NATO hosts first ever briefing for bloggers


8:30 am - December 8th 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or NATO for short, held its first ever briefing for political bloggers yesterday.

A group of British political bloggers, including myself, were invited to NATO political headquarters in Brussels for a day-long briefing with high ranking personnel at NATO.

Most of the discussion centred around NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan.

Other topics touched upon included potential threats including energy security, cyber attacks, terrorism and protection for women in areas of war.

Most of the briefings were off-the-record, although the group of bloggers were able to question and discuss NATO operations with Brigadier General Eric Tremblay – spokesperson for ISAF, the force responsible for securing Afghanistan.

Also high on the list was a discussion of NATO’s ongoing re-evaluation of its Strategic Concept document.

Bloggers who attended
Luke Akehurst (lukeakehurst.blogspot.com)
Martin Butcher (natomonitor.blogspot.com)
David Cole (davecole.org)
Mehdi Hasan (newstatesman.com)
Sunny Hundal (liberalconspiracy.org)
Zohra Moosa (thefword.org.uk)
James O’Malley (poddelusion.co.uk)
Will Straw (leftfootforward.org)

The event was organised by Atlantic Council UK.

More thoughts on Afghanistan later.

Update: Some of the attendees have already blogged their thoughts.
Will Straw: NATO: We won’t bugger off
Mehdi Hasan: My conversation with a Nato brigadier-general
Luke Akehurst: NATO holds bloggers briefing

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


1. Luis Enrique

heed the vaguely recalled words of Kissinger

Think the link at the end needs to be: http://atlanticcounciluk.org/wp/

What can you tell us about the Atlantic Council? I know very little but their website suggests they were a Cold War outfit used to promote British and US defence interests.
Its chair is Meta Ramsay, the former MI6 operative and advisor to John Smith.

The Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom is an independent non-governmental organisation based in London. Its mission is to explain and promote the benefits the UK enjoys from its membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the constructive role the nation can play in ensuring global peace and security.

Our principal foci for 2010 are energy security, the new strategic concept and Afghanistan.

ACUK didn’t promote US or UK defence interests – I’m assuming you mean the defence industry – during the Cold War, but it did try to explain why a strong Atlantic alliance was in the UK’s and the West’s interests. We still do.

By the way, atlanticcounciluk.org should redirect automatically to /wp – could you let me know if it’s not working?

Dave.
Managing Director, ACUK.

Whoah – this is unexpected. Dave Cole, one of the most reliable left-wing bloggers in the UK, is the managing director of a NGO that promotes UK membership of NATO? I know not everyone on the left is opposed to NATO, but it just seems like an odd connection. I’m glad that most of those invited were left-of-centre, as often there is a disconnect between progressives and the establishment that in some places could be bridged.

Thanks for that Dave.
Sorry if I was unclear, I didn’t mean defence industries but that the defence orthodxy of successive government’s has at its heart an Atlantic alliance and the ACUK believes this should be maintained.
Re the bit about being an NGO; does the ACUK not receive any government grants?
As for the link – I just clicked on the one at the bottom of the post and I got an error message.

and another trickle of taxpayer cash finds its way to the left … “diversity of everything except thought”

John,

Dave Cole, one of the most reliable left-wing bloggers in the UK

::blush::

It was mostly liberal/progressive types, but that was just accident – I asked people from the other side and they couldn’t make it. As to me supporting NATO – so did Ernie Bevin 🙂

Phil,

Ah – I misunderstood. Personally, I see myself as a Euro-atlanticist. I know people in the UK don’t always have the same take on it, but that’s where I am. Ultimately, I do see the UK’s active membership of NATO as a good thing.

We received some money in 08/09 from the FCO for project work with the Atlantic Treaty Association; other that, we don’t receive an annual grant or anything like that from the government.

Laban,

Most people would describe me as left; ACUK, though, is strictly non-partisan.

Thanks for the info Dave.
And (cheeky bit coming up) if you’ve got slots on another trip and want a correspondent from Tribune to attend keep me in mind.

Phil,

This was, as Sunny said, the first one ever. I honestly don’t know if there’ll be a second, but if there is…

xD

10. domesticextremist

@John Booth: often there is a disconnect between progressives and the establishment

Given that the establishment prostitutes itself to US foreign policy objectives, long may that “disconnect continue. The alternative is to risk becoming the creature of official spin and disinformation, and to lose all credibility. No-one get invited to a NATO briefing meeting to strengthen the campaign against illegal wars and US imperialism.

11. domesticextremist

I notice that one of the invited bloggers, Luke Akehurst, has delivered himself of the following gem after attending a NATO briefing:

“I came away at least believing that a stable Afghanistan that didn’t act as a base camp for terrorists threatening the UK was a possible outcome, and our troops’ sacrifice need not have been in vain.”

I rest my case.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    :: NATO hosts first ever briefing for bloggers http://bit.ly/6WLKsi

  2. shane dillon

    List of bloggers who attended Nato's first ever blogger briefing. http://j.mp/90Lq6l

  3. ShaneMcC

    RT @shane_dillon: List of bloggers who attended Nato's first ever blogger briefing. http://j.mp/90Lq6l

  4. Spinprofiles

    RT @Spinwatch: Liberal Conspiracy » NATO hosts first ever briefing for bloggers http://bit.ly/6WLKsi Atlantic Council spin operation

  5. sunny hundal

    @NiemanLab you may be interested in: NATO holds first ever briefing / conference with bloggers http://bit.ly/6WLKsi

  6. AndrewSparrow

    @libcon on Nato's first briefing for bloggers – http://bit.ly/5KrYGn

  7. Spinwatch

    Liberal Conspiracy » NATO hosts first ever briefing for bloggers http://bit.ly/6WLKsi Atlantic Council spin operation

  8. David Lindsay

    Disand NATO, DIsband New Labour – http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/12/08/nato-hosts-first-ever-briefing-for-bloggers/

  9. lukewaterfield

    @slummymummy1 Have a look at http://tinyurl.com/ydstvry and http://tinyurl.com/ybged83

  10. Liberal Conspiracy » Afghanistan: lions and donkeys

    […] this which I wrote about here that make me less convinced about what people say at meetings like this and drive me to despair when this […]

  11. Atlanticists Eyeing The Blogoshpere « Ten Percent

    […] Eyeing The Blogoshpere 13 December, 2009 — RickB NATO hosts first ever briefing for bloggers organised by the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom which is NATO’s PR arm- The Atlantic […]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.