Center for Strategic Decision Research


Global Security and the War on Terrorism

His Excellency Rudolf Scharping
Minister of Defense of Germany

Time and again, for almost 20 years, the organizers of this conference, in particular its chairman and founder Roger Weissinger-Baylon, have managed to focus the Workshop agenda on the most topical and pressing security issues of the day. Those issues have concerned the far-reaching transformation of the political and strategic landscape in Europe, and particularly the evolution of NATO. They have addressed the new challenges and new threats and their consequences for our security and for international security organizations. Because of this, the International Workshop has become an important and a prestigious event for discussing European and global security affairs. 


We are now in a new phase of international relations. Though we reached the beginning of that phase before September 11, the attacks of September 11 revealed more clearly than ever that the patterns of the East-West conflict era are no longer valid. European and global security must be ensured under changed strategic conditions, but it is no less urgent, and it is by no means any easier. 

Our freedom, our humanity, our responsibility, and our security are being challenged by new and unpredictable threats. We must respond to them with joint efforts and with determination, with solidarity and with a cool head. There is more at stake now than the security of a close ally. The core values of all democracies are being targeted. 

We are acting in support of an unprecedented transatlantic friendship. We are also acting in defense of the values and the achievements of civilization on the global level. The broad coalition of states and institutions now engaged in combating international terrorism is impressive proof of a new way of thinking about global security. 

The community of states, of which Germany is a part, has joined forces to stand up against those who are endangering peace and freedom. Together with other European NATO allies, Germany is providing substantial military contributions to combating terrorism, in parallel with it substantial contributions to three Balkan missions. 

In Afghanistan, more than 90 percent of the 4,500 International Security Assistance Force ( ISAF) troops are NATO-European troops. The German Special Operations Forces are employed side by side with the Americans. More than 2,000 troops are currently operating within the Central Command area of operations (CENTCOM AOR). In addition, the German Navy has a third of its assets operating in the Gulf of Aden area in support of Enduring Freedom. 

While the terrorist attacks on New York, on Washington, on Djerba, and elsewhere do not constitute a new threat per se, they highlight a new reality, one that is characterized by complex new challenges to security and global stability. We have been adapting our policies and armed forces to the new situation over recent years, and the terrorist attacks have only reinforced the logic of our approach to security. 

As NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson said in Berlin earlier in 2002, "The core of what we do made sense before 11 September and continues to make sense after 11 September." But international terrorism has shown us that we have to speed up our efforts to formulate a security policy that truly matches the new agenda of the global age. 


I believe a security policy for our age requires the performance of four tasks: 

Task 1: We must adopt a comprehensive approach to security
when we address the complex challenges

Modern security policy is more than deterrence and the defense of national borders. It cannot be confined to any one region and cannot be ensured by military means alone. Security today is global in scope and consists of several dimensions. It can be endangered by a plethora of new challenges and risks, including ethnic and religious conflicts, economic and social problems, the population explosion, humanitarian disasters, international terrorism, organized crime, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means. 

To cope with these challenges, we need a wide spectrum of political, military, economic, and cultural instruments. We must pursue a long-term and comprehensive strategy aimed at tackling the root causes of crises wherever they arise. Problems associated with the North-South dimension of global security are becoming increasingly visible. While some may find it rather far-fetched, considering the acute threat posed by terrorism, to frame a forward-looking foreign, security, economic, and development policy, we must realize that the prospects for lasting stability in states and regions will be poor if we fail to: 

  • bridge the gap throughout the world between the rich and the poor; 
  • provide true economic and social perspectives around the world, notably in the countries in the southern hemisphere; 
  • check the population growth and the social disparities that go with it; 
  • establish political and social structures based on the principles of democracy and constitutionality; 
  • make sustained efforts in support of arms control, disarmament, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; 

Because prevention is key to any successful foreign and defense policy, we must make these efforts as part of a preventive strategy. 

In our world of growing interdependence and cross-border risks, any investment we make in the political and economic future of a country or region, in democracy, in the rule of law, or in the conservation of the environment is a preventive investment in our security. 

Task 2: We must promote regional cooperation and stability

The political resolution of conflicts is an integral part of any comprehensive approach to security. Without determined efforts to defuse the underlying political causes of tensions and the use of force, stability will remain an illusion. 

