NATO’s PR operation is dogged by poor communication lines with
military policy decision-makers, according to journalists covering the
organisation’s war effort against Yugoslavia.
This continues to be the case despite a decision earlier this week to
beef up NATO’s press operation following advice from Tony Blair’s press
secretary, Alastair Campbell. Campbell visited NATO headquarters in
Brussels last week, where the organisation’s external relations head,
Jamie Shea, is based.
Jake Lynch is the Sky news correspondent who covered NATO’s botched
attempt to explain its mistaken bombing of a refugee convoy in Kosovo
He said: ’Jamie Shea hasn’t been getting the information and the
say-so isn’t his. It was a charade last week. Jamie would turn up and
say ’no one’s told me anything’.’
Shea heads a 24-strong team of which only five are press officers. He
reports to NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, who is based in
NATO’s military base, however, and many of its military policy
decision-makers, are based in Mons, in south-western Belgium.
Campbell has already sent a member of the 10 Downing Street press
office, Julian Braithwaite, to Shea on indefinite secondment.