this."
    Zdroj: Newsweek (USA)

    NATO's new Strategic Concept: A view from Capitol Hill
    (by Michael R. Turner)
    NATO is fundamentally a security alliance. The new Strategic Concept must therefore strengthen the security of member states and establish policies that continue to deter potential adversaries and reassure member nations. In particular, the Central and Eastern Europeans-who have been some of America's staunchest allies-need and deserve the Alliance's reassurance.
    Zdroj: Center for European Policy Analysis (USA)

    Stop slapping the Allies, Secretary Gates
    (by Fred Kaplan)
    Some nations that happen to be NATO members might still have the desire or ability to join the fight in Afghanistan. Obama, Gates, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have every reason to rally them to the cause. But the fact that Australia is also sending troops and Japan is bankrolling the Afghan national police suggests that the war is not so much beyond NATO as outside it. If some European nations don't want to fight, leave them alone. This war is not about the future of NATO, and the future of NATO is not bound up in this war. We shouldn't let disagreements over Afghanistan cause the fissure of an alliance that's still valuable in its own right.
    Zdroj: Slate Magazine (USA)

    Nato's political will for the fight in Afghanistan is growing fragile
    (by Tom Coghlan)
    Nato was attempting yesterday to put a brave face on the prospective withdrawal of Dutch troops from Afghanistan. Despite a mood of military optimism flowing from Nato HQ in Kabul, the Dutch collapse illustrates that the political will of nations in the alliance to keep committing blood and treasure to an unpopular war is increasingly fragile. Coming in the middle of the biggest assault operation since the war began in 2001, the timing could not be worse.
    Zdroj: Times Online (United Kingdom)

    NATO caught between Russia and the world
    (by Fyodor Lukyanov)
    Russia’s new military doctrine starts with a list of “military dangers” that includes NATO’s attempt to bring its military infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders and to add new members. In contrast to the 2000 military doctrine, which referred vaguely to “the expansion of military blocs and unions to the detriment of Russia’s security,” the 2010 doctrine was more specific. On the other hand, in 2000, NATO expansion was seen as an unequivocal threat, whereas in the 2010 doctrine the alliance is no longer described as a “threat” but as a “danger” that “under certain conditions” could lead to the “appearance of a military threat.”
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    An alarming Franco-Russian arms deal
    (by Ariel Cohen)
    The Mistral security threat is significant. Things may change in the future, but today selling these warships sends the wrong signal to NATO members, to aspirants, as well as to the Russians. At a time when Moscow still views NATO as an adversary, abandons the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which limits heavy arms deployed West of the Urals, and occupies 20% of Georgian territory, a major weapons sale to Russia is premature. This is especially true when the sale is a part of a major naval modernization program that may jeopardize the Alliance's flanks and important energy routes.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    NATO and the nuclear umbrella
    (by Wolfgang Ischinger and Ulrich Weisser)
    A recent report by George Robertson, a former secretary general of NATO, and two co-authors, Franklin Miller and Kori Schake, criticizes the German proposal to withdraw the remaining American nuclear weapons from German territory as damaging not only to Germany, but to the alliance as a whole. The authors argue that the proposal was driven more by populist sentiment than any long-term strategic goal. This observation is wrong and misleading. While the Robertson report is based on outdated perceptions, the arguments presented merit a substantive response.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Franco-Russian naval sale is a challenge to NATO
    (by Vladimir Socor)
    NATO is being tested, with “its future at stake,” not so much in Afghanistan as the line recently went, but rather in Brussels itself and in the Alliance’s most influential capitals. The latest among these tests –one that the Alliance seems only determined to side-step– is over the proposed French naval modernization program for Russia.
    Zdroj: The Jamestown Foundation (USA)

    War-weary NATO members look for morale boost
    (by Carsten Volkery)
    Karzai said that he expects the Afghan government to be standing on its own feet by 2014. Until then at the very least -- and this was the second message of the London conference -- international troops will have to remain in the country. For this reason, it is premature to talk about the prospect of withdrawal. Instead, the meeting was just another day full of calls to stay the course. One of the summit's goals was to counter the fatalism that has taken hold in the war-weary ISAF nations. The attendees, around 70 foreign ministers and representatives of international organizations, confirmed the "strategic new beginning" which had been sketched out in the days leading up to the meeting and which is supposed to bring about a turning point in the war after a bloody 2009. The mood was "hopeful," members of the German delegation said.
    Zdroj: Spiegel (Germany)

    Hurdles remain in Russia-NATO cooperation
    (by Ilya Kramnik)
    The alliance strives to obtain various benefits from Russia, without giving anything in return. Russia-NATO relations will remain in an uncertain and neutral state if NATO leaders stick to their current strategy. Expanded bilateral cooperation will be further complicated by NATO's extremely cumbersome bureaucratic bodies which have long taken over its command and staff departments and by the tough anti-Russian stance of many new NATO countries supported by some major members of the alliance. Nevertheless, Russia and NATO will strive to settle important issues. Consequently, Moscow must establish direct relations with NATO countries, primarily the most powerful members of the alliance.
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Russia)

    Afghanistan needs a surge of diplomacy
    (by Karl Inderfurth, Chinmaya Gharekhan)
    The 68-nation London conference at the end of this month will focus on the future of Afghanistan, against the backdrop of major new military commitments by the United States and NATO, promises from the international community of increased civilian assistance, and pledges of new anti-corruption measures from President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. But assuring Afghanistan’s future will require more than a military and civilian surge and better Afghan governance.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    In America's new cyberwar Google is on the front line
    (by Misha Glenny)
    The conflict between Google and China is no run-of-the-mill business dispute. The corporate leviathan and national behemoth have come to blows in a serious skirmish whose outcome remains unpredictable. While mere mortals should be concerned if not afraid when rivals like these clash, the conflict does shine a light on what is going on in the hidden world of cybersecurity.
    Zdroj: Guardian (United Kingdom)

    Russia's new arms dealers
    (by Gerrard Cowan)
    As Moscow's weapons get more decrepit, Europe is suddenly feeling a lot more comfortable selling the Russians advanced military hardware. But at what cost?
    Zdroj: Foreign Policy (USA)

    Russia and Nato: A frozen conflict
    President Barack Obama has had precious little to show for his big foreign policy idea of constructive engagement. Attempts to get Israeli and Palestinian negotiators round the table are deadlocked. Iran has rejected an imaginative offer to enrich uranium outside its borders, and is headed for another round of UN sanctions. Mr Obama opted to go in the opposite direction by committing more troops in Afghanistan. After all the soaring hopes and high-flying rhetoric of his speeches, it looks very much like business as usual. The only bright spot on the horizon is America's transformed relations with Russia.
    Zdroj: The Guardian (United Kingdom)

    When a war isn't a war
    (By Jeff Black)
    The US and Britain have already said, more or less, what they plan to do: Send more troops (30,000 more from America, 500 from the UK); build up the Afghan security forces; leave as soon as possible. Germany - which with up to 4,500 troops there has the third largest contingent - wants to wait for another seven weeks, until an international conference on the Afghan conflict planned for 28 January in London, before saying what it will do. Berlin is playing for time.
    Zdroj: ISN Security Watch (Switzerland)

    Russia’s new European security architecture: How to marginalise NATO
    (By Richard Rousseau)
    In the aftermath of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has again stated with greater insistence his country’s desire to overhaul the European security architecture. This is an idea he has been developing for over a year, and has now been given further clarity by a new statement posted on his official website.
    Zdroj: The Georgian Times (Georgia)

    Medvedev’s new security vision
    (By Vladimir Yevseyev)
    NATO’s future is uncertain, and this underscores the importance of finding alternatives to provide European-Atlantic security. The more that NATO tries to expand, the more diluted, cumbersome and ineffective the organization becomes. Moreover, NATO suffers from a lack of mission and common cause. The Russian menace is greatly exaggerated, and international terrorism is too diffuse a threat to unite alliance members.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    U.S. And Europe need a political strategy for Afghanistan
    (By Daniel Korski)
    European allies should be clear about what they want in return for backing a US surge with additional troops; an international commission, like the Iraq Study Group, which can examine all the necessary options, develop a political strategy, and report back in a year.
    Zdroj: Gov Monitor (USA)

    Afghanistan: No more the good war
    (By John J. Mearsheimer)
    The only viable strategy for Afghanistan is thus the one President Obama will not seriously contemplate: acknowledge defeat and pull out completely. Yet that's precisely what Washington should do, while making it clear that it will leave the Taliban alone if it keeps Al Qaeda out. If the Taliban refuses, Predator drones should be sufficient to keep the jihadis at bay—or take them out.
    Zdroj: Newsweek (USA)

    NATO still 'clueless' about what to do next
    (By Vladislav Vorobyev)
    “No matter how well Afghan soldiers are equipped, no matter how modern the weapons being put into their hands, most will run away during their first military encounter. No, they aren’t bad fighters. They just don’t understand what, why and from whom they are protecting. “With their guns under their pillows, Afghans successfully protect themselves and their families in domestic situations. But they’re unlikely to spill blood for Hamid Karzai and his government. Karzai can be successfully protected by U.S. Special Forces, but only for the extraordinary sums of money being paid for them by Washington.”
    Zdroj: WorldMeets.Us (USA)

