NATOSource|Daily News of the World's Most Powerful Alliance

From the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: "The AKP's Econo-Islamist foreign policy orientation has turned Turkey into a country which has as good, and sometimes even friendlier, relations with Iran, Russia, Syria, Sudan, Hamas, Hezbollah, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as it enjoys with the United States, the EU, and Israel. Ankara will likely opt out of a NATO consensus on Iran, clash with the United States on how to handle Hamas and Hezbollah, and disagree with the EU and the U.S. on Russia."  via, (graphic: European Voice)

From Hurriyet: "Greek newspapers express concerns about a NATO restructuring under which Greek and Turkish commanders will take turns heading the alliance's Larissa military headquarters. Some Greeks say the appointment of a Turkish commander will make it easier for Turkish warplanes to fly in Greek airspace"

For background see Turkish general to command NATO center in Greece.

Claudio Bisogniero, NATO's Deputy Secretary-General, takes advantage of the precise language in the Washington Treaty to limit the pool of potential new members. Fortunately, Article 10 includes Canada and the United States as signatories, because it appears they could not join now.

From Gulfnews: "Do you think that an Arab country could one day become member of Nato?
Theoretically, many countries would like to be members of Nato. Discussions on how far Nato membership should extend are discussed in academic circles. But it must be considered, however, that Article 10 of the Nato Treaty [which describes admission procedures for other nations] clearly states that membership is open to only to European countries that share the same values and the same approach and are willing to contribute to the Organisation . . .

What about the rumour that Israel will join Nato?
As I mentioned to you, Article 10 of Nato Treaty is very clear. It contemplates the offer for membership to European countries and to the best of my knowledge, Israel is not a European country."
Surprisingly, just one step by NATO against the Taliban's opium networks has not been enough.

From AFP: "Mullen said NATO-led forces have stepped up operations against drug networks after the alliance last year eased rules for targeting narcotics rings.
'Recent rules of engagement have allowed us to go after labs, people
associated with labs,' he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
'That's a step in the right direction but until we are able to execute a
comprehensive agricultural strategy, it's going to be very difficult to really have a strategic impact on that.'"

In describing Dalia Grybauskaite, the Economist raises the questions, how can you tell if you are a fervent Atlanticist and is that a bad thing?

From the Economist: "In 1991 she was talent-spotted by an American programme for high-fliers in eastern Europe. But she does not seem to share the fervent Atlanticism usual among Lithuanian politicians."
Excerpt from "Khomeini's Ghost" by Con Coughlin.

From book review in Asharq Alawsat: "'Tehran took the view that its own strategy of fueling the insurgency {in Iraq} by all means at its disposal was working. The longer the United States and its allies were bogged down in Iraq, the less likely they were to act over Iran's nuclear program.' He adds: ' By the spring of 2007 senior NATO commanders found compelling evidence that the Revolutionary Guards had set aside their traditional antipathy towards the Taliban and were supplying them with roadside bombs and rockets to attack NATO positions, particularly British forces deployed in southern Afghanistan.'"
From Turkish Weekly: "On May 21, the military base in Vaziani in a suburb of Tbilisi will host the second phase of field training exercises within the NATO program 'Partnership for Peace', which is called the 'Cooperative Lancer 09. The Georgian Defense Ministry, thousands of soldiers from 14 countries - nine NATO countries (USA, Albania, Canada, Croatia, Spain, United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, Turkey) and five partner countries (Georgia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Azerbaijan) will attend the exercises."
Building blocks of Coalition warfare.

From "Sgt. Varchulik is the only American Soldier on this firing line. He's one of about two dozen soldiers from NATO partner nations taking part in a close-quarter battle course (CQB) taught by the International Special Training Centre (ISTC) in Pfullendorf, Germany.

The ISTC training was once exclusively reserved for NATO special operations forces. But the nature of recent conflicts has increased the demand for the advanced combat, survival and medical skills the center teaches. This is particularly the case among conventional U.S. forces, which may experience situations in Iraq and Afghanistan that require unconventional training."
From Russia Today: "All brigades in Russia’s North Caucasus military district are to participate in the Kavkaz-2009 military maneuvers in June 2009, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency."
From Today's Zaman: "The Combined Aerospace Operations Center (CAOC) in Larissa, Greece, will be under the rotating command of a Turkish lieutenant general and a Greek general, each serving for two years, the Turkish newspaper Akşam reported on Tuesday. This is the first time a Turkish general will be serving in Greek territory since Greece won its independence from the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century."