January - June 2006

House committee approves Israel-NATO legislation

June 27

A U.S. House of Representatives committee unanimously approved a resolution that calls 
for enhancing Israel’s relationship with NATO.  
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Rep. Robert Wexler 
(D-Fla.), was adopted Tuesday by the House Committee on International Relations.  
The resolution recommends upgrading Israel’s affiliation to a “leading member of 
NATO’s Individual Cooperation Program,” a promotion the bill says ultimately will lead 
to Israel’s full membership in the alliance.  
“Incorporating Israel’s vast experience facing daily threats from Islamist terrorists who 
seek to do it harm will be a great boon for NATO,” Ros-Lehtinen said.  
Israeli officials are not enthusiastic about the prospect of full NATO membership, fearing 
it could limit the country’s ability to strike its enemies without consultation. The 
resolution is to be considered by the full House next month. 
(Read More)

EU – US Summit
Vienna , 21 June 2006
Commission President José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Council and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and US President George W. Bush will meet at the EU-US Summit on 21 June in Vienna to discuss foreign policy co-operation, energy security, economy and trade, and other global challenges. On energy, leaders are expected to step up EU-US cooperation to a strategic level and to promote a set of principles for responsible energy policies worldwide. Iran , the Middle East and the promotion of democracy are expected to dominate the foreign policy agenda. Other participants at the summit will be Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for Trade Mandelson, and Austrian Foreign Minister Plassnik as well as High Representative Javier Solana from the EU side and Secretary of State Rice from the US side.
(Read More)

The Real Business of NATO
By Risto E.J. Penttila, International Herald Tribune
May 16 2006
(...) NATO has already become a global policeman. The question now is whether it will turn out to be a good cop or a bad cop. If NATO wants to be a good cop, it must work out principles and decision- making procedures for the most likely crises of the future - even if those crises are a far cry from the war games played during the Cold War. If NATO continues to deny that it has become a global policeman, it will act without legitimacy and without a moral compass. In other words, it will be a bad cop. (...) NATO claims to defend freedom, democracy and liberty. Well, freedom, democracy and liberty are at stake when people are being slaughtered in Darfur . The same principles are also at stake when war-torn countries are trying to rebuild themselves.
(Read More)

Cheney Backs Balkan States for NATO and EU Membership
May 8, 2006
United States Vice President Cheney praised the three countries of Albania , Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , for their willingness to undertake democratic reforms and for taking part in US-led military operations. His tone was a marked contrast to his criticism of Russia made to Baltic and Black Sea heads of state in Vilnius on Thursday.
(Read More)

State's Fried Says NATO not "Counterweight" to United Nations
By Vince Crawley,
May 3, 2006
Washington -- The good news is that the United States and Europe are cooperating again; the bad news is that they are facing some of the world’s most dangerous, intractable problems, a senior U.S. diplomat says. “Unilateralism is out. Effective multilateralism is in,” Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European affairs, said May 2 at a national conference of editorial writers in Washington. Fried said the United States and Europe are “working to make NATO the centerpiece alliance through which the trans-Atlantic democratic community deals with security challenges around the world.” But NATO is not a “counterweight” to the larger United Nations, Fried said. The international organizations are “compatible,” he said, adding that NATO is different from the United Nations because it is an alliance of “trans-Atlantic democracy, so it’s based on underlying values,” and it also is a proven military alliance able to put together and deploy capable forces for specific missions.
(Read More)

US Expected to push for bigger NATO role in Darfur
Sudan Tribune
April 26, 2006
SOFIA, Bulgaria— U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to push NATO allies this week to accept a more robust role for the alliance helping African peacekeepers end political and ethnic strife in Sudan ’s Darfur region. On Darfur , Washington has been urging NATO to step up its support for African Union peacekeepers, which so far has been limited to airlifts and a small training mission for African Union commanders. The U.S. wants NATO to provide the Africans with logistics, communications, transport, planning, intelligence and expanded training - including an unspecified number of instructors and other experts on the ground in Sudan.
(Read More)