    Enlarging NATO, expanding confusion
    (By Mary Elise Sarotte)
    Twenty years ago, dictatorships across Central and Eastern Europe toppled. During this season of remembering, the focus has rightly been on celebration of the new freedoms gained by the inhabitants of those countries: to speak freely, to travel, to vote and to choose their own national futures and alliances. Yet the legacy of 1989 has difficult aspects as well, mostly centering on the origins and legitimacy of later NATO expansion to former East German and Warsaw Pact territory; acknowledgment of them by the United States could greatly improve American and Russian relations.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Europe looks to the U.S. on defense
    (By Iain Martin)
    Amid scenes that the European Union's critics thought farcical, the leaders of the member states of that organization chose their first de facto foreign minister last week. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union is to have responsibility for co-coordinating the efforts of 27 states. In theory, this makes the person who occupies the role a figure of some influence. But they chose Baroness Catherine Ashton.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    Poverty and corruption ... the real allies of the Taliban
    (By Trevor Royle)
    Conflict has ravaged Afghanistan, but, as a new OXFAM report reveals, it is a systematic failure by the west to address the country’s economic plight that now poses the biggest challenge.
    Zdroj: HeraldScotland (United Kingdom)

    It hasn't been 8 years of drift in Afghanistan
    (By John Hannah)
    Ever since last year's presidential campaign, there's been an unfortunate tendency to assess America's Afghan campaign as one long, steady downward spiral to disaster. "Eight years of drift," according to Obama administration officials seeking to explain their lengthy deliberations over strategy and troop numbers. But the reality is a good deal more complex.
    Zdroj: Foreign Policy (USA)

    Time to take the devil out of NATO
    (By Michael Bohm)
    They say the devil is in the details, but if you listen to leading Russian politicians and conservative journalists and analysts you would think the devil is in NATO. Despite the fact that NATO has radically changed its military structure and heavily demobilized since the Soviet collapse, Russia continues to demonize NATO.
    Zdroj: The St. Petersburg Times (Russia)

    Germany relaunches NATO nuclear debate
    (By Richard Weitz)
    Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will become only the second German leader in history to give a speech to both houses of the U.S. Congress. One issue she may avoid raising is her new coalition government's controversial commitment to remove all U.S. nuclear weapons from German soil within the next few years.
    Zdroj: World Politics Review

    What we can achieve in Afghanistan
    (By Robert B. Zoellick)
    As governments reconsider strategies in Afghanistan, stories abound about why achieving progress in this "graveyard of empires" is so challenging: The country is racked by violence and opium production; confidence in the government is weak; its neighbors meddle; and fiercely independent tribes distrust any intruder -- whether from Britain, the Soviet Union, NATO or Kabul.
    Zdroj: The Washington Post (USA)

    Nato suffers existential crisis in the face of Russian muscle
    (By Quentin Peel)
    Afghanistan is grabbing all the headlines within the Nato alliance these days - understandably. That is where Nato troops are engaged in their first expeditionary war. It is where soldiers are dying. It is where the outcome is still in grave doubt.
    Zdroj: Financial Times (United Kingdom)

    NATO plays a waiting game
    (By Pavol Stracansky)
    Corruption, doubts over Afghan leadership and faltering public support have emerged as the main stumbling blocks to a demand for more North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops in Afghanistan.
    Zdroj: Asia Times (Hong Kong)

    'NATO Has the Watches, We Have the Time'
    (By James Shinn)
    Those of us in the Bush administration who were responsible for its "Afghan Strategy Review" kept our mouths shut when we handed over the document to the Obama transition team last fall. We didn't want to box in the new administration.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    President Obama has a problem — and it's not health care reform
    (By Trevor Albertson)
    The problems facing NATO and its efforts at creating a stable situation in Afghanistan are growing. Perhaps the greatest challenge is currently unfolding in Washington. President Obama must decide what to do with the recommendation from NATO’s senior military commander in the war-torn nation, U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal.
    Zdroj: Global Politician (USA)

    What now for Afghanistan? Obama's options
    (By Kim Sengupta)
    The bombing in Kabul yesterday underlined the grip of the Afghan insurgency and came at a politically treacherous time for Barack Obama as he decides how to turn the tide of the war. A flurry of consultations and discussions on Afghanistan is under way in Washington as a prelude to a strategy decision. The President yesterday talked by phone with Gordon Brown about the situation, and today there will be further debate with his national security team.
    Zdroj: The Independent (United Kingdom)

    McChrystal right to call the shots
    (By William Galston)
    Liberal pundits, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, and National Security Adviser James Jones are in agreement: General Stanley McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was wrong to give public voice to his views about the best way forward in that beleaguered country. Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman accused McChrystal of "a plain violation of the principle of civilian control". Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson put it most bluntly: "The men with the stars on their shoulders need to shut up and salute." Some are even drawing parallels between McChrystal and Douglas MacArthur. All these critics are wrong.
    Zdroj: The Australian (Australia)

    An Islamic solution
    (By Abolhassan Bani-Sadr)
    In Afghanistan, where young people have placed themselves on waiting lists to become suicide bombers, increasing the number of soldiers — whether U.S., NATO or Afghan (in order to “Afghanize” the war) — will prolong the conflict rather than end it.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Obama's missing link is a Kissinger
    (By David Ignatius)
    Is there an "Obama Doctrine" lurking among the zigs and zags of his foreign policy over these first nine months? I think there is, in the President's repeated invocation of global rights and responsibilities. The problem is that this lawyerly framework hasn't been applied to the really tough issues such as what to do in Afghanistan.
    Zdroj: The Australian (Australia)

    Are Pentagon contracts funding the Taliban?
    (By Jean MacKenzie)
    It seemed like such a good idea at the time. At a staff meeting in 2006, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, who was then commander of Combined Forces Afghanistan, took a sip of bottled water. Then he looked at the label of one of the Western companies that were being paid millions of dollars a year to ship bottled water by the container load into Afghanistan. And Eikenberry, who is now the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said, “There must be a way of producing bottled water in Afghanistan.”
    Zdroj: GlobalPost (USA)

    More power to Afghan warlords
    (By Richard M Bennett)
    The current military situation on the ground in Afghanistan is at best a highly unsatisfactory stalemate, at worst the allied forces are actually losing the initiative. If that were allowed to continue then the Western democracies face being decisively defeated, politically if not militarily, by the Taliban.
    Zdroj: Asia Times (Hong Kong)

    NATO and World Security
    (By Zbigniew Brzezinski)
    In the course of its 60 years, NATO has institutionalized three monumental transformations in world affairs: first, the end of the centuries-long “civil war” within the West for trans-oceanic and European supremacy; second, the United States’s post–World War II commitment to the defense of Europe against Soviet domination; and third, the peaceful termination of the Cold War, which created the preconditions for a larger democratic European Union. These successes, however, give rise to a legitimate question: What next?
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Canada will not abandon Afghanistan
    (By Lewis MacKenzie)
    The headline just about screamed: “Sacrifices will be for naught if we flee Afghanistan.” Sensational? Misleading? How about a real insult to Canada's disproportionate contribution to the international community's bid to keep Afghanistan from sliding back to the Dark Ages?
    Zdroj: The Globe and Mail (Canada)

    Der andauernde Kalte Krieg
    (By Sergej Karaganow)
    In diesem Jahr jährt sich der Fall der Berliner Mauer zum 20. Mal. Doch das Ende der Konfrontation in Europa könnte sich als vorläufig erweisen. Ein Jahr nach dem Krieg in Georgien scheinen die Trennlinien wieder aufzuleben. Obwohl der Kalte Krieg in Europa für beendet erklärt wurde, wurde er nie wirklich abgeschlossen.
    Zdroj: Die Welt (Deutschland)

    Karzai in His Labyrinth
    (By Elizabeth Rubin)
    Over the winter I spent several days in the presidential palace, the Arg, with Karzai and his entourage. I was hoping to find out who Karzai really is. Does he condone the venality of his friends and family? Is he unable to stop it? Is this just what life is in a country long torn by war? Did the West misjudge his character — or did it make it impossible for him to rule? Is he just in love with power and pomp? And why, with all the accusations of criminality, the unfulfilled promises, his plummeting popularity, would Hamid Karzai even want to run again?
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Afghan dilemma
    (By Terence O'Brien)
    New Zealand is being asked to send SAS troops to back a Nato-led operation. Terence O'Brien suggests this action should be politely resisted.
    Zdroj: The Dominion Post (New Zealand)

    U.S. Foreign Policy Tested over Georgia
    (By Vladimir Socor)
    Following U.S. President Barack Obama's reaffirmation of political support for Georgia at the Moscow summit (EDM, July 14), and anticipating U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden's visit to Tbilisi, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev inspected the occupied South Ossetia on July 13. Medvedev made clear that the Russian military was digging in for a long-term presence there (Interfax, July 13).
    Zdroj: The Jamestown Foundation (USA)

