NATO as a crisis helper

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Air transport and medical assistance: NATO sees itself in a new role, as a crisis helper against Covid-19. The dispute over the Two-percent spending target, no one is talking about. Barbara Wesel reports from Brussels.

NATO headquarters in Brussels

“The solidarity of NATO, is currently in demand,” says the German foreign Minister Heiko Maas. He and his colleagues have for the first Time, a virtual NATO Meeting held on a secure connection, as will be stressed. The civilian issue of crisis management was the focus of the discussions. “NATO can adapt to the circumstances created by the Covid-crisis,” says Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. So much Unity did not last long.

Air transportation and medical equipment

“NATO was founded to deal with crises,” says Stoltenberg, the new-found additional benefits of the military Alliance. Therefore, we have also the commander-in-chief in Europe, Tod Wolters, tasked to coordinate new offers of help, find out what skills could be used to speed up the support.

Even now, a lot of requests to run in the case of NATO, such as Spain, Italy, Montenegro, the Ukraine, Moldova and others, so it is reported. Especially going to be the air transport Romania has used a troop carrier, medical Material are from South Korea and China invade. In times, where the civil aviation broke, you can help the NATO – notably because of the wide-body aircraft available. A Turkish Transport aircraft has flown, for example, seriously ill from Italy. To a limited extent NATO had members about medical equipment, said in Brussels that could be provided. General Wolters is now to check whether there’s still unused resources.

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“NATO was founded to deal with crises”

For years we have been discussing in the Alliance on the improvement of “Resilience”, resilience in crises, says Jens Stoltenberg. The Corona-crisis is now a civilian task, as it has been to the extent of never given. You should learn from this for the future, says the Secretary-General of NATO to coordinate better and faster, and the existing abilities to the best use. In mid-April, the NATO defense Ministers want to assess the past successes and the opportunities for improvement in the fight against Covid-19.

In spite of the health crisis not security crisis

“We need to make sure that the health crisis not security crisis,” says Stoltenberg beyond. Finally, it should be the core task of NATO to protect its allies. There’s, like, the Baltic States currently Provide, whether through Corona maybe the door for the Russian Assault will open. You have observed, unannounced Russian maneuvers, announced Stoltenberg, and an increased fleet presence in the North sea. You watch these developments, but NATO is ready to stay “for use, air monitoring work, the ‘Battle Groups’ are able to work”. Although there were sporadic infections also in the case of NATO personnel, but overall, the Alliance was not affected.

The new propaganda war

In the past few weeks, it became clear that Russia and China take advantage of the global Corona-crisis kind of propaganda campaign in the West. “It is to be welcomed in principle, if the countries help themselves, we have also sent relief goods to Wuhan,” says foreign Minister Heiko Mass. What he is warning, however, and what you make of the NATO thought was, “if countries take advantage of the situation for propaganda purposes, to let in better light”.

The aims of the partially disabled relief supplies from China and Russia, who arrived in Spain or Italy. And when disinformation would be controlled campaigns of States, you need to put the facts, as Germany’s foreign Minister. It is clear, however, that many fear in Alliance, you have left in the last couple of weeks at the geo-strategic confrontation with Russia, China, the field.

The former US commander in Europe, General Ben Hodges, formulates this clearly: You have to look at it as a contest in the space of Information. “The Chinese and the Russians – both with these ridiculous insurance, you sun of Italy, – ‘help’ by sending a chemical decontamination unit. What a joke!” But that is everywhere in the news and so you had the nose in front. Now you see, such as in the case of the European Union and, increasingly, is what is really done. Pallets with equipment and unserviceable masks, the had to send back. “But you can see the information of the Competition and we don’t. Since we need to be more active,” says the General, and thus reflects the Thinking of many NATO ally.

The rest of the problems

Was discussed at the foreign Ministers but also the precarious situation in Afghanistan. Even Stoltenberg, otherwise politically cautious, made his doubts about the peace process in the Hindu Kush significantly.

The reduction of NATO troops by the summer on a 12,000-man will only take place parallel to political progress in the country, the Secretary-General emphasizes in the face of bloody terrorist attacks, for example, against a Sikh community in Kabul. There must be real negotiations, the Taliban would have to be involved with, and the Afghans want to conclude peace. How good are the chances of that really, from the NATO Official is nothing to hear. You don’t want to fight with the United States.

What is currently not talking, is the long-standing dispute over the Two per cent spending target. One is reminded of the anger of the US President, Donald Trump, the meeting almost the summit in Brussels wanted it to burst. But currently, the NATO and the Corona is employed by the crisis and the resulting economic crisis defaulting Alliance members such as Germany in this matter even located.

The two percent to spend any NATO state for defence, charge, namely, to the economic performance, and is expected to fall this year and maybe even next year. “We stand for the output destination” summoned to the German foreign Minister at this point. The Federal government has long been a special target for the wrath of Donald Trump. By 2030, they wanted to be at 1.5 percent arrived, so it was decided in Berlin to be informal. This goal should be reached in times of Corona is quite easy to.