Cooperative structures in the Middle East, in Central Asia, in the Caucasus, in the Maghreb, and elsewhere are important for stability and security-not only in a regional context, but globally. Progress in the Middle East peace process in particular is key to isolating terrorism, especially in Arab or Islamic countries. If we don't succeed there, the use of force will prevail, political developments will destabilize adjacent regions, and the conflict will act as a catalyst for international terrorism. The international community, especially the patrons of the Middle East peace process, Russia and the U.S., but also the U.N. and the EU, must coordinate their endeavors and urge the antagonists to seek and implement a political solution. 

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Kosovo, and in Macedonia, after years of hatred and murder, more than 40 nations, including the states of the region, members of NATO and the EU, and a multitude of international organizations, are working closely together to give the multi-ethnic, Christian and Muslim society in the region a peaceful future as part of a democratic Europe. For years, it was impossible to even think of a peaceful future for this European powder keg. For decades, it was also unimaginable to envision such collective action. 

But today this work is an excellent example of what is possible in the spirit of cooperation, and of what is needed in today's security environment. We are seeing the emergence of a multipolar world in which political, economic, and security interdependence between regions is rapidly growing. No one state or region is unaffected today by turmoil, conflict, or war in another. 

That is why cooperative approaches within regions are so important for moving regional security forward. And that is why dialogue and cooperation between regions-Europe and Latin America, Europe and Africa, Europe and Asia-are key to dealing with developments that undermine global security. 

Task 3: We must strengthen international security organizations

Over the last few months we have realized that we must continue to strengthen our security organizations. There can be no doubt that we must improve both NATO's and the EU's capabilities to deal with a more demanding mission spectrum, including combating terrorism. Both organizations' adaptation to a new security environment is far from complete. For NATO, the 2002 Prague Summit will be of strategic importance for maintaining its strength and effectiveness in the future. 

To strengthen our organizations we must do five things: 

  • First, at Prague we must decide whether to enlarge NATO. The logic of enlarging remains unchanged: By enlarging we will increase the European stability area eastward and southeastward. 
  • Second, NATO must continue in the central role it plays in European security defense as well as increase its importance for global security. In Prague I would like to see us adopt a DCI follow-on program clearly focused on a few key capability sectors that will render NATO stronger and more effective, and substantially improve interoperability within the Alliance. One of these areas would be stepping up our efforts in the key areas of command and control, intelligence, and strategic transport, all of which are so essential for us. They also figure prominently in the future fight against terrorism. 

The Strategic Concept adopted in 1999 provides a sound foundation for the requisite adaptations. However, we must also realize that NATO must be even more capable now of defending the vital security interests of its members where they are affected. 

  • Third, our analyses, our plans, and particularly our decision-making procedures are in need of review. This review must be focused on preserving and, whenever possible, enhancing political coherence and efficiency within NATO, for the 19 current NATO members and for the future 26 members. 
  • Fourth, we must improve the quality of our forces, rendering them more effective and more deployable for the most likely future scenarios. If the Europeans lag behind the Americans, it is not because of a technology gap but because there is a lack of determination to better harmonize forces and to make more efficient and economic use of their defense investments. 

It is also imperative for Europeans to continue making defense sector reforms in their countries. Germany's comprehensive reform of the Bundeswehr, which we are implementing at high speed, will substantially improve our contribution to the common defense and to meeting the new crisis management requirements. We are about to nearly triple our readiness forces to approximately 150,000 troops; we have streamlined our command structure; and we are modernizing our equipment in line with our international commitments and the changed global context. The modernization of European forces is imperative. 

NATO and EU defense initiatives are now pointing in the same direction. In fact, substantial progress has been made in the last few years in the development of a European Security and Defense Policy. Developing the political and military structures for EU-led crisis management operations is a necessary response to the more complex security environment. 

The growing capacity of the EU to take civil and military crisis management action will relieve the U.S. and NATO of some of the burden they have been carrying in several regions of Europe. It will also enhance the flexibility of both Europeans and Americans to deal with crises and conflicts and to master their most important task: safeguarding freedom, peace, human dignity, and the rule of law effectively and comprehensively. The peace missions in the Balkans, Macedonia, and southern Serbia have shown that NATO and the EU can cooperate and work together. 

The EU has at its disposal a unique mix of civil and military capabilities suited to preventing international terrorism and fighting against terrorism. The organization reacted to the catastrophe of September 11 and soon after adopted an action plan that sets the right course for making use of its wide-ranging options to combat terrorism. 

