What’s the NATO summit really about? It’s not all about protests and demonstrations. The meeting itself, taking place Sunday and Monday in Chicago, is for world leaders to plan military strategy. The big issue will be how to get out of Afghanistan, says J.D. Bindenagel of DePaul University, a U.S. ambassador for 28 years.
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“We come as American people right now to a question of how do we proceed, and how do we not leave a disaster behind, but how do we manage the withdrawal. It’s a very tricky and very difficult effort,” he said. Bindenagel says all the Western leaders want out, but on different schedules and with different concerns for what’s left behind. He says what’s interesting is these world leaders must navigate issues of war and peace, while at the same time responding to political pressure in their home countries.
The NATO summit takes place annually. This will be the first NATO summit in the United States since 1999, and the first one in the United States not held in Washington. Leaders from the 28 NATO member countries will be present. Bindenagel says around 70 countries will have delegations of some sort. A variety of protests are planned to coincide with the NATO summit. The main objection that NATO protesters have is that NATO supports perpetuation of the military-industrial complex, and that tax money would be better spent on human needs and peacetime infrastructure.