The latest meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels was apparently successful.
This is an important signal to the USA, but also to Putin, who had hoped that NATO would be harmed, after Trump’s first confused and untidy statements on the quality and future of the transatlantic partnership.
Even if there are still subversive grumblings, the European NATO partners will gradually enhance their defense investments until 2024 to more or less 2 percent of their gross domestic product, according to the Wales agreement of 2014.
- Furthermore NATO has confirmed its decision to strengthen the eastern flank by the deployment of rotating troops in Poland and the Baltic States, and has now decided to better protect the southeast flank – with NATO members Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as the NATO partners Ukraine and Georgia. This is to be achieved through increased maneuver activity and an “adequate, defensive, and in no way conflict-provoking” NATO presence in the Black Sea. NATO is consequently responding to Putin’s aggressive geo-politics.
- It is also a step in the right direction that NATO is positively responding to Libya‘s request to provide assistance with reconstruction of Libya’s security structures through advice and expertise.In fact NATO itself should have made this offer, because parts of the NATO-Members bombed the country into a failed state.In addition, functioning state structures in Libya are a prerequisite for successful EU operations with Libya against terrorism, criminal tug-gangs, and the unwanted migration from Africa to Europe.
And it is a success that US Secretary of Defense Mattis made a clear statement about the value and the future of the transatlantic partnership to ease the uncertainty of Europe and especially our East-European partners.
It was important that Mattis reminded the European NATO-Partners that they have to take a fair share of the western defense-burden.
Already President Obama kindly asked the Europeans to increase their efforts but obviously it needed a loud and clear wake-up-call to bring the Europeans out of their illusionary dreams into the reality of new global threats like Putin, cyber-attacks, hybrid wars, terrorism and mass-migration out of Africa.
Hopefully this positive development will stop the for many years inadequate financing of their armed forces by most of the European NATO-Members.