Last update: 10-Apr-2008 10:40 NATO Off the Wire

NATO Off the Wire
9 April 2008

A look at news and commentary regarding NATO on the Web

The spokesman's perspective:

Continuing our new series of video commentary, NATO Spokesman James Appathurai gives his personal perspective on recent articles discussing NATO. He invites you to write in with your own comments and opinions, which could be featured in the next installment.

E-mail comments to: press@hq.nato.int

Video - WMV 26.246Kb
Audio - MP3 4.715Kb

6 April 2008

NATO showing stronger resolve

NATO nations were demonstrating much greater resolve to deal with Afghanistan because of a better appreciation that it remained the hotbed of international terrorism, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says.

Mr Smith said the NATO summit last week, attended by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, produced a good outcome with a coherent political, military and strategic plan in place for the first time.

Published on 6 April 2008 - the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
NATO reafirms "long-term commitment" to Afgahnistan, challenges remain

While NATO leaders reaffirmed their "shared long-term commitment" to Afghanistan at the just-concluded summit in Bucharest, grave challenges remain in honoring the commitment and producing tangible results, analysts said.

In a declaration issued at the end of a high-level meeting, part of the summit, NATO leaders reiterated their pledges to enhance security efforts in Afghanistan, including providing training teams and equipment needed to "meet the goal of an effective 80,000-strong Afghan Army by 2010," strengthening the Afghan leadership and improving civil-military coordination.

Published on 6 April 2008 - Xinhua, China

7 April 2008

Putin Tries Surprise NATO Offensive

President Vladimir Putin warned NATO against further expansion toward Russia's borders and criticized a NATO plan for joint missile defense as inferior to a deal Russia has proposed to the United States.

Making a surprise appearance at a news conference Friday, Putin also said he was "in general satisfied with the discussion" with world leaders at the NATO summit in Bucharest, where diplomats had feared that Putin would harshly criticize their governments' support of U.S. plans to place components of a missile-defense system in Central Europe and their commitment to usher Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The Kremlin opposes both initiatives, claiming that they undermine Russia's security.

Published on 7 April 2008 - Moscow Times, Russia

8 April 2008

Moscow to prevent Ukraine, Georgia's NATO admission

Russia will do everything possible to prevent its neighbors, Ukraine and Georgia, being admitted to NATO, the Russian foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"We will do everything possible to prevent the accession of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO and to avoid the possible worsening of relations with the alliance, its leading member states and our neighbors," Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Moscow-based Ekho Moskvy radio.

Published on 8 April 2008 - RIA Novosti, Russia

French parliament rejects no-confidence motion against government on Afghanistan, NATO

France's lower house of parliament on Tuesday rejected a motion of no confidence brought by leftist lawmakers angry about French President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to expand the country's role in NATO.

It was the first time Sarkozy's government, led by loyal Prime Minister Francois Fillon, had faced a no-confidence motion since Sarkozy's election last May.

Published on 8 April 2008 - the International Herald Tribune
NATO's help a needed step

A commitment from NATO allies to send reinforcements to Kandahar is good news for our armed forces in Afghanistan.

The promise of more troops -- from France and the United States -- and additional equipment came at the just-ended NATO summit in Bucharest after months of bitter wrangling.

Published on 8 April 2008 - the Hamilton Spectator, Canada

9 April 2008

Russian FM Vows to Stem NATO Expansion

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that Moscow will do all it can to prevent the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia from joining NATO.

Lavrov warned that the bids by Russia's two neighbors to join the Western alliance could worsen the Kremlin's relations with the countries supporting them.

Published on 9 April 2008 - the Associated Press
Missile defense

The decision by NATO members last week in Bucharest to endorse American plans for a third missile-defense site located in Europe represents a huge step forward for the alliance and for American and European security. It is an achievement for American diplomacy that many thought was beyond reach.

Russia, which is not a member of NATO but has a "partnership" agreement, fiercely opposed American missile-defense plans, but its bluster was ineffective. It did succeed in pressuring Europeans to oppose Georgian and Ukrainian membership action plans for NATO, but on missile defense, the Russians lost big.

Published on 9 April 2008 - the Washington Times, USA
Ukraine to raise public awareness of NATO

Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on Tuesday that her government will pay more attention to raise public awareness of NATO.

"Ukrainian government will make every effort necessary for better coordination and full implementation of the measures under the NATO-Ukraine target plan for 2008," Tymoshenko said.

Published on 9 April 2008 - Xinhua, China
French goverment wins no-confidence vote on Afghanistan

The French government easily survived its first no-confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday, facing down opposition charges that it was sending extra troops to Afghanistan simply to please its U.S. allies.

President Nicolas Sarkozy announced this month that France would dispatch up to 1,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, where it is part of a NATO coalition fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Published on 9 April 2008 - Reuters

Past commentaries