Wednesday, February 14, 2018

NATO and US air warnings over European defense cooperation

NATO and US air warnings over European defense cooperation
In a clear and rare warning, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday argued against the development of European Union defense cooperation in competition with NATO, while US officials also warned against protectionism in the European defense industry.


At a press conference in Brussels ahead of a NATO meeting on the level of defense ministers, Stoltenberg said recent EU initiatives for defense cooperation within the bloc could benefit the NATO alliance if it did not enter into competition with it.

"More European defense spending and capabilities can strengthen NATO and contribute to fairer burden-sharing, but only if the EU's efforts are developed as a complement and not an alternative to NATO," Stoltenberg said.

For the European Union, common European defense has been a critical theme of the shift away from dependence on the United States, with the November 2017 signing and December 2017 launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) agreement.

The PESCO pact will allow 25 participating EU member states to pursue greater cooperation on matters of defense and security.

In the Q&A session that followed his briefing, Stoltenberg stressed European commitment to the NATO, as well as how the continent's defense relied on the alliance.

"It will be absolutely without any meaning if EU and NATO started to compete because we share the same members," NATO chief said, adding: "90 percent of the people living in EU live in a NATO country -- more than 90 percent."

"The protection of Europe is dependent on NATO, especially after Brexit. 80 percent of NATO's defense expenditures will come from non-EU allies," said the NATO chief and former prime minister of Norway, which is non-EU member of the alliance.

For Stoltenberg, an example of possible problems came from the possibility of EU defense operations creating a list of capability requirements for its members that was in contradiction with a similar list from NATO, leading to incoherence.

"We are only one set of forces and we cannot have two lists of conflicting capability requirements," he said.
 (chinamedia)
 14/2/18
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1 comment:

  1. Les Etats-Unis, qui voient d'un mauvais œil le projet d'une Europe de la Défense, font pression sur les pays européens, et particulièrement sur l'Allemagne, pour qu'ils s'engagent à consacrer 2% de leur PIB à l'OTAN.

    L'unité de l'OTAN va être mise à l'épreuve comme elle l'a rarement été ses dernières années lors de la réunion entre les ministres de la Défense qui se tient les 14 et 15 février à Bruxelles.

    D'une part, le chef du Pentagone James Mattis va réitérer la demande américaine aux pays européens d'augmenter leurs budgets militaires au sein de l'Alliance, pour atteindre la barre des 2% de leur PIB d'ici 2024. «Il est clair que l'OTAN a inversé la tendance à la baisse, et nous sommes maintenant dans la deuxième année, durant laquelle les nations dépensent plus pour la défense», a d'abord noté James Mattis dans des propos rapportés par The Hill,avant de passer à l'offensive. «Cela ne veut pas dire que tout le monde est là où ils doit être ou a des plans pour l'avenir, et nous en discuterons. Nous sommes tous des nations souveraines, et ce sont des décisions souveraines», a-t-il déclaré, prenant le soin de rappeler que tout le monde devait «porter sa part».
    RT.FR

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