Nato to join anti-IS coalition

Nato has declared its willingness to join the US-led international coalition against the IS terror organisation. Until now only individual Nato states had been active in the coalition, a fact that US President Donald Trump had repeatedly criticised. The members have nevertheless ruled out the possibility of direct participation in combat missions for the time being. Will the war on terror now be fought more resolutely?

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Die Welt (DE) /

At last a change of course

Donald Trump is a blessing for Nato, Die Welt comments:

“His pushing and shoving, his nerve and his obstinacy have led the Alliance, after years of shilly-shallying, to finally undertake more in the fight against international terrorism. At the same time the member states will significantly increase their defence budgets in the years to come. ... That's good. Dialogue is important, there's no doubt about that. But credible deterrence and modern military capabilities that make defence possible are equally important. The Nato meeting on Ascension Day seems to have brought a change of direction in the Alliance's policy against international terrorism.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Members can't trust each other

Večernji list, on the other hand, believes Nato is still far too hesitant:

“The Atlantic Alliance is going to war against the IS - but without warriors. Only the number of Awacs flights and similar operations that don't entail troops fighting directly is being increased. There isn't enough trust for anything more than that. The member states need to considerably improve their communication and exchange of information. That means taking responsibility. And there must be no more incidents like that with the US: after the Manchester attack it passed on confidential information it had received from the UK to its media. … On the one hand you have leaks of confidential information while on the other everyone is clamouring for more sharing of information in the fight against terror. Something is wrong here, and Nato must act swiftly to correct it.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

A multi-speed Nato

The conflicts of interest between Nato members are insurmountable, Rzeczpospolita believes:

“What we have here is a multi-speed Nato and differing visions of the Alliance. There are at least four. The US proceeds at its own pace, one that's had to calculate. Turkey proceeds at a different speed. ... These two members are increasingly distancing themselves from each other and from Europe. Turkey is becoming a predominantly Muslim Middle East country and pursuing its own interests. With Europe there's also a problem. Although Eastern Europe has been strengthened with the deployment of rotating battalions, it is still not treated on a par with Western Europe. The East must continue to look on as Western leaders focus more on good relations with Russia.”

Adevărul (RO) /

Romania's chance to shine

Nato's decision to join the coalition against the IS gives Romania a good opportunity to distinguish itself, Adevârul comments:

“Romania can exploit its strategic advantages, because at least with regard to stability and predictability it represents a real spearhead on the Alliance's entire eastern front. ... For both alliances which Romania is part of - the EU and Nato - that is vital. Looking at the countries along this front, one sees that with the exception of Romania their relations with the EU are pretty turbulent (and in the case of Poland and Hungary almost explosive). We see that Turkey and Bulgaria have their well-known problems and Greece is constantly on the brink of national bankruptcy. If Nato and the EU are planning coordinated military or intelligence operations in the fight against terrorism, Romania could be the logistical solution for the formation of a regional support network.”

Público (PT) /

Trump will destroy the Alliance

Trump appealed to Nato members on Thursday to spend two percent of their GDP on defence, as they had promised to do. Nato should be careful not to give in to the US president on too many issues, Público warns:

“Trump has always been coherent in this criticism of Nato so far and from the economic point of view he is right to some extent. The Europeans don't contribute enough to the 'security community'. … But Nato is not an economic transaction, much less an accounting exercise at the shop on the corner. It is of key importance for the US and therefore it's likely that Trump will change his mind. … However, there are two problems: first, founding Nato wasn't his idea, and anything that wasn't his idea is bad. … Second, Trump really is crazy. And he will, in one way or another, end up destroying Nato or at least weakening it to the point that it is rendered useless.”