    Taliban will let guns do their talking
    (By Syed Saleem Shahzad)
    (...)The dialogue developed to the point where al-Qaeda leaders began to feel threatened - many Taliban commanders in the southwest were desperate to strike peace deals with NATO and talked of al-Qaeda as a liability. Prince Aziz was optimistic enough to say that by the end of the year the stage would be set for the US and the Taliban to begin discussing peace formulas. Following the grand shura and the military consolidation in Afghanistan, though, Mullah Omar has sent a clear message to Prince Aziz that a military victory is the only option for the Taliban and that nothing can stop the war except a clear defeat of the Western occupation armies in Afghanistan.
    Zdroj: Asia Times Online (Hong Kong)

    Why We Don't Want a Nuclear-Free World
    (By Melanie Kirkpatrick)
    'Nuclear weapons are used every day." So says former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, speaking last month at his office in a wooded enclave of Maclean, Va. It's a serene setting for Doomsday talk, and Mr. Schlesinger's matter-of-fact tone belies the enormity of the concepts he's explaining -- concepts that were seemingly ignored in this week's Moscow summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    Obama Rewrites the Cold War
    (By Liz Cheney)
    There are two different versions of the story of the end of the Cold War: the Russian version, and the truth. President Barack Obama endorsed the Russian version in Moscow last week.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    New peril for British troops in Afghanistan: Taliban have learned modern warfare
    (By Jason Burke)
    Imagination, greater firepower and strengthening of Taliban's ideological bond leaves coalition facing higher casualty rates. For many months, military planners in Afghanistan have been readying themselves – and trying to prepare domestic public opinion – for a bloody summer. In spring, a number of officers – from the then commander of coalition forces, David McKiernan, to commanders patrolling sullen villages – said significant casualties were inevitable in the traditional "fighting season" of July and August.
    Zdroj: Guardian (United Kingdom)

    Military leaders embrace Facebook, Twitter, MySpace
    (By Donna Miles)
    The very day he assumed his post as NATO`s supreme allied commander for Europe last week, Navy Adm. James Stavridis reached out in a way none of the previous 15 NATO commanders since Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had: he posted a blog.
    Zdroj: theSOP (USA)

    Afghanistan: a war we cannot win
    (By Rory Stewart)
    In Obama's words, "security and humanitarian concerns are all part of one project". This policy rests on misleading ideas about moral obligation, our capacity, the strength of our adversaries, the threat posed by Afghanistan, the relations between our different objectives, and the value of a state. The power of the US and its allies, and our commitment, knowledge and will, are limited. It is unlikely that we will be able to defeat the Taliban. The ingredients of successful counter-insurgency campaigns in places like Malaya – control of the borders, large numbers of troops in relation to the population, strong support from the majority ethnic groups, a long-term commitment and a credible local government – are lacking in Afghanistan.
    Zdroj: Telegraph (United Kingdom)

    Madly off in all directions
    (By Sten Rynning and Roland Paris)
    NATO is at a crossroads. After two decades of promiscuously embracing new tasks and partners, the alliance is suffering from overstretch and mounting internal tensions.
    Zdroj: Globe and Mail (Canada)

    Commentary: NATO caveats
    (By Arnaud de Borchgrave)
    The outgoing NATO SACEUR, or supreme allied commander Europe, would gladly forgo more NATO troops to fight Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan if allied countries dropped their caveats against their use in combat operations.
    Zdroj: UPI (USA)

    Russia no match for NATO
    (By Ekaterina Kuznetsova)
    In June 2008 — less than a month after his inauguration — President Dmitry Medvedev unveiled a proposal for creating a new Euro-Atlantic security architecture with the implied hope that it would someday replace NATO.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    We don’t need the F-22
    You would think that with all the legitimate and expensive claims on the government pocketbook — including two wars, an economic crisis and desperately needed health care reform — Congress would be extra judicious about how it spends the taxpayers’ money. But no, at least not when it comes to the House Armed Services Committee and lucrative defense contracts.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Bombing rule may help protect civilians
    (By Pauline Jelinek)
    Stricter new rules for combat and bombing raids in Afghanistan may well complicate the battlefield for American forces, but officials say the changes are crucial to reducing civilian deaths that have been undermining the war effort. Analysts say they don't expect the new guidelines to immediately translate to more peril for ground troops that depend on air support in battle, but if some combat encounters under the new rules lead to more dangers, the risk is worth the effort if it builds more Afghan support for the war.
    Zdroj: Associated Press (USA)

    NATO and tailored deterrence: surveying the challenges
    (By David Yost)
    The U.S. Department of Defense has officially employed the phrase "tailored deterrence" since the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review. The other NATO Allies have also given the concept some attention, but it remains largely unexplored on both sides of the Atlantic. Important conceptual and practical questions have yet to be answered.
    Zdroj: World Security Network (Germany)

    Israel and NATO: A good idea whose time will never come
    (By Josef Joffe)
    While Israel is an ideal partner for the European Union and NATO, this will not happen for various reasons. Israel will lose important freedom of action while the EU/NATO are reluctant to expand into the Middle East.
    Zdroj: Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (Israel)

    Is NATO disrupting Russia 'reset'?
    (By Edward Lozansky)
    Only a couple of short months after the United States and Russia exchanged encouraging remarks about resetting troubled relations, the two countries find themselves again at odds over Georgia. Last week, NATO began monthlong military exercises in Georgia that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called an "open provocation."
    Zdroj: The Washington Times (USA)

    Welche NATO will Deutschland?
    (Von Henning Riecke)
    Der Gipfel zum 60. Geburtstag der NATO in Straßburg war eine schöne Familienfeier. Die deutschen und französischen Gastgeber hatten darauf gesetzt, die Stärke der Allianz nach außen zu kehren und schwierige Themen vermieden. Die Konflikte der letzten Jahre sind aber noch nicht beigelegt. Afghanistan, Georgien, Russland - Deutschland ist nicht selten in die Defensive geraten. Wir haben im Richtungsstreit in der Allianz oft erklärt, welche NATO wir nicht wollen, aber welche wollen wir?
    Zdroj: Deutschlandradio Kultur (Deutschland)

    A positive but confusing security strategy
    (by Fyodor Lukyanov)
    Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev signed Russia's national security strategy to 2020. The document reflects the uncertainty in the minds of Russia's leaders regarding the path of the country's development in the 21st century. As before, Russia is in a state of transition, but we are not sure exactly where it is transiting to.
    Zdroj: Russia in Global Affairs (Russia)

    Recommendations for the new U.S. Ambassador to NATO
    (By Sally McNamara)
    Ivo Daalder, a former presidential campaign adviser to Barack Obama, was sworn in today as United States Ambassador to NATO, replacing career diplomat Kurt Volker. Mr. Daalder will be responsible for handling America's most important multilateral alliance at a time when it is facing serious challenges.
    Zdroj: The Heritage Foundation (USA)

    A new NATO for a new world
    (By Jeanne Shaheen)
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, widely considered the most successful regional security alliance in history, recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, and it has much to show for it. NATO helped end the Cold War without firing a single shot and is responsible for bringing together a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace - a dramatic achievement considering that two devastating world wars were fought on the continent in three decades.
    Zdroj: The Boston Globe (USA)

    Russia-U.S. ties have tentative start
    (By Sue Pleming)
    The "reset" button was pushed two months ago on U.S.-Russia ties but results so far have been mixed, with arms control the most promising area but gnarly issues such as Georgia tensions still lingering.
    Zdroj: Reuters (United Kingdom)

    An Alliance of Equals
    (By Michel Rocard)
    During NATO's recent 60th anniversary ceremony in Strasbourg, the alliance welcomed two new members, Albania and Croatia, bringing its total membership to 28. This expansion is a good thing, for history has tormented these two countries. Being welcomed within the great international family of the West will reassure them, stabilize them, and contribute to their political, cultural, and economic development. But the good news was limited, because the North Atlantic Treaty Organization addressed only a routine agenda. No core problem was really tackled.
    Zdroj: The Korea Times (Korea)

    NATO's 60th anniversary summit: unfocused and unsuccessful
    (By Sally McNamara)
    In spite of President Obama's high personal approval ratings among Europeans, he did not further American interests at NATO's 60th anniversary summit last weekend. The President was unable to secure much-needed European combat troops for the mission in Afghanistan, and the lengthier-than-usual summit declaration put on ice crucial agenda items such as enlargement of the alliance and missile defense.
    Zdroj: The Heritage Foundation (USA)

    Happy 60th, NATO - we still need you
    (By Eugene Lang)
    Winston Churchill once said democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Much the same can be said about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which celebrated its 60th birthday on Saturday. NATO is the worst multilateral peace and security organization except for all the others that have been tried, such as the United Nations.
    Zdroj: Globe and Mail (Canada)

    Obama's Nato pragmatism
    (By Max Bergmann, James Lamond)
    There is a running joke that any new report about Nato has to begin with the two letters "re" – as in "re-inventing", "renewing", "reforming" or "reviving". You get the point. There is broad consensus that Nato is floundering and is in need of change. Despite this, Nato's importance to the United States has actually grown. At a time when America's military is overstretched by years of war, its economy in crisis and global challenges seem too numerous to count, the United States needs now, more than ever, capable allies that can help share some of the burden of maintaining global security. It is this pragmatic sentiment that guided Obama's Nato summit.
    Zdroj: Guardian (United Kingdom)

