Projecting Stability: Adapting the NATO Readiness Action Plan
PUBLISHED: February 23, 2018
Mike Bryant highlights NATO’s efforts to reinforce its ability to provide collective defence to the east and south-east of its members’ territory via an enhanced military capability NATO’s Readiness Action Plan (RAP) was agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit of Alliance partners. Intended to ensure that NATO can always respond “swiftly and firmly” to any security challenges from the east and the south, the Alliance has, over the past three years, moved ahead with the various component strategies of the plan. A number of immediate assurance measures were implemented as part of the effort to reassure NATO’s Central and Eastern European members that they would be protected from any potential aggression from Russia. These measures included bolstering land, maritime and air activities in the relevant areas and undertaking a series of exercises focused on collective defence. The RAP also included longer-term adaptation measures to meet the evolving threat, including significantly improving the capability of the NATO Response Force (NRF); creating a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF); establishing a number of NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) in Eastern Europe; plus a range of measures designed to enhance the capabilities of the Alliance’s multinational forces. In each of these areas, much progress has been made. THE NATO RESPONSE FORCE The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force, taking in land, air, maritime and special forces elements that can be quickly deployed wherever required. As well as its operational role, the NRF – which was initially launched in 2002 – is also seen as a tool for promoting collaboration in education and training, facilitating increased numbers of exercises and promoting better use of technology among the NATO allies. The RAP’s adaptation measures included a trebling of the NRF’s strength. In June 2015, NATO defence ministers confirmed that the enhanced NRF would be made up of 40,000 personnel. Command over the NRF lies in the hands of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). The defence ministers also confirmed that a wide-ranging, multinational exercise, Trident Juncture 2015, would show off the enhanced NRF’s capabilities. In addition, a broader and more demanding exercise programme was to be launched from 2016, with the NRF a key element of the exercises. At the same meeting, ministers agreed to speed up political and military decision-making and to set up graduated response plans that enable executable operations plans to be generated “exceptionally quickly”. NATO partners confirmed that a new standing joint logistics support group headquarters would be established to support the movement of forces across the Alliance’s territory more quickly and efficiently. The RAP also called for the creation of the VJTF, a “spearhead force” within the NRF that is able to deploy at very short notice. NATO defence ministers agreed in February 2015 that this would consist of a land formation of 5,000 troops supported by air, maritime and special forces elements, and that it would be operational by the 2016 Warsaw Summit. The lead role on the VJTF rotates around NATO members, and in mid 2015 1,500 troops tested whether the Interim VJTF could deploy within 48 hours of an order to move as intended. Exercise Noble Jump saw the VJTF deployed for the first time as a total of 2,100 troops from nine NATO nations deployed to Żagań, Poland. The exercise marked the first time that these forces had conducted tactical manoeuvres under the enhanced NRF framework. INTEGRATION UNTS In late 2015, Exercise Trident Juncture – which involved exercises on and over land and sea across large parts of Alliance territory– saw the VJTF tested and certified for 2016. The exercise also certified the NRF headquarters for 2016: Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum. The RAP has seen the creation of eight new NFIUs – which are effectively small headquarters – across Central and Eastern Europe. In September 2015, NFIUs were inaugurated in Sofia in Bulgaria, Tallinn in Estonia, Riga in Latvia, Vilnius in Lithuania, Bydgoszcz in Poland and Bucharest in Romania; in November 2016 the NFIU in Hungary was inaugurated, and the final NFIU, in Slovakia, was inaugurated in January 2017. Each NFIU is able to help facilitate the rapid deployment of forces to the Eastern region of NATO, support defence planning and assist in coordinating training and exercises. Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin, Poland and Multinational Division Southeast in Bucharest, Romania have also been created. These high-readiness headquarters are able to command forces within their respective regions and act as hubs for regional cooperation among NATO members. Finally, NATO multinational force capability has been strengthened in relation to many other formations and deployments. For example, Standing Naval Forces have been enhanced as part of the RAP’s adaptation measures so that they meet the needs of the VJTF (Maritime) force. MEETING EVOLVING THREATS In January 2017, the UK-based Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) took over as the Land Component Command of the 2017 NRF from NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Spain. At the same time, the UK’s 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade took over as NATO’s VJTF (Land) force. The process of improvement and expansion as laid out in the RAP is still ongoing, but the progress made up to now clearly shows the level of determination that NATO has to effectively meet evolving challenges to the Alliance’s security. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO's Cyber Defence Pledge: NATO's new digital chief
PUBLISHED: February 20, 2018
