Thursday, April 03, 2008

A NATO Sidebar in Europe

Half empty or half full depending on how you look at it.

In the NATO summit this week, President Bush had several goals - starting the ball rolling on NATO membership for ex-Soviet colonies Georgia and the Ukraine, a call for NATO to endorse the proposed missile defense shield in Poland and Czecholslovakia and to step up to the plate with combat troops for Afghanistan.

Needless to say, Russia is adamantly opposed to any expansion of NATO or US instigated missile defense shields into its fomer empire.

While Georgia and the Ukraine were not okayed for membership, NATO did come to a clear path of concensus on what was described as a 'way forward' for these countries to eventually join in the future.Germany and France were among the European countries who were against admitting Ukraine and Georgia, on the grounds it would provoke Russia, and of course those mutually beneficial energy and trade agreements. But NATO unanimously compromised and conceded that Georgia and Ukraine membership in NATO should be an objective for the near future.

NATO endorsed the missile defense shield as well,given President Bush some leverage with Russia's Putin in the upcoming US/Russia summit. And the Czech Republic yesterday formally agreed on a deal to put U.S. radar systems on its soil,(actually, Green Pine systems made by Israel as a joint venture with the US) to be "linked" with interceptor missiles in Poland — clearing a major diplomatic snafu within the alliance.

As far as Afghanistan goes several European nations pledged to send more troops to Afghanistan to stop a pullout of combat troops by the Canadians, whohave beendoing muchmore thanmtheir fair share. But only France has truly committed to sending combat troops to Afghanistan so far.

All in all,not too bad an outing for President Bush, as far as it went...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is simply "Ukraine" not "the Ukraine."