Host: Richard Werly
Date: 26 January 2012
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The following is a digest of the webinar discussions held on Thursday, 26th January, 2012 with our host Richard Werly.
Taking the opportunity of NATO first press briefing of the year 2012, Richard has pointed out the Alliance's priorities and the main challenges it will be facing:
Overall, Afghanistan will remain a key challenge for NATO in 2012 and this will be highlighted during the 20-21 may summit in Chicago. The difference with the past, however, is that NATO now sticks to a timetable approved by the US and its allies. Retreat in an orderly manner is the priority. The decisive political challenge is therefore an Afghan one, as the national government has to prove it can both hold the country and engage into a peace process with the Islamic insurgents.
On other fronts, NATO will face difficulties in dealing with Russia, per the missile defense, and in dealing with shaken transatlantic relations. 2012 shall confirm the American intention to disengage from Europe and to re-deploy in Asia. More financial burden will be on the shoulders on America’s European allies who already have to cope with the debt crisis.
Asia-Europe divergent Paths
a) they remember the Asian financial crisis and the hardship they had to endure
b) they remain defiant of the so-called European social model, see as too expansive and not sustainable in the long run
c) Asians are scared by the fact that even european countries, like Germany, keep their distance with the most fragile European economies. So if Europeans don't trust each others, why Asians should?
Questions? Post a comment below, or e-mail Richard Werly at firstname.lastname@example.org