Saturday, October 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

NATO signals no new members for the present

By
From page A13 | July 06, 2014 |

BRUSSELS — Faced with a newly aggressive Russia, NATO has been mulling how to react, but it is ruling out one option: rapid expansion.

Four would-be members, including the former Soviet republic of Georgia, have been informed that admission to NATO isn’t in the cards anytime soon. For some, that means dashed hopes. Macedonia’s foreign minister told The Associated Press in a statement it was a “step backward.”

The bottom line: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, celebrating important anniversaries this year of a dozen nations joining its ranks, will welcome no new members when President Barack Obama and other leaders convene for a summit in Wales in early September.

Analysts say that NATO members are worried about granting, or being perceived as granting, security guarantees that could quickly be tested by Russia. That’s particularly true of Georgia, which has been waiting since 2008 for the U.S.-led military alliance to make good on its promise of admission.

Before taking over Crimea from Ukraine, Russia invaded and occupied two regions of Georgia nearly six years ago — and NATO is reluctant to take any action that might provoke a riposte from Moscow.

“The conflict over Ukraine has made it clear to them at NATO they have to be careful, both about security commitments and credibility,” said Liana Fix, an associate fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations. “If you give Georgia their membership action plan but don’t defend them if something happens, what does it say about your credibility?”

NATO won’t publicly hang up the “No Vacancy” sign.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance’s secretary general, proclaimed recently that “NATO’s door remains open. And no third country has a veto over NATO enlargement.”

But even before Crimea’s annexation, some NATO countries were experiencing “enlargement exhaustion” and had become reluctant to increase the alliance’s membership rolls, said Jorge Benitez, senior fellow for trans-Atlantic security at the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

Post-Crimea, “the issues are much bigger,” Benitez said. “The question is, how much insecurity would you add to the alliance versus how much security would you bring to the alliance?”

To try to tilt the balance in its favor, Georgia has been an enthusiastic NATO partner, and until recently, had been fielding the largest non-NATO contingent of soldiers in alliance-led operations in Afghanistan.

In Wales, Georgia had been hoping to receive a formal action plan for membership, but instead will be given a “substantive package” to help move it closer to NATO, Rasmussen said. He declined to give details. But Fix said the package was likely to include stepped-up training programs, increased military cooperation and advice, and a detailed checklist of what NATO wants Georgia to do to qualify for membership.

The small Balkan nation of Macedonia was also assured of a membership invitation by NATO leaders six years ago, but will have to wait for the foreseeable future. The deal-breaker is an unresolved conflict over the country’s name, which duplicates that of a Greek region. Since Greece is a NATO member and all 28 members must give their assent to admit a new nation, Athens has effective right of veto.

“Greece is acting from a position of power because it is a full member state,” Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said in the written statement. Lamenting the “step backward,” he said Macedonia will keep trying “to introduce sense into the Greek-Macedonian dialogue.”

Another former Yugoslav republic, Montenegro, is widely considered the candidate closest to achieving membership. Rasmussen said that by the end of 2015, NATO foreign ministers will assess whether “the time is ripe” to invite Montenegro to join. That deadline was the only one to come out of the July 24-25 Brussels meeting of foreign ministers that reviewed NATO’s “open door” policy.

What was not spoken about publicly was the reason for NATO’s delay: the reported penetration of Montenegro’s intelligence service by the Russians.

“That was the sticking point,” a NATO official told AP. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. He estimated the number of Montenegrin intelligence agents with links to Russia at between 25 and 50. Steps are already under way to neutralize their activities, he added, but that “it will take some time to manage.”

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic told his country’s parliament that the decision on enlargement had been postponed because of “geopolitical reasons Montenegro cannot influence.”

Drasko Djuranovic, an analyst, predicted a rise in anti-Western feeling in the small Balkan country.

“The majority of people who support Montenegro’s membership in NATO will feel betrayed,” he said.

The fourth country classified as a NATO aspirant, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has been unable to pass a key condition set by the alliance: transfer of 63 defense facilities from local authorities to the central government, NATO officials said.

At a Monday news conference, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes encouraged the would-be alliance members to “stay on that track,” even it if takes time.

“There’s a reason that NATO is the best and strongest alliance that we’ve had in history, and the reason is that there’s a very high standard of membership and there are very strong commitments that come with membership,” Rhodes said. “So it’s natural that there be an extended period in which nations work through those issues.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Suspects tie up customers, workers during armed robbery

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fall Harvest Festival brings children back to school

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Optimist Club brings youth together for Halloween golf

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

No new murder trial for Calkins, judge rules

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Cut-a-thon to help fight cancer, abuse

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Haunted hikes offered for brave souls at park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
School board candidates forum set next week

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

.

US / World

Suspect arrested in death of 2 California deputies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
KC-10 from Travis lands in Houston, smoke in cockpit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Reagan astrologer, Joan Quigley, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Jury says castrated sex offender should be freed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

SEIU shouldn’t own Board of Supervisors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Vote, and make a difference

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Yes on Measure A

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Hamilton helps Vanden sink Vallejo, 35-0

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Vintage rolls past Armijo, 55-8

By Mike Corpos | From Page: B1

Mustangs fall flat in rout by Wildcats

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

 
Royals beat Giants 3-2 for 2-1 World Series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Falcons hang with Wolves in 34-8 setback

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vargas to take on Vogelsong in Game 4 of Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders’ Woodley, Young expected to be placed on IR

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Maddon exercises opt-out, won’t return to Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Attorney: NFL, Ravens not helping union in Rice probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
SCC women’s soccer team falls to Mendocino 3-1

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Jamie McMurray bests Chase drivers to win pole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Lloyd leads US women past Mexico 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Henley’s putting gets him lead at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Unfazed, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doing it his way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge halts New Jersey’s sports betting plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

US official: Auto safety agency under review

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford profit falls in third quarter on truck costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble taking out its batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UPS expects double-digit surge in Dec shipments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US new-home sales close to flat in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Melvin Tate

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 10/25/14

Real estate transactions for Oct. 25, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2