NATO is not reaching agreement, meanwhile ISIS is recruiting

The Economist

As the discussions about ISIS go further without reaching any agreement, two nations have worked on resolutions that may lead nowhere. Germany and the United Kingdom both made resolutions with very conflicting ideas, and Italy was the only nation that made an effort to try to conciliate and merge the two. However, it is impossible for Italy to reach a common ground when no one is willing to compromise. The US is not open to non-military actions and Germany won’t give up its ideas, even if its proposals only reach long term.

The United Kingdom suggested almost totally military actions, but NATO funds are low and armies are expensive. So its resolutions state that the actions combine a few NATO forces with a lot of local forces, especially the Kurdish forces. Kurdish people are eager to help, but the UK is facing difficulties trying not to interfere directly in the Kurdish- Iraq tension, alleging that they are against Kurds independence and adopting a neutral position. The UK is also proposing an economic change in the economic policy towards Middle Eastern nations, such as limiting the sending of NATO troops and taking economic sanctions so as to limit the influx of resources ISIS and its affiliates receive.
Germany, on the other hand, only focus on long-term solutions and non-military actions. This resolution consisted primarily in cybersecurity measures, with intelligence sharing among all NATO members, creating a huge database for every important information each of the countries has, and also a program to tackle down ISIS service of intelligence and its recruitment adds. It also presented measures to adopt economic sanctions (a point both the resolutions had in common). The resolution presented support for humanitarian aid organizations, too. Germany, along with the Netherlands, held the nonmilitary position very strongly, alleging that ISIS would be defeated if its ideology was defeated. For this, they proposed once more the cutting of ISIS funds, an embargo, so it would stop growing economically and classes of religious tolerance in schools worldwide. This was not given much attention inside the committee, but Italy agreed on this matter.

Italy was not a sponsor of any of the resolutions but was a signatory to both. Which was smart because the voting for a resolution has to be unanimous. So when other nations were fighting about taking or not military actions and going nowhere, Italy was trying to negotiate a common ground, focusing on similar articles by both resolutions. Italy stated that one of the most difficult topics nations are going to have to settle in is the allocation of refugees. Italy believes that some countries, such as Poland, will have a hard time discussing the matter.

It is explicit that an agreement is far from being reached. but hopefully with Italy’s efforts and UK and Germany being more flexible, a resolution can be settled.

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US and Nato

The Economist

NATO is currently discussing what actions it should take towards ISIS. This is mainly a very important topic for the United States, considering the country has had direct military battles with the terrorist group, therefore the US wants to decimate this extremist Islamic group, considering it a threat of national security. However, it is facing difficulties reaching agreements with other member States. On the subject of destroying ISIS, US prefers a military ground approach (air strikes were also suggested), in which many European countries are firmly against. Netherlands believes they should take cybersecurity actions, such as blocking ISIS adds on social media (especially the recruitment ones) and hacking their intelligence system, this could reduce the number of recruitments and, consequently, decline ISIS activities, considering that the majority of ISIS members are recruited by social media.

However, cybersecurity measures have slower results and the US wants fast actions. Germany wants to fight the extremist ideology of the group, using basically the same measures as the Netherlands. The US is having a hard time finding a common ground with the other nations, it believes that this measures could be more important and expressive in different times, currently defending actions that have faster results such as the use of allied forces, mainly Kurdish border forces, and sending advisors to Kurdish troops, allowing both nations to strengthen their diplomatic relations while also empowering local groups.

NATO is a military alliance almost entirely funded by the US. Without American funds, NATO could fall apart, US pays 22.1% of all NATO expenses, being the biggest contributor and the most powerful nation inside the organization. While United States collaborate with such a huge sum (almost 4% of its GDP), the other nations fail to collaborate with the goal set by NATO in 2014 of 2% of GDP. The US claims for further discussions about fundings inside the organization, alleging it will no longer pay for “European security for free”. They also stated that they believe it is more important to focus on ISIS itself, in Iraq and Syria, rather than investing in security measures in Europe. This is building a tension between US and European nations such as Netherlands and Germany, both being expressly against military actions.

In conclusion, US is having a hard time getting what it wants when it comes to destroying ISIS, facing objections from very powerful and key nations and is also frustrated that NATO is not receiving enough funds from a lot of nations. US is pressuring its allies inside NATO into agreeing in taking military actions, consenting with Germany to consider civilian collateral damage before taking any sanction. The United States is compromising in the face of a major national security subject.