Comprehensive NATO - GLOBSEC
source materials that invaded our home these past months. actions the Alliance can and must take to avoid squandering the historic The NATO-Russia relationship is without question one of the most important and pressing . especially as the Alliance has expanded eastward and struggled to redefine its mission in the. NATO-Russian relations have failed to advance beyond the Cold War mentality, . rights abroad and should address any human rights concerns at home. NATO . varied threats to global security, this relationship must be re- structured, the . the underlying stances of NATO and Russia is difficult, much can be done on the.
Such partnerships fall squarely under the cooperative security tasks of the Alliance and, indirectly, contribute to its collective defense. They require readiness to undertake preventive and preemptive missions and sustained military assistance in counterinsurgency, as well as training and defense capacity building. Partnering with NATO will always have a political and military dimension. The first tier operates mostly at the political level, with military cooperation as a mutually beneficial fallout.
The balance shifts partly in the second group that includes some NATO-led security assistance, witness for instance the new training center in Kuwait within ICI.
NATO will have to start systematically planning for such contingencies. Such tiers only prioritize needs and goals. They do not compartmentalize partners. Each one of three encompasses different shades of relationship and geopolitical situations.
Others may, at times, require shoring-up preventively or even preemptively against the threat of terrorism and the risk of state failure. This three-tier prism further underlines diversity. Yet, there is also potential common ground within the overarching notions of countering terrorism, preventing WMD proliferation, upholding international law, and fostering regional and global order.
Trying to encompass all partnerships in a single framework would be impossible and probably counter-productive, but all partners could perhaps be given access to a basic NATO toolbox. This could include an Article 4-like mechanism to allow partners to request political consultations in case of a political or security emergency.
In the present security environment, the Alliance could also proactively promote its partnership network as a primary forum for effective and operational counter-terrorism cooperation.
After all, the sum of the 29 Allies and 40 partners represents a unique critical mass of political will, intelligence, expertise, military and non-military capabilities and assets.The Russians Are Coming: Estonia's National Militia
If NATO does not take the lead against such terrorism other institutions or ad hoc arrangements will fill the security vacuum. In which case the Alliance would simply cease to be the main guarantor of collective defense. However, consensus on partnerships is still evasive inside the Alliance.
Three contentions, in particular, need to be dealt with. It is a belief shared to different degrees by most Eastern Allies. The third obstacle is financial. Budget caps put severe constraints on the resources available for defense capacity-building; a partial answer can be provided by encouraging Allies and partners to strengthen and widen the use of Trust Funds, such as the UK initiated Defense Capability Building Trust Fund.
These issues all call for an open and frank debate, both within the Alliance and with partners. The potential is enormous, but the terms must be clear to both sides. It is up to Allies and partners do decide how and to what extent to use such partnerships. Russia Russia is an adversary to the extent that it chooses to be an adversary. Russian meddling in the democracies of Europe is alarming, its aggressive posture in Central Europe and its conduct in the Ukrainian crisis, including the illegal annexation of Crimea, have implications for Alliance security on the Eastern Flank that cannot be ignored.
The High North is another area of potential confrontation. Moscow has also chosen competition over cooperation in Syria, and is beefing up its presence in the Mediterranean, and it not at all clear which role it intends to play in the Libyan crisis.
Yet in confronting other urgent threats, such as terrorism, violent extremism, proliferation, Russia is on the receiving end of the threat as much as NATO. The measures adopted by the Alliance at the Wales and Warsaw summit, especially Enhanced Forward Presence, serve exactly that defensive purpose and need to be scrupulously implemented.
Finally, ISIS is a common threat against which efforts should, at the very least, be coordinated. Decisions made in the Wales and Warsaw and summits are being carried out as agreed and planned. NATO should also aim at articulating a fully integrated concept that links streamlined decision-making at a political level with conventional and nuclear capacity.
The Alliance has been long divided over Russia. In the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine it has come together over deterrence, but not over dialogue with Russia. Allies, some halfheartedly, have agreed not to suspend the NRC, but it has at best faltered. The dramatic deterioration of the NATO-Russia relationship makes engagement all the more desirable and necessary .
The more adversarial the relationship, the more important is the communication.
