NATO Weekly Roundup – Week of June 14th

NATO’s Military Exercises and Operations

“NATO Secretary General: Summit comes at ‘pivotal moment’ for Alliance”

  • Arriving at the NATO Summit on Monday, Secretary Jens Stoltenberg proclaimed that now is the time to begin a new chapter in transatlantic relations, citing his full agenda in regards to relations with Russia, and China and military implications.

“NATO to call out China’s behaviour as ‘systemic challenge’”

  • In its final summit statement, leaders of the Wester military alliance and the whole of NATO is expected to formally call out China’s behaviour as a “systemic challenge.” 

“NATO Summit: NATO Must Face Up to China’s Rise, Alliance Chief Says”

  • The alliance is expected to come out with a statement in regard to China’s rise in which in a draft to the summit’s communiqué, the allies describe China’s assertiveness as “systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to Alliance Security”. NATO has become increasingly worried about the growth in military capacity of China and sees it as a central challenge for the alliance.  

“NATO to tackle climate change for first time, summit communique to say” 

  • In the final summit statement, NATO has agreed to incorporate the security impact of climate change on military operations and exercises going forward. The Western alliance is “aiming to increase its awareness, adaptation, mitigation, and outreach efforts” with climate change. 

“NATO leaders at summit back Biden's decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan”

  • US allies and their original dissent in not being consulted about US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11th, has ceased. Now that the agenda is unanimous, NATO leaders are discussing ways to maintain and support security within Afghanistan.  

“Attacks in space are grounds for military retaliation, NATO Summit communique to say”

  • During the Summit the allies concluded that the Alliance is prepared and ready to retaliate militarily if they are attacked in space. Meaning that attacks in space would lead for the Alliance to invoke Article V - the collective defense clause. 

Political Elements of NATO

“Turkey’s vision for NATO in an era of global challenges”

  • Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of the Turkish Presidency said in an Aljazeera op-ed: “The alliance needs to have a clear vision to meet new security challenges and a commitment to member support.”

“Erdogan says he and Biden must leave troubled behind at NATO meeting”

  • Turkish President Erdogan called on his meeting with Biden on Monday as a chance to move on from their past troubles, including a dispute over Ankara’s purchase of Russian military tools. 

“Biden reassures NATO on security: ‘The United States is there’.”

  • Biden has been rather outspoken regarding his support for NATO, arguably the antithesis of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who’s criticism of the alliance left many of NATO’s members questioning the interdependency of the United States.

“Ukraine president looking for clear 'yes' or 'no' from Biden on NATO membership”

  • Ahead of President Biden’s meeting with President Putin on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Zelensky has enquired for a certain “yes” or “no” answer to Ukraine's membership in NATO. Zelensky claims that Ukraine should have been invited to the summit, and recent Russia-Ukraine tensions would not be as high if Ukraine were already a member. 

“Biden stresses “sacred obligation” to NATO as he seeks to bolster alliance to counter China and Russia”

  • President Biden used the NATO Summit to reaffirm NATO allies that the US is committed to the Alliance and to Article V; in which he referred to this commitment as a “sacred obligation”. Additionally the communique is set to discuss Russia and China as primary concerns for the alliance, their security, and their values. Biden also expressed that he believes that NATO is still central to US interest and “ability to maintain American Security”.

“At NATO, Lithuania says Russia trying to ‘swallow’ Belarus”

  • At the summit on Monday, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that Belarus is “losing the last elements of the independence, and those trends are very dangerous.” Consequently, President Nauseda emphasized the need to unite against Russia and for President Biden to send a clear message in his meeting with President Putin. 

“As Biden Meeting Nears, Erdogan Softens His Stance” 

  • Erdogan will meet with Biden during the NATO summit on Monday and has already moved to reassure Western leaders, but will likely continue his authoritarianism, close ties with Putin and will move forward with “his purchase of the sophisticated Russian S-400 air defense system.”