Paris '07 Workshop
The Global Security Environment--Some Practical Issues for the 2008 Summit in Romania
Ambassador Dumitru Sorin Ducaru
|Ambassador Dumitru Sorin Ducaru (right), Romania's Ambassador to NATO, with Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.|
"...we will continue to have a kind of 'split political
personality,' with countries that are members of more than
one organization not being able to bring those organizations together...all NATO members are part of
the U.N., but it is very difficult to obtain a coherent joint view and to openly share responsibilities.
For example, the U.N. is present only in three of the four regions in Afghanistan, and the debate
continues as to when the NATO Secretary General will [visit] Afghanistan to show interest."
I am going to move from the theoretical and philosophical debate that Ambassador Martinusz put on the table to some more practical points related to the global security environment, its challenges, and NATO’s immediate agenda. I have been working on this issue since I was asked by my political bosses in Bucharest to see how we can shape NATO’s agenda based on its existing full menu and to have some deliverables at the 2008 summit in Romania and at the 2009 summit that will mark NATO’s 60th anniversary.
The topic of this panel, “Global Security—the Way Ahead,” is indeed a challenging one. We do face global threats, we do face global interdependence, we do have opportunities but also many responsibilities.
NATO’S PHILOSOPHICAL DILEMMA
Now NATO also has a philosophical dilemma. The organization is probably the most successful transatlantic security organization, having survived not only the Cold War but the period that followed, with some breakthrough evolutions: the partnerships that have developed, enlargement, out-of-area operations. Now, because it is seen as so successful in many areas, as well as quite far-reaching, the perception is that the Alliance might offer more responses to the increasingly global landscape of international security. For example, in Afghanistan, because ISAF, the international security force led by NATO under a U.N. mandate, is responsible for all security in the country, the perception is that “NATO owns the problem of Afghanistan”. In fact, the Alliance is best equipped for solving essential security elements, especially the kinetic security element, and is trying to do much more than fight for stabilization and reconstruction. But because some of the work that NATO is doing it has never done before, it is essentially starting from scratch.
The question is, then, How far can we go transforming NATO so that it can respond to the new challenges yet keep its essence and not move into territory that is the responsibility of other organizations like the U.N., and the EU? We also need to ask, What kind of strategic dialogue and strategic partnership can be established that can function somewhat automatically between NATO and, for example, the EU or the U.N. so that the comprehensive approach we preach every day can actually function?
Without answering those questions, we will continue to have a kind of “split political personality”, with countries that are members of more than one organization not being able to bring those organizations together. NATO now has 21 EU members and all NATO members are part of the U.N., but it is very difficult to obtain a coherent joint view and to openly share responsibilities. For example, the U.N. is present only in three of the four regions in Afghanistan, and the debate continues as to when the NATO Secretary General will make a symbolic visit to Afghanistan to show interest. We also hope to more EU involvement in the training of Afghan police.
KEY CHALLENGES TO DISCUSS
The main challenges I see and want to structure in the agenda of the NATO Bucharest Summit are:
- Operations, both in Afghanistan and Kosovo/p>
- The comprehensive approach that we have to put to work
- The evolving partnerships of NATO, including building on the existing partnerships that started with Partnership for Peace in the early 90s, the Mediterranean Dialogue, partnerships based on the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with the Gulf countries, and the partnerships with Ukraine and Russia, as well as the partnerships with the contact countries which reflect NATO’s global outreach
- Enlargement—currently there are three Membership Action Plan countries that could be ready for membership but there are many philosophical questions about the limits of enlargement
- The NATO-Russia relationship
- Missile defense, where we have the possibility of moving beyond just the American project. At the last NATO defense ministerial, an agreement was reached that by the spring 2008 summit NATO would present a report about how to complement the American project with a NATO project, especially for short- to medium-range missiles, that would be in the spirit of the indivisibility of Alliance security
I would like to wrap up by saying that I think NATO’s attractiveness is visible. You can see it in the countries that are pursuing partnership—those that want to be members are driven by the Alliance’s strength; values; capacity to deliver on missions; capacity to adapt, including to the increasing global security challenges; and to its merits-driven and demand-driven process of transformation.
I believe that demand to address the security threats of the 21st century will force us to better equip NATO as an organization that can respond to the globalization of international security. Even though there is no agreement that NATO should have a full set of global responsibilities—there actually is an agreement that NATO should not become a global policeman—because of its capacity to deliver and because there is so much demand on the international security market, I believe that NATO is going to remain the pillar to the adaptation in the face of the new complexity of the international security environment. I also think it is going to be the organization that will push a strategic partnership with the international organizations that have global security responsibilities, especially the U.N. but also the EU.
Sometimes, things that do not work in theory do work in practice, and the experiences of the last few years, especially NATO’s transition from the Cold War era, is proving just that. So, NATO at 60 might prove to be even stronger, more flexible, adaptive and effective in our complex 21st century world than many even dared to hope at the time of its establishment in the mid-20th century.