NATO Summit | Associated Press

NATO Summit

  • Peaceful start, loud finish

    21 May 2012 1324 GMT

    Join Robert Ray as he looks at the protests and clashes with police that developed Sunday in Chicago.
    by efredrix on May 21, 2012 at 9:22 AM

  • NATO members: By the numbers

    21 May 2012 1328 GMT




  • Flashback to Vietnam

    21 May 2012 1336 GMT

    Support for the war in Afghanistan has hit a new low among Americans and is now on par with support for Vietnam in the early 1970s. In an AP-GfK poll earlier this month:
    • 27 percent of Americans said they back the war effort;
    • 66 percent oppose it. 
    In a November 1971 Harris poll, 65 percent of Americans - a rsaid the fighting in Vietnam was "morally wrong."
  • A year ago today: NATO was attacked in Pakistan

    21 May 2012 1345 GMT

    Exactly one year ago today, militants in northwest Pakistan blew up a tanker carrying oil for NATO forces in Afghanistan. And a secondary explosion killed 15 people as a group gathered to try to siphon off some of its fuel. Another bombing damaged 14 NATO tankers in a nearby border town, but no one was hurt.

    A Pakistani Taliban group claimed responsibility for both attacks.

    This is the same supply route that NATO hopes to again open in Pakistan. In an earlier post, a Pakistani political analyst talks about the complicated nature of re-opening the routes.
    Residents look at a burnt oil tanker caused by alleged militant attacks in Landi Kotal near the Afghan border in Pakistan on Saturday, May 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Qazi Rauf)  
    Pakistani youngsters stand next to a burnt NATO oil tanker caused by alleged militant attacks in Landi Kotal near Afghan border in Pakistan on Saturday, May 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Qazi Rauf)  
  • Obama, Rasmussen to speak

    21 May 2012 1354 GMT

    U.S. President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will be speaking at 1400 GMT as the second day of the NATO Summit gets under way. Afghanistan will again be the main topic. So far in the two-day NATO conference, the leaders have voiced hope that a decade of war in Afghanistan will give way to a decade of transition to peace and stability, aided by the U.S. and its allies. Stay tuned for coverage.
  • Then and now: Chicago protests

    21 May 2012 1357 GMT

    Demonstrations against authority are nothing new in Chicago. Click through to compare photos of protests against the Vietnam War in the 1960s with the events of this past weekend.
    Vietnam protesters are contained by police in Chicago on Oct. 8, 1969. (AP Photo)
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 9:25 AM
    Dr. Benjamin Spock and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. march in a Vietnam protest in Chicago on March 25, 1967. (AP Photo)
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 9:24 AM
    A demonstrator and police face off during a NATO protest march on Sunday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) 
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM
    A protester is helped after sustaining an injury at a protest march and rally during this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) 
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 9:23 AM
  • NATO leaders gather

    21 May 2012 1403 GMT

    Heads of state and other top civilian and military officials are in the conference room in Chicago chatting on the sidelines before today's Afghanistan talks kick off. First up, the Secretary General, then President Barack Obama.

  • Target Boeing

    21 May 2012 1408 GMT

    The main target of protests on Day 2 of the NATO Summit is Boeing's global headquarters in downtown Chicago. Occupy Chicago contends tax breaks for the aircraft maker have deprived the state of millions of dollars.

    Illinois' state leaders see such tax incentives as part of the trade-off to keep large companies - and their thousands of jobs - in the state.Occupy also objects to Boeing's role in producing military hardware for the U.S. and its NATO allies.

    But Boeing's headquarters are largely deserted today - it was among the companies downtown that told workers to stay home.The protesters seized on that as a victory: "Our call to action shut down the Boeing war machine." 

    By Jason Keyser in Chicago 
    Boeing's deserted headquarters, off the Chicago River (AP Photo/Robert Graves) 
  • NATO origins

    21 May 2012 1412 GMT

    As we're waiting for NATO leaders to speak, we wanted to take a look at the alliance's original purpose. It was summed up, early on, in one quote:
    "To keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.

