In the past two days, the NATO members have made sure to show a unified image of the Atlantic alliance. Throughout his press conferences at the summit, NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, made sure to reiterate the strong ties amongst the allies. On Sunday, US President Barack Obama insisted again on America’s commitment to NATO.
In regards to this unified image, the allies also pledged a great many assets throughout the Summit, from the Baltics to Afghanistan, including a new naval mission, Sea Guardian, in the Mediterranean Sea.
Canada, for its part, after giving details of the level of its participation in Latvia, within the new NATO Enhanced Forward Presence, also announced it will contribute US $465 million to the new US $1 billion pledged for the Resolute Support mission, in Afghanistan. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented these efforts as proof of Canada’s continued leadership and engagement toward its allies.
As explained by Stéfanie von Hlatkly, Director of the Queen’s University Centre for International and Defence Policy, theses contributions of Canada are high enough to avoid criticisms for not reaching the 2% of GDP goal in defense expenditures.
On top of the pledged assets, two main topics have taken hold between the allies. The first being Russia. The alliance is toeing the line between possibly opening a dialogue with Russia, and stressing the unacceptable nature of Russian aggression. As Canada’s Foreign Affairs minister Stéphane Dion summed it up: Russian aggression in Ukraine is unacceptable and thus, deterrence toward such behaviour is a necessity.
The second topic of concerns was NATO enlargement. Many partner countries have been invited to the Summit, including Georgia and Ukraine, in order to see how the Atlantic alliance can help them bolster their defense. The goal here is to present NATO as a stabilization force in the region. Montenegro was also invited to the whole summit, giving it is about to become a member of the alliance. Even if it still waiting for each NATO members approval of its membership, Montenegro is not pushing them to meet a specific deadline, as explained by Milica Pejanović Đurišić, Montenegro Defense Minister.
The Summit can easily be marked as a landmark summit among the alliance with a stronger than ever commitment to security in Europe and the Middle-East. The next summit will be held in 2017, in Brussels (Belgium), at the new NATO headquarters.
Read an official Warsaw Summit Communiqué here.