July - December 2007


Op-Ed: Bush Administration Should Take Historic Opportunity to Make a Deal with France's Sarkozy

7 November 2007 - Bloomberg, Frederick Kempe
In anticipation of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's state visit to the United States, which began on November 6th, the Bush Administration has been debating how to best approach his offer for closer Franco-America relations. In this op-ed piece, Kempe, of the Atlantic Council of the US, argues that the U.S. should come to a quick agreement with the French on the issues of their return to NATO, specifically by putting them in charge of NATO Southern command. In doing so, the U.S. would strengthen its bilateral relationship with France, while also providing NATO with a France that is a more effective and committed member state. Kempe concludes by saying that time is of the essence: "Bush in this case should cast off the go-slow advice of the gradualists and follow his natural inclination for bold steps."
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Op-Ed Says U.S. Should Embrace a Larger Role for France in NATO
29 October 2007 - The Washington Post, Ronald D. Asmus
In this editorial, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, argues that the United States should welcome French President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans for a return to NATO's military command. Unlike previous remarks by French leaders, Asmus believes Sarkozy is genuine in his respect for and desire to work with the United States. Second, full membership in NATO, by closely tying the leadership of both nations together, should make European-American relations even more constructive. France also appears to support America's desire to continue NATO's out-of-Europe operations. With France even more in the Alliance, this process should be better facilitated. Asmus is optimistic that, unlike previous negotiations, this process will work: "The conditions France has thus far laid out, while still vague, should be achievable if the political will and strategic imagination exists. Let's not miss this window of opportunity again."
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U.S. Wants Closer EU Cooperation on Sanctions Against Iran
28 October 2007 - Khaleej Times Online
The U.S. sees European Union support for sanctions against Iran as essential to the hindering of that nation's nuclear weapons program. In announcing the new sanctions last Thursday, the United States hopes that the EU will see the utility of such sanctions, especially measured against the possibility of military action against Tehran. There is currently a debate within the EU about the sanctions, with Germany and Italy being more reluctant that Britain and France who have already called for sanctions independent of U.S. efforts. According to Philip Gordon of the Brookings Institution, American sanctions will only work if the EU, China, and Russia agree: "It is only by persuading other major countries not to do so [trade with Iran] that it stands any chance of convincing Iran that the economic and diplomatic costs of developing nuclear weapons are greater than the perceived benefits."
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French Defense Minister Reiterates Conditions for France's Return to NATO
25 October 2007 - Bloomberg, James G. Neuger
Herve Morin, France's Defense Minister, repeated the conditions set forth by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for France's return to NATO's military command, which it had previously left in 1966. The two conditions for such a proposal, Morin repeated, was that more focus should be paid to European defense priorities, and that French officers should be appointed to leaderships position's within the Command. His remarks come in the midst of a meeting of the Defense Ministers of NATO's member states in The Netherlands. While stating that France would contribute trainers to NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistant, Morin repeated that: "Our priority is European defense. Nothing can happen unless European defense regains its dynamism and vigor.'' He stressed also that: "The question isn't Europe versus NATO, or NATO versus Europe, but rather to see to it finally that Europe can look after its own security."
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An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom: Securing America's Future
November/December 2007 - Foreign Affairs, John McCain
Republican Candidate John McCain Stresses Importance of the Transatlantic Alliance
Republican Presidential primary candidate, Senator John McCain, made the case for his foreign policy vision in an article for the journal Foreign Affairs. In it, he stresses the past and future importance of the Transatlantic Alliance. He argues that in order to mend the fraying of U.S. relations in Europe over the past decade, the United States must embrace a stronger European Union. This will allow closer cooperation on the wide-range of issues affecting both sides of the alliance: energy policy, a common economic market, climate change, foreign assistance, and the international promotion of democracy. He underscored this priority by saying: "More broadly, America needs to revive the democratic solidarity that united the West during the Cold War. We cannot build an enduring peace based on freedom by ourselves."
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What Will NATO's New Strategic Concept Look Like?
10 October 2007 - Strategic Studies Group, reprinted for ISN Security Watch, Rafael Bardaji
In this analysis, Rafael Bardaji lays out the prospects for a new strategic concept for NATO. In the past, the strategic concept has explained both NATO's military and political goals. This new concept will have to take into account NATO's enlargement since 1999, as well as the more global scope of its activities, especially in Afghanistan. Bardaji believes NATO must reconfigure in order to meet the threat from Radical Islamist terrorism. However, this goal is complicated by tensions between NATO and regional powers like Russia, as well as the differences that exist among NATO member states, especially the desire by some Europeans to develop a specifically continental defense and security policy. At its most general level, Bardaji argues that the strategic concept must do the following:
"Furthermore, the text will need to explain how the Alliance regards the future, including all its risks and threats, and describe the new order it aspires to build and how it plans to achieve it. Even when accompanied by a basic consensus, this is not an easy task."

