NATO Weekly Resource Center - Week of June 21

NATO Military Exercises and Operations

  • “NATO exit risks Afghan 'security vacuum': Abdullah Abdullah”

The Afghan government’s top peace negotiator, Abdullah Abdullah, has stated that NATO’s withdrawal will lead to a “security vacuum” within Afghanistan, as well as increased fighting. Abdullah believes that the Taliban will attempt to stall negotiations in favor of a military solution. Turkey will be given the lead role in consolidating further Afghan security, and Pakistan might even assist in the situation. 

  • “NATO's massive Baltic Sea maritime exercise concludes”

The expanded annual NATO naval exercise which this year included defensive cyberwarfare tactics, concluded successfully on Friday. The military exercise included 16 NATO members, 40 ships, 60 aircraft and over 4,000 personnel. The NATO Space Center took part in BALTOPS for the first time this year which involved defensive cyber warfare tactics. This year's exercise stands out as NATO fighter jets were scrambled ten times in the span of six hours to intercept various Russian military aircraft approaching NATO airspace back in March. 

  • “NSPA to support Takuba Task Force in Mali”

The NATO Support and Procurement Organisation (NSPO/NSPA) has signed a Framework Technical Arrangement with the Ministry of Armed Forces of the French Republic for the provision of services in support of the takuba Task Force in Mali, Africa. Food, engineering, and fuel services along with infrastructure maintenance, and air & ground transportation are some of the support provisions.

  • “UK and NATO disappointed by Russia's Open Skies decision, Raab says”

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab expressed the United Kingdom’s and NATO allies discontent with Russia leaving the Open Skies arm control treaty. 

  • “Western powers reignite Beijing’s anger after G7 and Nato warnings”

Following the NATO summit that published the communique labeling China as a threat, the Chinese military responded by hovering around Taiwan and Hong Kong to showcase their frustration. The record high 24 aircrafts came following the unity presented at the NATO and G7 summits. 

  • “Belarus could be used as a Russian ‘weapon’ against NATO, Lithuania president says” 

With the rising threat of Russia and influence on Belarus, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda emphasised the possibility of Belarus becoming another Crimea — being annexed. The criticism from Russia about NATO deployments in Eastern Europe is paired with the increasingly tense relations between Russia and NATO members. 

NATO Political Elements

  • “Cancellation of NATO flag-lowering ceremony in Afghanistan causes confusion”

The flag ceremony brought confusion when a US-led coalition cancelled it as people interpreted the ceremony as the end of NATO’s “Resolute Support” mission, a program that trains Afghan forces. However, the purpose of the ceremony was to give the 13 NATO partners a way to gather before the troops depart. 

  • “Deputy Secretary General highlights NATO’s role in protecting democratic values” 

In a panel discussion, Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană highlighted the significance of maintaining democratic values to counter countries trying to undermine them as well as continuing a discord with countries trying to do so “in the interest of stability.”

  • China tells NATO to stop exaggerating ‘China threat theory’

The indignant response from China comes after NATO leaders commit to work together in the global economy in order to counter the ‘systemic challenges’ imposed by China’s policies.

  • “NATO Secretary General: Gender Equality is the smart thing to do” 

At the Women Political Leaders Summit on June 21, NATO’s Secretary General underscored the significance of increasing women’s participation in defense and security as well as making a gender inclusive environment in NATO. 

  • Brussels Summit Communiqué

This Communiqueé was the resultant document of the 2021 NATO Summit that was held last week on Monday, June 14th. This document outlines the alliance's goals, reassurances, and outlook for the next year. Some notable elements have to do with the inclusion of China for the first time, the reiteration of Article V of all heads of state, and the broader inclusion of new threats to invoke Article V.