Kevin J Scheid took the helm of the NATO’s tech and cyber arms, the NATO communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), on 1 July, becoming the first senior US official to head the organization. He outlines some of his priorities as takes up his post at a time of fundamental change in NATO’s tech landscape Q. HOW ARE YOU SETTLING IN AS THE NEW GENERAL MANGER OF THE  NCI AGENCY? A.  At the end of September, I completed a 90-day assessment and will now be developing, together with our Supervisory Board, a three-year strategy, aiming to have it approved at the Board’s November meeting. I am optimistic and impressed with the talent in the Agency. Obviously, there are challenges we need to address; the Agency is the result of a merger of five distinct NATO bodies in 2012 and is emerging from a major period of transformation. In the development of the strategy, I am collaborating closely with the Agency Supervisory Board, the NATO leadership and the military commands to ensure their concerns and ambitions for the Agency are fully understood and reflected. At the core of the NCI Agency is not technology or big programmes. At its core are its people – a tremendous collection of talented men and women, personnel who work together daily in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Norfolk, VA, and locations across Europe to solve problems, deliver services and work with industry to deliver the capabilities that allow NATO to preserve peace and project stability worldwide. This is the greatest reward of the General Manager – to work with such a capable, diverse, international team who have dedicated themselves to no less a goal than world peace. I am excited about the work ahead. Q. WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE OF THE AGENCY? A.  Improved service and programme delivery will be my key focus, enabled by strengthening the Agency’s human talent capital. This should be seen in a wider strategic context. The scope of the Agency’s responsibility is large – missile defense, air command and control, cyber security, the modernisation of the NATO IT infrastructure and critical services that the Agency provides to the political leadership and military command structure; we need to ensure that we are on time, scope and budget. Seventy per cent of our work is executed through contracts with the Industries of our Member Nations and I am looking forward to continuing to expand our partnership with Industry; in particular, to continue to seek ways of getting capabilities deployed faster, in pace with technological change. Today, some economists are speaking about a “golden decade” ahead of us in Europe; and the economies of North America are well into a significant period of growth and expansion. Nations are investing more in defence and expanding their capabilities in information technology, cyber security, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. These are the Agency’s core capabilities and I believe we will see growing demand for the Agency’s capability development skills and thought leadership across Europe. Q. WHY IS CYBERSECURITY A KEY NATO CAPABILITY? A. One aspect is the nature of modern capabilities – be they ground vehicles, or fighter planes (take the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, for instance) – they are inherently networked. So cyber defence is becoming a key aspect of all capability development. There is also the fundamental nature of the Alliance – we bring together the forces of the Nations into a cohesive, multinational force. Command and control – via networks– is at the heart of that and needs to be defended. If a bank gets hacked, they lose lots of money; with us, lives are at risk. Timely access to data and information is also a critical resource, as it enables the North Atlantic Council’s decision-making. My final point would be that we live in a digital world, and our economies are digital – this is why, at NATO’s 2016 Warsaw Summit, our Heads of State and Government stressed that “cyber attacks present a clear challenge to the security of the Alliance and could be as harmful to modern societies as a conventional attack.” It is a challenging mission but we have a world-class team that fits the battle every day, 24/7. Kevin J Scheid has served the Federal Government for over 30 years in progressively senior positions at the White House, Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense. In November 2016, he was selected by the Member Nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to serve as General Manage, NATO Communications and Information Agency, effective 1 July 2017. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Collective Defence- NATO's Mission: Keeping the door open
PUBLISHED: February 16, 2018
In the interest of tackling populist movements in the Western Balkans, NATO must generate momentum for its “open door” policy, explains Lazar Elenovski. But who will take the lead? More than 20 years have passed since NATO published the merits of its “open door” policy in the Study on Enlargement. Promoting the continent as “free, whole and at peace”, it gained considerable traction and represented a new paradigm for Europe. The fundamental purpose of enlargement, as stated in the study, was to “provide increased stability and security for all in the Euro-Atlantic area”. This was an immense milestone for NATO, which was in danger of becoming obsolete following the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which the Alliance seemed to lack clear purpose. Successes in 1999, as well as the “big bang” enlargement at the beginning of the millennium, helped support NATO’s policy of establishing a new role for itself as an emerging security organisation. Out-of-area operations in the 2000s underlined the importance of this strategy, which fits within the new global security environment. To the satisfaction of everyone in NATO, the Alliance was prosperous, growing and enlarging. What should be stated as an important issue when reviewing Europe’s security at the time was that the Western Balkans were also experiencing a period of positive transformation, as they emerged from a decade of war. In particular, smaller countries were enthusiastic about becoming members of the privileged NATO club (except for Serbia). Showing their interest in gaining membership, they launched a series of domestic reforms, many of which had the support of NATO and the European Union (EU). Many reforms regarding the rule of law, human rights, democratisation of the country, market economy and so on passed partly due to the influence of the Euro-Atlantic integration process. Regional cooperation also played a role in furthering the open door policy, through initiatives