    Obama, Germany, France winners in NATO deal on new Secretary General
    (By Paul Taylor)
    U.S. President Barack Obama won his spurs as a compromise broker at his first NATO summit on Saturday, persuading a reluctant Turkey to accept the Danish prime minister as the next head of the alliance.
    Zdroj: Reuters (United Kingdom)

    If NATO didn't exist we'd have to invent it
    (By Mirek Topolánek)
    I think often about the lessons of history. Against the backdrop of our global economic crisis, I refer to the ill-fated experience of protectionism in the 1930s. When discussing the ratification of the European Union's (EU) Lisbon Treaty, I remind others of the fact that independence, regained only about two decades ago by the Czech Republic, remains a sensitive issue for our country. And when defending priorities such as the energy security of the EU and the strategic importance of relations with our eastern neighbors, I mention recent crises over security in Georgia and gas in Ukraine.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    China's support to Pakistan's jihadists
    (By M. D. Nalapat)
    After decades of denial, the U.S. military -- though not yet the State Department -- has begun to admit that the Pakistan military, a major "non-NATO ally," is the source of much of the capability of the Taliban thugs who are now sending NATO into a panic in Afghanistan.
    Zdroj: UPI (USA)

    NATO’s hard choices
    (By Charles A. Kupchan)
    NATO’s 60th anniversary summit will surely be dominated by its mission in Afghanistan. And rightly so; NATO’s ability to advance Afghanistan’s security and stability has become the litmus test of the alliance’s effectiveness. But even as NATO confronts this immediate challenge, it must also open a searching debate about three over-the-horizon issues that it can no longer afford to push off — its relationship to Russia, its decision-making rules and its potential transformation into a global alliance of democracies.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    France on collision course over NATO
    (By Jamey Keaten)
    France's rejection of a global role for NATO puts Paris on a collision course with the bolder NATO ambitions of other powerful alliance members — most notably the United States and Britain. The debate comes as President Nicolas Sarkozy prepares to formalize France's return to NATO's integrated military command after an absence of 43 years.
    Zdroj: The Associated Press (USA)

    NATO resumes ties with Russia
    (By Nodar Tangiashvili)
    NATO, Georgia, the US and Russia branded as “very important’ the NATO Ministerial in Brussels which paved the way for a resumption of talks with Russia. Much was at stake for all sides: for the US - Russia’s positive cooperation on issues ranging from nuclear arms control to non-proliferation in the Middle East; for Russia - Western concessions to its dogma of “privileged spheres of influence”, for Georgia – the preservation of its vital national interests in this return of great power realpolitik.
    Zdroj: The Georgian Times (Georgia)

    Gaullist legacy haunts Sarkozy
    (By Quentin Peel)
    Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s irrepressible president, is not normally known for hesitation. He is prone to alarm his compatriots by rushing into actions without considering all the consequences. On one subject, however, he has been dragging his feet: announcing a final decision on how and when France will rejoin the military structures of the Nato alliance. Everyone knows he wants to do it. All his closest confidants say so. But the president has kept quiet.
    Zdroj: The Financial Times (United Kingdom)

    India is key to Pak, Afghan stability
    (By Jonathan Power)
    Today Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country in the world, but it is India, not Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda, that now bears much of the responsibility for this and arguably is the country that holds the key to the beginnings of a solution. More the pity that President Barack Obama seemed to have backed straight down when India protested at the mandate he wanted his sharp-shooting diplomat, Richard Holbrooke to have — including India as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan. So Holbrooke is reduced to dealing with only two sides of the triangle of madness.
    Zdroj: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

    Rebuilding NATO ties won’t be easy
    (By Vladimir Kozin)
    In February 2007, then-President Vladimir Putin made a strongly-worded statement at the Munich Security Conference, where he outlined the basic problems existing between Russia and NATO at that time, and stated that in the modern world a unipolar security model is both unacceptable and impossible.
    Zdroj: The Moscow News (Russia)

    Afghan supplies, Russian demands
    (By George Friedman)
    The Taliban didn’t wait long to test Barack Obama. On Tuesday, militants bombed a bridge in the Khyber Pass region in Pakistan, cutting off supply lines to NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan. This poses a serious problem for President Obama, who has said that he wants more American troops in Afghanistan. But troops need supplies.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    Barack Obama abandons Afghan President Hamid Karzai
    (By Dean Nelson, Alex Spillius, Ben Farmer)
    The Barack Obama administration has abandoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai and now believes he is a major obstacle to defeating the Taliban-led insurgency. Officials in the US State Department, Department of Defence and National Security Council are now openly questioning Mr Karzai's ability to rein in corruption, improve law and order and confront the warlords who control the country's deadly opium trade.
    Zdroj: Telegraph (United Kingdom)

    NATO’s double standards
    (By Alexander Melikoshvili)
    The US increasingly faces difficulty in forging NATO consensus on the most pressing issues concerning security in Afghanistan. What else can explain that it took close to five years for the allies to reach an accord authorising military attacks on the country’s burgeoning underground opium-heroin industry?
    Zdroj: Daily Times (Pakistan)

    Afghanistan help restores NATO-Russia ties
    (By John Wendle)
    Russia is signaling a willingness to help the U.S. secure new supply lines for its mission in Afghanistan — but only if Washington is willing to accommodate Moscow's concerns on other issues that have soured their relationship.
    Zdroj: Time (USA)

    NATO to melt Arctic ice as it triggers yet another international scandal
    (By Vladimir Anokhin)
    The endless desert of snow and ice has always been a subject for dispute among politicians, diplomats and scientists. The Arctic territory has now become a subject of a military dispute: NATO declared it a strategically important region. The alliance intends to increase its contingent in this part of the globe.
    Zdroj: Pravda (Russia)

    Taking the demons out of the relationship
    (By Fyodor Lukyanov)
    Many observers have written that the change in leadership in the United States will open up new opportunities for U.S.-Russian relations. It is hard to argue with this for the simple reason that bilateral relations could hardly get worse than they are now.
    Zdroj: Russia Profile (Russia)

    Obama urged to boost priority of BMD development
    (By Baker Spring, Peter Brookes and James Jay Carafano)
    Newly inaugurated U.S. President Barack Obama has confirmed the wisdom of the allied approach to missile defense. The existing missile defense program involves allied participation in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and this should continue. Key among the various cooperative efforts are the agreements with the Czech Republic and Poland, both NATO allies, to field a missile defense radar and 10 Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptors on their territories to counter longer-range missiles.
    Zdroj: UPI (USA)

    Letter to President Barack Obama
    (By Madaleine Albright)
    In Afghanistan, an unsustainable stalemate has developed in which the majority of the population fears the Taliban, resents NATO and lacks faith in its government. Given the stakes, you may be tempted to "do more" in Afghanistan, but that alone would be a reaction, not a strategy. Our own military admits that the current approach is not working. We cannot kill or capture our way to victory. We need more troops, but we also need a policy that corresponds to the aspirations and sensitivities of the local population. Under your leadership, NATO's primary military mission should be to train Afghan forces to defend Afghan villages, and its dominant political objective should be to improve the quality of governance throughout the country.
    Zdroj: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (USA)

    Military bases abroad: ambitions and opportunities
    (By Ilya Kramnik)
    The Russian Navy is going to return to its bases abroad. A statement to this effect was made by the spokesman for the Navy's headquarters last week. What will the Russian Navy's return be like after 20 years' absence? What goals can it pursue?
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Russia)

    NATO's 60th calls for change
    (By James Jay Carafano)
    President-elect Barack Obama should make history. Not just on Jan. 20, but on April 4, as well. The latter date marks the 60th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO.
    Zdroj: The Washington Times (USA)

    Taliban encroach on Kabul as talks begin
    (By Zach Warren)
    Eight Afghans were killed and nearly two dozen injured in an Oct. 30 suicide attack on the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the morning attack targeted “foreign experts,” without providing further information. Three men reportedly entered the ministry with gunfire, then one detonated his explosives belt in the first floor lobby. Earlier this year, the Taliban led a similar attack on the 5-star Serena Hotel, just adjacent to the Ministry of Information and Culture, when three men dressed in police uniforms infiltrated multiple layers of security, using both gunfire and successive suicide detonations.
    Zdroj: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (USA)

    After the fighting stops
    (By Conor Foley)
    For those who like to see things in Manichean terms the brief but vicious conflict between Georgia and Russia last August was a frontline of a new global ideological battleground. Sarah Palin condemned Barack Obama's failure to offer immediate and unconditional support to Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili at the US Republican convention the following month. David Cameron called for Russian shoppers to be barred from Selfridges shopping store while David Miliband surprised his Nato partners by declaring that a meeting had given the go-ahead for Georgia to be brought into membership, although everyone else in attendance said that no such thing had occurred.
    Zdroj: The Guardian (United Kingdom)

