World Biden at NATO: Ready to talk China, Russia and soothe allies
NATO chief arrives in Washington looking ahead toward Russia and China, away from Afghanistan
AFGHANISTAN IN REARVIEW MIRROR: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is in Washington today to meet with President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ahead of next week’s summit of alliance leaders in Brussels. © Provided by Washington Examiner DOD header 2020 With the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan expected to pass the halfway mark this week (the U.S. Central Command will release a new, updated percentage tomorrow), the pace the troop exit is ahead of schedule and on track to be completed well before the Sept. 11 deadline set by Biden.
BRUSSELS (AP) — President Joe Biden makes his entrance at a NATO summit aiming to consult European allies on efforts to counter provocative actions by China and Russia while highlighting the U.S. commitment to the 30-country alliance that was frequently maligned by predecessor Donald Trump.
The summit Monday comes as Biden tries to rally allies for greater coordination in checking China and Russia, two adversaries whose actions on economic and national security fronts have become the chief foreign policy concerns in the early going of the Biden presidency.
It's time for Biden to shut NATO's doors
It would be a major mistake if Biden and his NATO colleagues simply wax philosophically and avoid making the real changes that NATO needs.The NATO summit will have special resonance for Biden, who entered office promising to improve Washington's relations with allies in Europe and bring the military alliance back to the center of US foreign policy.
Biden will use his time at the summit to underscore the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the alliance charter, which spells out that an attack on one member is an attack on all and is to be met with a collective response.
“I will make it clear that the United States’ commitment to our NATO alliance and Article 5 is rock solid,” Biden told U.S. troops in the United Kingdom last week on the first stop of his eight-day European trip. “It’s a sacred obligation."
The White House said the communique to be signed by alliance members at the end of the NATO summit is expected to include language about updating Article 5 to include major cyber attacks — a matter of growing concern amid a series of hacks targeting the U.S. government and businesses around the globe by Russia-based hackers.
The Latest: NATO chief says it's time to set aside divisions
The Latest on the NATO summit taking place in Brussels: BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the 30-nation military alliance aims to set aside the divisions of the Trump era and focus on the security challenges posed by Russia and China. Stoltenberg says that NATO leaders are meeting Monday “at a pivotal moment for our alliance, and today we’ll open a new chapter in our trans-Atlantic relationship.” His remarks in BrusselsBRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the 30-nation military alliance aims to set aside the divisions of the Trump era and focus on the security challenges posed by Russia and China.
The update will spell out that if an alliance member needs technical or intelligence support in response to a cyber attack, it would be able to invoke the mutual defense provision to receive assistance, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
The president will begin his day meeting with leaders of the Baltic states on NATO's eastern flank regarding the "threat posed by Russia,” China and the recent air piracy in Belarus, according to Sullivan. He'll also meet with NATO secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
At NATO, Turkey hails its revival of dialogue with Greece
BRUSSELS (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is vying to mend Turkey’s battered relations with its Western partners, said Monday that a revival of dialogue with fellow NATO member Greece to resolve long-standing disputes will serve “stability and prosperity” in the region. Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO summit, Erdogan also lamented what he said was a lack of support by Turkey’s NATO allies in its fight against terrorism. It was a veiled reference to Turkey’s disappointment with U.S. military support for Syrian Kurdish fighters, who Ankara argues are inextricably linked to a decades-long Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.
Biden's itinerary in Europe has been shaped so that he would first gather with Group of Seven leaders for a three-day summit on the craggy shores of Cornwall and then with NATO allies in Brussels before his much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.
At the G-7, leaders sought to convey that the club of wealthy democracies — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — is a better friend to poorer nations than authoritarian rivals such as China and Russia.
The G-7 meeting ended with a communique that called out forced labor practices and other human rights violations impacting Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the western Xinjiang province. The president declined to discuss private summit negotiations over the provision, but said he was “satisfied” with the communique, although differences remain among the allies about how forcefully to call out Beijing.
Biden is focused on building a more cohesive bond between America and allies who had become wary of U.S. leadership after enduring four years of Trump's name-calling and frequent invectives about the relevance of multilateral alliances like NATO.
