NATO to 'formally' join the US-led anti-ISIS coalition
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says that alliance members are to agree on NATO's participation in the international coalition against ISIS.
NATO has agreed to join the US-led anti-ISIS coalition on an alliance level, with indications that Germany and France were the last nations to agree to the formal move, which was announced during the Brussels summit.
All NATO members are already individually members of the anti-ISIS coalition, and diplomats say that the move will have no actual consequence and seemingly is being done just for the sake of a “purely symbolic” gesture during the US President Donald Trump’s visit.
Trump has always been keen to bring NATO deeper into the ISIS war and has made a big deal about NATO’s obsolescence because it wasn’t formed specifically to deal with terrorism, claiming in April that “Back when they did NATO there was no such thing as terrorism.”
While shortly after his election, most NATO officials were just attacking Trump for being too “pro-Russia,” recently they seem to be eager to please him, so long as it only requires symbolic actions that won’t amount to anything.
'WE WILL AGREE ON NATO'S MEMBERSHIP IN THE COALITION'
NATO's decision to join the anti-ISIS coalition declared today by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meeting of NATO Heads of State and/or Government.
Stoltenberg said: "Today, we will adopt an action plan to enhance NATO’s contributions. Our largest military operation ever was launched in Afghanistan in a direct response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. 13,000 NATO troops continue to train Afghan forces. We will assess our level of support and the future of the mission. Training local forces is one of the best weapons in the fight against terrorism. We are already training Iraqi forces. And our AWACS surveillance planes provide information to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Today, we will decide to expand our support to the Coalition. With more AWACS flight-time, more information sharing and air-to-air refuelling. All 28 Allies are members of the Global Coalition and today, we will agree on NATO’s membership in the Coalition. This will send a strong political message of NATO’s commitment to the fight against terrorism. And improve coordination within the Coalition. But it does not mean that NATO will engage in combat operations."
He also added that, NATO members will agree to establish a new "terrorism intelligence cell" at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Stoltenberg expressed this "cell"s role as "Improving how we share intelligence, including on foreign fighters. And we will decide to appoint a coordinator to oversee NATO’s efforts in the fight against terrorism." (EVRENSEL DAILY)