• “Is NATO Relevant?” Sarwar Kashmeri with UK MP Mike Gapes, on Skynews

  • What’s Next For NATO: A “Reboot or Delete?” Robin Young, host of Here & Now asks Sarwar Kashmeri

  • Sarwar Kashmeri & NATO 2.0 on Fox News

  • To preserve NATO bridge it to the EU

    NATO used to be the world’s most formidable military alliance. But, its original reason for existence, the Soviet Union, disintegrated years ago, and its dreams of being a world cop are withering in the mountains of Afghanistan.

    Meanwhile, the European Union’s Common Security & Defense Policy (CSDP) has deployed twenty-seven successful military/civil missions from Africa to Asia in the last ten years. Through CSDP, Europeans are increasingly taking charge of managing their own foreign and security policy. NATO is no longer the sole and preeminent Euro-Atlantic security actor.

    But watching NATO fade into irrelevance would be a mistake. It is a tried and true platform to harness the resources of North America and Europe. NATO’s future usefulness depends on its willingness to accept its reduced role, to let the EU handle the day-to-day security needs of Europe, and to craft a relationship with CSDP that will allow North America and Europe to act militarily together, should that ever become necessary.

    It is time for NATO 2.0, a new version of NATO, to fit the realities of an ever more integrated Europe in the twenty-first century.

President Obama’s Afghanistan Strategy Speech at West Point: A European Perspective

Atlantic Council interview with Mark Mardell, North America editor of the BBC.  Sarwar and Mark spoke on Thursday, December 3, 2009. Two days after President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan strategy speech at the U.S. Military Academy/West Point.

Listen to the MP3 podcast

What is this alliance all about?????

 Excerpt from President Obama’s Dec 1, 2009 West Point speech on AFPAK strategy:

The 30,000 additional troops that I’m announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 — the fastest possible pace — so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers.  They’ll increase our ability to train competent Afghan security forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight.  And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans. 

Because this is an international effort, I’ve asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies.  Some have already provided additional troops, and we’re confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan.  And now, we must come together to end this war successfully. 

For what’s at stake is not simply a test of NATO’s credibility — what’s at stake is the security of our allies, and the common security of the world.

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Forgive me, I am a bit confused. Are NATO countries behind the President’s strategy?  If so where are the NATO commitments? Shouldn’t the President have been able to say something like:   ” I am here to announce that NATO is going to deploy x thousand troops to Afghanistan…half of these will come from our European allies, and the other half from the United States.”  

The EU now has a GDP exceeding the United States, with a greater population. So the question might well be asked: why couldn’t NATO countries deploy h.alf of the 40,000 troops General McChrystal requested.

Secretary of State Clinton will travel to Brussels today to beg NATO for more troops. She shouldn’t have to do any such thing. NATO’s Secretary General ought to travel to Washington to announce that America’s allies are going to fight shoulder to shoulder and are ready to deploy half of the troops required in Afghanistan and/or half the civilians that will be needed to stabilize the country.

 I am a strong believer in the transatlantic alliance of which NATO is a central piece. But today’s NATO is very hard to take. It is (was?) a great military alliance, but what do we do with it now? NATO’s new Strategic Concept is overdue.