One of the key lessons learned from September 11 is the need to move ahead with a comprehensive program that will strengthen Europe's capacity to act in security matters. But no matter how determined Europe is to invest more in its military potential, no one should believe that Europeans can match the enormous defense investments the U.S. is currently making. In fact, Europeans should not enter into a "friendly arms race." It is neither realistic nor in any way desirable. However, Europeans should spend their investment funds wisely and on a more cooperative basis in order to rapidly improve their capabilities according to the DCI. I think it would be best if Europeans agreed on corridors for their investments and increased their investments within agreed margins. 

At the same time Americans must share relevant technology, facilitate European defense modernization, remove barriers to technology transfer, and support a more open and competitive NATO defense market. This will make European forces both more capable and more interoperable with U.S. forces. It will make them a stronger partner for dealing with the threats to our common security. 

Task 4: We must work together with others

When we think about how to cope with the new challenges, we must remember to take advantage of all security organizations in order to strengthen Euro-Atlantic and global security. National solo efforts or approaches that rely on just one institution are limited when comprehensive crisis management is required. Cooperation between several institutions can take us beyond the limits of any single organization. 

The complementary strengths of numerous organizations are needed to master today's global threats and the ever more complex political, economic, social, cultural, and military context of today's crisis management processes. Through the crisis management operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Macedonia; the implementation of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe; and the fight against international terrorism, we have clearly seen that interaction between the U.N., NATO, the EU, the OSCE, and other institutions has enormous significance in security affairs. Cooperation is the name of the game when it comes to mastering the tasks of today. 

On the global level, we need a United Nations organization that is able to assume its indispensable role in preserving world peace. By declaring international terrorism a threat to international peace and security, the U.N. Security Council has codified an important and far-reaching change in international law. We should make use of this new momentum and push forward with the necessary U.N. reforms. 

NATO, for its part, can build on unprecedented mechanisms that it established in the last decade as it underwent its forward-looking political transformation. The Partnership for Peace Program, the EAPC, the world's largest permanent coalition, the NATO-Russia PJC, the NATO-Ukraine Commission, and other cooperative programs such as the Membership Action Plan (MAP) have changed the European political landscape. The fight against multi-dimensional threats such as terrorism has underlined the need for states and institutions to work together in order to make maximum use of the respective resources. 

The need for cooperation applies to Russia, and uniquely so. Russia is a strategic partner of the Euro-Atlantic community due to its geography, its size, its resources, and its political and societal transformation. However, Russia's position is not yet reflected in the substance and the mechanisms of NATO's cooperation with Russia. Too many in NATO think along the lines of "No veto no influence" on NATO's decision making. 

I am convinced that NATO's future role will be affected by the way it handles its relations with the largest European neighbor. Russia's solidarity in combating terrorism has paved the way for a new phase of cooperation, and NATO is now determined to intensify this relationship, reflecting the new spirit of cooperation. This action is fully in line with the new quality in U.S.-Russia relations, which has become evident over the last few months. 

The summits at the end of May 2002 reflect this new stage of our relations with Russia. However, our instruments must match our interests and our objectives. Instead of wasting our time discussing the most unlikely development-Russia's membership in NATO-we should focus on broadening the political, strategic, and military platforms for common action. 


On September 11 and since then, we have witnessed what horrific things the human mind can bring about. We have also seen the changes for cooperation that arise when mankind's existence is threatened. 

The subtitle of this conference is "The War on Terrorism." But we can only win this war if we are very clear that we are not fighting against other cultures-that we are fighting for our common values and interests, for our common security, and for our common freedom. We are fighting against terrorism and the regimes that support it, and we are doing this by working together, not by creating a division between cultures and regions. 

The attacks of September 11 have shown us that we are all part of one world. In this world of globalization and transnational threats, we cannot afford to either confine our security policy to territorial defense or to limit it to military or technological approaches. Security today has both international and domestic aspects. The new transnational threats must be tackled on all fronts: political, economic, intelligence, policy, and military. 

However, in this fight, we must avoid causing the dangers to reappear in a different form as a result of the methods used to combat them. The international coalition against international terrorism is a very delicate one. 

To sum up, in order to master the challenges of strengthening global security, we must: 

  • Base our policy on a comprehensive, broadened concept of security that is founded on the multidimensionality of the causes of crises and conflicts and the necessary answers to the security challenges of today. 
  • Draw up a policy that is aimed equally at changing structures in the long term, eliminating the deeper causes of conflicts, developing the capability to act, and pursuing a policy for preserving peace now. 
  • Frame a policy that combines regional action with global thinking and global action with the necessities of a regional stability policy.


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