U.S. Quits Council Race, Possibly Fearing Defeat
Thalif Deen
April 8, 2006
The United States , which has been lambasted for human rights abuses both by members of its armed forces in Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad and by U.S. law enforcement officials in the Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba , has backed out of a hotly contested race for membership in the newly-created U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC). (... )If the United States contested and lost, it would have been a resounding public slap for a country which is a self-styled promoter of human rights but which still justifies abuses in the name of fighting terrorism.
(Read More)

Algeria, Israel, Morocco, to join NATO Maritime operations
By-Agence France Presse(AFP)
April 8, 2006
NATO has accepted a proposal that Algeria , Israel and Morocco take part in an alliance maritime operation. "NATO has given its agreement in principle that the three countries should take part" in an operation to monitor merchant shipping in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar, NATO deputy general secretary Alessandro Minuto Rizzo told reporters. The participants have agreed to set up a "partnership cell" to make easier cooperation between the alliance and the countries of the south, Rizzo said.
(Read More)

NATO considers closer ties with other countries
FT-By Daniel Dombey
April 3, 2006
NATO is considering creating closer military ties with countries like Sweden , Australia , New Zealand, Finland or even Japan and South Korea , in an initiative pushed by the US but opposed by France. Washington has been gathering support for the idea of a more flexible "global partnership" which would lead to a rationalization of the organization's web of partnerships but also push for "advanced partnerships" with Nordic, Asian and Australian countries. Moreover, such initiative would boost ties with countries that already cooperate with the alliance such as New Zealand , Australia , Finland and Sweden participating in the Afghanistan mission. "It makes sense to consider making this community stronger. We need as many countries as possible that share our values and have effective forces on the same team to face all the challenges we are seeing in places such as Afghanistan ," Nato’s James Appathurai told the FT.Yet France is uneasy with the idea as it fears it would further strengthen the US position in the alliance.
(Read More)

NATO: Where is it Headed? Speech by Kurt Volker, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
March 31, 2006
"...we know the value of the world's core democratic community speaking with a united and clear voice. We need to work together with Europe as a single democratic, transatlantic community not just for our combined resources, but for our combined political weight, which embodies a critical mass of moral authority that exceeds what each of us can provide individually ... We are reinvesting in NATO, the most successful and most promising Alliance in the history of the world. And this is where I'd like to spend the balance of my time today. ...I have already noted that we believe that at Riga , NATO should develop its relationship with global security partners, such as Australia or Japan , and set the stage for decisions on enlargement at its next Summit in 2008. That is a big agenda. It reflects the increased tempo of operational activity at NATO, and the increasing frequency with which our leaders to NATO to tackle a wide range of problems. It reflects a core fact which has been true of NATO since the beginning: NATO is the essential venue for strategic dialogue and consultations, and operationalizing the collective will of the transatlantic democracies.
(Read More)

How to go Global
March 23, 2006
A quiet revolution is occurring in what America expects of its friends. GEORGE BUSH may be consumed at home defending his policies in Iraq against the 60% of Americans who now disagree with his handling of the war. But Europeans hoping that the hard lessons being learned daily in Baghdad and Ramadi would force the administration to adopt a more collegial foreign policy are at last starting to see results. Why, then, are some of them fretting that the transatlantic alliance is about to drift farther apart?
(Read More)

Berlusconi at U.S. Congress: EU and NATO democracy tools

(AGI) Washington DC, March 1

The West is, and has to be, one. "There cannot be two wests. Europe needs America, and 
America needs Europe", that goes "for the political, economic and military aspects" said 
PM Berlusconi speaking at the US Congress, reasserting the need to make a common 
effort, strengthening and backing the Atlantic Pact, the alliance which has always 
guaranteed freedom and peace. That's why - said Berlusconi - other countries, such as the 
Russian Federation, should join NATO... 
(Read More)

