NATO chief to squabbling allies: Stop, collaborate, and listen

news

VIDEO: That time President Trump scolded NATO on defense spending

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."

Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.

He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.


The secretary-general said he planned to hold talks with Emmanuel Macron next week after the French president suggested NATO was experiencing its "brain death" because of Washington's lack of predictability under President Donald Trump.

"What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO," Macron told The Economist magazine on November 7, before questioning the core pledge of NATO allies to come to the defense of any member, if attacked.

Senior U.S. and European officials have rejected Macron's remarks, and Stoltenberg warned that "if we distance Europe from North America, we weaken NATO, but we also divide Europe."

"We firmly disagree with President Macron's assessment of NATO," the U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, later said, adding that it was "not even rational" to think of facing today's threats without NATO's security umbrella.

Meeting in the Belgian capital on November 20, the foreign ministers will discuss strategic issues, including "Russia, the implications of the rise of China, the future of arms control, and energy security," Stoltenberg said.

The ministers are expected to recognize outer space as an "operational domain, alongside air, land, sea, and cyber," he said, insisting that NATO has no intention of putting weapons in space.

The meeting will also address NATO's role in the fight against terrorism, including its missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, which Stoltenberg said "continue to play an important role in preventing the resurgence" of Islamic State and other extremist groups.

The secretary-general said NATO's efforts to counter hybrid threats will also be on the agenda, and announced that the alliance's "first counterhybrid support team" is in Montenegro this week.

NATO established such teams last year to provide assistance to allies in preparing for and responding to propaganda and other nonmilitary tactics.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."

"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

Read More Show Less

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

Read More Show Less