Obama to Unveil Modest Initiatives for NATO

More drones for the alliance and a shifting of control over Europe's missile defense system will be central

President Obama on Sunday will unveil a new package of initiatives for NATO to bolster the military alliance even in a time of looming fiscal austerity, where defense budgets may be cut.

One element of the new initiative will be America’s handing over to NATO of control of an emerging European missile defense system to be built by the United States. A radar station in Turkey will come under NATO command as well as interceptor missiles planned for Poland and Romania.

This will reinforce European power on the world stage, especially since such schemes are more about offense than defense.

Another aspect of the plan is to have NATO purchase and maintain five Global Hawk surveillance drones. Apparently, the other major powers in the alliance were jealous that only the U.S. had such aircraft during the NATO-backed regime change in Libya.

While the U.S. plans to reduce the number of Army brigades stationed permanently in Europe, the Pentagon will still rotate unites through training facilities to sustain military-to-military cooperation. Also, in order to save member nations the trouble of spending any of their own money on defense, there will be “initiatives to share maritime patrol aircraft, route-clearance vehicles and medical facilities, as well as pool maintenance costs for helicopters and armored vehicles,” reports the New York Times.

Despite it being something of a campaign pledge from President Obama, no reductions in NATO’s nuclear arsenal will be announced.

The changes will be minor and will not change the fundamental aspect of NATO’s existence: to maintain U.S. military hegemony over large swaths of Eurasia.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.