Or the bar in Barbarossa. Replete with Germany calling the shots again. If Hitler’ Wehrmacht had been positioned from the top of the world to the oil fields of the Caucasus in 1941 as NATO currently is, the result of Operation Barbarossa may well have been different than what it was.
Recently the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has reported on conducting joint naval a four-day exercise with the Ukrainian navy in the Black Sea and on its Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two making a port visit to Odessa.
The military bloc also announced that the head of the Ukrainian parliament, speaker of the the Verkovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov, will meet with NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană in three days.
And Radio Free Europe reports today that Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal thanked Germany (in a context that might prove of interest to “history buffs”) for assisting his country to become a NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner in June of last year. He added: “At this point, we have stepped up the reform process to receive an invitation and join the NATO Membership Action Plan as the next step. We will be grateful to our German partners for their support and assistance in that matter as well.”
A Membership Action is the last step before a nation becomes a full NATO member, and that is clearly Shmyhal’s objective, as it is NATO’s and the U.S.’s.
To ensure that occurs, and as expeditiously as possible, three days ago NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed his organization will review – and no doubt update and upgrade – the Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine adopted in 2016.
Stoltenberg listed among other measures to integrate Ukraine into global NATO by achieving combat/warfighting interoperability the following:
“NATO invested in its practical support to Ukraine through 16 different programmes under the Comprehensive Assistance Package.
“In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the NATO-Ukraine Professional Development Programme delivered training courses to hundreds of Ukrainian professionals from across the government working in the area of Euro-Atlantic integration. The Military Career Transition Programme continued to support Ukraine in further developing the institutional capacities of the Ministry for Veteran Affairs of Ukraine.”
All this is occurring against the backdrop of NATO replicating the permanent deployment of advanced warplanes in the Baltic nations in Romania, and the U.S. earlier this year deploying two guided-missile destroyers that are part of the Phased European Adaptive Approach interceptor missile system aimed at Russia’s deterrence and retaliation capacity.