NGO Coalition Urges UN Democracy Caucus to Ensure Strong Membership Mechanism for Proposed Human Rights Council
By Freedom House
February 21
An NGO coalition that includes the Democracy Coalition Project, Freedom House, and the Transnational Radical Party are calling on the Community of Democracies to lead efforts to successfully reform the UN Commission on Human Rights.  The organization, which was founded in 2000, includes over 100 member states, and created the UN Democracy Caucus, is committed to promoting democracy and human rights around the world.  Now, as the Human Rights Council is being shaped as a replacement for the Commission on Human Rights, the NGO coalition is urging the Community of Democracies to take the lead in pressing for more stringent membership criteria for the new body.  This would mark a significant step toward making the Human Rights Council an effective promoter of human rights.
(Read More)

Georgia to become NATO member in 2008 
February 18  
TBILISI , February 18 (RIA Novosti) - In 2008, Georgia will receive a formal invitation to join NATO and will become a full-fledged member of the alliance, the Georgian state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration said Saturday.  "I am confident that in 2008 we will receive an invitation from NATO and will become a full-fledged member of the alliance," Georgy Baramidze told a session of the International Security Forum...
(Read More)

State's Fried Says United States, Europe United on Freedom Agenda
19 January 2006 

The United States and Europe are “essentially united” in the task of advancing freedom 
around the world, a senior State Department official said January 18 in a wide-ranging 
foreign policy speech. 
“Support for freedom is not just a tactic or tool in America’s national security strategy -- 
it is THE core concept of our national grand strategy and, I believe, has been so for a 
century,” said Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried in a 
speech to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs. 
Fried outlined how the United States and Europe are working on a freedom agenda 
worldwide – not only in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, but also in the broader 
Middle East, including Iran.  
“America cannot advance freedom alone. Nor are we alone. Europe and the United States 
are essentially united in this great task. Together, we are putting the political, economic 
and security assets of the transatlantic community to work outside Europe in support of 
freedom-seekers around the world,” he said. 
Fried spoke of “a growing consensus that the purpose of U.S.-European cooperation is 
not to manage problems, or serve as a regulator of value-free competition, but to support 
common action in the pursuit of freedom.”  
(Read More)

Global War on Terror and Future of NATO
by Sebestyén L. v. GorkaPosted Jan , 2006 
Interview with Gen. Jim Jones, who serves both as the highest ranking military officer at 
the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), NATO’s HQ, and as the 
commander of the United States European Command (EUCOM).  

(...)The process of transformation involves on-going evaluation and there are still 
NATO’s political appetite to be more global is much greater than its inherent capability 
to act globally. At Prague, the then NATO 19 committed themselves to spending at least 
2% of their GDPs on defence. Today, less than half of the 26 members of the expanded 
Alliance spend close to that figure. As a result, I am less than optimistic about near-future 
Alliance capabilities in key short-falls such as strategic lift and CBRN (Chemical, 
Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) defence. The Prague Capabilities Commitment 
deals with high-end items that have very long gestation periods before they become true 
capabilities, and I don’t see them emerging as they should just yet. Maybe the summit in 
2006 can reverse this trend.  
But if you look at the worrying fact that in the aftermath of serious terrorist attacks on the 
European soil of NATO most of the responses were national and not Alliance responses, 
then this is a disturbing trend. More could be done if nations really wanted to. The 
biggest question remains how advisable is it for the Allies to commonly fund a NATO 
asset? The last century resulted in the acceptance within NATO of the principle of “costs 
falling where they lie,” a phrase that is not very compelling grammatically but which 
meant that a nation paid for all the costs of the forces it contributed to a NATO task. This 
may no longer be the way to manage out-of-area missions and so we are looking at 
expanding the model of NATO AWACS (Airborne Early Warning and Control System). 
This Alliance capability, which is funded by 14 NATO nations, has worked tremendously 
well despite being truly international not only in funding but also in manning structures. 
It works because it is funded in advance, just as navies budget ‘steaming time’ up front so 
as to make an allowance for the future costs of their operations. This is a new concept 
when applied to land forces. Now the question is whether we can broaden the AWACS 
model so that small nations will be willing to contribute more frequently in terms of 
capabilities. To be honest, the reality is that most often the issues are not political but 
(...) In my personal opinion, NATO will most likely expand again. NATO will be more 
proactive and more involved in multinational joint operations. It will cooperate more with 
other international institutions, to include the United Nations. It will become involved in 
supra-interagency cooperation to face the new threats. Operations such as Pakistan have 
shown that we are not just about classical warfighting. The Alliance will leverage this 
ability to produce results in the less-than-war spectrum of operations.  
To be a success NATO will have to be out there earlier, making things happen by shaping 
the security environment. This will be the next stage of the debate: how we move to 
being an Alliance of common security from one of common defence. We have to start the 
intellectual dialogue on this transformation today.  

