NATO is preparing to celebrate its 60th birthday and to mark the occasion the leaders of member nations are heading to the Rhineland border cities of Strasbourg and Kehl for a summit on Friday.The 26-nation body will usher in two new Eastern European members, Albania and Croatia and look to build ties with post-Soviet Russia. 25.000 French and German police officers are preparing to impose a lock down around the summit. With so many VIPs attending including the President of the United States…add to that the symbolism of NATO’s 60th birthday …the terror threat is being taken very seriously. Several protest groups have made their intentions known they are mounting huge demonstrations. They have already been on the streets in Strasbourg, Kehl and Baden Bade. Reiner Brain Anti-NATO co-ordinator: “The three main events are the camp, the international camp, the international conference that will discuss and analyse the strategy of NATO for the future and working on alternatives, and the big national demonstration on Saturday the 4th”. Inside the summit itself Afghanistan will dominate the agenda. Seven years after the American led intervention Insurgent violence has spiralled..this despite a NATO-led force of 60,000 from 42 nations. President Obama wants a troop surge but NATO remains reluctant to contribute more military, more equipment and money. Another important issue for the summit: is the relationship with Moscow. Since the Russia-Georgia conflict last August relations have cooled. Russian and NATO both want to help mend the rift.
NATO's 'diamond' anniversary.