The Future of the French Role in NATO
5 October 2007 - Special to the Gulf News, Pascal Boniface
Dr. Boniface argues that the full re-integration of France into NATO is dependent on whether or not the United States accepts the two conditions laid out by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Both of these conditions stress the European framework of the Alliance: the focus on European defense policy, and a larger role for French personnel. Another issue Boniface discusses, which has not been explicitly stated by the French government, is a halt to the globalization of NATO. According to Dr. Boniface:
"There is also another condition: to cease with the project that tries to transform the Atlantic alliance into a "global" one by enlarging both its mission (war on terror) and its composition (adding Japan, Australia, South Korea and so on). This would turn Nato into a tool for a clash of civilisation."
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NATO Experts Discuss Counterterror Operations
5 October 2007 - Voice of America, Sabina Castelfranco
The Italian Atlantic Committee and the Atlantic Treaty Association held a two-day conference in Palermo, Italy to analyze the future of counterterror operations across the Alliance. Among the concerns expressed was the vulnerability of Mediterranean nations to political and security issues as emigration from North Africa continues. Both NATO and the EU, according to the conference participants, must strengthen their cooperation in the region. The United States also has an important role to play with both entities. NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alessandro Minuto Rizzo outlined a three-pronged strategy for strengthening these operations:
"One, developing our cooperation with other international actors; two, improving our capabilities, and three, deepening and extending our partnerships."
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National Review Online Editorial: Giuliani and the Expansion of NATO
26 September 2007 - The Editors of National Review Online
In response to the proposal of Republican Presidential Primary Candidate Rudy Giuliani to expand NATO to include India, Israel, Japan, Australia, and Singapore, the editors of National Review write in broad support of the proposal, but do caution against some pitfalls. They believe an expanded NATO could buttress the group of democratic states within the United Nations as they seek to reform that organization. They also argue that the addition of these new countries could be a force multiplier for NATO's missions in Afghanistan, and for future deployments outside of Europe. However, the editors caution that the current state of NATO might not be conducive to all of these goals. Attempts to not antagonize the Arab world would preclude the membership of Israel. The idea of a Global NATO as a force-multiplier also has to take into account the way Europe funds NATO and the priority of a European defense policy.
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French President Sarkozy Lays Out His Terms for Full Re-Integration into NATO
25 September 2007 - EUObserver.com, Honor Mahony
Nicolas Sarkozy, whose presidential campaign made European defense policy a priority, has stated that France will rejoin the military command structure of the NATO alliance as long as the other member states agree to two conditions: first, it must prioritize a common European defense policy; and second, French defense officials must be allowed places in the NATO administration. France left the command structure in 1966, when President Charles de Gaulle wanted more independence for France. It remains to be seen what kind of progress is made on the defense policy when France takes over the EU Presidency in late 2008. President Sarkozy, however, has said that much of the institutional structure is already in place:
"The basis for a European defence exists. We must make it grow . . . I want Europe to be capable of ensuring its security autonomously."
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Republican Presidential Primary Candidate Rudy Giuliani calls for the Globalization of NATO
19 September 2007 - Reuters
Speaking to an audience in London, former New York City Mayor and candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination Rudy Giuliani said that NATO should be expanded to include Australia, India, Israel, Japan, and Singapore in order to bolster the Alliance's efforts against Islamic extremism. He stated that these nations in particular matched the current NATO membership because they meet
"basic standards of good governance, military readiness (and) global responsibility, regardless of location."

