January - June 2006

St. Petersburg drills antiterrorism ahead of July G8 summit
June 21, 2006 - RIA Novosti
St. Petersburg will hold exercises Wednesday on counteracting terrorist attacks involving biological and chemical weapons in the run-up to a summit of the Group of Eight most developed nations in July. The exercises, which will be conducted by the emergencies and interior ministries, will be staged in the Gulf of Finland and the seaport buildings, where law enforcers will practice dealing with poisonous substances being sprayed into air, the aftermath of a powerful explosion, extinguishing fires and recovering the injured people from under rubble. (Read More)

Merkel demands upgrade of NATO strategy
06.02.2006 - 09:34 CET | By Lisbeth Kirk  
EUobserver.com - Brussels,Belgium 
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has said NATO should be a permanent forum for 
analysis of world security threats in the future. Speaking at an annual high-profile 
security conference in Munich, she pledged her allegiance to the body, stating that all 
political and military measures of NATO members should be discussed and planned at 
NATO first. "To my opinion it [NATO] should be the permanent forum, where common 
analysis of threats are carried out and discussed," Ms Merkel said.  
"It should be the pace for political consultation over new conflicts, which flame up 
around the world, and should to my opinion be the place for political and military co- 
ordination of activities,"... (Read More)

NATO's Growing Role in the Greater Middle East
Spring 2006 - Philip H. Gordon, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Emirates Lecture Series
Ten years ago, the idea of writing a substantial paper about NATO's role in the Greater Middle East, would have been implausible. Indeed, at that time NATO was only tentatively involved in southeast Europe , let alone southwest Asia , and the organization's own future remained highly uncertain. In August 1995, after four years of hesitation and debate over the issue of extending the zone of operation of what had once been a strictly defensive alliance, NATO intervened militarily for the first time in Bosnia . However, this only occurred after organizations like the United Nations (UN) and the Western European Union (WEU) were seen to have failed, and the mission was not regarded as a precedent for Alliance action in the Middle East or Asia . At the time, few could have envisaged that a decade later NATO would be deploying over 10,000 troops to Afghanistan , training Iraqi military forces in Baghdad and increasing its political and military cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). That, however, is precisely the situation today.
(Read More)

The Real Business of NATO
May 16, 2006 - International Herald Tribune, Risto E.J. Penttila
(...) 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
May 3, 2006 - US Department of State, Vince Crawley
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)

Transantlantic Homeland Defense: Special Report
Center for Technology and National Security Policy - National Defense University
May 2006
This paper proposes an initiative to enhance transatlantic homeland defense at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) November 2006 Riga Summit and beyond. As NATO develops its capabilities for expeditionary operations, it needs to revitalize plans and capabilities essential to realize its core mission: protecting Alliance territory as outlined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. This back-to-basics approach is designed to ensure that Allies can protect the transatlantic homeland against an array of new threats and challenges. This initiative would unfold in the context of broader efforts to protect the Euro-Atlantic community. NATO is but one of many institutions -national and international, governmental and nongovernmental-involved in societal security.... Homeland defense-that is, the military's role in preventing and defending against terrorist attacks on the territory of Alliance members -is an increasingly important imperative for the United States , Canada and Europe . NATO has the opportunity to articulate a strategic direction and planning process for homeland defense to ensure that relevant Alliance activities and capabilities are adapted and integrated to deal with these new threats. .... This initiative would offer NATO both a 21st-century approach to Article 5 and new meaning and credibility in the eyes of NATO publics who are concerned about threats to their homelands. This report proposes that enhanced transatlantic homeland defense be a major initiative for adoption at the 2006 Riga Summit and completion at the 2008 summit. Accompanying this initiative would be parallel proposals on strengthening partnerships with nonmembers and further improving NATO's military forces and capabilities for new-era missions. The initiative would include four categories of homeland defense, none of which would address expeditionary, counterterrorism, natural disaster, and humanitarian missions outside the NATO area. In some cases, capabilities created for homeland defense purposes could be used within and outside the NATO area for such civil-military missions. ... NATO will need improvements in physical assets and strengthened strategic planning and operating capacities. It also will require close coordination and harmonization with national governments, many of which view control of homeland security resources as vital manifestations of their sovereignty.
(Read More)

