What to look for at the NATO summit

May 20, 2012, 4:52 PM

(AP) – A look at the main issues for the NATO alliance at the summit meeting for heads of government in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.


An alliance formed in 1949 to deter Soviet aggression. The central principle is that an attack in Europe or North America against any member is an attack against all. The alliance has grown to 28 member nations, ranging from the United States, Britain, France and Germany to former Soviet bloc countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Albania and Croatia are the newest members



The summit will affirm the shift in NATO’s military mission in Afghanistan from a combat role to an advisory role next year, and on plans to help underwrite the Afghan military after the NATO-led military mission ends two years from now. NATO is pledging to maintain a multinational combat force in Afghanistan until sometime in 2014, with a firm deadline to end the mission by 2015. NATO nations, along with others such as Australia that participate in the NATO-led mission, have planned a gradual withdrawal of combat forces ahead of that deadline.

The election of Socialist President Francois Hollande in France complicates that agenda. Hollande has said he will withdraw all French combat troops from Afghanistan by year’s end _ two years early.

Public sentiment in Europe and the United States favors a faster pullout than NATO now plans. The United States and Britain, which have the largest forces in Afghanistan, are trying to avoid a rush to the exits by other partners.

The summit will also showcase efforts to get firm financial commitments for support of Afghan forces. NATO argues that even the projected bill of about $4 billion annually is cheaper than the cost of war. But some European governments apparently have neither the budget nor the will to keep paying. The United States expects to pay much of the cost but U.S. officials say Washington cannot foot the bill alone.



Most alliance members have endured economic reversals that make any major new defense spending unappealing or impossible. The alliance is laboring under the weight of outdated or incompatible equipment and suffers major gaps in military capability that the better-equipped and better-funded U.S. military often has to fill. Some of those shortfalls were on display during last year’s successful NATO air mission in Libya.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates rattled NATO when he said the alliance risked falling apart if it continued to leave the hardest fighting and biggest bills to the United States.



The alliance will declare that it has partly completed a missile defense shield for Europe. The system has achieved “interim capability,” against possible missile threats from Iran or elsewhere, NATO claims. Russia opposes the system and has rebuffed NATO efforts to form a partnership.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not attending the summit, largely because of the missile defense split.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


FILE - A sign bearing the company logo is displayed outside a Tesla store in Cherry Creek Mall in D...
Associated Press

US has over 750 complaints of Teslas braking for no reason

DETROIT (AP) — More than 750 Tesla owners have complained to U.S. safety regulators that cars operating on the automaker’s partially automated driving systems have suddenly stopped on roadways for no apparent reason. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed the number in a detailed information request letter to Tesla that was posted Friday on […]
25 days ago
A destroyed window of a house is seen during a military sweep to search for possible remnants of Ru...
Associated Press

Zelenskyy: Retreating Russians leave many mines behind

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned his people early Saturday that retreating Russian forces were creating “a complete disaster” outside the capital as they leave mines across “the whole territory,” even around homes and corpses. He issued the warning as the humanitarian crisis in the encircled city of Mariupol deepened, with Russian […]
3 months ago
Arizona Department of Gaming

While March brings upsets and buzzer-beaters, it also needs to bring caution

In March, basketball fans around the country glue themselves in front of a television for almost 11 hours for four consecutive days.
3 months ago
Follow @KTAR923...

Some of the greatest Big Game comebacks in NFL history

The Big Game has brought some of the best and worst comebacks for not only the casual fan, but gambling fans.
5 months ago
No Author

Broomhead’s Action Alliance

Sign up to make a difference! Join Broomhead's Action Alliance to learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities where you'll work side by side with Mike Broomhead in service to others.
7 months ago

Couple residing in Chandler arrested for AHCCCS, pandemic loan fraud

A couple residing in Chandler was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly fraudulently billing the Arizona healthcare system and for fraud in their applications for COVID-19 pandemic-related loans, authorities said.
10 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.