Stars and Stripes reports that "the two-day NATO summit that opens Thursday in Wales was supposed to be focused on tying up loose ends in Afghanistan and guarding against complacency as the 28-nation alliance shifted from a war footing."
"Things have changed since planning for the high-level conference began in late 2013. Though NATO remains on course to end its combat mission in Afghanistan later this year and leaders will still be discussing the alliance’s future role there, the security landscape in NATO’s backyard has undergone its most profound shift in 25 years. Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine earlier this year and subsequent backing of pro-Russian separatists have caught the alliance off guard."
“'This is the most important summit since the end of the Cold War. If it flunks this now, it would be difficult to see how it would recover its reputation,' said Jonathan Eyal, director of security studies at the Royal United Services Institute. 'The reputation of NATO is on the line.'”