He pointed to three separate meetings in less than 24 hours:
- A NATO summit of the 28 member countries
- A meeting to focus on Afghanistan
- A meeting of NATO with Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev
The first meeting will adopt a new strategic concept that will call for collective defense and cooperative security.
According to news reports, the summit will endorse a NATO-wide theater missile defense system while punting to the future any decisions about NATO’s estimated 200 tactical nuclear weapons (that Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman James Cartwright admitted no longer had any military utility).
While many of us believe it is long since time to get rid of these weapons, some NATO countries believe these weapons serve some sort of political purpose.
I agree with a wag who suggested we deploy Walmarts rather than nuclear weapons to reinforce ties.
The meeting on Afghanistan will focus on the Obama’s Administration plan to begin the transfer of military authority during the first half of 2011 from NATO forces to Afghan forces.
Good luck in that effort – which the Afghan Study Group recently suggested should be accelerated to get all U.S. troops out as promptly as possible.
The last meeting will work on resetting NATO’s relationship with NATO, a relationship that has been placed in a freezer after the Russian-Georgia conflict in 2008. The effort will be made to turn the strategic relationship to a strategic partnership. There may be talk about exploring cooperative missile defense between Russia and NATO – a development long talked about but short on implementation.