Looking to the Future: NATO Training Mission-Iraq
May 2006 - Joint Forces Quarterly, Rick Lynch and Phillip D. Janzen
"The Alliance has struggled to apply outdated mechanisms and policies to the fluid environment of the out-of-area support mission... The most significant lesson from this mission involves supporting political pronouncements with political will. At the Istanbul Summit, all 26 members committed to support the government of Iraq "with the training of its security forces" and sought further proposals for that support "as a matter of urgency." This statement soon rang hollow as political consensus was overshadowed by political posturing over involvement in Iraq ." The article highlights a series of problems flowing from current funding and decision-making procedures: "With each step, from the reconnaissance mission in July 2004 to the delay in funding for the training institution at Ar Rustamiyah, some countries have capitalized on the Alliance regimen of consensus to block significant advances. Not only has the mission been needlessly delayed by political debate, but these debates consume immense energy and focus from all levels of command. ... The lesson is that once the political decision is made to commit national treasure and personnel ... for a NATO-led operation, ensuing operational decisions should not be held hostage to the political process. This may require rethinking the 50-year policy of consensus decision-making. When even the most picayune operational decision requires a 26-member consensus, any nation can block progress on overarching objectives with the wave of a finger. For example, some Allied nations that stood behind the Istanbul pledge to support Iraq and have contributed to out-of-country support have also in practice politically blocked progress on the main effort of in-country training. The lesson is clear: once the commitment is made and plans are approved, nations must be obligated to support the "efforts politically if not materially." The articles stresses how the growing gap between strategic and operational concepts on the one hand and funding mechanisms on the other may indeed lead NATO operations to disaster: "The Alliance is well into the transformation process from a static defense organization to a more flexible, deployable mechanism for operations in and out of Europe . The NRF concept and its inherent structures illustrate how NATO is transforming into a more responsive joint and combined force. However, as the command structure and strategic and operational concepts have rapidly evolved to meet changing threats, financial support mechanisms have not adapted. For example, the concept of "costs-lay-where-they-fall" restricts participation to countries able to pay, while excluding willing but less financially capable members. This drastically reduces the pool of force contributors while burdening contributors. A related and misunderstood financial concept is NATO common funding. Common funds and nationally borne costs are separate sources. However, in reality, both are paid from the same pool of resources, national defense budgets. In essence, NATO pays both ways-through common funding or a member's own purse. The idea of trust funds to support an operation is also fraught with disaster. Announcing support for an operation plays well in the international arena; however, trust funds allow nations to avoid any financial obligation associated with their verbal pronouncements. A nation can politically support an operation at absolutely no cost to its own treasury. Trust funds also attract an even more complex political dimension: the caveat. Contributing nations can place restrictions and constraints on the use of their contributions, creating an unwieldy system of accounting checks and balances. NATO should revisit its funding policy, which penalizes contributing nations by forcing them to pay for their participation. The use of trust funds is also a growing failure. NATO has committed the political capital of the Alliance and all 26 nations represented to train Iraqi officers. It is now prepared to squander that capital by failing to fund the commitment.... These are just a few operational issues directly related to funding that highlight what any military thinker will understand. Without adequate financial resources, and the flexibility to apply those resources at the decisive points in an operation, mission failure becomes a strong possibility."
(Read More)

US Expected to Push for bigger NATO role in Darfur
April 26, 2006 - Sudan Tribune
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
April 8, 2006 - IPS, Thalif Deen
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
April 8, 2006 - Agence France Presse(AFP)
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
April 3, 2006 - EU Observer, Lucia Kubosova
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 - US Department of State, speech by Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Sectretary of European and Eurasian Affairs
"...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)

US general says NATO wants cargo planes despite tight budgets

By Rebecca Christie 
March 6

WASHINGTON (Market Watch) -- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization still wants 
its own cargo planes despite their expense, a top military officer said Monday.  
Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO's 
Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, said the alliance needs medium- and long-range 
planes to carry out its growing workload. Candidates include the Airbus (ABI.YY) 
A400M and Boeing Co.'s (BA) C-17.  
But NATO member nations will have to come to terms with the cost of their ambition, he 
said at a Pentagon press briefing. NATO military missions now span Afghanistan and 
Africa as well as ongoing operations in the Balkans.  
"One of the interesting realities of the alliance is that there is great political will to do 
more," Jones said. "But unfortunately, the other side of that coin is that we haven't seen 
an equal political will to resource more, and that has to be corrected." 
(Read More)

