This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Ukraine abandons unaligned status, with intention to join Nato
- France is on high alert after a string of ‘isolated’ attacks
Ukraine abandons unaligned status, with intention to join Nato
A protester in front of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on Tuesday (AFP)
Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to drop the country’s non-aligned status as the first step towards NATO membership. According to Ukrainian lawmaker Yuri Bereza:
“If Ukraine had moved to join NATO right after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia would have never dared to deploy its troops in Crimea, annex the peninsula and then incite, supply troops and hardware for an armed mutiny in Donbass.
Now it is up to us to conduct necessary military and political reforms to join the [North Atlantic] alliance. That will be our iron-clad guarantee against a new Russian aggression.”
This point of view is consistent with many NATO officials. According to an essay last June penned by present and former NATO officials:
“Security on the continent has changed dramatically since NATO agreed in 2008 to admit Albania and Croatia, which joined the following year, the last round of enlargement. Russia subsequently used force against Georgia and then Ukraine, changing borders. Well before the annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine, Putin had come to regard NATO as an adversary. He has also declared Russia’s intention to use force against perceived oppression of Russian speakers, wherever they are. …
Enlargement contributes to security because it leads to more predictable relations with Russia. Membership has a calming effect on Moscow’s ties with nations as NATO entry greatly increases the costs to Moscow of interfering. Imagine if Estonia or Latvia – two neighbors of Russia with large Russian minorities – were not members of NATO. They could be under as much pressure now as Ukraine. But Moscow has reasons to tread carefully because it knows that an intervention in the Baltics would trigger a collective NATO response.”
A Ukraine membership in NATO would create substantial obligations on all sides. The organization would be obligated to come to Ukraine’s aid in case of a Russian invasion, and Ukraine would be obligated to the aid of other NATO members facing military threats, according to the BBC, LA Times, and CNN (June 2014)
France is on high alert after a string of ‘isolated’ attacks
France’s government announced on Tuesday that it would deploy up to 300 extra troops to patrol public areas over the Christmas season. The alarm has been triggered by three bizarre, supposedly “lone wolf” attacks in three days, combined with charges issued by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL) to jihadists in France to conduct such attacks.
On Saturday, a Muslim Burundian national walked into a police station in Joué-les-Tours, shouted “Allahu Akbar,” and stabbed police officers with a knife. On Sunday, a man with a history of mental illness also cried “Allahu Akbar” and used his car to run down pedestrians in several locations in Dijon. On Monday, a man drove his van through a crowded Christmas market in Nantes, before repeatedly stabbing himself with a knife.
The three incidents are officially unrelated — except that the third one may be a copycat killing.
In September, ISIS urged Muslims in Western countries to kill “in any manner” those involved in a coalition fighting against ISIS, singling out the French. Among instructions for killing civilians or military personnel was to run them over with a car or truck, according to France24 and AFP.
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Ukraine, Yuri Bereza, Nato, Albania, Croatia, Crimea, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, France, Burundi, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL
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