Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Does NATO Affect Israel In Any Way?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                
NATO has kept the peace in Europe

The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, said in 1949 that the goal was "to.keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.  It's creation can be seen as the primary school of thought called Atlanticism which stressed the importance of trans-Atlantic cooperation against an armed attack against any one of them in Europe or North America.  It would be an attack against all.   

At present, NATO (North Atlantic Alliance) has 28 members. In 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. 
The other member countries are: Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia (2004), and Albania and Croatia (2009).
  • Dialogue and cooperation with Ukraine started after the end of the Cold War, when newly independent Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991) and the Partnership for Peace programme (1994).

NATO is presently weighing the job of sending  4 battalions in Eastern States to deter Russia.  Donald Trump would like to get rid of NATO because the USA pays most of its expenses and he thinks its rather outdated, now.  Trump's timing of getting rid of NATO is bad because Russia has been displaying "increasingly aggressive behavior that is challenging the international norms.  They are often in violation of international law.

The Baltic state of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined NATO in 2004.  They have asked for greater presence of the NATO Alliance because they fear a threat from Russia after it annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.  Maybe they saw something brewing back in 2004.

The Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) aims to enhance the high level of interconnectedness and interoperability Allied forces have achieved on operations and with partners. CFI combines a comprehensive education, training, exercise and evaluation programme with the use of cutting-edge technology to ensure that Allied forces remain prepared to engage cooperatively in the future.NATO Naval Drills Began in Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean in 2014. 
NATO is weighing the decision to rotate 4 battalions of NATO  troops through the Eastern member states  which means 4,000 troops. They will come from the USA and its allies and will be sent to the Baltic states and to Poland.   It's their latest proposal to guard against the aggressive behavior of Russia.

This information came from the testifying of US Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 28, 2016.  He was there testifying on operations against the ISIS.  Carter is now on a 3 day trip to Germany.
Deputy Commanding General, US Army Europe and Commander, US Army NATO General Richard C Longo, right, shakes hands with Polish general Adam Joks, left, ...
The USA budgeted to boost military training and exercises and announced last month about deploying continuous rotations of US based armored brigade combat teams to Europe.

Army General Curtis Scaparrotti will take over as the next NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.  He will be succeeding US Air Force General Philip Breedlove.

NATO  is based on the North Atlantic Treaty signed back on April 4, 1949.  The member states have agreed to a mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.  The headquarters of NATO is in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, where the Supreme Allied Commander lives.  Belgium is one of 28 member states across North America and Europe.  Albania and Croatia are the newest who joined in April 2009.  22 more countries participate in their NATO's Paretnership for Peace program.  15 other countries are involved in institutionalized dialogue programmes.  The combined military spending of all NATO members is over 70% of the global total.  Members' defense spending is supposed to amount to 2% of the GDP (Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period).  Since the USA's GDP is probably the highest, they have been carrying the highest amount that goes into their treasury.                                                

Afghan security forces are dying at five times the rate of NATO soldiers as Taliban insurgents step up attacks ahead of the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014, the latest figures show.

Here's a problem.  Only 5 member states of the 28 meet the defense spending goal.  They are Poland, USA, Great Britain, Greece and Estonia.  Overall, six countries are raising and six are cutting their military spending as a proportion GDP this year when compared with 2014, and the rest are staying the same.   Russia invaded and annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014.  The North Atlantic Treaty Organization spending is set to decrease by 1.5%, to roughly $893 billion.Some of these countries, including Latvia and Lithuania, are among those that increased their spending this year.  With USA officials, the military has for a long time found this financing problem a sore spot, so it hasn't been that Trump thought this one up all by himself out of the blue.  He got it from those he spoke to.  

U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James was in Brussels last week to confer with NATO officials, and she urged America’s allies to reverse the trend.

Israel is not a member of NATO.  "Israel might become a NATO member-state if its neighbours also joined.   Alternatively, Israel might become a NATO member-state if NATO somehow became an alliance aimed against the Arab and/or Muslim world. Failing those scenarios, Israeli membership is a non-starter.  There is no alliance group except the USA for Israel.  She stands pretty much alone against a large Arab alliance.  However, she is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue of 7 States .  I'm glad to see her close neighbors of Egypt and Jordan standing with her.  
NEGEV DESERT, Israel — U.S. Army Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, National Guard Bureau chief, meets Israeli Soldiers who were training in urban warfare techniques at the Israeli Defense Force’s National Center for Ground Training here Nov. 21, 2005. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Bob Haskell)
" Among NATO's partners are the Mediterranean Dialogue states, consisting of 7 countries:
Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Mauritania and Morocco. There is constant and ongoing connection between Israel and NATO, and Israel is regarded a Major non NATO ally, alongside Australia, South Korea and Japan."

Once upon a time, there was another force that was supposed to be protecting Israel.  "After the Suez Crisis in 1956, the United Nations Emergency Force deployed in the Sinai Peninsula in order to serve as a buffer between Israel and Egypt.   But in 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded that the U.N. forces leave - which they did immediately. Nasser then threatened Israel with annihilation. The Six-Day War followed soon after."   So you can't put 100% of your faith in these outside forces.  Sadly, the NATO forces didn't help  Crimea.  

By May 13, 2015, "NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg added: "We are deeply concerned by statements of possible future stationing of nuclear weapons and development systems in Crimea."  Russia  had annexed Crimea in 2014 in a move that was widely condemned by the international community but was greeted as a great patriotic victory at home.
NATO also warned President Vladimir Putin to waste no time in implementing a fragile peace deal to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, after the Russian strongman's meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday raised hopes of a slackening in tensions. 
The latest news in April 2016 is that  "NATO has moved to bolster its forces in its east European member states as a result of the Crimea-Russian fiasco.  Russia is widely accused of covertly backing the rebels who now control much of eastern Ukraine after a bloody armed conflict with the government in Kiev, "  and Ukraine is a NATO member.  "A national security paper was updated to say that NATO's recent build-up of military potential around Russia's borders constituted "violations of norms of international law".
"Tension between NATO and Russia, which both possess huge nuclear arsenals dating back to the Cold War, has clouded international relations since the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine following the peninsula's disputed referendum on self-determination." 
This thing is too big.  Trump will not be able to give it up.  It's standing for peace, even though they failed already when bucking Russia.  The problem is money.  Other's have to shell out their fair share.  Some are already shook up and are doing it.  The right words may have been enough already  spoken by Trump in thinking that the biggest pockets are thinking of pulling out. 

On the other hand, can or will NATO do anything more about Russia's handling of Crimea and Ukraine?  Is it their role to do so?  If not, what are they paying for?  Can a WWIII start right here? 

Resource: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_52044.htm

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