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Washington's cautious welcome for NATO summit outcome

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Washington's cautious welcome for NATO summit outcome


Washington may have reason to be pleased with the outcome of the NATO summit in Wales that ended on Friday.

Speaking afterwards the US President Barack Obaman pointed to the unanimity of leaders on the the dangers posed by Russia’s actions over Ukraine, and the threat to member’s security by Islamic State’s aggression in Iraq and Syria.

Sandy Berger, a former US national security advisor to President Bill Clinton, is backing NATO’s stand on eastern Ukraine.

“Unless there is a political settlement that restores that area to Ukrainian control, I think we need to increase the sanctions. We need to help Ukraine to defend itself, and ought not to let this situation stand as a victory for Putin’s aggression.”

Berger also backed the view that Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a problem that the world needs to address with some urgency.

“Clearly there is a military dimension. We can do some damage with air power, but there has to be forces on the ground, ultimately to push ISIS back. That means we need a strong Iraqi army, which has been very much eroded in recent years. We need to help rebuild that”.

The US is by far the largest contributor to NATO. The unity Obama talked of at the summit in may go some way to convincing the American public that the organisation is still very much need in the post Cold War world.

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