Rethinking NATO Partnerships for the 21st Century
This awareness is particularly acute in the aftermath of the election of President Donald J. Trump who perceives himself uniquely positioned to create some form of special relationship with Vladimir Putin though since the US cruise missile strike in Syria, US-Russian relations are again badly strained. For Moscow and Washington, or for small groups acting for example through the so-called Normandy format on the Ukrainian crisis, the NRC is not an alternative forum for real negotiations, but could be a way for the rest of the Allies to influence the ongoing process.
Second, initial goals should be realistic. NATO should thus aim at engaging Russia in a bottom-up approach focused on re-establishing military to military communication, transparency in military exercises, and rules of engagement and restraint . It might be useful for the NRC to delegate practical work on these matters at a less structured ad hoc expert level where discussions could be strictly action-oriented and limit political grandstanding . The first task, though, must be to rebuild a minimum level of confidence and trust.
The Alliance’s evolving posture: towards a theory of everything
Cooperative security in the Euro-Atlantic area remains the ultimate target, but dialogue will have to move carefully and progressively. A case could be made for joint efforts in the fight against terrorism and in finding common ground in stabilizing Syria and Libya.
Such an approach would require that both NATO and Russia compartmentalize differences in Europe in order to cooperate in other areas. It is certainly a bridge that the Alliance should be prepared to cross, if and when the relationship reaches such a level of constructiveness.
It would not mean avoiding disagreements, let alone appeasing Russian behavior in Ukraine, but simply keeping those areas separate from others where security interests converge.
If the US and the international coalition against ISIS — which includes all NATO members and most EU members — are prepared to cooperate with Russia on the ground and, hopefully, in negotiating peace in Syria, NATO should not be put at a comparative disadvantage with its own national members, or indeed with other negotiating formats by a self-imposed constraint.
Obviously, it takes two to tango. This is especially so for the Allies who would find themselves out of the room when deals are made. Yet it is a major actor in the international security environment and a growing military power. Moreover, disputes over the South China Sea have disruptive potential that would impact Europe and the Atlantic region as a whole. Beijing could also play a supportive role in stabilizing Afghanistan. The Alliance stumbled in the Hindu Kush inand 16 years on it is no longer a stranger to the region.
Pakistan is already a NATO partner, though its role in Afghanistan has largely been problematic; Russia has been engaged on and offand fluctuates between support in its own interest and criticism; and Central Asian countries have also been wavering. Unfortunately, an overall regional strategy that includes India, Iran and China has been missing and China could make a positive contribution to that effort. After all, Beijing has a vested interest in stabilizing Afghanistan and avoiding a failing or failed Muslim majority state on its border.
European Allies have a vested interest in maintaining freedom of navigation. China also has deep and growing ties in both Asia and Africa which are home to many of the at-risk states NATO wants to stabilize.
It would certainly make political and economic resource-wise sense to start thinking how NATO and China might cooperate at several levels in crisis areas across the Great Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. As Chinese economic and infrastructure initiatives continue to unfold across Asia; as in the One Belt, One Road initiative; a strategic EU-NATO should be attentive to the opportunities and challenges that will inevitably emerge. An outward-focused NATO, one which recognized the real world, would not view Asia as strictly out-of-area.
China is nowhere a threat to the Euro-Atlantic space, but it is a growing presence. Only Beijing can answer that, if asked. The prospect should at least be raised and handled with thoughtful diplomacy.
China is too important to be ignored. In any event the Alliance would be better off engaging Beijing before Beijing engages NATO, although it would need to make it clear that the intent of the Alliance is not to counter Russia.
A NATO-China relationship carries its own logic and has a scope and dynamic of its own and should not be defined solely by the Russia factor. It is not in the cards yet, but it should not be ruled out by an outward focused NATO if and when both parties are ready for it. The Joint Declaration both takes stock and looks forward. Europe badly needs to enhance its capacity for internal defense against the increasing cyber warfare assaults taking place on critical civilian infrastructures or financial and commercial networks.
More importantly, NATO and the EU should also consider what actions could be undertaken together to address overt and clandestine efforts to interfere in the democratic institutions and electoral processes of the member states. The rise of extremist terrorism in Europe, traditionally more in the domain of law enforcement, blurs the line between the safety of citizens traditionally entrusted to police forces and hard defense which has traditionally been the preserve of the armed forces.
