Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Ukraine joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to depend on results of reforms, - Stoltenberg

Flensburg shipbuilding company CC BY-SA 2.0 Markus Brinkmann Vessel"Berlin"German Official Warns Against Navy's Engagement in NATO EU Sea Ops
Ellis Copeland | 15 February, 2018, 16:59

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the initial batch of national military-expenditure plans demanded by the USA show progress toward a goal for alliance members to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2024. Today, the command structure is reduced to fewer than 7,000 staff in seven commands. And a support command for military mobility within Europe.

The NATO chief said the body had decided on the key elements of the new command structure.

On Jan. 17, the USA -led coalition announced plans to build a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US -backed group composed mainly of the YPG, which Ankara sees as a terror organization for its links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"ATO and Ukraine we have a very strong partnership. I know that several nations have put forward proposals that they are ready to host new land component commands", Stoltenberg said. "The next step for them is to work with us", he said.

"We continue today to press for everyone carrying their full share of the load, fair share of the load", he said.

Hazard: Chelsea need to finish in the top four
We have three months to play until the end of the season and we have to give everything to reach our targets. West Brom only had themselves to blame for not getting back into the game early in the second period.


North Korea Leaves the South to Pick Up Its Olympics Tab
The New York Times reports that they are escorted by North Korean minders at all times - even for bathroom breaks. In Pyeongchang, the cheerleaders have been singing pop songs and performing patriotic and encouraging chants.


BJP Attacks Rahul Gandhi For Visiting Temple After 'Eating Chicken'
Taking a dig at the NDA government's foreign policy, Gandhi said "It is alarming to see China's presence in our neighbourhood. The Congress leader said RSS is running the government and BJP has planted its people in every department and ministry.


These words were a clear reaction to what Katie Wheelbarger, a senior official at the US Department of Defense, expressed last 11 February, according which Washington regarded some of the proposed initiatives as "pulling resources or capabilities away from NATO".

In addition, a year after sharp criticisms from U.S. President Donald Trump about a lack of adequate defense spending by allies, Stoltenberg announced promising improvements in burden sharing throughout the defense alliance. This amounts to an additional $46 billion.

In 2014, only 3 Allies spent 2% of GDP or more on defense.

"We will also set up a new cyber operations center at our military headquarters ... to further strengthen our defenses", the secretary general said, adding that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has seen a sharp rise in cyberattacks on European Union servers in the past two years, the alliance's Secretary General told reporters Wednesday".

"And by 2024, we expect at least 15 allies will spend two percent of GDP or more on defense", Stoltenberg said, "but we still have a long way to go".

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