that operated on an official and civil-societal level. Countries, their institutions and people within the Western Balkans showed a high level of commitment towards reform and regional cooperation. Public support for NATO membership in some countries reached as high as 90%. However, in the following decade, NATO had to deal with the impact of the global economic crisis in 2008, including austerity and restraint measures and huge defence cuts, especially in the European wing (though the latter trend actually began at the end of the Cold War). All of this had a negative impact on NATO’s general strategy and open door policy. In the years following the crisis, the economic and political situation in the West did not improve. On the contrary, it became even tougher. The EU, United States (US) and NATO all turned inwards, becoming predominantly occupied with domestic issues. Not only did they lose sight of the big picture, they also lost their stature as global leaders focused on values and global responsibility, creating a geostrategic vacuum in many places around the world. The ramifications were felt in the Alliance’s neighbouring areas, in Eastern Europe and in the southern states of the Arab world (in the vast Middle East and North Africa region). REGRESSIVE MOVEMENTS GAINING GROUND The countries in the Western Balkans that were, in general, young democracies with fragile democratic institutions felt partly forgotten. Combined with the other difficulties they were facing, such as economic, migrant and domestic political crises, NATO’s diminished presence in the area freed up space for the revival of nationalism. Over the past few years, many democratically backwards processes in the rule of law and human rights have gained ground. As a result of this populist wave, public support for Euro-Atlantic integration has slowed. Albania and Croatia became NATO members in 2009, and since then the only other country to join was Montenegro in 2017. The other countries in the Western Balkans are still waiting for an invitation, despite the fact that some of them fulfilled the membership requirements in 2008. The future of the open door policy will be determined by a variety of factors. The world today is very different to when the policy was first introduced. Present security challenges – such as the war on terror (foreign fighters and homegrown terrorism), migrant crises, Russia’s assertiveness, wars in NATO’s remit and cybersecurity – make the situation more complex. However, the process of enlargement is well known to candidate and observer countries, and therefore the logical conclusion is that the process of enlargement needs to be modified. What is most important for the future of the open door policy as one element of NATO’s system is how it will fit within the Alliance’s general policy. The key priority going into this year’s NATO leaders’ meeting in Brussels was to redefine a proactive global policy that would include a serious attempt to restore the Alliance’s reputation as the world’s guardian of human rights and values – a cause that many generations in the past have been devoted to and fought for. For the current US administration, that dilemma will be a key challenge in the country’s transition from global power in the world of interests, as some their officials see it, to global leader in the world of civilisation values (which undoubtedly include interests). The European allies, after defeating the populist movements in France and the Netherlands, should also start thinking about this leadership issue. A very positive sign towards that goal can be found in the 2016 White Paper on Strategic Review and Way Ahead on Security Policy and the Future of the Bundeswehr, which states that Germany “is prepared to take the lead”. BOOSTING REGIONAL COOPERATION With this new mindset, it is possible that enthusiasm for democracy around the world – which polls indicate has lost ground over recent years – could return. This would involve supporting democratic forces around the world, including in the Western Balkans. In the institutional form, the open door policy should speed up and give direction to the membership process within a few years. Keeping in mind the basic security mission of enlargement, the last piece of Europe’s puzzle should be placed. This would encourage countries in the Western Balkan region to continue to implement domestic reforms and strengthen regional cooperation. This will put a stop to populist and nationalistic tendencies, as well as block other big powers that do not offer democratic concepts or alternatives, but instead want to return to old-world policies and divisions. After all, that is the core mission of NATO’s open door policy. It is time to get back on track. Lazar Elenovski is a former Minister of Defence of the Republic of Macedonia and the country’s former Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Collective Defence- NATO's Mission: New threats to security and the transformation of the alliance
PUBLISHED: February 13, 2018
NATO defence ministers recognize that new security challenges require a new command structure. This organizational enhancement must be robust, agile and enable the Alliance to take quick and decisive action, say ATA Macedonia’s Ilija Djugumanov and Marija Jankuloska The growing threats to security, which over the past decade have reached unprecedented and unimaginable levels in becoming unpredictable, unconventional and asymmetric, have challenged the traditional perception of the Alliance’s role and mission. Modern security developments stemming from globalisation and advances in technology have led to significant changes in the security environment, and NATO has had to adjust its structure and policy in response. Due to these shifts in the security environment, the focus of NATO’s security objectives was gradually transferred from traditional collective self-defence to other forms of tackling global issues. In 2010, the Alliance’s new security challenges were highlighted in the NATO new Strategic Concept, in which NATO redirected its policies and actions into a more flexible approach to security. Its focus on crisis management and cooperative security represented major leaps forward in defining the role of the Alliance as a flexible, decentralised and inclusive