    That's what NATO's very first secretary-general, Lord Hastings Ismay, said about the group's purpose. NATO, which stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was formed in 1949 as a bulwark against the communist Soviet Union and its East European allies. 

    Since the end of the Cold War, the focus has shifted to peacekeeping and other missions outside its traditional area of operations in Europe. 
  • "Where is everybody?"

    21 May 2012 1417 GMT
    That's the question from one protester at Union Park on Chicago's West Side. It was supposed to be the gathering place for today's main march against Boeing. The park is filling up with police, but only a handful of protesters have arrived, just before the rally is supposed to begin.
    An empty Union Park, where police outnumber protesters. (AP Photo/Ryan J. Foley)
    by David Scott on May 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM via email



  • Working the room

    21 May 2012 1420 GMT

    President Obama is mingling with intent, with smiles and determination, before the serious business begins. Remarks should be starting soon. Stay tuned.
  • Preparing for protest

    21 May 2012 1427 GMT

    City workers unload fencing outside Boeing HQ this morning, anticipating a protest against the defense contractor and commercial aircraft manufacturer. (AP Video/Carla K. Johnson)
    by Carla Johnson on May 21, 2012 at 10:11 AM via email


  • A bigger Middle East headache?

    21 May 2012 1428 GMT

    Could NATO's concern about Syria deepen as the crisis appears to spill over to Lebanon? Fierce overnight Beirut street battles, the worst in some four years, gripped downtown neighborhoods in the capital. The violence followed the slaying of a senior anti-Syria cleric in northern Lebanon. AP video journalists captured the scene on Monday.

    by Peter Prengaman on May 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM
  • A visit cut short

    21 May 2012 1435 GMT

    A strong quake in northern Italy cut short Italian Premier Mario Monti's stay in Chicago. He's returning to Italy to help manage the aftermath. Click through for photos of the damage in the region known for Parmesan cheese.

    The toppled cross of a church lies amid debris in Crevalcore, Italy, on Sunday, May 20. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini
    A soccer ball amid the debris in San Felice sul Panaro, Italy (AP Photo/ Marco Vasini
    A damaged clock towner in Finale Emilia, Italy, on Sunday, May 20 (AP Photo/Lapresse/Gianfilippo Oggioni) 
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  • Missile defense: Russia says no

    21 May 2012 1443 GMT

    NATO is expected to declare that it has partly completed a missile defense shield for Europe. The system has achieved "interim capability," against possible missile threats from Iran or elsewhere, NATO claims. 

    Russia opposes the system, and has rebuffed NATO efforts to form a partnership. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not attending the summit, largely because of the missile defense split.


  • Glimpses from the street

    21 May 2012 1440 GMT

    Fresh from the streets of Chicago:
    • Which way to go? An Occupy Chicago spokeswoman says protesters don't have a planned route for their march to Boeing Co. The most direct route from Union Park is 1.5 miles east to the skyscraper along the Chicago River, but it's not clear which way demonstrators will walk. Guards outside the building include at least one dog handler with a K-9.
    • Barricades and Dogs. City workers are unloading a new set of metal barricades and placing them in front of Boeing's HQ ahead of the planned demonstration. 
    • Lots of officers. The police are on deck just a few blocks away from Boeing's HQ. Officers are standing guard at every corner near Union Station, and public buses filled with officers are waiting nearby.
    By Nomaan Merchant, Sophia Tareen and Carla K. Johnson in Chicago
  • Obama: Afghanistan on track

    21 May 2012 1446 GMT

    President Barack Obama says Afghanistan is on track to place the entire country's security under the lead of Afghan forces in 2013, relegating U.S.-led NATO troops to a support role a year ahead of the planned withdrawal of all NATO forces from Afghanistan.

    NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, also speaking at the start of the meeting of NATO leaders, said the international allies remained committed to a secure and democratic Afghanistan. To that end, he said, there would be a NATO-led presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to advise, train and assist Afghan forces.

