”Svensk alliansfrihet ett tomt skal” - sr.se: "– Nato är inte längre en västorganisation. Vi har tio nya medlemmar som tillhör Östeuropa, hela organisationen har glidit geografiskt österut, det är inte en USA-styrd organisation längre, säger professor Ove Bring."
Bring also says, in April 2008, that NATO now is very similar to the EU and the UN. The NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen says that he wants to make a cultural revolution in NATO. He wants the organization to collaborate more with external powers like China, India, Pakistan and Russia. Russia is displeased over this development since it entails plans on further expansion of NATO. Is he trying to create a competitor to the UN Security Council?
However, Madeleine Albright, the 72 years old, born in Czech Republic, former US State Department Secretary, who work in a think tank that will present the result of a reorganization of NATO in November this year, says that the Soviet Union was an enemy of NATO but Russia isn't. This work is performed partly because there is falling support for NATO in 21 member countries of the 27 EU countries. Coordination of the two organizations that seem worlds apart is of essence.
Gunnar Hökmark writes in his blog that the so called Eastern Partnership that Sweden and Poland have launched is the way forward for Europe. It would be interesting to know how this partnership relates to NATO and the UN? Apparently there is some discontent from Germany and France that membership in the partnership could be regarded as a stepping stone to NATO. Personally I am quite weary about all expansion plans. The EU have plenty of problems in the Balkans and for example Greece that make introspection more appropriate.
Helene Cooper and Nicholas Kulish at The New York Times report that Russia is displeased and have probably influenced Kyrgyzstan to prevent the US from using a very important base for the Afghanistan war on their soil. Joe Biden's speech in Munich was highly anticipated because of its potential to reveal the Obama administration's security doctrine. It seems like they will leave the door ajar for discussion on missile defence with Russia. Missile defence is thus a sensitive topic. The seemingly bargaining chip defence-against-missiles-from-Iran is retained.
There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not Russia is European and obviously the country has been influenced historically by Europe. However, being a country adjacent to Europe with missiles directed to it and recent aggressions in Georgia indicates that Russia is alone, all eleven time zones of it. It does not take much imagination to see that the problem of defending this large lowly populated area full of raw materials situated between two giant economical poles makes the Russians show its teeth the day before the new security Davos conference, and say that they ultimately would defend their territory with nuclear weapons.
Ukraine is having their election today and the question is where the country is heading after the fact. Hökmark says that it is moving towards Russia. What I have heard is that Julia Tymoshenko has been an avid visitor in Moscow and is perhaps still the preferred candidate from the Western standpoint. After all she was a front figure in the Orange revolution. However, Viktor Yanukovich got more votes in the first election and was Moscow's original man. The finance crisis in the West have made the old Russian connection more palatable. Many Ukrainians probably ask themselves where do we belong these days and the eastern industrialized Ukraine is decidedly Yanukovich and Russian, including the Crimea. A NATO membership might split the country in half and might not be what the majority of the Ukrainians want?