The Alliance is now confronted with a grey zone by hybrid warfare, used by state or non-state actors able to strike directly inside Europe without scratching the external frontier, and yet still cause enormous economic and human damage. This begs a serious question; what good is it to be defending the East or the South of the perimeter from external attack when the center remains vulnerable and under active attack? Therefore, if NATO is to adapt and to inject fresh thinking in its approach to both collective defense of its members and ways to partner with the EU, the hybrid internal threat area and the rise of extremist terrorism should be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Then nine of ten shortlisted authors have written this joint Atlantic Memo with the best policy recommendations to learn from past mistakes. Download a PDF copy. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed with the intention of ensuring the security of its members. That should remain the focus. NATO-Russian relations have failed to advance beyond the Cold War mentality, wherein each was the others principle enemy.
The Alliance’s evolving posture: towards a theory of everything
The Alliance should seek to mitigate tensions with Russia rather than pursuing policies that will further entrench the Alliance's original goal of countering the Soviet sphere of influence. NATO missions since the Cold War taken on for reasons other than the collective defense of its members have subjected the Alliance to much criticism and have not contributed to ensuring the security of its members.
NATO members' uneven commitment to defense spending has affected the stability of the Alliance and has created distrust on both sides of the Atlantic. This memo points out NATO's biggest mistakes of the last 25 years and offers policy recommendations to remedy them. By pursuing policies of enlargement and intervention, NATO failed to establish a cooperative relationship with Russia, making it more difficult to deal with present cases of Russian aggression.
Accession talks with Ukraine and Georgia have been followed by a direct conflict with Russia, placing the security of member and non-member eastern European states in jeopardy. This prevented Russia from being able to contribute to, rather than to threaten European security.
Over the past two decades, NATO has expanded its role. When NATO intervened in Kosovo inits stated purpose was to mitigate the impending " humanitarian catastrophe " that would result from inaction. The NATO member countries spoke the language of human rights and pursued a ceasefire with that goal in mind. Rather than "illegal, yet legitimate," as the Kosovo intervention was hailed, observers of the Libyan mission asked if this mission, although legal, was illegitimate for exceeding its mandate.
NATO interventions in internal conflicts in Kosovo and Libya have been expensive, have earned NATO international criticism, and have not resulted in either increased stability for citizens of the intervened upon state after exit, nor in the increase of security for Alliance members.
NATO has been accused of breaking international law by targeting civilian infrastructure and of intensifying the violence in Kosovo, and of exceeding its mandate and forcing regime change in Libya.
NATO has received criticism from Russia, members of the non-aligned movement, and others for acting as a " global policeman ". Interventions into Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Libya, resulting in regime change have contributed to the creation of failed states. Kosovo has become an artificial state in which NATO has committed to a long term mission.
Afghanistan and Libya have both experienced an increase in violent extremism in the absence of a unified state. The Islamic State — whose militants have perpetrated attacks on members such as Turkey, France, Germany and Belgium — has established a firm foothold in Libya. NATO's desire to avoid another long term mission should be balanced by the threat that a premature exit can have on the security of its members.
SinceEuropean governments have slashed defense budgets, decreasing military readiness. Lower levels of financial commitment and capability of European members have impacted their ability to work alongside the US. Recent training exercises have shown that European troops are not capable of the long term deployments that their US counterparts are. The intervention in Libya showed the inability of European members to conduct such a mission on their own; US forces had to provide the backbone of a supposedly European-led mission.
The gap between US and European defense spending causes distrust on each side of the Atlantic, evidenced by recent rhetoric in the US presidential election. The third key strategic issue is possible future global partnerships.
And when such countries contribute more than many NATO allies, they understandably want to be at the decision-making table. This requires opening up NATO decision-making in new ways. Here, too, we find the unanswered issue of what NATO members really want. Are partnerships with Australia or Japan really just about squeezing more troops and money out of them for NATO-led missions? Or should they also be about building strategic relationships in new and important regions? Is it a one-way or two-way street?
Simply put, is this a burden-sharing exercise or are we trying to shape new security dynamics in important regions?
NATO can and should not go everywhere or try to solve all problems. But one trip to Japan or Australia rapidly reveals that these countries are reaching out to NATO for more interesting if complicated reasons often ignored in our current debate.
The Alliance is again at a strategic crossroads What should one conclude from all of this? The Alliance is again at a strategic crossroads. NATO has taken that strategic leap in principle with Afghanistan, but whether it will succeed is not yet clear. Failure could call into question the future of the Alliance.