structure capable of responding to global security challenges with a globalised and proactive approach. As the reach and range of the NATO missions significantly expanded – with new goals that transcend the traditional “Article 5 missions” – it became evident that the parameters that determine the effectiveness of the NATO command structure had to be redefined. Against this backdrop, the need for the Alliance to adapt its internal command structure to the complex and diverse challenges and to effectively manage the large spectrum of missions has become increasingly relevant. BUILDING NEW CAPABILITIES The restructuring that began at the Lisbon Summit in 2010 has notably redefined NATO’s far-reaching goals, which are reflected in the ongoing conversion of the Alliance’s command structure. The NATO command structure, which over the years experienced a significant cutback of its headquarters, currently comprises two international Strategic Commands: Allied Command Operations (ACO) in Mons, Belgium, which covers the territory of Europe, and the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) based in Norfolk, United States for the Atlantic. Despite the geographic split of responsibilities, it is noteworthy that these strategic commands are also assigned different tasks. The ACO Strategic Command is mostly focused on operational tasks, such as the planning and execution of NATO operations, while ACT chiefly manages the transformation tasks – for example, the training and education missions. The NATO Command Structure includes two regional Joint Force Commands currently in place (in Brunssum, Netherlands, and Naples, Italy), as well as three commands dispersed for air (Allied Air Command – AIRCOM), land (Allied Land Command – LANDCOM) and maritime (Allied Maritime Command – MARCOM) missions respectively. This reduction of the headquarters, along with the realignment of the tasks, was meant to ensure the Alliance’s greater effectiveness and readiness for responding to rapidly changing security challenges. These command structures are fully operational both in peacetime and during periods of conflict and crisis. At the same time as the NATO command structure underwent its transformation, there were notable improvements of NATO military capabilities. The simplification of the command structure had a positive effect both in terms of the execution and framing of tasks, as well as operational functionality and effectiveness. The strict division of tasks, along with the reduction of headquarters and delineation of the command responsibilities, has significantly contributed to the current flexibility, agility and robustness of the NATO command structure. FOCUS ON REMAINING RELEVANT Notwithstanding the practical and functional dimension of the current NATO command structure, there are future challenges ahead. The shifting nature of the world’s security threats and challenges mean it is essential to keep pace with the evolution of technology and to invest the resources for advancing and improving NATO military capabilities on a doctrinal, tactical and structural level. In this regard, one could say that it was rightly observed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that the current NATO Command Structure “must be robust and agile, empowering the Alliance to continue to take quick and decisive action.” In the aftermath of the Warsaw Summit it was also agreed that a Senior Experts Group would be established, aimed at reassessing and reconsidering the operability of the current command structure in light of these challenges. DUAL CHALLENGES With regard to the current NATO command structure, it can be argued that there are two challenges that the Alliance should focus on. The first is whether the new command structure can respond to the new security challenges while preserving its affordability and cost-effectiveness in the context of new economic and financial measures and budget cuts. A flexible and deployable structure capable of covering, simultaneousl, different geographic areas usually requires greater expenditure for equipment, training and personnel. Adjusting the current NATO missions in accordance with NATO’s fiscal policy and budgetary demands remains an imperative that should constantly be sought. The second challenge is embodied in the necessity of the current command structure to effectively manage multinational forces and balance the often imbalanced military capabilities of the member and partner countries. The strive for deployable, mobile and flexible forces with capacity to strengthen the interoperability and sustainability of the NATO command structure – and be capable of effectively conducting a diversity of tasks – demands better coordination efforts, a unified approach and complementary and well-balanced capabilities. The Smart Defence Initiative is one of the key concepts that should be utilised in this direction by employing various cooperation efforts in line with smart defence spending. Further measures for minimising the capability gap between Allies and partner countries are vital to ensure the effectiveness of NATO’s command structure over the long term. The new command structure should be tailored in line with the demands of the new security reality and volatile security challenges to preserve its relevance in the current security landscape. Keeping pace with developments is central to the success of NATO’s actions and policies, and is the only option for enhancing efficiency and responsiveness within the Alliance’s command structure. Ilija Djugumanov is member of the presidency of ATA Macedonia, president of YATA Macedonia and former vice president of YATA International. Marija Jankuloska holds a master’s degree in international law and international relations and is a research coordinator at ATA Macedonia. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Projecting Stability: Building capacity to counter terrorism
PUBLISHED: February 9, 2018
