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NATO Decoded: Reading Between the Lines of the Chicago Summit Declarations NATO Decoded: Reading Between the Lines of the Chicago Summit Declarat...

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NATO Decoded: Reading Between the Lines of the Chicago Summit Declarations

NATO members held a two-day summit ending on Monday in Chicago. The following is the concluding communique and what it really means.

"As Alliance leaders, we are determined to ensure that NATO retains and develops the capabilities necessary to its essential core tasks of collective defense, crisis management and cooperative security." (Budget cuts are threatening NATO’s core missions of collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security.)


"We confirm the continued importance of a strong transatlantic link and the sharing of responsibilities to meet the challenges North American and European allies face together." (Don’t leave America, we didn’t mean anything by all that talk of "cowboy diplomacy." We love cowboys!) "Developing greater European military capabilities will strengthen the transatlantic link, and foster an equitable sharing of the burdens and responsibilities of alliance membership." (Europe, you got to do more. No kidding around this time. We really, really mean it. Seriously.) "We must meet these responsibilities while dealing with an acute financial crisis and responding to evolving geostrategic challenges." (We’re in deep Kimchi.)

"Smart defense is at the heart of our new approach. As technology grows more expensive, and defense budgets are under pressure, there are key capabilities which many allies can only obtain if they work together to develop and acquire them." (Germany buys the pistol. Spain will make a holster. Italy, you bring the bullet.) "These projects will deliver improved operational effectiveness, economies of scale, and closer connections between our forces." (Ultimately, we’ll all be sharing one aircraft carrier anyway.)

"We are also deploying a highly sophisticated Alliance Ground Surveillance system, so that our forces can better carry out the missions we give them." (Can you believe Europe lacked the unmanned drones even to carry out a limited air operation in Libya?) "NATO will also work closely with the European Union to ensure that our Smart Defense and the EU’s Pooling and Sharing initiative are complimentary and mutually reinforcing." (All for one, and one weapon system for all.) "In the light of all this progress, we have confidently set ourselves the goal of NATO Forces 2020: modern, tightly connected forces, equipped, trained, exercised and commanded so that they can operate together and with partners in any environment." (Yeah, right.)


"Today, we have also declared an interim ballistic-missile defense capability as an initial step to establishing NATO’s missile-defense system." (Alright already, America. You can build Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars shield in Europe if it’ll keep you here.). "NATO missile defense is not oriented against Russia nor does it have the capability to undermine Russia’s strategic deterrence." (We’re not even sure it works.) "The Alliance, in a spirit of reciprocity, maximum transparency, and mutual confidence, will actively seek cooperation on missile defense with Russia." (Maybe Moscow can make it work.)

"NATO is also prepared to consider further reducing its requirement for nonstrategic nuclear weapons in the context of reciprocal steps by Russia, taking into account the greater Russian stockpiles of nonstrategic nuclear weapons." (Really Vladimir, suitcase nukes? What is your freaking problem?)

"We renew our firm commitment to a sovereign, secure, and democratic Afghanistan. In line with our strategy, NATO’s mission will be concluded by the end of 2014." (In the meantime, will someone please bar the exit door before France bolts?). "The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan confirms its resolve to deliver on its commitment to a democratic society, based on the rule of law and good governance, including progress in the fight against corruption." (Hamid Karzai must go.) "In this context, continued progress towards transparent and credible elections will encourage NATO nations to further provide their support up to and beyond 2014." (Hamid Karzai must go, or else.)

"The success of our forces in Libya, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and in fighting piracy is a vivid illustration that NATO remains unmatched in its ability to sustain military power to safeguard security and contribute to international peace." (NATO can still be counted on to do the right thing, after exhausting all other possibilities.) "NATO’s greatest strength is its unity. Through 2020 and beyond, stimulated by the requirement to use defense resources in the most efficient way, we will deepen that unity." (The West better hang together, or we will hang separately.)



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