From Baltic Review: "Czech pilots of the Jas-39 Gripen fighters who have protected the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia within NATO since May were used for the first time on Thursday, spokesman David Schreier from the command Air Policing told CTK .
They intervened against a civilian plane that violated the no-fly border zone between Lithuania and Russia, monitoring it until its landing near Klaipeda, Schreier said." (photo: Baltic Review)
From washingtonpost.com: "Retired generals and nationalist politicians have accused Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of scaling back Russia's military ambitions by essentially giving up on trying to maintain an army capable of confronting NATO."
From Washington Times: "Russia contributed more to the defeat of the Taliban than any other U.S. ally, including NATO members."
From Xinhua: "NATO's decision-making North Atlantic Council on Monday strongly condemned the nuclear and ballistic missile tests by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on the same day.
'These irresponsible actions by Pyongyang pose a serious challenge to peace, security and stability in the Asia Pacific region and are being universally condemned by the international community,' said the council in a statement."
Joffe also highlights a question that is often ignored because it is politically difficult to answer, "does NATO want to have to fight [insert name of potential member here]'s wars?" It might very well be in NATO's interest to fight Freedonia's next wars, but the alliance should not offer the commitment of Article 5 until it is clear with itself and its citizens that the new ally is an essential (because of shared national interests) and responsible (because of quality of governance) trustee of NATO blood and resources.
From the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies: "Any alliance must crack the classical dilemma between abandonment and entrapment. Preventing abandonment in the hour of need calls for maximal entanglement, which makes sure that my partners will fight on my side when I am attacked. Entrapment poses the opposite imperative: I do not want to be drawn into a conflict that are not my own. Now assume a rational, even-handed NATO leader. Would he want to get himself in a situation where he had to fight Israel’s wars? . . .
What Euro-politico, who has to look out for his country’s interest first, would entangle himself on the side of Israel – even if he is favorably disposed to the Jewish State?" (via imra.org)
From Civil Georgia: "Robert Simmons, NATO’s special representative for South Caucasus and Central Asia, received from the Georgian government in Tbilisi on May 25, the country’s Annual National Programme (ANP).
The document, which is not public, is, as NATO diplomat said, “a roadmap” for Georgia’s eventual NATO membership."
From RFE/RL: "Medvedev also tried to press his advantage at the summit by urging the EU to back his plans for a new 'security architecture' for Europe. At the press conference, he sharply attacked NATO -- which includes as members most EU member states.
'We have partnership relations, for example, with the North Atlantic bloc. But, despite what seems to be a special form of relations, this form turned out to be weak when these relations were put to the test,' Medvedev said.
'And the ongoing attempts now to rebuild ties between Russia and NATO are encountering quite serious difficulties.'"
From BBC: "Europe's largest military exercise - Joint Warrior - is to be
extended from two to three weeks this October.
Held twice a year in spring and autumn, it sees some of the training of Nato armies and navies held in Scotland and in the sea off its coast."
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 worldtribune.com, (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.