Experts believe US needs to get more involved in Iran talks

February 24

Brzezinski says US cannot make its allies negotiate with Iran while striving to destabilise 
the regime in Tehran  

WASHINGTON: Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer and former US 
national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski on Wednesday called on Washington to 
take a more active role in trying to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme. 
The two men said that rather than letting the European Union try to negotiate with the 
Islamic republic over its controversial nuclear ambitions, the United States would do well 
to become more directly engaged in the talks. “I think it would be very helpful if the 
United States would really join,” said Fischer, speaking at a conference on transatlantic 
relations at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)...
(Read More)

 

NATO:Pakistan mission a 'roaring success'

By GARETH HARDING 
UPI Chief European Correspondent

BRUSSELS, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- NATO Wednesday launched a robust defense of its 
disaster relief operation in Pakistan in the face of criticism that the mission exposed flaws 
in its fledgling rapid reaction force and raised question marks about whether the military 
alliance should get involved in humanitarian aid missions. "In terms of having the right 
stuff in place at the right time, I think we got it about right," Air Commodore Andrew 
Walton, commander of NATO's disaster relief team in Pakistan, told United Press 
International. "It was 95 percent a roaring success and 5 percent 'could do better.'" 
Certainly no one can accuse NATO of dawdling after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck 
northwest Pakistan on Oct. 8, killing more than 73,000 people and leaving 3.5 million 
homeless. On Oct. 10 the 26-member bloc received a formal request from Pakistan for 
assistance in dealing with the disaster. The next day, the North Atlantic Council approved 
a major air operation and three days later the first NATO aircraft arrived in the capital 
Islamabad with seven tons of tents, blankets and sleeping bags from Slovenia.  
(Read More)


NATO Mulls Expansion as Munich Security Conference Starts
February 2, 2006  

As more than 300 defense ministers and top security officials will meet in Munich this 
weekend, NATO officials have hinted at ideas to expand the alliance into a global 
organization. 
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Thursday that Japan and South 
Korea are both interested in strengthening their relationship with the alliance. Eventually, 
the two countries could also participate in NATO missions. "In a time of global threats, 
our alliance relies on the support of other states more than ever," de Hoop Scheffer told 
Bavarian weekly Bayernkurier, which is published by the German state's ruling Christian 
Social Union. Australia and New Zealand, two other countries eyeing closer ties with 
NATO, already support the alliance's mission in Afghanistan."Japan and South Korea can 
also make important contributions to NATO operations in future," he said. "They have 
shown clear interest in closer cooperation with NATO. I see building ties with these 
countries as a major security investment." According to a report in Süddeutsche Zeitung, 
NATO officials have already discussed the expansion proposal at a meeting in January. 
According to the Munich daily, The US ambassador to NATO, Victoria Nuland, has 
brought forward a proposal to establish a permanent panel... (Read More)


E.U.'s Patchwork Of Policies Leaves It Vulnerable to 9/11-Style Attack
By Craig Whitlock 
Washington Post Foreign Service 
Wednesday, January 18, 2006; Page A01  

BRUSSELS -- The capital of the European Union was in the midst of a historic 
celebration on May 1, 2004, when security officials learned of a sudden emergency: An 
airliner that had departed Norway with 186 passengers aboard had possibly been hijacked 
and was headed this way. 
On the same day that the union expanded its borders to admit 10 new member countries, 
an Air Europa Boeing 737 en route to Spain did not respond to an urgent series of radio 
calls from air traffic controllers as it flew over Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands 
before entering Belgian airspace.... The incident ended peacefully but exposed Europe's 
vulnerability to a Sept. 11-style hijacking and the difficulties in coordinating a 
multinational response to a fast-breaking terrorist threat. 