    What about NATO?
    Between the new American administration getting going and the NATO summit in Strasbourg in April lie a few short perilous months. The story since the war in Georgia has been that NATO proved reluctant to identify Russia as a military threat, but under the authority of the supreme allied commander, a brainy American called General John Craddock, is engaged in “prudent planning”, which allows for quite a lot without requiring the authority of the North Atlantic Council.
    Zdroj: The Economist (United Kingdom)

    Afghan troop boost will differ from Iraq surge
    (By Andrew Gray)
    When is a surge not a surge? When it involves sending U.S. troops to Afghanistan, not Iraq. Just as the United States sent more forces to Iraq to quell rampant violence, many U.S. politicians led by President-elect Barack Obama want to send more troops to Afghanistan to fight a growing insurgency.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    Pirates, terrorism and failed states
    (By Max Boot)
    Ever since the end of the Cold War, there has been much chatter about the problem of failed states. Now we are seeing some of the terrible consequences of state failure on the periphery of the broader Middle East.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    As Georgia recedes, NATO eases stance on Russia
    (By Bruce Crumley)
    As Cold Wars go, NATO's season of half-hearted saber-rattling at Russia over its summer offensive in Georgia was decidedly brief, and tepid. It was with a palpable sense of relief — at least in the capitals of Western Europe — that the Alliance moved this week to bury the hatchet with Moscow, agreeing at NATO summit to resume relations with Russia that had been bedeviled by Moscow's military showdown with Georgia.
    Zdroj: Time (USA)

    The death of NATO
    (By Nick Witney)
    NATO, whose foreign ministers will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, is dying. Death, of course, comes to all living things. And, as NATO approaches its 60th birthday next spring, there seems no immediate urgency about writing its obituary; 60-year-olds may reasonably look forward to another decade -- perhaps two or even three -- of active and productive life. But perhaps it is now time for some discrete reflection on the fact that "the old man" will not always be with us.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    The West may be in a strong position to respond
    (By Richard Beeston)
    First the bad news. It now seems increasingly likely that the terrorists responsible for last week’s attacks in Mumbai were directly linked to Pakistani militants aiming to provoke a renewed confrontation between Delhi and Islamabad. Worse, there is evidence to suggest that the main suspects, Lashkar-e-Taiba and its smaller ally Jaish-e-Mohammed, both Kashmiri terrorist organisations, may have coordinated the attack with elements from the Taleban and al-Qaeda, operating out of Pakistan’s lawless tribal territories. There is even a possibility that the terrorist actions were coordinated with elements inside Pakistani intelligence, which has longstanding links with all the organisations concerned.
    Zdroj: The Times (United Kingdom)

    The ‘good war’ isn’t worth fighting
    (By Rory Stewart)
    Afghanistan does not matter as much as Barack Obama thinks. Terrorism is not the key strategic threat facing the United States. America, Britain and our allies have not created a positive stable environment in the Middle East. We have no clear strategy for dealing with China. The financial crisis is a more immediate threat to United States power and to other states; environmental catastrophe is more dangerous for the world. And even from the perspective of terrorism, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are more lethal.
    Zdroj: The New York Times (USA)

    The real issue isn't a shield in Central Europe
    (By Fyodor Lukyanov)
    In the two weeks since he was elected president, Barack Obama has received conflicting signals from Moscow. Aside from a threat to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, the Kremlin has made some conciliatory statements. Whether we see a new chapter in U.S.-Russian relations will become clear only after Obama and his foreign policy team are firmly in place after January. Nonetheless, we can still identify the key points that will determine the nature of the relationship.
    Zdroj: The Moscow Times (Russia)

    Postwar Bosnia's surprising export: peacekeepers
    (By Aida Cerkez Robinson)
    It took 60,000 NATO troops to force Bosnians like Edin Ahmetovic, Pero Budimir and Slobodan Misanovic to stop shooting at each other. Now, the three former antagonists — a Muslim Bosniak, a Roman Catholic Croat and a Christian Orthodox Serb — are training together as they prepare for voluntary duty in other crisis areas around the world.
    Zdroj: AP (USA)

    Russia's poor excuse for invading Georgia
    (By James P. Rubin)
    Why did Russia really invade Georgia? In late September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and offered a rather stunning explanation. Lavrov--who previously spent a decade as Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, where he mastered the body of international precedents and U.N. Security Council resolutions that together make up the de facto law of nations--informed his audience that, by attacking Georgia, Moscow was implementing a principle endorsed by the Security Council in 2006: the "responsibility to protect."   
    Zdroj: CBS News (USA)

    Expansion of NATO in the terrorist era
    (By Shamima Nasreen)
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) missions have expanded dramatically since the end of the Cold War, and most of the United States' closest allies are members of the alliance. NATO has added new members six times since first forming in 1949 and now NATO comprises twenty-six members. The United States is taking another step today toward getting Albania and Croatia folded into the NATO alliance.  
    Zdroj: The Daily Star (Bangladesh)

    Yushchenko ruins NATO chances with his behavior
    (By Taras Kuzio)
    A leading Western ambassador in Kyiv told me recently that he and others had repeatedly warned President Victor Yushchenko that he had to choose between removing Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister, thereby ruining the 2004 Orange Revolution coalition, or advancing the nation toward NATO membership. He could not have both.   
    Zdroj: Kyiv Post (Ukraine)

    Pakistan holds key to conflict
    (By Claude Salhani)
    Seven years after the start of the war in Afghanistan there is still no solution on the horizon. In fact, the security situation appears to be regressing. In recent months the Taliban have been on the resurgence, creating mounting challenges for the U.S.-led multinational force in Afghanistan. Rounding up the insurgents seems much like trying to pick up quicksilver. No sooner have they been rounded up in one locality than they appear in another.  
    Zdroj: Middle East Times (USA)

    America decides to fight and win in Afghanistan

    (By Nick Meo)
    Charred and mangled bodies littered the building, the victims of a suicide bomber who had penetrated security at one of the most heavily-guarded sites in the capital. A Taliban spokesman later gloatingly confirmed that the attack was aimed at the ministry's Western advisers, part of a new strategy of terror against Kabul's foreign aid community that saw British aid worker Gayle Williams shot dead two weeks ago.  
    Zdroj: Telegraph (United Kingdom)

    Is the Taliban stockpiling opium? And if so, why?

    (By Vivienne Walt)
    If international drug- and law-enforcement officials are right, the Taliban might be hiding up to $3.2 billion worth of opium inside Afghanistan, potentially causing huge complications for NATO's decision this month to attack Afghanistan's opium laboratories and smuggling networks. If it exists, the drug stockpile would also have a major bearing on Afghan officials' tentative peace talks with the Taliban, which are favored by U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus and both U.S. presidential candidates. 
    Zdroj: Time (USA)

    We are losing Taliban battle

    (By David Davis)
    It is time to face facts in Afghanistan: the situation is spiralling downwards, and if we do not change our approach, we face disaster. Violence is up in two-thirds of the country, narcotics are the main contributor to the economy, criminality is out of control and the government is weak, corrupt and incompetent. The international coalition is seen as a squabbling bunch of foreigners who have not delivered on their promises. Although the Taliban have nowhere near majority support, their standing is growing rapidly among some ordinary Afghans. 
    Zdroj: The Independent (United Kingdom)

    Ukraine's NATO hopes dashed
    (By Jeremy Druker)
    Back in April at the Bucharest summit, NATO leaders had both good news and bad news for Ukraine. The good news was that the leaders officially agreed that Ukraine would eventually become a NATO member and supported the country's request for a Membership Action Plan (MAP). The bad news was that a MAP invitation was not forthcoming. 
    Zdroj: ISN Security Watch (Switzerland)

    Taliban wake-up call for India

    (By M K Bhadrakumar)
    For the bulk of the Indian strategic community, the unthinkable is happening - the prospect of an Afghan settlement involving the Taliban. From all accounts, the Taliban appear edging closer to the Afghan capital and tightening their control in the provinces ringing Kabul. 
    Zdroj: Asia Times (Hong Kong)

    Trans-Atlantic policy on Russia needed

    (By John Vinocur)
    John McCain was talking about Russia's "KGB apparatchik-run government," its aggression against Georgia, and America's support for the entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. 
    Zdroj: International Herald Tribune (USA)

    It's unwise to poke an angry bear in Ukraine

    (By F. Stephen Larrabee)
    The Russian invasion of Georgia has sent shock waves throughout the West and the former Soviet space - especially Ukraine. Indeed, Ukraine could be the next potential crisis. 
    Zdroj: The Daily Star (Lebanon)

    Russia as a transatlantic challenge
    (By Angela Stent)
    The Russia-Georgia war has brought into sharp relief the intra-alliance differences already evident at the April Bucharest NATO summit on how to deal most productively with Russia and what NATO's and the EU's role in Russia's neighborhood should be. Although the EU and NATO have both criticized Russia's disproportionate response to the Georgian incursion into South Ossetia, there are considerable divisions both within NATO and the EU over how to deal with a Russian-Georgian (and potentially Russian-Ukrainian) clash going forward. 
    Zdroj: Der Tagesspiegel (Germany)

