What is your overall perception coming into this summit and what are your expectations? Two years ago at Warsaw, the big deal was the lead-up to the enhanced foreign presence at Warsaw Summit, plus the deployment of 4, NATO forces into
Starkt roll for europa i nato Baltics and Poland. And so that was a big deal. How much is eastern Europe playing in the minds of all the professionals and experts and, and government officials there?
I notice Canada is making some moves in eastern Europe. The current threat to peace
Starkt roll for europa i nato stability in Europe is the Russian threat to the Baltic. The momentum right now, or the effort right now, is to make it easier for NATO forces to move from west to east in case of emergency. Exercises have shown that simply crossing boundaries is very difficult because of all the bureaucracy involved in that.
Or Germany all the way through Poland to the Baltics. I understand Canada is enhancing its presence in Latvia. Are there other initiatives coming or expected from other NATO members to fortify or to enhance their presence in other Baltic nations?
I think what Canada was doing was basically saying something that everybody understood Starkt roll for europa i nato be the case, which was that the deployment of forces to the Baltics was now a one year thing.
In fact, that whole debate about what to call it, persistent presence versus permanent presence, was a political thing, but everybody was expecting it to go off within a year.
It was just Canada was making it clear this time about a commitment they essentially made last year. They even agreed to lead this framework nation in Latvia. It was well understood that that was not a one-time, one-year thing. So they may be taking a little bit of credit now for a decision they made last year. So of course we have all by now heard President Trump.
And most of us have heard the two per cent figure of GDP spending on defence and have some vague comprehension of it. Can you explain what this two per cent figure means? How does it play out? How does this funding actually translate into NATO obligations?
Trump has done more to confuse this debate over the past couple of years than anybody in the history of NATO. The reality is that NATO has always had a problem with how much does each member country spend on their own defence?
The idea is that every country has more money spent on their military, meaning more soldiers, more planes, more tanks, more ships, more money spent on exercising and being ready to fight, the greater the capability NATO has, then the more successful it can be in whatever it does.
So the two per cent was just an idea of having a common goal. And [the two per cent figure] was debated for a long time, but it was at the Wales Summit in where NATO agreed that countries would aspire to. Again, the NATO agreement was to reach two per cent in This is not how it works. NATO is not a protection racket. It is not
Starkt roll for europa i nato country club.
For instance, a lot of the German military equipment is simply not ready to fight. They only have a small percentage of the planes and the helicopters and tanks that are actually able to move and fly and do whatever else they have to do.
So if your gross domestic product is small, then you look good by this metric. And we call that country Greece. And Greece rarely shows up in places like Afghanistan or Libya or anyplace else in any kind of way. They averaged roughly 20 guys in Afghanistan for most of the time that Afghanistan was going on. So the idea of two per cent is just one measure. It's not the only measure. Which is that Trump sees any international agreement as a rip-off because he projects his own personality onto everybody else.
He thinks that any deal he makes is exploitative, so he thinks that any deal, you know, that he wants to exploit others, so he thinks that anybody who makes a deal with the United States has tried to exploit the United States, because he thinks everybody is just like him. He has taken his own steps in Ukraine with the annexation of Crimea and the region has become destabilized because of his willingness to use military force to expand and pursue Russian interests.
Can you just explain the regional geopolitics for Canadian listeners about what his objectives might be. That the collapse of the Soviet Union was traumatic, that the loss of Russian influence was something they regretted. Russia has lost influence in its own region, and its lost influence in the world. NATO did expand and there were a lot of criticisms at the time that this would cause Russia to react.
They were playing in the politics of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Abkhazia, etc. Because inthere were two things that were going on: And the rest of the European countries were cutting their military budgets. On the other hand, the real trigger was the change of government in the Ukraine, which became more favourable towards the European Union.
The real trigger was a discussion of talks where Ukraine would become a partner to the European Union, not become a member, "Starkt roll for europa i nato" a partner. And this was something that was beyond the pale for Putin because it might inspire other parts of the former Soviet Union, and even Russia itself, to have better relations with the European Union.
