The transatlantic alliance successfully navigated some rough seas in 2014. A year that began without any allied consensus on NATO’s proper direction in the world looks set to conclude with unanimity in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foray into Ukraine. Last month’s NATO summit in Wales especially seemed to prove that Europe still can give a good account of itself when necessary. Yet the hard work of follow-through on all the political commitments made there remains to be done, and the fundamental question raised by Russia’s belligerence—whether NATO will endure as a viable military entity—warrants close scrutiny in 2015. In no case more so than NATO’s maritime domain, where the Ukraine crisis prompted only slight adjustments at the same time it highlighted the need for a major course change. Read More
The September decision by France to withhold delivery of two Mistral-class Landing Platforms Helicopter (LPH) building for Russia is an opportunity for NATO, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and for the French shipbuilding industry and economy. France should not suffer economically for taking a stand against Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine. Rather, NATO, France and Canada can benefit if a little mutually beneficial creativity is applied.
While France desperately wants to complete the two amphibious warships — and get paid for them — NATO and Canada need the capabilities these ships can provide. Read More
The suspended delivery of two French-built amphibious warships to the Russian Navy could give NATO an opportunity to buy a ready-made platform for its planned rapid reaction force, retired Adm. James G. Stavridis — former NATO Supreme Allied Commander — told USNI News on Thursday. Read More
President Barack Obama spent a night on the borders of Russia in Estonia, a country with a sizeable Russian minority, and from whence you truly can see Russia. In remarks a few hours ago, President Obama spoke not only to Estonia and NATO – but to the watchers just across the border in Russia when he said “”In this alliance, there are no old members or new members, no junior partners or senior partners — there are just allies, pure and simple. We will defend the territorial integrity of every single ally.”
Even though expansion of its role is not on the agenda for NATO’s upcoming meeting, the future of the Baltic states, the continuing crisis in Ukraine and the turmoil over who will be the next president of Afghanistan will overshadow the meeting. Read More
An ambitious plan designed to prepare NATO for its post-Afghanistan future could stall out in the face of stiff resistance from alliance members at the group’s upcoming summit this September. Read More
The Senate will hold confirmation hearings for several four-star jobs on July 10 for positions including the commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan and the next head of the U.S. Marine Corps, the Senate Armed Services Committee announced on Thursday.
The top U.S. commander in Europe said Monday that Moscow was supplying heavy, anti-aircraft weapons to Russian-backed separatists groups battling for control of the country’s eastern border. Read More
Since the dawn of military aviation, proponents and skeptics of air power have vigorously debated its efficacy, often focusing on whether air power is capable of winning wars by itself. Not surprisingly, this debate is surfacing again as we consider whether and how the United States should be involved in the current crisis in Iraq. Read More
As Iraq and Syria Islamic State (ISIS) insurgent forces advance on Baghdad, some American political leaders, led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have urged that the United States begin airstrikes immediately to stop the growing unrest in Iraq. Although air power may be the only expedient and politically acceptable option, there are several reasons why that all-too-familiar impulse to use our asymmetric advantage in airpower will not defeat ISIS. Read More