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.

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew becomes emotional while speaking about officer Katie Thyne during a press conference Friday morning Jan. 24, 2020 in Newport News, Va. Officer Thyne died Thursday night after being dragged during a traffic stop. (Daily Press/Jonathon Gruenke via Tribune News Service)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The police officer killed during a traffic stop in Newport News on Thursday night was a well-liked young officer who just graduated from the police academy seven months ago, Police Chief Steve Drew said at a somber news conference Friday.

Read More
Calvin Cooper (Facebook via Albuquerque Journal)

The airman who struck and killed a woman with his car last year near Kirtland Air Force Base is now headed to trial and facing possible prison time in the incident.

Read More
A military funeral at Fort Jackson National Cemetery in 2014. Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec/U.S. Army

A U.S. soldier died on Friday while in Syria supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Department announced on Saturday.

Read More
DoD photo

A word that could once not be mentioned in court — torture — was front and center on Friday as a military tribunal prepares to take on the long-delayed trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed chief plotter of the 9/11 attacks, and four other defendants.

"I know torture's a dirty word," defense attorney Walter Ruiz told the tribunal. "I'll tell you what, judge, I'm not going to sanitize this for their concerns."

Read More

The suspect in the death of 21-year-old U.S. Marine Cpl. Tyler Wallingford, who was fatally shot in the barracks of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort more than nine months ago, was found guilty in military court of involuntary manslaughter earlier this month and sentenced to more than five years.

Read More