    Obama expressed confidence that the goal of transferring security to Afghan forces next year was attainable. 

    By Julie Pace in Chicago

    We'll be posting more soon.
  • NATO lineup

    21 May 2012 1450 GMT

    Here's what to expect today as the NATO Summit continues. All times in GMT:

    1715 - News conference by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
    1820 - Meeting with partners in heads of state and government format.  Rasmussen will make opening remarks.
    1945 - A final news conference with Rasmussen.
  • Looking at defense

    21 May 2012 1455 GMT
    NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, front, and NATO military defense leadership observe a NATO defense system exhibit on Sunday during the NATO Summit in Chicago.(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) 
  • Quotable

    21 May 2012 1506 GMT


    by Peter Prengaman on May 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

  • What goes unsaid

    21 May 2012 1508 GMT

    What's important is often what - or in this case whom - is not mentioned. In making his opening comments at the NATO Summit today, U.S. President Barack Obama thanked other nations in Central Asia and Russia for their role in providing “critical transit” for supplies. Pointedly he did not mention Pakistan.

    The country received a last-minute invitation to attend the NATO Summit after its foreign minister proposed reopening its Afghan border to U.S. and NATO military supplies. But that hasn't happened yet. The trade routes were closed in November  following a U.S. airstrike that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers. But  tensions had been building for months. Read more about that from an earlier post.
  • No casualwear here

    21 May 2012 1510 GMT

    It's all business at the NATO Summit and it certainly shows in the fashions. Click through for images of world leaders arriving today in their business best. Note the NATO dress uniform.
    New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
    Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbayev (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) 
    South Korean Foreign Minister  Kim Sung-hwan (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) 
    Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
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  • Quotable

    21 May 2012 1516 GMT
    by Peter Prengaman edited by Peter Prengaman 11:19 AM

    by Peter Prengaman edited by Ted Anthony 5/21/2012 3:16:29 PM
  • The magic number: $4.1 billion

    21 May 2012 1516 GMT

    Afghanistan Bureau Chief Patrick Quinn says that's the sizable annual cost of the Afghan security forces in the years after 2014. The U.S. is expected to contribute up to $2.3 billion. Afghanistan will provide $500 million.
    by Jaime Holguin on May 21, 2012 at 7:51 AM

  • The president's commute

    21 May 2012 1525 GMT

    President Barack Obama had perhaps the easiest commute of all this morning. He left his downtown hotel at  8:45 CDT (1345 GMT), passed a few onlookers on largely deserted streets and took the Kennedy, Dan Ryan and Stevenson expressways to reach McCormick Place and day two of the NATO meeting 15 minutes later. 

    By David T. Scott in Chicago
  • Still waiting on the protesters at Boeing ...

    21 May 2012 1530 GMT
    Chicago police sit on a bus in front of Boeing  headquarters, still awaiting the promised mass of protesters. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
    by rray on May 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM via email




  • ... Because the protesters are working out their plans

    21 May 2012 1536 GMT

    Protesters huddle in Union Park to discuss plans for the march to Boeing. Occupy Chicago said earlier they didn't have a planned route for their 1.5-mile march to the company's headquarters. (AP Photo/Ryan J. Foley)
    by RJFoley on May 21, 2012 at 11:31 AM via email


  • "Irreversible Transition"

    21 May 2012 1541 GMT

    President Barack Obama and NATO leaders say they're confident that Afghanistan will be ready to take responsibility for its own security by next year. They're calling it an "irreversible transition." 

    The shift to Afghan forces, despite their uneven performance under U.S. and other outside tutelage so far, is in large part a response to plummeting public support for the war in Europe and the United States. Click here for the latest from today's meetings. 
    President Barack Obama speaks during the meeting on Afghanistan during the NATO Summit today in Chicago. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) 
  • Stay home? Message received

    21 May 2012 1546 GMT

    The warnings worked. Many commuters seemed to heed advise to stay home while the NATO Summit enters its second and final day.

    Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Molly Sullivan says ridership on CTA buses and subway trains is lighter today than for a typical work day. She says there's little doubt the drop is summit-related.

    Normally bustling Metra stations in Chicago were also clearly less busy. Metra didn't have specific passenger numbers. But spokesman Tom Miller says there appeared to be half the number of passengers as usual on the Metra train he rides.

    By Michael Tarm in Chicago 
    Almost empty El platform at Paulina. 
    Early this morning there were few commuters on what would normally be a crowded platform. (AP Photo/Carla K. Johnson)
    by Carla Johnson on May 21, 2012 at 9:22 AM via email



  • Obama: Today we'll decide the next milestone

    21 May 2012 1551 GMT

    Here's Obama speaking about Afghanistan at the start of today's NATO Summit.

    by Jaime Holguin on May 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM
  • NATO: Who pays what

    21 May 2012 1603 GMT

    In an earlier post, we showed how the U.S. pays the lion's share of NATO military operations. A reader in France argued that displaying just military operations and dollar amounts didn't give the full picture of NATO country contributions. After all, the budget has many facets, as do NATO operations.

    The reader made a good point, so we decided look at NATO's three big budget categories - military, security and civil - and then show the percentage that member countries pay for each.

    A quick guide to the categories: 

    - Military spending includes military operations and maintenance. 
    - The civil budget primarily pays for the alliance's civilian headquarters and personnel in Brussels. 
    - Security spending pays primarily for NATO infrastructure improvements.

    by Peter Prengaman on May 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM
    by Peter Prengaman on May 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM
    by Peter Prengaman on May 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM
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    By Shawn Chen in Chicago

  • Keep it tame, guys

    21 May 2012 1610 GMT

    NATO members had a working dinner on Sunday night. But it was a night off - and perhaps a night out - for non-NATO allies. And President Barack Obama had few light words for those who got to skip the boring stuff. 

    "Just hearing from a few folks who are not NATO members that they had fun on the town last night," he said. "Hopefully no stories in the press."

    By Jim Kuhnhenn in Chicago.

    Led by President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO leaders walk to their working dinner Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • On the move ...

    21 May 2012 1620 GMT

    "And we would especially like to welcome all the representatives of Illinois's law enforcement community that have chosen to join us here ..." Oh wait, that's Jake and Elwood. These are the protesters now headed to Boeing's headquarters, a mile and a half away from Union Park. At Boeing, they will be welcomed by other representatives of the Illinois law enforcement community.

    Protesters now leaving Chicago's Union Park en route to Boeing headquarters. (AP Photo/Ryan J. Foley)
    by David Scott on May 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM via email


  • Working the crowd

    21 May 2012 1628 GMT

    President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton mingle as they arrive today at the meeting on Afghanistan. 
    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena
    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) 

  • Heading toward Boeing

    21 May 2012 1632 GMT

    Protesters are making their way to Boeing Co.'s headquarters in downtown Chicago. AP reporter Ryan J. Foley says they've just turned down Clinton Street and they're marching in the middle of the road. 

    He talked with one protester walking with the group who says he's been disappointed with what he calls a "very disorganized" protest movement at the NATO Summit. Kevin Murphy, 53, of Beaver Dam, Wis., says he doubts the protesters will change the minds of any world leaders. 

    Protesters have a variety of reasons that they're at the NATO Summit. And not all of them have to do with NATO. Here's an earlier post that looks at why they're there.
  • Chicago superintendent to officers: Ya did good

    21 May 2012 1658 GMT

    Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is congratulating his department for its handling of the protests during the NATO summit. Speaking at the demonstration going on outside Boeing's headquarters, McCarthy says officers "executed the plan on all levels."