    A worrying new world order
    Never has the European Union enjoyed such diplomatic prominence as this week, when Nicolas Sarkozy of France led an EU delegation to Moscow to secure yet another promise of Russian troop withdrawals from Georgia. Seen from Brussels, the Georgian crisis has exposed a tectonic shift in the global balance of power. It is not just that Russia is back. The crisis has also confirmed Europe’s sense of an America in relative decline. 
    Zdroj: The Economist (United Kingdom)

    NATO - the paper alliance
    (By John Laughland)
    Russia is the second most heavily armed country in the world, and a serious nuclear power. The West, meanwhile, is fighting protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which mean that its hands are tied behind its back. If the NATO states are not prepared to go to war with the Russian army over that small parcel of territory around Tskhinvali of which few people in the West had even heard before the violence erupted, then Georgia can never join the Alliance because NATO membership means precisely that members must fight for each others' territorial integrity. 
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Russia)

    Russia, Iran: Crisis of the West
    (By Paul Rogers)
    No one pretends that United States missile-defense capacity will be able to counter Russia's nuclear forces any time between now and around 2020. But that is less relevant to an assessment of the current situation than two current facts: that the US's still sees itself as the world's only great power and is determined to remain so; and that in securing this reality it is pursuing "full-spectrum dominance" (a project that has a crucial symbolic aspect as well as one of outright military capacity). Both grate on Moscow in ways that feed in to the violent and excessive conflict, and the hard rhetoric, over South Ossetia/Georgia.
    Zdroj: ISN Security Watch (Switzerland)

    NATO's Hour
    (By Ronald D. Asmus)
    Russia's invasion of Georgia is a game changer. This war is part of a Russian strategy of roll-back and regime change on its borders. The more evidence that comes in, the clearer it is becoming that this is a conflict Moscow planned, prepared for and provoked -- a trap Tbilisi unfortunately walked into. A core Western assumption since 1991 -- that Moscow would never again invade its neighbors -- has been shattered. As Moscow basks in its moment of nationalistic triumphalism, the West needs to take steps to prevent further Russian moves from spreading instability to others parts of Europe.
    Zdroj: The Wall Street Journal (USA)

    The future of NATO
    There have been myriad reasons for confrontation between the West and Russia since 1991. The implosion of a hollow ideology gave way to a series of more practical grounds for dispute, from Washington's passion for missile defence to Moscow's foot-dragging over Iranian uranium enrichment. But there has been no provocation quite so blatant as the flooding of South Ossetia and parts of Georgia with Russian tanks. Nato has so far floundered in response, but this does not make it irrelevant. The opposite is true.
    Zdroj: The Times (United Kingdom)

    The Georgia crisis: a blow to NATO
    (By Tony Karon)
    If Russia's brutal response to Georgia's provocation had, in fact, obliged NATO to intervene, the Atlantic Alliance itself might have faced a terminal crisis. Most of its member states have no enthusiasm for confronting a resurgent Russia in the Caucasus, traditionally a Russian sphere of influence. The Alliance, for one thing, is having enough trouble maintaining 71,000 troops in Afghanistan, where they are only managing to tread water against mounting odds. Other arguments against confrontation: much of Western Europe is wholly dependent on Russian energy supplies, and European negotiators believe there is little chance of a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear standoff without committed support from Moscow.
    Zdroj: Time (USA)

    Russia has crossed the line
    (By Richard C. Holbrooke, Ronald D. Asmus)
    Now, tragically, an escalation of violence in South Ossetia has culminated in a full-scale Russian invasion of Georgia. The West, especially the United States, could have prevented this war. A watershed moment is at hand in the West's post-Cold War relations with Russia.
    Zdroj: Moscow Times (Russia)

    Georgia caused this war 
    (By Vadim Mukhanov)
    The war in South Ossetia must be understood for what it really is -- Georgia's one-sided escalation of the conflict. This places full responsibility for the bloodshed on Georgia's side. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's decision to send in heavy equipment and artillery late Thursday led to large civilian casualties in South Ossetia.
    Zdroj: Moscow Times (Russia)

    The long road to obsolescence: Without russia as an archrival, NATO turns to other parts of the world  
    (By Alec Barrett)
    NATO’s internal divisions and Russia’s participation in the organization, aspects particularly evident in this recent debate, reflect NATO’s lack of a clear and defined function in a post-Cold War world.
    Zdroj: Harvard Political Review (USA)

    U.S. radar in Czech Republic: Betrayal of national interests
    (By Ján Čarnogurský)

    The Czech government and the United States have signed an agreement on the deployment of a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic, thereby launching an illogical geopolitical experiment that is not suited to the country's international situation or modern Czech history.
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Rusko)

    NATO’s Role in energy security
    (By Johannes Varwick)
    It is no longer contested that energy is a legitimate security issue. But can a military alliance like NATO address energy security? Perhaps, argues Johannes Varwick, but NATO itself must change in order to do so.
    Zdroj: Spiegel (Germany)


    French White Paper: Ambitions exceed means
    (By William R. Hawkins)
    On June 17, France published a new White Paper on defense and national security, the first such paper since 1994. It contains both good news and bad news from an American perspective. 
    Zdroj: FSM (USA)


    New ways to crack opium
    (By Robert Leeson)
    Perhaps it's time to try another tack using incentives to attack the Taliban's opium trade. Local, village-based Afghan factories should be offered licences to use opium to produce painkillers for export (the Senlis Council's "Poppy for Medicine" proposal). Hearts and minds follow income-generating crops and access to pain relief.
    Zdroj: The Australian (Australia)


    Azerbaijan: Russia must not fear our cooperation with NATO
    (Interview with head of Azerbaijan's mission to NATO Kamil Khasiyev)
    As for Azerbaijan's cooperation with NATO, we really know that Russia is concerned with it, this country negatively perceives the situation, established around Georgia and Ukraine's reject to get the Membership action plan. But we consider that our cooperation with Russia is developing positively.
    Zdroj: Today (Azerbaijan)


    Understanding Afghan rage
    (By Rasul Bakhsh Rais)
    Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been difficult for obvious reasons. Afghanistan has been in a state of war for more than thirty years; it is still not out of the conflict that started with the American-led invasion. And Kabul has reasons to believe that the violence it has been enduring for decades has much to do with the role of foreign actors, including Islamabad.
    Zdroj: Daily Times (Pakistan)


    Russia, Ukraine and NATO - desperate triangle
    (By Ilya Kramnik)
    NATO's expansion, which started in the 1990s, has approached a critical point again. Having admitted East European and Baltic countries, the alliance is now planning to admit Ukraine, a post-Soviet republic. This would be NATO's biggest expansion since it was joined by West Germany in 1956. A new political reality that would result from this step gives much food for thought.
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Russia)


    France’s vision of defence is impaired
    (FT Editorial Comment)
    The fundamental problem with the strategy lies elsewhere in the one condition Mr Sarkozy imposed on its authors: that there would be no increase during his term in the 2 per cent of GDP devoted to defence.
    Zdroj: Financial Times (United Kingdom)


    France's return to NATO can complement EU security
    (By Leo Michel)
    President Sarkozy seeks a rapprochement with NATO while strengthening the European Union’s defense dimension. France’s allies, including the United States and Germany, have welcomed this. But Sarkozy faces strong domestic resistance to changing France’s relationship to NATO.
    Zdroj: Spiegel (Germany)


    Will NATO become popular among Ukrainians?
    (By Pavel Korduban)
    The Ukrainian government has launched a campaign to make NATO popular in the country in order to secure a Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a plan to increase public awareness of the benefits of NATO membership, and pro-government party activists are touring Ukraine organizing pro-NATO rallies. The leftist and pro-Russian opposition, afraid that a pro-NATO course would complicate relations with Moscow, have been trying to disrupt the campaign.
    Zdroj: EurAsia Daily Monitor (USA)


    Price is high, but we should stay in Afghanistan
    (By Michael Williams)
    For the past seven years the United Kingdom and the international community have been fighting in Afghanistan to restore some semblance of peace and security to a country that has seen nothing but violence since 1979. Two days ago Britain lost three more of her finest to a suicide bomb near Sangin. These latest fatalities bring the total British dead to 100. They will not be the last to die in Afghanistan. It is at times like these that policy-makers and the public alike question the rationale and objectives of being involved in a conflict that seems to have no end in sight.
    Zdroj: Scotsman (United Kingdom)


    Turkey turns cold to European defense: Implications for Western security
    (By Erdal Tatli)

    In June 2007, Turkey decided to turn its back on European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) after a long series of negotiations with the EU. Although the Cyprus issue has always complicated Turkey's involvement in ESDP, Turkey has been an important actor in Western security architecture for decades, and its withdrawal from the force has profound implications for the United States, Europe, and Western security institutions, including NATO.
    Zdroj: Washington Institute (USA)

