Sunday, 11 January 2015

THE NATO SUMMIT PRIORITIES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE NEW GEOPOLITICAL AND SECURITY CHALLENGES



Silviu Craescu 
Former Advisor/Administrator/Chief of Protocol / ATO / TIC and Protection Officer US embassy Romania 
Chairman of the National Academy Security and Defence Planning Romania






The heads of state and governments who attended the NATO Council Summit held in  Wales on September 4 and 5, 2014 reached a mutual understanding concerning the next NATO moves.

It was acknowledged the fact that this meeting is taking place at a most critical time for the Euro-Atlantic security.

The new security threats, the Ukrainian crisis, the crisis management, the instability situation in steady growing up across the Middle East and North Africa, were the main topics under debates, were considered the hard core of the Summit’s Final Statement.

Endorsement of Ukraine was henceforth jointly declared as a both military - strategic objective and as an axiological bulwark mainstay  to defend the fundamental values, of the democracy, human rights, individual freedom and the ruling of law. In this respect the Alliance stand point was re-confirmed on the strategic concept of collective defence and co-operational security. One of the NATO targets is to secure the Alliance cohesion, developing the partnership with the strategic Allies. The top priority is the NATO reinforcement  as set out at the Summit which means to develop the long term operative reaction capabilities development in the context of the latest breaking geopolitical mutations and asymmetrical threats. In this respect were adopted a series of strategic measures included in the NATO Readiness Action Plan. This is meant to bolster  a rapid reaction, inter-operational capabilities and the counter strike operations against changes and security threats in present and in future, potential or actual.

The topic which the NATO Summit focused on most was Russian aggression against Ukraine incurring geopolitical and security tangles, and in the NATO Council view regarded as developing long term  consequences on security and peace in Europe, but on the entire world stability as well.

The Great Britain prime minister, Mr David Cameron, recalled the NATO Summit in 1990 held in the great Britain as well, in order to invoke the privileged partnership with the US and highlighted the importance of NATO cohesion to the joint effort of building up a safe world of peace and prosperity. Mr Cameron also stated that in an age of major technological developments and globalization thrive huge benefits and opportunities, but also the higher risk that enormous capabilities to become the possession of terrorist groups.

Mr David Cameron further warned on the latest breaking  global scale security  threats, represented specifically by the ascent of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.

The NATO convened to re-assert once more the determination, perseverance and hold-together unity in agreement with the Washington Treaty Act, which constitutes the very foundation act and legal basis of the NATO making, reference being made to the final statement but also to other documents as well, such as the  Article 5  in the Treaty which in the opinion of the heads of states and governments summoned in Wales represents the legal foundation of the collective system of defence and security, a defensive system in a class of its own at world scale, this being in the opinion of the NATO Council a serious and major responsibility, which must be assumed.

The Article 5 in the NATO claims: ,, The Parties agree that a military attack against one or more of them either in Europe or in North America shall be construed as an attack against all Parties; therefore, these convene that, should such an attack occurs, each of these Parties, invoking the rights of legitimate self-defence, both individual and collective, acknowledged in the Article from the United Nations Chart, shall help the Party or Parties so attacked, immediately taking up, both individually and in mutual agreement with the other Parties, the measure deemed as necessary to be taken, including the use of armed force, for the purpose of re-establishing and secure the entire NATO coverage area.

Any armed attack of this kind and any measure taken as a follow-up shall be immediately notified to the Security Council. These measures shall come to an end only at the time when the Security Council shall take the necessary measures for re-establishing  and maintain the international peace and security.” ( The NATO Treaty Act signed up at Washington on April 4, 1949).
In fact, the prime minister David Cameron considered the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as an illegal action  and further invoked the relevance of collective defence, guaranteed in the Article 5, of defending and save-guarding the liberty of territories and populations by way of abiding to the principle of national sovereignty of the states, which is guaranteed by the United Nations Chart as well. This was the also the general consensus of the attendants who joined the NATO Summit Meeting held in Wales.

The top 5 priorities of the NATO Summit Meeting were:

1. The Ukraine Crisis and the NATO –Russia relationship.
2. The future of Afghanistan.
3. Approaching the new threats.
4. Reinforcement of the support for NATO Armed Forces.
5. Bolstering the strategic partnerships.

The NATO decided to considerably enlarge the military presence in East Europe. This strategic NATO relocation, has a rather very special geostrategic dimension and in a lesser degree it should be deemed as a purely political act.
In the context of the priorities and brand new ways of tackling the current security issues as sketched at the Summit there were established concrete measures and timelines for implementation:

• Enlarge the military presence in East Europe;
• New exercises custom-tailored for environment preservation;
• Relocation of equipment and logistics;
• The NATO Readiness Action Plan Engagement;
• Securing the NATO infrastructure and the necessary resources.

Naturally, these tasks are provided to be carried out in joint co-operation with the allies, being construed as a counter-measure to Ukrainian crisis, deemed as a threat on regional, Euro-Atlantic stability (security). The Alliance re-assured its Eastern members concerning the support and security preservation efforts, meaning to issue an operational kick-back to this crisis.

Another assumed decision, rated as a third in rank NATO Summit priority, and of the North Atlantic Council, respectively involves the strategic objective of the proper financing and replenish by the NATO member-states, of the budget allotted for Defence, each of its members having the duty to endow the army forces and provide a fast reaction capability at short notice, featured with an effective command and control system in place, but also endowed with a high performance communication system.

In this respect it has to be mentioned also that at the NATO Summit Meeting the decision was made to upgrade the support granted to Ukraine concerning a future development of communication facilities and of the command and control system, of the inter-operability.

Among the asymmetrical and new threats against state security, and especially where the Euro-Atlantic space is concerned, it was approached the cyber-terrorist threats issue.

Not so long time back, in 2009, the European Commission adopted the document ,, Protection of Europe against cybernetic attacks and major disruptions: enhancing the degree in training, safe-conduct and resilience”, adopting also ,,The Enhancement Plan for Informatics Critical Infrastructures”.

The measures taken at the EU level on upgrading the cyber security, were in fact updated this year, so that we may talk here about some institutional  convergence, a specific inter-dependent and synergic co-operation at the NATO – EU level.
A rather complex problem is the NATO reform.

The NATO reform remains still an open to debate topic, even if it either was not analysed actually in extenso during the  NATO Summit Meeting, or the media coverage was fuzzy or scarce if any.

It ought to be said, however related to some scepticism, that neither NATO is bound to disintegrate nor the Alliance shall last just for a moment’s necessity purpose. On the occasion of the NATO Summit, it was highlighted the fact that no today-for-tomorrow-only decisions shall be made and that  the NATO is non some remote, high and recluse club minding a bunch of limited interests. On the contrary, future milestones were set also related to the global security.

We anticipate that the NATO globalization just echoes to the entire society globalization in a deeper sense at all the levels of its intricate levels, structures and components.

The NATO aims to achieve and put the basis of the complex future of the security coverage at the world scale, designing right from these days a brand new military paradigm, conceived as a paradigm of the world security, endowed with a strong protectionist-proactive oriented and offensive-potential dimension.