NATO foreign ministers speak tough on Ukraine, while burying the lessons from Afghanistan

An analysis of the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting, Riga, Latvia, 30 November – 1 December 2021

By Dr. Ian Davis, NATO Watch


Key activities and decisions taken:

  • Ministers expressed concerns that Russia is on the verge of invading Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that aggression against Ukraine “would come at a high price and have serious political and economic consequences for Russia”.
  • Ministers discussed the results of a “comprehensive political and military assessment” of the lessons learned from NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan. None of the various internal and expert reviews that contributed to this assessment, nor the assessment itself have been made public. NATO published a short 730-word Factsheet on the Afghanistan Lessons Learned Process containing a handful of broad conclusions and recommendations. This is a derisory response to a 20-year war that killed many thousands of Afghan civilians and NATO soldiers. NATO says it will continue to hold the Taliban regime accountable for what they have promised, but who is holding NATO accountable for its failed promises?
  • Ministers also discussed the situation in Belarus, the Western Balkans, arms control and the nuclear ban treaty, and NATO’s next Strategic Concept. No new significant developments were disclosed in any of these issues.

Read the attached pdf briefing to find out more.

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