Keynote Address of 27th International Workshop
State Secretary Rüdiger Wolf
Global Security—the Growing Challenges
I am very honored to have been invited to address this distinguished assembly here in our capital of Berlin, on behalf of our Minister of Defense Freiherr Dr. zu Guttenberg. Dr. zu Guttenberg regrets being unable to be present today, but asked me to convey his best regards to you and his wishes for successful discussions and an interesting and, in particular, a forward-looking outcome.
CONTEMPORARY THREATS AND RISKS
Especially in the context of the current development of a new Strategic Concept for NATO, it will be essential to focus on challenges in both the EU and NATO to examine possible enhancements between them. Looking at my expert audience here, I do not need to elaborate on the challenges of the globalized world and the changed security environment we face. In this complex security environment, the international community, with NATO and the EU a part of it, needs suitable concepts and instruments to achieve its security goals.
CORNERSTONES OF STABILITY AND SECURITY
The U.N. and the OSCE are not the only organizations accomplishing this task. NATO and the EU have provided the cornerstone of political stability, security, and prosperity by spreading values within the European region and beyond. Therefore, the primary goal of my presentation today is to focus in detail on the enhancement of a comprehensive approach within NATO and the EU and its possible implications for military requirements.
I would like to start by taking a look at NATO. Let me emphasize that NATO should not have the lead in comprehensive approach activities on security. That responsibility resides with the international community, represented by the U.N., and should be shared by all relevant multinational, national, and private-sector players. But I would like to emphasize the fact that in 2009 NATO initiated the process for the development of a new Strategic Concept. This will describe our vision to cope with current and upcoming threats and risks in order to promote peace and stability. It is necessary because our 21st century globalized world, with all the previously mentioned security challenges, requires new strategies to achieve security for the Euro-Atlantic area.
Let me also state that in addition to the so-called new threats, interstate conflicts in different regions of the world remain likely. Therefore, Article 5 of the NATO Treaty will continue to be the cornerstone of NATO’s old and new Strategic Concept.
Our security in the coming decades will be increasingly tied to the security of other regions. While interstate conflicts may not directly threaten NATO territory and populations, this must be seen as a possibility and we have to be prepared. In order to perform successfully, NATO requires appropriate military capabilities that we must define today in order to assure tomorrow’s success. Therefore, let me highlight the following preconditions:
- In the future, NATO will continue to constitute an important part of our overall national strategic concept with regard to security, consultation, and deterrence.
At the April 2008 Bucharest Summit, Allied leaders endorsed an Action Plan for the development and implementation of NATO’s contribution to a comprehensive approach, which was confirmed again during the 2009 summit. This plan describes in five key areas how the Alliance could improve its ability to work and coordinate more closely with its partners and other international actors in crisis management. I would like to examine these key areas to develop some ideas concerning military requirements.
Planning and Conducting Operations
NATO takes full account of all military and non-military aspects of a NATO engagement. Therefore, we have to improve practical cooperation at all levels with all relevant organizations and actors already in the planning phase and during conducting of operations. This will require adapting our organizational structures, authorities, and decision-making processes in order to “plug in” all relevant players. Interoperability, transparency of information, and decision-making, as well as common standards and definitions, will be crucial in the face of a common threat. The military should concentrate on key military capabilities in order to achieve military objectives. This includes maintaining the classic war-fighting capabilities necessary for Article 5 operations and contributing to conflict prevention and crisis management through non-Article 5 crisis response operations.
We have to make greater use of NATO training, education, and exercise opportunities by offering joint training of civilian and military personnel. This promotes the exchange of lessons learned and also helps build trust and confidence between NATO, its partners, and other international and local actors. Therefore, translating a comprehensive approach into practice must become an integral part of our training and exercises.
Enhancing Cooperation with External Actors
Achieving lasting mutual understanding, trust, confidence, and respect among the relevant organizations and actors will make their respective efforts more effective. Therefore, we have to pursue extensive civil-military interaction with other relevant organizations and actors on a regular basis while respecting the autonomy of each organization’s decision-making. NATO could also contribute to conflict prevention by strengthening areas of good governance by mentoring and advising other nations. In this regard using the Security Sector Reform and enhanced training and exercise tools to strengthen defense reforms could reduce the need to deploy military forces. Concentrated on security for the Euro-Atlantic area, the tools of partnerships, cooperation, and dialogue are key to the comprehensive approach, and partner-nations should be involved more deeply.
Stabilization and Reconstruction
NATO has to improve its military support of stabilization and reconstruction in all phases of a conflict. This will involve exploiting the overall range of existing and planned Alliance capabilities relevant to this broad activity. It will require better coordination of NATO’s military efforts in this field with those of its partners and other international and non-governmental organizations, who are the primary providers for the stabilization and reconstruction tasks.
Let’s turn now to the EU. In the European Security Strategy the EU stated very clearly that none of the new threats we face today can be tackled by purely military means. Rather, it called for a mixture of instruments, tailored to each mission at hand. The EU is the only international organization that has at its disposal instruments covering the whole spectrum of crisis management: Humanitarian aid, economic development, trade, and civilian and military crisis management. In the words of the Security Strategy, “The EU is particularly well equipped to respond to such multi-faceted situations.”
Dimensions of the Comprehensive Approach
I believe there are basically two dimensions we have to look at when we talk about a comprehensive approach, no matter what institutional framework we are working in. The first is the conceptual level and the second is the operational implementation, the question of what is really happening on the ground, which sometimes differs from what we write on paper. Twenty-four operations and missions since 2003 show that there is a real need for EU action and I have no doubt that this demand will stay.
Cooperation and Partnership
Allow me to emphasize at this point that cooperation in the field and at the Brussels level works reasonably well. When we look in the Balkans, for example, the EU has managed to send a clear message through its political, military, and civilian sectors as well as by economic engagement in what we want to achieve. The establishment of a safe and secure environment, which was the main task, was well integrated into the whole EU approach toward the region with the aim of integrating it into the EU in a long-term way. We have diplomatic and economic actors working alongside police advisors and military personnel. It is not only in name but also in effect a truly comprehensive endeavor.
The key concept needed to establish cooperation mechanisms between different organizations as required by the comprehensive approach is openness—openness in elaborating mandates for missions and operations, in planning and conducting missions and operations, and in the lessons-learned process. Thus the provision of security is not only a military task and can only be a starting point. The combined efforts of the international community are necessary to achieve and secure sustainable peace and stability.