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Promoting NATO's Success

Everytime he travels to the US, the NATO Secretary General Rasmussen hears "voices expressing concern about burden-sharing in the trans-Atlantic alliance. Their message is clear: the Europeans do too little." In his NYT op-ed he goes on to explain European contributions or rather commitment to sharing the security burden.

I don't think this short op-ed is very convincing. The best and most exciting part of his op-ed is this announcement, which I had missed in all the other articles about the Chicago summit:

At Chicago, we will set the goal of "NATO Forces 2020" - modern, mobile, connected forces able to operate together in any environment and to conduct complex joint operations at short notice, and equipped with the right mix of military capabilities.

I find the Secretary General much more convincing in his Wall Street Journal article "NATO's First Step on Missile Defense". (The Atlantic Council posted excerpts) He is demonstrating how allies cooperate on such a complex project.

Last month, NATO conducted a historic exercise: the first comprehensive test of the alliance's new missile-defense capability. A U.S. ship, radar and satellite, as well as interceptor batteries from Germany and the Netherlands, conducted a series of simulated engagements to test the alliance's ability to defend against missile attacks. The test was successful. (.)

The alliance has already developed an initial command-and-control system to link the U.S. assets with sensors and interceptors provided by European allies. This part of the system is designed by NATO, paid for by NATO, and operated by NATO.

After the Chicago summit, we will continue to expand the system toward full operational capability. The Netherlands has already announced plans to upgrade four air-defense frigates with missile-defense radar. France plans to develop an early-warning capability and long-range radar. Germany has offered Patriot missile batteries and is hosting the NATO command-and-control at Headquarters Alliance Air Command in Ramstein. Turkey, Romania, Poland and Spain have all agreed to host U.S. assets. I expect more announcements in the months and years ahead.  


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