    How to solve the Greek dispute over Macedonia's name
    (By Edward P. Joseph)
    The 17-year conflict over Macedonia’s official state name has taken a new turn. Greece’s successful effort to block Skopje’s entry into NATO has fueled nationalist dynamics in both countries. But there is more at stake here than a name: Macedonia’s stability -- and Kosovo’s -- rests on urgently finding a reasonable compromise with Greece.
    Zdroj: Spiegel (Germany)
    May 2008
    Cracks in the foundations: NATO after the Bucharest Summit
    (By Victor Mauer)
    More than any previous NATO summit, the meeting in Bucharest has highlighted the dual challenge that the Aalliance has been confronted with since the fundamental upheaval of the international system in 1989/1991: While its strategic self-perception is diminishing in sharpness due to diverging interests and external factors, the divergences between the threat perceptions and strategic cultures of individual member states are endangering the success of military operations undertaken by the as a whole.
    Zdroj: Center for Security Studies (Switzerland)
    Why NATO troops can't deliver peace in Afghanistan
    (By Ullrich Fichtner)
    Forty nations are embroiled in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Anyone who travels through the country with Western troops soon realizes that NATO forces would have to be increased tenfold for peace to be even a remote possibility.
    Zdroj: Spiegel (Germany)
    Why Darfur intervention is a mistake
    (By Alex de Waal)

    In big and complicated wars - like Darfur - successful armed intervention is so unlikely that it is foolish even to make the threat. What Darfur needs is old-fashioned peace and peacekeeping and state-of-the-art humanitarian technology.
    Zdroj: BBC News (United Kingdom)
    Russia versus NATO in the CIS
    (By Stephen Blank)
    After the April NATO-Russia summit in Bucharest, Russia's government promised to fight NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine in every possible way. Yet the issue at hand was not membership, but rather issuing Kyiv and Tbilisi Membership Action Plans (MAPs) whose implementation NATO would review before deciding about membership.
    Zdroj: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (Czech Republic)
    Georgia, NATO and Mr. Medvedev

    Russia is playing a game of cat-and-mouse with neighboring Georgia that, if everyone is not a lot more careful, could quickly turn deadly. The Kremlin has never been happy with Georgia’s pro-Western preferences and was infuriated by its push for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Because of Moscow’s fierce objections, the Atlantic alliance decided last month to postpone membership talks with Georgia. Instead of calming down, Moscow saw that as confirmation that its bullying and threats work — and decided to bully and threaten even more.
    Zdroj: New York Times (USA)

    Ukraine, NATO, and German foreign policy
    (By Andreas Umland)

    Since the beginning of April, Germany has become a rather less popular country in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and Western provinces. Patriotic Ukrainian elites are mostly right in their evaluation of the effects of recent German foreign policies. At the summit in Bucharest in early April, it was not the least Germany's refusal to immediately invite Ukraine to NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) that led to the postponement of the issue to NATO’s next large meeting later this year.
    Zdroj: Global Politician (USA)


    Military planners face crunch time
    (By Patrick Walters)
    THE time is fast approaching when the Rudd Government will have to fundamentally reassess the nature of our military commitment to Afghanistan.The evolving insurgency in Oruzgan province is such that Australia's military effort is simply not sufficient to guarantee the long-term success of the mission.
    Zdroj: The Australian (Australia)

    Why France Wants to Rejoin NATO

    (By Soeren Kern)
    French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will decide by late 2008 or early 2009 whether France will fully rejoin the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is one of the more important issues left unresolved at the recently concluded Bucharest Summit, where Sarkozy proclaimed: “I reaffirm here France’s determination to pursue the process of renovating its relations with NATO.
    Zdroj: Brussels Journal (Switzerland)

    Shifting NATO’s political paradigms

    (By Svitlana Kobzar)
    The challenge for NATO leaders is to recognize the paradigms within which their interpretations of the past fuel their present decisions. It is the argument of many constructivist scholars that people construct their own reality. While acting within this reality, they also alter it.
    Zdroj: Kyiv Post (Ukraine)


    France Wants to Join NATO to Ease the Way for European Defense

    (By Soeren Kern)
    French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will decide by late 2008 or early 2009 whether France will fully rejoin the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is one of the more important issues left unresolved at the recently concluded Bucharest Summit, where Sarkozy proclaimed: "I reaffirm here France's determination to pursue the process of renovating its relations with NATO."
    Zdroj: World Politics Review


    VIEW: NATO’s dangerous signals
    (By Uffe Ellemann-Jensen)
    NATO is supposed to be a beacon for countries struggling to establish democracy and freedom. The Bucharest summit suggests that the beacon has been switched off. Two dangerous signals were sent from NATO’s Bucharest summit. The first was that Russia has re-established a “sphere of interest” in Europe, where countries are no longer allowed to pursue their own goals without Moscow accepting them. The other was that all NATO member states are free to blackmail their partners into supporting their own narrow goals.
    Zdroj: Daily Times (Pakistan)


    NATO Expansion: A Model for Stability or a Grab for Power?
    (By Nick Amies) 
    NATO's proposed expansion into the Balkans and eastwards into Ukraine and Georgia is causing tensions between the alliance and Russia and within NATO itself. What exactly is planned and is everything as it seems? When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created in 1949, the alliance was based on a system of "collective defense" which meant its member states agreed to mutually defend each other in response to an attack by any external party.
    Zdroj: Deutche Welle (Germany)

    Rethinking the EU and NATO

    (By William Montgomery)
    Having “won” the Cold War, however, both organizations faced the challenge of having to deal with a newly “freed” Eastern Europe. With its raison d’etre consigned to the dustbins of history, NATO could logically have disbanded with a rousing “Mission Accomplished” celebration. Instead it continued to expand and take on new tasks including “out of area” missions not originally contemplated and helping the democratic transition and stabilization of the countries of the former Soviet empire and the former Yugoslavia.
    Zdroj: B92 (Serbia)
    Two dangerous signals from the Bucharest NATO summit
    (By Uffe Ellemann-Jensen )
    Two dangerous signals were sent from NATO's recent Bucharest summit. The first was that Russia has reestablished a "sphere of interest" in Europe, where countries are no longer allowed to pursue their own goals without Moscow accepting them. The other was that all NATO member states are free to blackmail their partners into supporting their own narrow goals.
    Zdroj: Daily Star (Lebanon)
    Iron curtain fades: NATO focus shifts to terror

    (By Robin Fitzsimons)
    "The war's over. The treaty was signed three days ago at Bucharest. It declares peace but not friendly relations ... They wanted that put in; but I insisted on its being struck out". - Major Petkoff, in Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, 1894. When Irish playwright, Bernard Shaw chose the Balkans heartlands as the setting for his famous satire on the futility of war, he uncannily foreshadowed the outbreak of World War 1, when a minor archduke was assassinated in Sarajevo. The Balkans have been the flash-point for conflicts, minor and major, since time immemorial.
    Zdroj: Canberra Times (Australia)
    Are NATO promises backed by anything?
    (By John Vinocur)
    NATO doesn't often come up with the same admonitions as James Barrie - whose Peter Pan could fly with a sprinkling of fairy dust and good thoughts - but here it was at its summit meeting in Bucharest applauding itself and promising that Ukraine and Georgia would, cross its heart, one day get into the alliance.
    Zdroj: International Herald Tribune (France)
    (By Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. and Sally McNamara)
    It is important that Washington is not tempted to bargain away the future of the transatlantic alliance for the promise of a few hundred or perhaps a thousand more troops in Afghanistan. As former U.K. Shadow Defence Secretary Bernard Jenkin has noted, France's involvement with NATO should be considered only if Paris reaffirms NATO supremacy in European defense and security and if NATO can be confident that France will not engage in deliberately disruptive policies.
    Zdroj: Heritage Foundation (USA)
    (By Douglas Barrie and Joris Janssen Lok)
    As the April NATO summit approaches, political frailty and the growing gulf in defense expenditures may threaten the very future of the alliance. The British Parliament's Defense Committee is cautioning that the NATO alliance needs to quickly address issues that will otherwise gnaw at its well-being - and eventually risk its existence.
    Zdroj: Aviation Week (USA)
    (By Benjamin Schreer and Asle Toje)
    In the face of a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, political analysts have rushed to declare Nato mortally wounded, if not already dead. If this is correct it spells trouble for Europe, since the European Union's foreign and security policy is not up to the job either. Europe risks being left without an effective security organisation.
    Zdroj: Financial Times (United Kingdom)
    (By Lyudmila Alexandrova)
    While the world debates if Russia, in response to the events in Kosovo, may recognize independence of two republics - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - that are formally within Georgia, the destiny of the self-proclaimed Dniester republic within Moldova seems to be worked out according to a different scenario. Russia is ready to guarantee the restoration of Moldova's territorial integrity in return for its refusal from accession to NATO, and the documents to this effect may be signed shortly.
    Zdroj: ITAR-TASS (Russia)
    (By Andrej Fedjašin)
    NATO, it has to be said from the start, has not given up plans to bring Yushchenko's Kiev and Saakashvili's Tbilisi into the alliance. It has just put them on hold. In practice this means that the two countries will not draw closer to NATO for at least another year and will not become members for another four years.
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Russia)
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's strategy needs to be radically restructured for the 21st century
    (By John M Shalikashvili)
    Nato needs a new strategy. We, five former defence chiefs of staff, recently published a booklet containing proposals for such a new strategy, as well as a comprehensive agenda for change.
    Zdroj: Guardian Unlimited (United Kingdom)
    Has NATO failed in Afghanistan?
    (By Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema)
    The answer to the question is yes and no. The supporters of NATO’s presence invariably argue that NATO is doing good job and it needs to be strengthened. In this connection not only efforts are being made to convince Germans to send more troops.
    Zdroj: Pakistan Times (Pakistan)
    Gates, truth and Afghanistan
    By the Bush administration’s standards, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was remarkably candid last week: acknowledging that popular opposition in Europe to the Iraq war was making it harder to persuade European governments to send more troops or take more risks to salvage Afghanistan.
    Zdroj: New York Times (USA)
    Love is lost between NATO and Russia
    (By Georgie Anne Geyer)
    How things have changed since 1991, since 2002, since even a couple of years ago. And if one is to search for reasons why any possible rapprochement with Russia has been so totally lost, not to speak of our love relationship with NATO, one has only to look at the last seven years. 
    Zdroj: Yahoo News (USA)
    The coming Afghanistan showdown 
    (By Konstantin von Hammerstein and Alexander Szandar)
    For months, NATO has been pressuring Germany to increase its commitment to the Afghanistan mission. Now, the complaints are getting louder. Berlin is doing its best to dodge the demands, but NATO may not be in a mood to listen.
    Zdroj: Spiegel (Germany)


