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15 June 2007 NATO Workshop, Helsinki Professor Trevor Taylor Tel: +44 7818 444350 ‘Reflections on the future of.

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Presentation on theme: "15 June 2007 NATO Workshop, Helsinki Professor Trevor Taylor Tel: +44 7818 444350 ‘Reflections on the future of."— Presentation transcript:

1 15 June 2007 NATO Workshop, Helsinki Professor Trevor Taylor Tel: ‘Reflections on the future of NATO’

2 Summary  NATO as primarily a resilient organisation  The limitations of NATO  Some tricky issues  The NATO contribution

3 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

4 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 : 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?

5 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

6 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’

7 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

8 NATO’s current operations

9 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?

10 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?

11 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

12 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?

13 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


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