Channel NewsAsia

Radicalisation, Ukraine likely to top NATO summit agenda

Radicalisation at home, the Ukraine crisis and NATO military spending are likely to be discussed at the upcoming two-day summit of NATO leaders in Wales.

LONDON: A new video released by Islamic State militants, purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, comes as the 28 members of NATO prepare to meet in the UK.

The NATO summit in Wales takes place on Thursday and Friday.

The US President Barack Obama says tackling IS will be high on the agenda, while British Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to use NATO as a platform for new plans to deal with radicalisation at home.

The latest video was eerily similar to the first video which showed the apparent killing of journalist James Foley, with the victim this time another US journalist Steven Sotloff. At the end of the clip, the jihadist, with what is thought to be a British accent, threatens to kill a UK hostage next.

The rise of radicalisation in Britain has seen the country increase its terror-threat level to severe, while Prime Minister David Cameron is constructing new laws to combat this. The NATO summit in Wales is likely to be the platform for Mr Cameron to push his agenda.

"The fact that the NATO summit is being held within the United Kingdom is of great importance,” said James D Boys, a political historian. “It's a platform for David Cameron to dominate, to lead.

“We've seen him come out within the last week and talk within the House of Commons about raising threat levels, for example within the United Kingdom, bringing in a whole series of new measures to basically crack down upon people who would go abroad in the name of jihad effectively. There's no secret why he's doing this. He has a lot of light on him at this point."

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is also likely to be discussed by the NATO alliance, with members hoping that a new ceasefire announced between the two sides will hold this time.

Defence spending by NATO countries in recent years has decreased by 20 per cent - one of the issues that will be highlighted at the NATO summit in Wales as many believe it has sent the wrong message to Russia and parts of the Middle East.

However, there is scepticism over how much can really be achieved over the two day NATO summit. "The extent to which anything practical can come out of this is questionable; there'll be an awful lot of sound bites no doubt coming out, people posturing for attention and for leadership," said Mr Boys.

But NATO members will be hoping though that this summit will lead to more progress, despite being held against backdrop of so much world instability.