• “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.

NATO’s Mission? Je ne sais pas

NATO works on a pay as you play formula. Meaning, if a country deploys with NATO, the country pays all its expenses. And that is a real problem for Eastern European countries such as Poland that bend over backwards to please the United States and want to be out front in any American led war.  Poland has over 2000 troops in Afghanistan and they have been putting up quite a fight. But Poland cannot afford its ISAF commitment any more. <Read full story in Siffy News>Polish Mi-24 heavy attack helicopter

Poland’s participation in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan is so expensive, about USD 1 billion a year (10% of Poland’s defense budget) that it is hampering efforts to modernize the country’s armed forces, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said Wednesday, on his first visit to NATO headquarters.

Poland has also had it with out-of-area operations such as the NATO mission in Afghanistan. President Komorowski wans NATO to focus on defending its members, not playing at being world cop. Though he did not say it, that means watching the Russians who still scare the Eastern Europeans more than any Taliban in Kandahar. The problem is, playing world cop is what the Western members of NATO want to do.

Is there a meeting ground? I don’t think so. NATO has a lot of soul searching to do before that fateful November meeting in Lisbon. The moment of truth is around the corner.

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