When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies convene in Wales on 4 September, much of the world will be anticipating some dramatic moves in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The meeting’s host, British Prime Minister David Cameron, has issued a call for a strong signal of the West’s resolve. And NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander General Philip M. Breedlove have promised that the summit will “make NATO fitter, faster and more flexible to address future challenges, from wherever they come.”

The outcome in Wales may not meet maximum expectations. NATO is an alliance that honors the sovereignty of each member while at the same time promising defense of that sovereignty. For that reason alone, NATO decisions inevitably represent compromises between the most ambitious positions and the most cautious ones. At this summit, every decision will be seen in the context of relations with Russia as well as transatlantic and intra-European burdensharing issues. If the compromises made in September leave the alliance lacking credible conviction, Washington and its allies will have failed both in terms of deterring further Russian aggression and in terms of reassuring NATO’s most threatened allies — Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Allied leaders undoubtedly will try hard to avoid the appearance of such a failure, with both words and deeds. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-AB – Michael’s Blog