Monday, January 16, 2017

Why NATO isn't Obsolete

Over the weekend Donald Trump called NATO obsolete. In this regard his views seem eerily similar to Vladimir Putin's. It's almost as if the President-elect's foreign policy was designed to Make Russia Great Again.

Since 1949 NATO has been working to prevent conflicts around the world through political diplomacy and through military operations. It was established after World War II as an alliance of European and North American countries. Its aim was to safeguard the member countries by agreeing to a policy of mutual defense. It was also obviously intended as a safeguard against the Soviet policy of expansionism.

Under Vladimir Putin Russia is once again operating an aggressive expansionist foreign policy. This has led to the Russian invasions of both Georgia and Ukraine. Russia has also sought to undermine NATO and to destabilize relations between the USA and European countries. Policies that Donald Trump incredibly seems keen to support.

To further these aims Russia has expanded its military capabilities from the Arctic down to Syria. It has increased its anti-access area denial (A2AD) capabilities in order to make it more difficult for NATO to protect eastern European countries. You can see how Russia is expanding its military presence in Missile Threat's Russia – NATO A2AD Environment interactive map.

The map shows both NATO's and Russia's military defense operations. The map also shows how NATO is far from 'obsolete'. In fact it seems more important now than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

If you want to learn more about the role of NATO then you should view 'NATO on the Map'. 'NATO's interactive map NATO on the Map also helps to explain how the organization functions and how & where it operates around the world. NATO on the Map allows you to view which countries belong to the alliance, which countries it works in partnership with and its influence on global peacekeeping.

The map allows you to view the locations of NATO's civilian headquarters, military commands and headquarters around the world. It also shows examples of where NATO has sought to "project stability in its neighbourhood and beyond." A 'Security Challenges' layer shows some of the present global threats to peace and security that NATO and its partners currently faces across the globe.

The map includes two main map views a Google Maps aerial view and a Cesium powered 3D view.

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