    At NATO, no time for cold feet
    (By Bruce P. Jackson)
    For centuries, the Balkans and Europe's East have deserved their reputations for igniting wider European wars and have given to European history the place names of genocide and mass starvation. In 1949, the creation of NATO secured the post-World War II peace in Western Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, the alliance has played a transformational role in building a second peace -- this time in Central and Eastern Europe.
    Zdroj: Washington Post (USA)


    Nato's Afghan test

    (Financial Times-editorial)
    Nato is not winning in Afghanistan, which risks becoming, once again, a failed state and haven for global jihadism, sustained by almost limitless narcotics revenue. That is the bleak conclusion of high-level reports last week from the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank, and the Afghanistan Study Group, co-chaired by General James Jones, the retired Nato commander, and Thomas Pickering, the former US ambassador to the United Nations.
    Zdroj: Financial Times (United Kingdom)


    NATO winning battles, losing Afghanistan
    (By Ali Gharib)
    "Make no mistake", begins a new issue brief from non-partisan think-tank the Atlantic Council of the United States, "NATO is not winning in Afghanistan". That brief, called "Saving Afghanistan: An Appeal and Plan for Urgent Action", was released on Wednesday at an event on Capitol Hill, along with two other reports that call on the international community and the US to "re-energize their faltering effort" in Afghanistan.
    Zdroj: Asia Times (Hong Kong)


    01.02. 2008
    The NATO emerging in Afghanistan
    (By Victoria Nuland)
    It's sometimes easy to take our allies for granted or to wonder if they are up to the challenge in a place such as Afghanistan. Today, 25 NATO allies and 14 other nations contribute to the mission there alongside American and Afghan troops. Three years ago, only a handful of us were fighting the Taliban. The 28,000 non-U.S. forces and 13 non-U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Teams in place across Afghanistan have allowed American and Afghan forces to focus on the fierce battlegrounds in the east. The war is tough, but without allied help it would be much tougher.
    Zdroj: Washington Post (USA)


    30.01. 2008
    Die Wahrheit über Afghanistan
    (By Dietrich Alexander)
    Endlich ist die Katze aus dem Sack: Kampfverbände der Bundeswehr nach Afghanistan. Die offizielle Anfrage der Nato kam nicht überraschend, doch sie markiert den Beginn einer neuen Mission deutscher Soldaten am Hindukusch. Mit der Verlegung von 250 Kampfsoldaten einer Schnellen Eingreiftruppe im Sommer nach Afghanistan erlangt der deutsche Beitrag zur Stabilisierung des kriegs- und krisengeschüttelten Landes eine neue Qualität - selbst, wenn der Einsatz durch das bestehende Bundestagsmandat gedeckt sein mag.
    Zdroj: Die Welt (Deutschland)


    29.01. 2008
    Between the lines of the Manley report
    (By Jeffrey Simpson)
    Implicit in the Manley panel's report on Afghanistan is the apparently incontestable fact that Canada can only field 1,000 fighting soldiers at any moment. That's all this G8 country of 33 million, blessed with one of the world's highest per capita incomes, can manage. Even then, we need foreign planes and use old equipment. It's a powerful signal of limited capability.
    Zdroj: Globe & Mail (Canada)


    29.01. 2008
    Too much 'no' in NATO
    (By Ed Feulner)
    Last year 20 of the 26 NATO members spent less than a meager 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. By comparison, the United States spends just under 4 percent and that's barely adequate for our needs. Our allies must stop relying on Uncle Sam to pick up the tab for their defense. 
    Zdroj: Pittsburgh Tribune (USA)


    28.01. 2008
    A better way to grow NATO
    (By Ronald D. Asmus)
    In the coming weeks, the Bush administration will decide whether to push to enlarge NATO again at an alliance summit this spring. It is President Bush's last hurrah on the transatlantic stage. The administration is proposing to extend invitations to Albania, Croatia and Macedonia. I was one of the earliest proponents of NATO enlargement, but I believe such a move would be a mistake.
    Zdroj: Washington Post (USA)


    24.1. 2008
    NATO must succeed in Afghanistan
    (By Stanley Kober)
    Although the Bush administration has been trumpeting success in Iraq, the news that the United States will dispatch an additional 3,000 troops to Afghanistan highlights the difficulties it is encountering in the global war on terror. The Taliban, it is now evident, has not been defeated. It has regrouped and poses a growing threat to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    Zdroj: The Washington Times (USA)


    23.1. 2008
    Robert Gates’ glass house
    (By George Petrolekas)
    Robert Gates, the U.S. Defense secretary, has been busy massaging wounded alliance sensibilities after telling The Times last week that NATO forces weren't up to the task of counterinsurgency. He and other officials complained that allied troops in southern Afghanistan were relying too much on heavy firepower while avoiding joint operations with the Afghan army.
    Zdroj: Los Angeles Times (USA)


    20.01. 2008
    Sticks and stones and allies
    (New York Times - editorial)
    By this time next year, President George W. Bush will be gone, along with Europe's antipathy toward him. But it may be too late to salvage Afghanistan, especially if political unrest and a Taliban-Al-Qaeda surge in Pakistan causes a crisis there. Afghanistan is NATO's first out-of-area mission. What happens to the alliance if it fails?
    Zdroj: New York Times (USA)


    14.01. 2008
    All eyes on Putin’s new NATO man
    (By Trevor Royle)
    Moscow's new permanent representative is not going to be a mere watchdog that gives the occasional warning bark. He will not be slow to bare his teeth and that could signal trouble ahead for the rest of the pack. On the question of the future status of Kosovo, which is still waiting resolution, he has said he will fight to protect the interests of the Serbs - as ever (shades of 1914), Russia regards herself as protector of the Slavs - and he will not sit and twiddle his thumbs if he thinks Belgrade's best interests are being damaged.
    Zdroj: Sunday Herald (United Kingdom)


    13.01. 2008
    From poppies to pomegranates: NATO tries to turn around a narco-state
    (By Jon Boone)
    According to a United Nations report, the total export value of Afghanistan’s opium in 2006 was $2.7bn, with Afghan traffickers making $2.14bn in profit. The total “farm gate” value that year was $560m, compared with just $193m for all Afghanistan’s legal exports. While various fruit and nut projects have started since 2001, the drugs industry has been growing in both output and sophistication. Opium production jumped 34 per cent last year, with the country now accounting for 93 per cent of global supply. Afghanistan is also moving up the narcotics value-added chain, with much more raw opium refined into heroin, increasing the profits that go to traffickers.
    Zdroj: Financial Times (United Kingdom)


    09.01. 2008
    Russian defense industry still faces problems
    (By Nikita Petrov)
    The Russian defense industry, which scored some major achievements last year, still faces major problems. It is unclear whether the 2007-2015 state rearmament program will be implemented because some of its provisions are not being fulfilled completely.
    Zdroj: RIA Novosti (Russia)


    08.01. 2008
    Le Caucase n'a pas besoin d'une Géorgie intégrée à l'OTAN
    (By Richard Werly)
    L'hypothèse la plus probable est que l'OTAN va maintenant demander à Tbilissi de patienter. Le prochain sommet de l'Alliance, à Bucarest en avril, soit un peu plus d'un mois après la présidentielle russe de mars, ne prendra sûrement pas le risque de mettre du piment du Caucase à son agenda. L'OTAN justifiera à coup sûr ces délais en invoquant la nécessité de réformer l'armée géorgienne, et de consolider son contrôle démocratique par le parlement. Saakachvili pourra de son côté se prévaloir des bonnes relations de son pays avec l'Alliance pour consolider sa légitimité fissurée par la contestation électorale de samedi.
    Zdroj: Le Temps (Suisse)





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