Pentagon chief: Trump should strengthen NATO

Ashton Carter emphasized the need of continuity in defense policy

Minister of defense Ashton Carter said that the administration of President-elect Donald trump should support partnerships with NATO and allies in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to ascertain whether Russia follows the stated objectives of his mission in Syria – the fight against terrorists and aid aimed at the approaching end of the war.

These recommendations were formulated in the document, which Carter and other members of the Cabinet prepared the report for the first eight years of the presidency of Barack Obama. The documents were released Thursday – along with a letter to Obama, approximately two weeks before the inauguration of Donald trump.

The Minister of defense said that Washington’s response to the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 year was, in particular, the intensification of joint military exercises and the placement of military equipment in the region.

“The United States must continue to be active in the framework of the NATO – Alliance (countries) that have common principles and beliefs, relying on the power in the name of further progress, as well as deterrence and protection from Russian aggression in Europe,” said Carter.

At the end of 2015, Russia launched a military operation in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad. According to Carter, the move made the conflict “more dangerous and violent, and – potentially – more protracted”.

Syrian government troops won a series of major victories over rebel groups with the support of Russia – including the return of full control over Aleppo last month. Moscow intervened in the Syrian conflict, stating that it intends to fight the terrorists, however, a significant part of Russian air strikes occurred in the areas controlled by the moderate opposition.

Carter touched on the Iranian nuclear problem, noting that Tehran supports al-Assad and Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah” and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which demonstrates the negative impact of Tehran in the middle East.

The Minister of defense also noted the fact of reaching an agreement between Iran and six Western powers to lift sanctions in exchange for Tehran’s refusal from nuclear program. US ally Israel has strongly criticized this agreement; the US President-elect Donald trump said he will cancel it, stating that the Treaty “as the worst deal ever concluded”.

“The international atomic energy Agency confirmed that Iran complies with its international obligations, stressed Carter. – It is in our interests to continue to support the agreement, allowing us to control the Iranian nuclear ambitions.”

According to him, priority for the administration trump should be continued cooperation with Israel in the next ten years received military aid at $ 38 billion. The Pentagon drew attention to the other agreements in the security sphere in the region, including in partnership with the members of the cooperation Council of Arab Gulf countries and selling them weapons for a total amount in excess of $ 100 billion.

Major changes in the Ministry of defence under President Obama became the drawdown of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan launched by his predecessor George W. Bush. Combat operations in Iraq ended in 2011 and Afghanistan in 2014, as the transfer of control over security to local armed forces, the strengthening of which occurs with US.