The NATO Alliance has a proud history of strengthening stability and prosperity among member states – from adapting to a post-war world to fostering a shared environment of democracy and freedom, writes The Honourable Hugh Segal, chair of the NATO Association of Canada The founding of NATO as a post-war defence alliance between democracies that sought security through collaboration and a commitment to mutual defence was primarily focused on the deterrence of inter-state conflict. At that time, the aggressive posture of Russian post-war foreign policy needed to be firmly and resolutely addressed. The USSR was not a cooperative volunteer association of like-minded states, bound together by common values and mutual respect; it was an authoritarian union, controlled from the Kremlin, and assembled by force and coercion by Russian leadership at the end of the Second World War. The compelling success of NATO’s purpose, doctrine and concept facilitated the decline of the thermonuclear threat and strengthened the stability and prosperity of a democratic Europe. The expansion of economic and inclusive opportunity, not to mention the liberation from Soviet domination of eastern European countries who wished both freedom and democracy for themselves, are further evidence of how broad NATO’s reach and impact truly was. This successful past was about partnership on the two freedoms, from want and from fear, enshrined by respective former leaders of the UK and US Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in August 1941 aboard a ship off the coast of Newfoundland, as part of the Atlantic Charter that mapped out a post-war world. LOOKING TO THE FUTURE But alliances with the purpose and premise of NATO are not about the past. To be important and valuable, they must be about the future. Terrorism, whether financed by state proxies or encouraged by rogue states or non-state actors, is a threat-spectrum issue NATO needs to clearly keep on its agenda; not because it is existential in the nature of its menace, but because it seeks to use fear and violence to threaten the two freedoms – from fear and from want– absolutely vital to democratic and free market success. Commitments already made and agreed to by NATO partners on intelligence-sharing, cybersecurity and out-of-area operations in Afghanistan and Libya accurately reflect the broad and pervasive temporary disruptions terrorism can cause, and the need to ensure against locations or territories where terrorist initiatives can be planned, financed, exercised and launched with impunity. Any part of the world from which terrorist attacks on any NATO partner might be launched should be in the crosshairs of a prophylactic NATO threat spectrum scan. This need to apprehend, engage, anticipate and prevent terrorist attacks is one shared both among NATO’s members and with partners in the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Shanghai Cooperation Council and the Gulf Cooperation Council, spanning countries in central Asia and the Middle East. NATO’s leadership and engagement can be even more effective if it also has a collaborative dimension. Diverse threat typologies require diverse instrumental response options. An identified clear and present danger requires both the will to engage and preemptive options that can span diplomatic, covert, cyber, remotely deployed and kinetic tactics. Appreciating the link between poverty, fear and the recruiting of deployable and trained terrorists also suggests quite clearly that there are economic investments and inclusive policy instruments that members of NATO need to deploy. History tells us that both NATO’s defensive perimeter and the Marshall Plan – the American initiative to aid Western Europe – facilitated Europe’s renewal and prosperity after the Second World War. Policies of hope and opportunity, engagement and inclusion, which reflect common values of respect for diversity, tolerance, equality before the law, presumption of innocence and shared respect for community, peace and order are also vital parts of the NATO arsenal against terrorism. They reflect the larger Atlantic Treaty at the foundation of NATO itself. The infrastructure of democracy and freedom needs to be always strengthened, updated and refined to ensure that threats of asymmetrical and episodic dimension – which broadly define the terrorist spectrum – are never taken for granted. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Projecting Stability: NATO-Russia relations: a long road through deterrence to dialogue
PUBLISHED: February 6, 2018
To achieve European peace and stability, conflicts of interest between NATO and Russia must be addressed, writes Marko Mihkelson In Western official discourse, NATO-Russia relations are often analysed by wishful thinking rather than by accepting realities. It is natural that the Alliance is vocal in clarifying that we are not threatening Russia and would like to have a trustful dialogue. Moreover, dialogue as a tool is productive only as long as both sides care about it. Russia does not, as their long-term strategy is to undermine NATO’s unity. We have to understand that the only possible way to achieve dialogue with Russia is through credible deterrence, and the NATO Warsaw Summit was a solid step in the right direction. To understand the seriousness of the long-term challenges posed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia to NATO, we have to look into Russia’s history. It quickly becomes clear that Putin’s leadership is nothing more than a continuation of the traditional Russian way of perceiving the world. To be an empire is in Russia’s DNA. Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin predicted the failure of the communist project nearly half a century in advance, and stressed, “With each attempt to divide Russia and after each disintegration it restores itself again by the mysterious ancient power of its spiritual identity”. It is in no way surprising that, immediately after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the passing of the first shock, Moscow began consistent activities towards restoration of the lost influence. To a skilled eye, it was already clear in the beginning of the 1990s that Russia was attempting to draw a clear borderline between its primary sphere of influence and the rest of the world through the ‘near abroad’ policy, which essentially equalled the territories of the lost empire. Already in 1992, a shocking warning from Moscow hit many Western diplomats. On 14 December, the annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) took place in Stockholm. The then Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev was, by nature, the counterpart of a thoroughly Western-minded Russian diplomat or politician. Then President Yeltsin had appointed him as the Russian foreign minister in October 1990, when the Soviet Union with its giant diplomatic machinery was still in place. Kozyrev was one of the first speakers in Stockholm. He asked for the attention of those present, because he had been entrusted to deliver an important message from Moscow. “I have the duty to present the changes in the main line of Russia’s foreign policy,” Kozyrev began, and brought out three major issues. First, Kozyrev stressed that Russia would continue the Europe-oriented policy, but its traditions laid in Asia, and that set limits to approaching Western Europe. Kozyrev admonished NATO because the Alliance was strengthening its military presence in the Baltic countries, as well as other territories of the former Soviet Union. Kozyrev also warned the West not to use too much power against Serbia. Second, he informed everybody that not all CSCE norms applied in the territory of the former Soviet Union. “Actually, it is the territory of a former empire where Russia must defend its interests, using all means, including military and economic, for that,” Kozyrev said, adding that the republics of the former Soviet Union should immediately form a federation or confederation. Third, Kozyrev wagged his finger at all those who doubted Russia’s ability to stand for its own and its friends’ interests. “We are, of course, ready to play a constructive part in the work of the CSCE Council, but we are very cautious with regard to ideas that will lead to interference with our internal affairs,” he concluded, and the hall fell silent. Only after a brief while did it become clear that Kozyrev meant none of it seriously. It was a diplomatic electric shock for those present, a reference to a possible development in Russia if the Western-minded forces should fall from power. Kozyrev’s words proved more than prophetic. Before too long, Russia began to move step by step towards the change of foreign policy course that Kozyrev had warned his colleagues about in Stockholm. Kozyrev held his office until 1996, when Yevgeny Primakov, who had belonged to the Soviet top nomenclature and led the foreign intelligence service in the beginning of the 1990s, was appointed to replace him. It was Primakov who laid the foundation for the change in the foreign policy line of Russia in roughly the same key that Kozyrev had warned about only a few years earlier. Opposition to the hegemony of the United States and strengthening of Russia’s position in the emerging multipolar world became Primakov’s leading idea. Domestic economic difficulties and the war in Chechnya did not allow Russia to set up a major confrontation with the expansion of the influence of the West on the eastern edge of Europe, including in the territories of the former Russian empire. Russia made repeated attempts to stop the expansion of NATO, but with no success. At the US-Russia summit in Helsinki in March 1997, for example, President Yeltsin made a proposal that, instead of NATO’s expansion to the Baltic States, Russia could ensure their security. Then US President Bill Clinton quickly rejected the proposal to divide the spheres of influence, and a few months later the founding treaty of Russia-NATO relations was concluded. SHORT PERIOD OF HOPE It can be said that this time, the spring and summer of 1997, was the culmination of a brighter time in the relations between Russia and NATO. It was accompanied by a hope for the end of the war from many victims in Chechnya, and bringing reform-minded politicians such as Boris Nemtsov to the government. This indicated President Yeltsin’s desire to give the country a new impetus towards democratic and market economy developments. Yet the hopeful time remained very short. Everything changed on 24 March 1999. Yevgeny Primakov, who had become prime minister in the previous year, was on his way to an official visit to Washington when he got the news that NATO countries had begun air strikes against Yugoslavian targets. Above the Atlantic, Primakov made the decision to cancel the visit and turn back the plane. This symbolic U-turn marked the end of the hopeful period in Russia-West relations. Barely a few months later the whole world learned the name of Yeltsin’s successor. The former KGB officer Vladimir Putin embraced the methods of his home organisation,as well as Primakov’s doctrine. After attaining control of internal affairs, Putin steered Russia to the course of expansion and an aggressive foreign policy. Rising from the knees had begun. The Russian president described his intentions most expressively at the Munich security conference in February 2007. At present, Russia’s attitudes or activity are in no way different from what Kozyrev warned against 25 years ago. Russia aims to shatter the European security architecture that developed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Kremlin would be pleased to lead the European Union and NATO to dissolution, to keep the United States over the ocean and to “Finlandise” Europe in its entirety. There is no point in creating an illusion that a fundamental change of course would take place in Russia in any foreseeable future. President Putin has stressed that the “funeral of Russia” (read: the Russian civilisation) cannot be a precondition for bringing down geopolitical tensions. Therefore, NATO allies must focus on how to ensure a way of living with its Eastern neighbour who lays stress on its civilisational particularity. To achieve this strategic aim, it is extraordinarily important to maintain the unity of the West and to stand for the values founded on the freedom of the individual. The NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016 was exactly what the Alliance needed. There was a strong common line both in the perception of threats and in deciding deterrence measures. This is nothing new for the Western Alliance. Keir Giles from Chatham House told the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in 2015 that, in 1953, his organisation published a retrospective of recent history. Its review of relations between the US, the UK and the Soviet Union focused on how everything had gone so appallingly wrong