The key is that Ukraine had always been within the Russian sphere of influence. And Russia had dominated the politics of Ukraine. With a change of leadership, Ukraine was a less Russia-friendly government and looking more western. This meant two things. A successful Ukraine in that model would present a challenge to the legitimacy of Putin.
That was really mattered.
And this is a model that challenges the basis of the Russian regime. Do you have any opinion about that? So the larger consistency is Russia is just trying to stir things up and make it harder for democracies to work together. He pretty much said that on Twitter today. And there are other benefits, "Starkt roll for europa i nato" are cyber-security benefits, there are other benefits, ways that the United States has benefited.
To what extent do you think that there is dissension in the United States military, and what kind of a stress has this placed on Secretary Mattis and the American military, which I would imagine probably has seen considerable benefits from NATO. The American military is actually mostly laterally minded. They see these countries as vital allies on a variety of measures around the world, a variety of activities around the world.
I worked in the U.
This has long been true, and the United States got sucked into two wars in the twentieth century when United States stayed out of things and wars developed, and it turned out to be far cheaper and far more beneficial to the United States to base troops in Europe to prevent a third war, to keep trade open with Europe, to keep relations open with Europe, and to keep the Russians out of Europe.
It gives it not only a safe and secure Europe but it also gives it more influence in Europe. At least they did not have to worry as much about Europe. That the United States has to exert all kinds of effort just to try to get the Koreans and the Japanese on board on anything because there is no NATO-like thing providing the glue to bring all the east Asian allies together. So what "Starkt roll for europa i nato" of tensions might be arising within the US military camps that… Are you looking to any of the people in your network to hear from them about how this, is all perceived and how anybody plans on responding if things go badly awry?
Things have already gone badly awry. But the US military is not going to organize a coup and Jim Mattis is not going to exert much authority to push back against Trump on these things. And so you could see the United States opposing plan of action and so Latvia or Estonia or Lithuania are left on their own. It may still have a big, beautiful building in Brussels, they may still be doing stuff. But people will no longer be assured by the probability that the United States and the Russia NATO would show up if somebody is attacked.
Are there other areas, other spheres of influence or other areas of concern that you would be watching? The big divide in NATO, besides Trump versus everybody else, is between those who care about the eastern front, which would be Russia, and those who care about the southern front, which are those countries that are mostly in Starkt roll for europa i nato southern part of, of the alliance, that would be Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, who are more worried about the flow of refugees from the East and Africa.
NATO never had the ability to refugees, so how does it do that? We feel this enormous national obligation to be part of NATO, to participate in that, to keep probably very much largely emerging from the post-war era. Canada, like the United States, has an interest in European security and stability.
And Canada benefits from having a Europe that is peaceful and prosperous. Canada signed a trade agreement with Europe, and obviously trade with Europe is an important alternative these days given the rising trade war with the United States.
And so just having a peaceful, prosperous Europe is good for Canada in terms of diversifying its trade. And so Canada plays a role. And I think in part this has been good for Canada because, again, it gives Canada the influence and a role to play. Canadians want Canada to make a difference in the world and it can make a difference more clearly through institutions like NATO than it can by itself.
And again, the contrast between Europe and Asia is stark. It had operational command of a Libyan air operation under General Bouchard. And it can help Canada make a difference in the world. Are we on track to hit that two per cent number? And if we are not, how do you perceive our military spending in this context?
The Defence Review that came out last year, made it very clear two things: But there is this ongoing and future massive investment in the Canadian military that if we end up buying all these ships and we end up buying all these planes, Canada will have more capabilities, and may get us to 1. And so Canada always show up.
Who is the global community of the NATO community looking to, to show leadership at this summit? Is Canada in the mix here? Right now, a lot of countries within the Alliance are having their own domestic political problems. Even under NATO command, the U.S. military will do the bulk of the as the Obama administration argues that this is Europe's conflict to lead. As Tomáš Valášek of Carnegie Europe argued, “AI can be effectively NATO's lack of action on AI is in stark contrast to the rise of China as a.
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