Overnight Defense: Biden participates in NATO summit | White House backs 2002 AUMF repeal | Top general says no plans for airstrikes to help Afghan forces after withdrawal
Happy Monday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Rebecca Kheel, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.THE TOPLINE: President Biden was in Brussels on Monday for his first NATO summit since taking office.Upon arriving, Biden touted the "sacred obligation" of NATO's mutual defense commitment, known as Article 5."NATO is criticallyTHE TOPLINE: President Biden was in Brussels on Monday for his first NATO summit since taking office.
The last administration was at odds with some leading NATO members, including Britain, Germany and France, over Trump’s 2018 decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement that was brokered during the Obama administration. The accord limited Iran’s uranium enrichment program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.
Trump and other critics felt the deal gave Tehran too many economic benefits without doing enough to prevent Iran from eventually developing a nuclear weapon. The Biden administration is now seeking a path to resurrecting the accord.
Trump also complained that the NATO alliance allows “global freeloading” countries to spend less on military defense at the expense of the U.S. and dismissed the alliance as “obsolete.”
Biden offered a pointed rejoinder on Sunday, saying: “We do not view NATO as a sort of a protection racket. We believe that NATO is vital to our ability to maintain American security for ... the remainder of the century. And there’s a real enthusiasm.”
When alliance members last met for a summit in England in December 2019, Trump grabbed headlines by calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced” and French President Emanuel Macron “nasty."
Trump lashed out after Trudeau was caught on a hot mic gossiping with other leaders about Trump turning photo opportunities into long news conferences. Ahead of the summit, Macron had declared NATO “brain dead" because of a void in U.S. leadership under Trump.
NATO members unite to face evolving threats from Russia and China
The security alliance agreed to confront new challenges, like cyberwarfare, as well as traditional ones like Russia's military infringement in Eastern Europe."China's growing influence and international policies can present challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance," the statement, known as a communique, said. "We will engage China with a view to defending the security interests of the Alliance.
Biden has already acknowledged during his Europe tour that the alliance needs to ensure better burden sharing and needs stepped up American leadership. He’s also highlighted NATO members' contributions in the war in Afghanistan.
The U.S. and the alliance are winding down their involvement in the nearly 20-year war that killed tens of thousands of Afghans and more than 3,500 U.S. and allied troops, while raising profound questions about whether NATO’s most ambitious effort was worth it.
The military effort followed the 2001 arrival of a U.S.-led coalition that ousted the Taliban for harboring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
For now, NATO plans to leave civilian advisers to help build up government institutions. It’s unclear who will protect them. The alliance is also weighing whether to train Afghan special forces outside the country.
NATO members are also expected to endorse the creation of a new cyber defense policy to improve coordination with countries impacted by the increasing frequency of ransomware attacks, a climate security action plan to reduce greenhouse gases from military activities in line with national commitments under the Paris Agreement and a commitment to strengthen NATO’s deterrence to meet threats from Russia and elsewhere, according to the White House.
Biden will alsoon Monday on the sidelines of the summit.
The two leaders were expected to discuss Syria and Iran as well as what role Turkey can play on Afghanistan following the U.S. troop withdrawal, according to the White House. Also on the agenda: how Washington and Ankara “deal with some of our significant differences on values and human rights and other issues,” Sullivan said.
The unsettled security situation in Libya, as well as overlapping concerns on China and Russia are also expected to be discussed.
A sense of relief over 'dear Joe' and post-Trump summit era .
BRUSSELS (AP) — Over the four years of Donald Trump's presidency and through the seeming eternity of pandemic misery and isolation, America’s partners in world affairs were waiting to exhale. As they cycled through Group of Seven, NATO and European Union summits over the last week, exhale they did, between bites of haggis mousse, pineapple weed and Dover sole. President Joe Biden — “dear Joe” to the European Commission's chief — engaged fellowAs they cycled through Group of Seven, NATO and European Union summits over the last week, exhale they did, between bites of haggis mousse, pineapple weed and Dover sole.