Is Afghanistan the make-or-break mission for NATO?
11 September 2007 - International Relations and Security Network, Ruben Vroegop
Mr. Vroegop argues in this editorial that the possible decision by Canada and The Netherlands to withdraw their troops for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistant may do irreparable damage to the transatlantic alliance. Both countries' military forces have been taking heavy casualties fighting a Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan. Vroegop argues that the move could endanger the troops of other nations still present in the country, add further credibility to the U.S.'s desire to rely on "coalitions of the willing," it could possibly lead to the failure of NATO's first mission outside of Europe, and, finally, erode Canada and the Netherlands' international credibility. He concludes that if the alliance can weather this crisis it should, in the future, put more focus on burden-sharing across the whole of the alliance, and have a more open dialogue about mission objectives.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, "We Must Learn from Our Mistakes"
6 September 2007 - The New Statesman
The British diplomat - former UK Ambassador to the United Nations and UK Special Envoy to Iraq - editorializes about the future of the United Kingdom's relationship with the U.S. and the EU. He argues for a better understanding of the new transnational threats; the transatlantic alliances are still in a mindset which is focused on the conventional wars of the 20th Century. He calls for upgraded and more encompassing common transatlantic structures:
"A further effort is now needed, with the initiative taken on the EU side, to get effective transatlantic machinery in place for the incoming US administration in 2009. The UK should argue for a much more efficient and permanent structure at senior official level to underpin the twice-yearly EU-US summits."
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"A Revolution in Transatlantic Affairs: Perils and Promises of a Global NATO"
August 2007 - Policy Review, Tony Corn
In this piece for the Hoover Institution's in-house journal, Corn contrasts the nascent coalition among China, Russia, Iran, India and Pakistant - dubbed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - and the apparent globalization of NATO. Corn sees as many problems as solutions with the path NATO and its member states are taking. In order to avoid the former and increase the chances of reaching the latter vis-a-vis the SCO, Corn argues that NATO must strengthen what he calls its "strategic literacy." This involves a lot of new thinking about how to combat the "unrestricted warfare elaborated by the Chinese and the fourth-generation warfare practiced by the Islamists." In order to do so, both Europe and the United States must transcend the hard power vs. soft power divide that has plagued transatlantic relations since 9/11, and jointly strategize for the coming threats.

"At the NATO summit in Riga [Latvia] in November 2006, a little-noticed transatlantic revolution of sorts finally occurred when the Atlantic Alliance acknowledged that it would have to 'go global' in order to remain relevant. Divided, America and Europe will fail; united, they can retain the lead. But all manners of "going global" are not equal, and the coming globalization of NATO is as much full of promises as it is fraught with perils."

. . .

"As U.S. NATO Ambassador Victoria Nuland argued, 'if the divisive debate over Iraq taught us one thing, it is that NATO must be the place where we talk about all the issues affecting our future - the Middle East, Iraq, North Korea, China, Iran, just to name a few.'"
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NATO Celebrates Fifty-Eighth Anniversary of Active Operations

24 August 2007 - Video by the Associated Press
In anticipation of the anniversary of the beginning of the North Altantic Treaty Organization (August 24, 1949 - the treaty itself was signed the previous April), the Associated Press has compiled newsreel footage of the signing ceremony. It includes visuals of French and British Foreign Ministers Robert Schuman and Ernest Bevin, American Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and American President Harry S. Truman.

Bush, Putin Discuss Missile Defense
July 2, 2007 - Associated Press
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave President Bush more alternatives Monday for reshaping a missile defense system fiercely opposed by Moscow. Bush said the United States still wants to anchor the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. It was unclear whether the United States considered Putin's ideas acceptable. The two leaders, meeting at the oceanfront compound of Bush's father, sought to restart U.S.-Russian relations after months of acrimony.

 


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