after the Second World War, resulting in the loss of Eastern Europe to Soviet domination. One of its key conclusions, when reviewing what was effective in dealing with Moscow, and what was not, was that any initiative by the Western Allies that “was not backed up by significant military force merely irritated the Russians without impressing them”. That was true in Imperial Russian times, it was true throughout the Soviet period, and it is true today. MISALIGNED OBJECTIVES In 2011, the Conflict Studies Research Centre in the UK published a report called The State of the NATO-Russia Reset. It describes the temporary optimism in NATO-Russia relations that followed the November 2010 Lisbon Summit as just the latest high point in a familiar and predictable cycle that had already repeated itself several times since 1991. No matter how many times the relationship was reset or re-established, the report says, inevitably it soon foundered on the basic conflict of fundamental strategic objectives between the Alliance and Russia. The report looks ahead to the next round of confrontation with Russia, which it predicted would arrive shortly, and here we are today. Understanding and accepting this basic conflict of interest between Russia and NATO means we must invest heavily and for the long term in deterring Russia in ways that are meaningful to Moscow. It is the biggest contribution we can make now to future European peace and stability. Marko Mihkelson is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament, president of EATA and head of the Estonian Delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Turkey and NATO: An Enduring Alliance
PUBLISHED: February 3, 2018
by Fabrizio W. Luciolli, President ATA. Since sixty-five years, a mutual commitment binds Turkey and NATO, which can hardly be scratched by contingent interests or frictions, or replaced by new strategic directions. In its dialogue with Turkey, NATO once again reveals its unique role as transatlantic forum for political consultation on security issues. "The Kurds have no friends but the mountains.” This ancient saying, accompanying the fate of the Kurdish people, seems to apply to the realpolitik inspiring the several actors engaged in the Syrian theatre. The United States, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have pursued their interests in the Syrian conflict, giving rise to changing line-ups which, once contained the threat of Daesh, have frustrated the autonomist aspirations - if not the independent ones - advanced by the Kurdish fighters from Syria to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The operation "Olive Branch", launched by Turkey in Afrin against the Kurdish People's Protection Units of the YPG - considered in the same way as the PKK terrorists - and in contrast to the US interests of establishing with them a Kurdish unit able to ensure a presence in northern Syria, is the consequence of the unfinished settling of the policies pursued by the various actors present in this crucial area of the security scenario. In fact, this crucial region reflects the tensions of two arches of crisis that, from the East and the South, intersect in Syria, placing Turkey at the centre of a crossroads of instability originating several terrorist attacks. As a hinge between East and West, and the guardian of the straits, Turkey has always been a fundamental ally for the Atlantic security. Despite a more autonomous reorientation of the Turkish foreign and security policy, the swinging relations with the Russian Federation, and the acquisition of the S-400 air defense missile system, Turkey continues to play a primary role in NATO. Ankara hosts the NATO Centre of Excellence for Counter-Terrorism, which since 2005, has trained over twelve thousand officers and civil servants coming from more than one hundred countries. Moreover, Turkey has offered a significant contribution to the ISAF mission, also in command roles, and is in the process of increasing its military contingent in the Resolute Support mission to Afghanistan, currently made up of 550 units. Turkey is also actively involved in NATO's assistance, cooperation and projection of stability programs beyond Afghanistan, in Asia, Iraq, Ukraine and the Balkans. Finally, in the advanced base of Konya, Turkey hosts NATO AWACS aircraft that provide air surveillance and support to the operations of the Anti-Daesh Coalition. Over the past five years, NATO has further contributed to strengthening Turkey's air defense through the deployment of several Patriot and SAMP-T missile batteries at the southern border, protecting a potential missile threat from Syria. This mission is currently jointly carried out by Italy and Spain. At the same time, NATO has increased its presence in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. The mutual commitment linking Turkey and NATO for over sixty-five years cannot be easily scratched by contingent interests or frictions, or replaced by other strategic directions. It is not likely that Ankara is interested in replacing NATO's current security guarantees or the funds and trade that bind Turkey to Europe and the West, with new relations with Moscow or Tehran. The solidarity between NATO and Turkey has shaped the visit that the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, has made to Turkey on 22-23 January, following the launch of Operation "Olive Branch" in Syria. On that occasion, the DSG Gottemoeller pointed out that “although NATO is not present in Syria, we recognize Turkey's security concerns.” Turkey constitutes a "key ally" that "has suffered a series of brutal terrorist attacks" being " the most exposed to instability and turmoil stemming from the Middle East.”. These issues will be the subject of the forthcoming meetings of the Atlantic Council, NATO defense ministers and the Summit that in July will bring together the Heads of State and Government of the Alliance. Once again, NATO decided to share Turkey’s security threats by immediately opening up the line of dialogue with Ankara and by calling the members of the Alliance to express solidarity and cooperation, especially in the face of tensions. In doing so, NATO has outlined once more the unique role of the Alliance as a transatlantic forum for political consultation on security issues.
