June 30, 2022


“NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden's bid to join the Western alliance on Tuesday after the three nations agreed to protect each other's security… Turkey's main demands, which came as a surprise to NATO allies in late May, were for the Nordic countries to stop supporting Kurdish militant groups present on their territory, and to lift their bans on some sales of arms to Turkey.” Reuters

“President Joe Biden said Wednesday the U.S. will significantly expand its military presence in Europe… Among the changes will be a permanent U.S. garrison in Poland, for the first time creating an enduring American foothold on the alliance’s eastern flank. Biden also said the U.S. would send two additional squadrons of F-35 fighter jets to the United Kingdom and more air defenses and other capabilities to Germany and Italy.” AP News

Here’s our prior coverage of Sweden and Finland requesting to join NATO. The Flip Side

Many on both sides urge Europe to take more responsibility for its defense:

"In the aftermath of Russia’s February onslaught against Ukraine, European leaders were quick to herald what German chancellor Olaf Scholz called a Zeitenwende, a change of an era, as Germany promised to finally spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense. That’s what NATO leaders pledged to do by 2024 at their 2014 summit in Wales… Will this moment last? Probably not. Transatlantic relations already appear back to the usual state, with the United States carrying the heavy burden for European security. Since February, the United States has provided more total assistance to Ukraine than the countries of the European Union combined…

“To be sure, several NATO members have boosted their military commitments since February. Romania, Italy, Poland, Norway and prospective member Sweden have all recently joined Germany in pledging to increase defense spending. The Madrid summit declaration will undoubtedly highlight a shared commitment to burden sharing. But pledges are meaningless without actual follow-through… One big question is whether the alliance has the energy not only to continue for as long as necessary the broad-based support for Ukraine but to tackle other key challenges as well.”
James Goldgeier and Sara Bjerg Moller, Washington Post

“While NATO bureaucrats and heads-of-state trumpet their unity on Ukraine, there is very little in the way of concrete shifts toward a fairer and more balanced division of labor within the alliance. The US is by far and away the country doing most of the reassuring in Europe. The American troop presence on the continent has increased by 66 percent since the beginning of the year, and will likely remain at or near 100,000 personnel for the foreseeable future. Besides the UK, which will temporarily allocate 8,000 troops to Europe for a series of NATO exercises this summer, the vast majority of member states aren’t walking the walk

“Simply leaving Europe’s defense up to Uncle Sam, with its $800 billion defense budget and penchant for overextension, is not a sustainable strategy.”
Daniel DePetris, Spectator World

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