Mr. Gorka is executive director of the Institute for Transitional Democracy and 
International Security (ITDIS) and adjunct professor for Terrorism Studies at the George 
C. Marshall Center in Germany.  
(Read More) 

A Transformative NATO
By Jim Hoagland, The Washington Post 
Sunday, December 4, 2005; Page B07  

The relative political calm that has prevailed across the Atlantic this year will soon be 
tested by an ambitious U.S. effort to remake NATO into a global security organization 
able to go anywhere and do much more than fight wars.Light sparring is underway 
behind closed doors over the sites and the agendas for alliance summits in 2006 and 2008 
that could become essential components of President Bush's legacy in foreign affairs. The 
tactical arguments are precursors of a great strategic debate that lies ahead over the nature 
of global power in the 21st century. This debate, if handled correctly, could enhance 
rather than damage allied unity. (...)Outwardly, transatlantic relations have improved 
substantially. A new German government that does not owe its electoral legitimacy to 
opposing Bush's policies has taken power in Berlin. France's drive to limit U.S. 
hegemony abroad has been weakened by internal problems. Secretary of State 
Condoleezza Rice has turned U.S. sniping at the European Union's negotiations with Iran 
over nuclear arms into meaningful support for that effort.(...) Resolving the emerging 
cleavage between mission affinity and mission capability within the alliance is the key 
task for the president in his final two outings on the NATO summit stage. (...) There is 
also concern among European diplomats about an American push to use the 2006 summit 
as a moment of "transformation" for NATO into a global alliance that can take on large- 
scale humanitarian, reconstruction and peace-building missions around the world, rather 
than remaining close to its original purpose of the collective defense of Europe.  A 
glimpse of one possible mission for new NATO came in September when the fledgling 
Reaction Force ferried symbolic relief (10 tons of cots, tents and other supplies donated 
by the Czech Republic) to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then, in October, the force 
mounted a much larger emergency air bridge to move 2,000 tons of supplies and 300 
NATO troops to help earthquake victims in Pakistan and Kashmir.  Old Europeans may 
grumble that NATO should not be turned into the Red Cross -- that the alliance's 
redefinition should not become endlessly elastic. But Europe must then offer its own 
concepts for an effective new alliance that contributes to global security, rather than one 
that stands still and complains about American unilateralism.  That in turn should force 
the Bush administration to treat transatlantic differences not as a simple matter of 
political will -- of some alliance members having it and others not -- but as a matter of 
necessity to base a new NATO on a new common program that brings clear benefits to all 
26 members.  (Read More)

NATO Wants To Cooperate with Gulf States Against Terror

NATO’s Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer proposed Dec. 1 closer cooperation 
with the resource-rich Arab countries in fighting terror, warning that the Gulf states face 
major obstacles.  
“It is clear that this region faces formidable security challenges,” said de Hoop Scheffer 
at a conference in the Qatari capital.  
“Several countries in this region have been the target of terrorist attacks. And your 
immediate neighborhood remains a flashpoint of unresolved regional issues, of 
proliferation risks, and of political and religious extremism.”  
De Hoop Scheffer said the new security threats facing the world, and NATO’s changing 
role and mission after the end of the Cold War, are behind the interest in cooperating with 
Gulf countries. 
He said this cooperation could include defense reform, crisis management and civil 
emergency planning as well as military-to-military contacts, exercises and education. 
(Read More)

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