Stoltenberg Previews Agenda of NATO Summit
July 5, 2016 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg previewed the agenda for the NATO summit, set to open in Warsaw at the end of this week. According to a statement posted on the NATO website, Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels that NATO has implemented the biggest reinforcement of its collective defense since the Cold War but now needs to take the next steps.
"So at our Summit in Warsaw, we will agree to further enhance our military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance,"
he said—i.e., on Russia’s border.
This includes not only the four battalions for Poland and the three Baltic states, but also the multinational brigade to be stationed in Romania and steps to improve cyber-defense, civil preparedness, and the ability to defend against ballistic missile attacks. Stoltenberg said that NATO estimates show that defense spending by European Allies and Canada is expected to rise by 3 percent, or 8 billion US dollars, this year.
The summit will also approve the deployment of NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft in support of the international anti-ISIS coalition. Since the US has rejected the Russian offer to collaborate in surveillance of ISIS, it is clear they have other uses for the AWAC, such as the Russian presence in Syria. The alliance is also expected to approve a new training mission for Iraq.
Stoltenberg also said that planning for a NATO-Russia Council meeting shortly after the summit is underway.
"We remain open to dialogue with Russia. The NATO-Russia Council has an important role to play as a forum for dialogue and information exchange, to reduce tensions and increase predictability,"