The European Union exists in large part to harmonize policy among its members. But 
when it comes to dealing with a hijacked airliner, those countries cling to a patchwork of 
contradictory rules and regulations.... During the Cold War, West European nations relied 
on NATO to defend against a Soviet air attack. While NATO has since expanded to take 
in many of the former Communist states of Eastern Europe, it lacks the authority to shoot 
down hijacked civilian airliners, now a far more likely threat than attack by a foreign 
military. That decision is explicitly left to individual countries. "This is an awfully 
difficult subject," Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO's secretary general, said in a September 
meeting with a small group of reporters in Berlin. "The notion of national sovereignty is 
very strong. To go after civilian airlines with passengers on them, we'll defer on that." 
NATO still monitors the skies for intruders, civilian or military, and will scramble jets on 
the orders of local officials. It has also supplied AWACS surveillance aircraft to guard 
against terrorist attacks at more than 20 high-profile international events since the Sept. 
11 attacks, such as the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the funeral of Pope John 
Paul II at the Vatican last year. 
"We are very well served by our ability to identify threats. We've got the 
communications, we've got the radars," said a senior NATO official in Brussels who 
spoke on condition of anonymity. "Our ability in Europe to see and understand what is 
going on is probably as good as anywhere in the world. Our ability to put an aircraft in 
the sky very quickly is also very good. The difficult bit comes when you have identified a 
renegade aircraft."The European Union has had little success on this issue. Gijs de Vries, 
the bloc's counterterrorism coordinator, said security officials are working to improve 
Europe-wide readiness for a hijacking, but he declined to discuss details. "I can't get into 
any of that," he said in an interview last year. (Read More)

NATO's rapid response force faces money crunch, general says
By JACK DORSEY, The Virginian-Pilot © January 24, 2006  

NORFOLK — NATO’s emerging 25,000-member rapid-response force, designed to 
deal with dilemmas from natural disasters to failed states, is at risk because it puts too 
much financial burden on some nations that want to participate, according to its European 
military leader. Gen. James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told military 
representatives from NATO’s 26 member nations meeting here Tuesday that the force, 
which becomes fully operational Oct. 1, needs a more reliable source of funding. 
The force “is a good idea, a great vision, and everybody signed up for it,” he said. “But a 
vision without resources is just a hallucination. You can’t get it.” 
... The NATO Response Force, formed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is made up of 
land, air, sea and special forces. While envisioned as a total force of 25,000, it can be 
mobilized in small units of just a few hundred depending on a specific mission. Those 
missions can include evacuations, disaster management, counterterrorism, or as an initial 
force for larger conflicts. 
It already has been used in modest ways in Pakistan and in the United States for 
Hurricane Katrina response. 
The force numbers about 17,000 today. It is designed to respond to a crisis with five 
days’ notice and sustain itself for at least 30 days. 
Authorization to use the force comes from the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s principal 
decision-making body. 
... Past policies within the NATO community have led to today’s funding problems for 
the response force, Jones said. 
“In the 20th century, when NATO was a defensive, static alliance, when people donated 
troops to NATO … they paid for whatever they did,” he said. But they weren’t going 
anywhere. They just basically were crossing the borders, or flying around for training. So 
the nations had assumed those budgets.”  
... With the disappearance of the Soviet Union, NATO now finds itself in expensive 
global operations. 
There are nations that would like to be involved in the force, Jones said in an interview, 
“but they just can’t afford to do that.”  
The Czech Republic, for example, provides the force its chemical, biological and 
radiation response and it is the only nation to do so. “But they can’t be expected to pay 
for that every time NATO uses it.” That is the weak point in the structure of the force, he 
said.  
... Henault said that because of the unpredictability of global security, “there is no doubt 
in my mind the NRF as it is constituted is going to have work for the foreseeable future, 
for as long as we are around.”  (Read More)

Gulf Presses NATO for Nuclear-Free Zone
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, DOHA, Qatar 

The head of the Gulf Cooperation Council called on NATO on Dec. 2 to press for the 
elimination of nuclear arms in Gulf region so that it does not become a “sandwich” 
between Israel and Iran. “I call on NATO to exercise direct pressure to eliminate WMDs 
(weapons of mass destruction) from our region, without exception,” said Sheikh Abdul 
Rahman al-Attiyah, GCC secretary general. Attiyah, who was speaking on the sidelines 
of a conference in Qatar on NATO’s role in Gulf regional security, said “we do not want 
our region to be sandwiched by arms here and arms there.”  (Read More)


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