Presentation on theme: "15 June 2007 NATO Workshop, Helsinki Professor Trevor Taylor Tel: +44 7818 444350 ‘Reflections on the future of."— Presentation transcript:
15 June 2007 NATO Workshop, Helsinki Professor Trevor Taylor Email: TrevorT@rusi.orgTrevorT@rusi.org Tel: +44 7818 444350 ‘Reflections on the future of NATO’
Summary NATO as primarily a resilient organisation The limitations of NATO Some tricky issues The NATO contribution
NATO as resilient ‘NATO has faced imminent collapse so often it is difficult to take seriously the latest judgement that its days are numbered…. NATO seems to possess an inexhaustible capacity for recovery’ James Sperling & Mark Webber, ‘NATO: from Kosovo to Kabul’, International Affairs, Vol.89, No.3, 2009, p.491
NATO as resilient Resilience = capacity to withstand shock Experience Post 1960: capacity of USSR to put US territory at risk of nuclear destruction Post 1967: internal disruption and the changed French role Wider world differences: Suez and Vietnam 1990-1991: collapse of the Alliance’s raison d’etre and the much reduced relevance of its core purpose Intra-alliance differences over the break-up of Yugoslavia Perceived irrelevance to US in immediate aftermath of 0911? ‘Fooled by Randomness’: good fortune/coincidence, or encouragement for view that NATO will survive a limited performance in Afghanistan?
Why resilient? Wise, even imaginative responses to change Pragmatism on both sides regarding France Post 1991 The Partnership for Peace initiative New members Major contribution to stabilising/re-bonding most of Eastern Europe after Cold War Provided an agenda and something for alliance to do
Why resilient? Wise, even imaginative responses to change Pragmatism on both sides regarding France Post 1991 The Partnership for Peace initiative New members Major contribution to stabilising/re-bonding most of Eastern Europe after Cold War Provided an agenda and something for alliance to do The major (and smaller) members constantly appreciated NATO’s existence The security link of the US and Canada to Europe The best forum in which US could reach European states multilaterally but bilaterally These still appreciated on both sides of the Atlantic Life without NATO would be more uncertain: ‘Cling on to nurse for fear of something worse’
Looking forward: NATO limitations Consensus not straightforward Large and growing membership Lack of even paper commitment to a shared foreign and security policy Even parties that agree on one level could well disagree at other levels The desirability of the goal The best means to achieve the goal The priority to be given and the costs to be incurred The risks to be tolerated The coalition of the willing in Afghanistan reflects different judgements on these issues NATO will not direct costly and risky ‘wars of choice’? Refer to M.Berdal & David Ucko, ‘NATO at 60’, Survival, Vol.51, No.2, 2009, pp.55-76
Looking forward: three tricky issues (1) Iran The least bad way to handle it? US perceived challenge to Israel and US influence in the ME Europeans feeling directly threatened? European economic benefits?
Looking forward: three tricky issues (2) European defence cooperation The Brussels rivalry reduced over years EU enduring features a broader approach to security aspiration of members for a common foreign & security policy the economic incentives it can offer US dilemma European defence coherence Improved capability More ability to have an impact in Washington and elsewhere A preference to feel needed in Europe? French changes should help here but Space issues?
Looking forward: three tricky issues (3) New Strategic Concept & Article 5 Collective defence as the core NATO purpose The alliance cannot under-emphasise this One thing to say NATO has potential to act outside its own territory Another to present that as its prime purpose Historically Deter aggression against NATO territory most prominent How to fight always more difficult
Looking forward: three tricky issues (3) New Strategic Concept & Article 5 Collective defence as the core NATO purpose NATO membership expanded when no-one in West believed a threat to any new members New strategic concept and the no-first use issue Value and risks of the proposed Allied Solidarity Force?
Looking forward: the NATO contribution The prime forum for the promotion of transatlantic defence cooperation and dialogue a political body a technical military body promoting standards and interoperability armaments cooperation promoting the generation (and taxonomies) of military capability A large number of activities few with great prominence together sustaining and developing the operating system of Western defence cooperation