The Newport NATO Declaration will be of world significance.
Today the Commons Defence Committee repeated part of a call I made in this EDM last week:
“That this House hopes the Newport Declaration from the 2014 NATO Summit will include a realistic non-triumphalist assessment on NATO’s role in Afghanistan and a welcome for the new strengthened unity of NATO nations in resisting the belligerence of Putin’s incursions into neighbouring states.”
NATO is an imperfect body that has made many mistakes. But it has served the world well as a bulwark since 1949 against the spread of a malign totalitarian empire. For the past ten years I have complained about NATO policies in Iraq and Afghanistan more than any other MP. But the future threat is not from NATO. It's from Putin.
Rarely do I agree with the Defence Select Committee. But they are absolutely right today to warn that:
”The recent Ukraine conflict showed "serious deficiencies" in Nato's preparedness to counter threats. The risk of a conventional assault remained low - but warned over methods such as cyber-attacks and the use of irregular militias. They called for establishing a continuous presence of Nato troops and military equipment in "vulnerable" Baltic states, including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. “
Absolutely vital. But the committee is wrong to demand more cash. The UK is already NATO’s second biggest defence spender and the fourth highest spender in the world. It’s time for other NATO partners to catch up.
These should be the decsions of the Newport NATO Declaration.