NATO Weekly Roundup - Week of May 3rd

NATO’s Military Exercises and Operations 

“NATO allies prepare for ‘war games’ military exercise off north west coast”

  • A massive UK-led multinational ‘war games’ exercise will hit Scotland’s north-west coasts next week in an area that will part-host Strike Warrior 21, one of the largest military exercises of its kind in Europe, running from May 8 to May 20. Many of the participating vessels will be operating off Highland coastal stretches with Strike Warrior 21 forming part of final preparations for the first deployment of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) next month.

“NATO Defence Education Enhancement Programme develops a strategy in support of professional military education”

  • NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Program (DEEP), in conjunction with the War Studies in Warsaw, organized a Strategy Development Conference focused on lessons learned regarding the development of military education on online platforms; components of the conference include language training, strategy, curriculum development, and more. 

“Russia keeps a close eye on NATO forces’ deployment in Europe during drills”

  • Russia is closely watching the NATO forces’ relocation and deployment in Europe as part of the Defender-Europe drills.

“Formal start of final phase of Afghan pullout by US, NATO”

  • After weeks of flying out military equipment from Afghanistan, the United States and NATO Allies have officially begun a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, meeting non-lethal resistance at the airbase in Kandahar; the strength of Afghanistan and the probable ensuing chaos after the troop withdrawal have caused many to call into question the efficacy of the mission. 

“U.S. Army warmly welcomed ahead of NATO exercises in Albania”

  • Around 700 pieces of equipment were unloaded from the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team ahead of NATO exercises set to take place in six Albanian bases as part of NATO’s Defender-Europe 21 multinational military exercises; a military vessel from the United Kingdom is set to arrive shortly. 

“NATO Military Exercises Launched in Albania”

  • Albania is playing a critical role in NATO’s Defender-Europe 21 operation to increase operational readiness and interoperability, hosting the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore operations for the first time in Europe since World War II, which demonstrates NATO’s commitment to the western Balkans and Black Sea regions. 

“Taliban Overrun Afghan Base, Capture Troops as US, NATO Forces Exit”

  • Taliban insurgents attacked and overran an Afghan army base in the Ghazni province on the day when the U.S. and NATO Allies began their troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, capturing 25 Afghan soldiers and killing numerous others; this attack was preceded by an earlier truck bomb in Pul-e-Alam, killing Afghan civilians and injuring countless others. 

“NATO Tiger Meet tactical-level fly event begins in Portugal”

  • The Portuguese 301 “Jaguares” Squadron-hosted Nato Tiger Meet event has started at Beja Air Base in Portugal. With more than 3,000 military staff and 57 aircraft taking part in the two-week tactical-level live-fly event, it will be one of the largest international exercises ever conducted in Portugal.

“Spanish warship to lead NATO ‘Formidable Shield’ exercises”

  • The Spanish Navy's frigate ESPS Cristobal Colon will lead a multinational interoperability exercise off the Portuguese coast with the two-week exercise, known as Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021, under the direction of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and conducted by NATO's Naval Striking and Support Services.

Political Elements of NATO

“Top Alliance procurement officials meet at NATO’s Brussels headquarters”

  • Top procurement officials from the 30 NATO Allies met in Brussels to discuss new paths to adopt emerging technologies, maintaining a military and technological edge, multinational cooperation, maritime patrol aircraft, and more as part of the bi-annual Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD); CNAD is NATO’s primary mechanism for discussing cooperation and the delivery of interoperable military capabilities.

“NATO Secretary General highlights NATO’s contributions to regional security with Kosovo’s Albin Kurti”

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Albin Kurti of Kosovo to discuss NATO’s commitment and current developments in the Western Balkans, including efforts to re-energize discussion between Belgrade and Pristina to reach a lasting political solution in the region. 

“Turkey lifted NATO veto over Egypt to woo CAIRO”

  • The Turkish government lifted a veto against Egypt’s partnership activities with NATO last year as part of attempts to repair ties with Cairo due to Ankara’s refusal to recognise Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the country's legitimate leader following a coup that ousted his predecessor in the past.

“NATO Secretary General highlights NATO's contribution to regional security during a meeting with Albin Kurti (Kosovo)”

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Albin Kurti (Kosovo) at NATO Headquarters in Brussels to exchange views on the latest developments in the Western Balkans. Mr Stoltenberg noted NATO's continued support for the intensification of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina and stressed that dialogue remains the only way to achieve a lasting political settlement in the Western Balkans.

“US orders big drawdown at Kabul embassy as troops leave” 

  • The State Department on Tuesday ordered a significant number of its remaining staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to leave Afghanistan as the military steps up the pullout of American troops from the country.

“U.S. Leadership Needed to Improve Maritime Security in the Blac Sea and Sea of Azov”

  • Russia conducted a sizable military buildup along its border with Ukraine and in occupied Crimea, with most of these deployments spontaneous and unrelated to any scheduled training exercises. Moscow has turned the Sea of Azov into a Russian lake—and hopes to do the same to the Black Sea, which is a direct threat to U.S. and NATO security interests, thus the U.S. needs to be a leader inside NATO to help Ukraine enhance security in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

“US to help Ukraine to meet standards required to join NATO”

  • U.S President Joe Biden’s administration is committed to ensuring that a country like Ukraine can work to meet those standards required to join NATO.

“Duda calls on Ukranian membership of NATO and EU”

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda has called on Ukraine to be allowed to join both the EU and Nato after coming together for a special summit in Warsaw to mark the 230th anniversary of the signing of the May 3 Constitution.

“Secretary Blinken’s Call with Czech Prime Minister Babiš”

  • Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, with Secretary Blinken emphasizing U.S. solidarity with the Czech Republic in its courageous response to Russia’s subversive and deadly actions on Czech soil. Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Babiš also agreed on the need for continued unity and resolve in response to destabilizing actions by Russia.

“Secretary General Welcomes Prime Minister of Slovakia to NATO Headquarters” 

  • Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Prime Minister Eduard Heger of Slovakia to NATO Headquarters. Mr Stoltenberg praised Slovakia’s contributions to the Alliance, including support to training missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Slovakia’s participation in NATO’s multinational battle group in Latvia.