    By Ryan J. Foley in Chicago

  • Faces of Afghanistan's Future

    21 May 2012 1655 GMT

    Afghan soldiers will be at the forefront of their country's defense beginning next summer. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen calls it "an Afghanistan governed and secured by Afghans for Afghans." AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus is embedded this week with a unit of Afghan troops. Click through for a glimpse of their evening.
    An Afghan soldier relaxes in his sleeping quarters after returning from patrol today in east Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM
    Afghan soldiers relax in their sleeping quarters after returning from patrol today in east Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM
    An Afghan soldier relaxes in his sleeping quarters after returning from patrol today in east Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM
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  • Protesters stage a "die-in"

    21 May 2012 1659 GMT

    Protesters arriving at Boeing headquarters staged a "die-in" to call attention to the company's military products.

    Protesters lie on the street on front of Boeing headquarters in Chicago. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
    by rray on May 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM via email


    Protesters at Boeing stage a "die-in." (AP Photo/Ryan J. Foley)
    by ajohnson on May 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM via email

  • NATO on Syria: UN or bust

    21 May 2012 1715 GMT

    NATO is putting all its eggs regarding the Syria crisis in the UN basket, as we have reported. AP verified amateur video Monday from Daraa, where the uprising ignited, showing a small UN team being welcomed by a crowd of children.
    by Peter Prengaman on May 21, 2012 at 12:47 PM


  • Hollande's world stage debut

    Hollande speaks at a news conference in Chicago on Sunday. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool) 
    by efredrix on May 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    21 May 2012 1729 GMT

    Francois Hollande was elected president of France only a few weeks ago, and this week he's seizing the limelight as a new leader on the world stage. In a whirlwind first week as president, the Socialist is holding firm on two key positions that aren't exactly popular with his peers:

    1. His promise to break with NATO by pulling French troops out of Afghanistan ahead of other alliance members weighed heavily on the summit in Chicago. 

    2. His call for pro-growth measures to juice up Europe's lagging economy overshadowed the G-8 meeting, over the weekend.

    So far, it's going well.

    "There was no embarrassing moment for him, despite the fact that he came right out of the election," said Dominique Moisi, a political analyst with the French Institute of International Relations. "The difficulty starts when he comes home ... but we all know there won't be any miracles."  

    NATO wraps up today, but Hollande isn't done yet. He'll participate in an informal European Union summit on Wednesday.

    By Jamey Keaten in Chicago
  • NATO members: By the numbers

    21 May 2012 1728 GMT


  • The symbolism behind France's withdrawal

    21 May 2012 1735 GMT

    Afghanistan Bureau Chief Patrick Quinn explains why the U.S. and NATO are worried about French President Francois Hollande's promise to pull French troops out of Afghanistan ahead of other alliance members.


    by Jaime Holguin on May 21, 2012 at 7:52 AM
  • Taking the partisan route

    21 May 2012 1840 GMT

    Dodging protests, President Barack Obama's motorcade took a roundabout route from his Chicago hotel to the site of the NATO Summit. Heading west of downtown, he followed the John F. Kennedy Expressway, south toward the Dan Ryan Expressway (named after the 1950s-era president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners), then east on the Adlai Stevenson Expressway (named after the late Illinois governor and two-time Democratic presidential nominee).

    As McClatchy White House correspondent Steve Thomma, a Chicago native, noted in his pool report, the motorcade thus hit all the expressways named for Democrats, missing the one named for a Republican, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway.

    By Jim Kuhnhenn
  • How does today's protest compare?

    21 May 2012 1749 GMT

    AP's Robert Ray was at the violent protests over the weekend and today's relatively peaceful demonstration. Click on the audio to hear He explains what makes the difference.  
    by Lori Hinnant on May 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM
    (AP Photo/Ryan J. Foley) 

  • Crowd count

    21 May 2012 1858 GMT

    1,800 to 2,200 - The number of demonstrators officials estimate attended Sunday's NATO protest in Chicago.

    500,000 - To compare, that's how many people rallied in Chicago in 2006 to demand immigration reform.
    Demonstrators head towards Michigan Ave. in Chicago during a protest march on Sunday in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) 


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