Center for Strategic Decision Research

Paris '07 Workshop

Global Security: the Way Ahead

Gen Harald Kujat (center), former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

General Harald Kujat (left), former Chairman of the NATO Military Commitee, addressing the Workshop's final panel with Amb Dumitru Sorin Ducaru, Romania's Ambassador to NATO, and Amb Zoltan Martinusz, Hungary's ambassador to NATO.

General Harald Kujat

Former Chairman of the
NATO Military Committee

and former
Chief of Defense of Germany


"...the multipolar world is becoming more diverse..China's, India's, and Russia’s economic and military power is
growing, which means more self-confidence and perhaps more nationalism...U.S. influence in world affairs
is declining, a consequence of the prolonged Iraq conflict...globalization is producing advantages and
risks and winners and losers, and creating new antagonisms."

"Global Security--the Way Ahead" is the topic we have been asked to discuss. But to discuss the way ahead we need to know where to go and where we've been. These are not easy things to know, but the days of the workshop have shown me two things.

First, the world is more complex than ever before: there are areas of hot conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan; there are frozen conflicts in Moldova, Transnistria, and the Caucasus; there are old security risks, including the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction, unsuccessful arms control, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, poverty, hunger, ethnic and religious conflicts, and international terrorism; and there are new security risks, including cyber attacks, the use of energy as a strategic asset, and the unknown consequences of climate change.

Second, the multipolar world is becoming more diverse. New world powers are becoming more and more influential. China, India, and Russia’s economic and military power is growing, which means more self-confidence and perhaps more nationalism. At the same time U.S. influence in world affairs is declining, a consequence of the prolonged Iraq conflict. In addition, and above all, globalization is producing advantages and risks and winners and losers, and creating new antagonisms.


What can we do to create a more stable, more secure, and more just world? In answer, let me share six points with you.

1. No country, no group, no ally, nor no group of countries has the power to design a world according to its needs or interests.

2. Existing organizations and alliances--and I refer only to the United Nations, the EU, and NATO--must be used to the best of their capabilities and in a way that is compatible and creates the necessary synergies.

3. The U.N. provides legitimacy to act but does not have the operational planning capability, the standing command and control structures, or the necessary strategic enablers.

4. The EU is in the process of acquiring these capabilities, based on national contributions, but it lacks the overwhelming power projection capability that the U.S. is contributing to NATO. However, the EU can provide all the civilian, economic, and monetary support needed for a comprehensive security strategy that includes economic recovery; the establishment of a functioning administration, including police; and a countrywide judicial system. Please note that I did not mention democracy.

5. The logical approach is to overcome legacy national problems within the EU and NATO and to cooperate in the best possible manner, knowing that security is indivisible. It is no longer a question of territory--risks do not stop at our borders. Is that achievable? Yes. How do we get there? Through vision and leadership, and we lack both.

6. The final word about NATO is that is has been declared obsolete or even dead several times. However, it is still alive and will be for many years to come. The Alliance succeeded during the Cold War and shaped the geopolitical map of Europe. It also established a strategic partnership with Russia to the benefit of both, something I think will last for the foreseeable future. Although there is turbulence from time to time, we know that together NATO and Russia will contribute to lasting and stable peace in Europe.

However, the Alliance has become less dynamic, less visionary, and less determined to provide the military means we need to underpin a constructive security policy. In short, the Alliance is losing the power to shape the future. An earlier discussion illustrated the extent to which the Alliance is occupied with its own problems: the comprehensive approach, the new strategic concept, new membership. Is collective defense still a core function? I have heard this question for 17 years time, so allow me to be a bit cynical.


In November of 2006, heads of state and government decided to work on a comprehensive approach, but it was only a few days ago that the Alliance started to discuss it, and no one has found out so far that this concept was developed in 1838. It will take some years to learn that it is impossible for an alliance to implement such a concept--it can only be done by individual nations. The U.S. has recognized that. It is using it in Iraq, but only nations implement it, not alliances.

Prior to 1991 we did not have a strategic concept in the Alliance—on November 3, 1991, in Rome, we developed the first strategic concept. I believe that those who are arguing for a new strategic concept did not read the existing concept, which is a very good one. Of course, we can discuss all the related issues and, if we arrive at a new concept, fine. However, if we don’t arrive at a new concept, it means that the Alliance will lose credibility for many years to come.

Regarding new memberships, how far do we want to go with enlargement? With the number of states that are now in the OSCE, do we want to have an OSCE in uniform? And would it be possible to implement the core functions of the Alliance—security and defense for its member-nations—and still handle risks and challenges? Or do we import risks and challenges into the Alliance and then continue this way? If you look at the candidates that are at our front doors you will understand what I mean.


If the Alliance wishes to continue contributing to shaping the future, other questions need to be asked—and answered. What are the operational capabilities our security policy needs to implement? What investment is needed in modern equipment? Are nations prepared to spend what is necessary for defense? We need yes or no answers, or we will just continue to discuss things that are not really relevant.

Here is one example. Some years ago NATO launched a new program to improve the usability of our forces. Nations continuously praised their efforts: 20% of our forces are now usable, 25% are usable, 30%, and so on. My questions as a taxpayer is: When a nation declares 30% of her forces usable, what are they doing with the 70% that is useless? My point is that we are concentrating a lot of effort on things that are not really relevant.

Regarding ballistic missile defense, do you really think that our parliaments will agree to missile deployments that are designed to protect only our deployed forces and not our populations? Is that realistic? And if you deploy your forces close to the enemy's border, will the enemy limit his threat to your forces or will he threaten your population as well? I believe we need to have more fundamental, more strategic thinking in the Alliance. We also need closer cooperation between North America and Europe and between North American and European industries--we need less isolated research and development and less waste of money on both sides of the Atlantic. Every single dollar or euro we can spend together will improve our common capability.

We also need an accelerated political and military decision-making process and we need to expand our Partnership for Peace program both substantially and geographically. Why don't we include the seven Mediterranean countries in Partnership for Peace? I would put more emphasis on Partnership for Peace and less emphasis on new membership. I think that is the future.

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