Fallout from Colombia’s New Association with NATO

Photo by calvinbasti | CC BY 2.0

It was no surprise. Already Colombia had sent personnel to military training schools in Germany and Rome and troops to the Horn of Africa to fight Somali pirates, all under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  Already, in 2013, Colombia and NATO had agreed to cooperate in intelligence-sharing, military-training exercises, and so-called humanitarian interventions. And in May 2017 Colombia and NATO agreed that the former would become a NATO “global partner.”

On May 25, 2018 Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos made an announcement to that effect. He mentioned too that Colombia was joining the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OCDE), “an international club of creditors of deeply indebted poor countries,” according to one observer. Within a few days Santos was conferring in Brussels with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Colombia thus becomes NATO’s first global partner in Latin America. The others are Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, New Zealand, Japan, Mongolia, and South Korea. But planning for Colombia’s association with NATO apparently preceded that for the seven other nations. As a global partner, Colombia isn’t bound by Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty of 1949 which declares that an attack on one member state is an attack on all of them, something applying to the 29 fully-fledged members.

The job description of a global partner, according to the NATO websiteis to…

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