NATO's 60th Anniversary Summit
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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On April 3 and 4, 2009, the heads of state and government of the 26 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO will meet in Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany for a summit marking the 60th anniversary of the alliance. The summit will be one of three stops on President Obamas first official visit to Europe as President. Alliance leaders are expected to use the anniversary summit to pay tribute to NATOs past achievements and to reaffirm their commitment to the alliance as the preeminent transatlantic security framework. They will also complete a new round of NATO enlargement, seek common positions on the range of challenges currently facing the alliance, and begin to set the parameters for NATOs future direction. The key issue facing the alliance is the ongoing mission in Afghanistan, where allied governments are struggling to reach a strategic consensus on how to stabilize the country. The deteriorating security situation in the country has caused many to question the ability of NATOs International Security Assistance Force ISAF to achieve its objectives and has exposed rifts within the alliance as to ISAFs mission and the appropriate means to accomplish it. NATOs strained relations with Russia are a second key issue. The allies have announced that they will resume formal ties with Russia after having suspended relations in the NATO-Russia Council following Russias August 2008 invasion of Georgia. However, alliance members continue to disagree on how to manage relations with Russia and their other eastern neighbors in the future. NATO enlargement will be a third issue on the summit agenda. Albania and Croatia are expected to officially join the alliance at the summit and discussions on the stalled membership prospects of Macedonia, Georgia, and Ukraine could continue.
- Military Forces and Organizations