By: Admin
Projecting Stability: Hybrid warfare and cooperation with the EU
PUBLISHED: February 2, 2018
Dr Federico Yaniz explains how a coordinated approach between NATO and the European Union to countering hybrid warfare is being formulated, to the benefit of both organisations On 4-5 September 2014, NATO Heads of State and Government met in Newport, Wales, only a few months after hybrid warfare tactics were used in the territory of Eastern Ukraine. In the Declaration published after that Summit meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), the leaders of the Atlantic Alliance stated that: “We will ensure that NATO is able to effectively address the specific challenges posed by hybrid warfare threats…” For many people, it was the first time they saw the adjective ‘hybrid’ alongside substantive warfare. Before and since the Summit, hybrid warfare has been defined in various terms, as there are many different ways that type of warfare can be used. In August 2015, the Defence and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly defined hybrid warfare as “the use of asymmetrical tactics to probe for and exploit weaknesses via not military means (such as political, informational, and economic intimidation and manipulation) and are backed by the threat of conventional or unconventional military means. These tactics can be scaled and tailored fit for the particular situation”. The ability of NATO members to respond to this type of warfare, consisting of regular, irregular and criminal elements that can operate in real and virtual spaces, is and will be essential to assure peace and stability across the Euro-Atlantic area. Hybrid warfare tactics are not totally new for NATO, as they were used by the Soviet Union to soften its opponents. However, since early 2014, hybrid warfare seems to have been used by Russia as an instrument to achieve specific objectives. In any case, the threat posed by hybrid tactics is as real today as it was then. COUNTERING HYBRID WARFARE Hybrid warfare was again on the agenda of the Warsaw Summit in July 2016. The topic was given significant attention in the comprehensive Communiqué issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in that meeting. NATO leaders, through the longer-term Adaptation Measures of the Readiness Action Plan, agreed a strategy on NATO’s role in Countering Hybrid Warfare, which is being implemented in coordination with the European Union. Furthermore, in point 72 of the Communiqué, it is pointed out that the challenges posed by hybrid warfare are produced by “a broad, complex, and adaptive combination of conventional and non-conventional means, and overt and covert military, paramilitary, and civilian measures, are employed in a highly integrated design by state and non-state actors to achieve their objectives”. Responding to this challenge, NATO allies have adopted a “strategy and actionable implementation plans on NATO’s role in countering hybrid warfare”. Although the primary responsibility to respond to hybrid threats rests with the targeted nation, the Alliance is prepared to assist allies at any stage of a hybrid campaign. NATO and member nations will be prepared to counter hybrid warfare as part of collective defence and, if needed, the NAC could decide to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The European Union (EU) is also committed to countering hybrid warfare. On 3 March 2016, European Defence Agency (EDA) Chief Executive Jorge Domecq, speaking before the European Parliament’s Security and Defence Subcommittee, stressed the need for a more coordinated European approach to tackle hybrid threats. At a time when hybrid warfare tactics are increasingly employed by state and non-state actors in conflicts close to the EU’s southern and eastern borders, he said: “It is essential to focus on the ability and agility of Member States and the EU to anticipate and react in a swift and coordinated manner.” The Conclusions on countering hybrid threats, published after the meeting of the Council of the EU on 19 April 2016, are very clear about the EU’s position in this respect. In fact, the increasing use of hybrid strategies and operations by state and non-state actors in the EU neighbourhood requires swift and appropriate action to prevent and counter hybrid threats to the Union and its Member States and partners. The Council underlined the need to mobilise EU instruments to this end, in line with the Conclusions of the European Council of June 2015 and the Council Conclusions on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of May 2015. Nevertheless, Member States have the primary responsibility for security and defence, including hybrid warfare. The aforementioned Council of 19 April 2016 welcomed the Joint Communication on countering hybrid threats and fostering resilience of the EU and its Member States, as well as partners and invited Member States, to consider establishing a European Centre of Excellence. The Council welcomed the intention of the High Representative to create an EU Hybrid Fusion Cell, highlighted the possible CSDP contributions to countering hybrid threats and the need for closer dialogue, cooperation and coordination with NATO. Finally, the Council invited the Commission and the High Representative to provide a report by July 2017 to assess progress. EU-NATO COOPERATION During his presentation in March 2016 to the European Parliament’s Security and Defence Committee, Jorge Domecq expressed his view that enhanced cooperation in countering hybrid threats could take EU-NATO relations “to a new level”. In the current context of spreading hybrid warfare, to intensify cooperation with NATO “is not an option, but an absolute necessity”, said the EDA chief executive in the presence of NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning. Mr Domecq finished his speech by saying: “Our collective reply to hybrid is a major opportunity… The comparative advantages of the EU and NATO should be used to the maximum extent. The deterrence effect of NATO and the complementarity of our EU tools and instruments are more than enough reason to enhance our cooperation.” The Joint Declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of NATO, signed in Warsaw on 8 July 2016, marked the beginning of a new era in EU-NATO relations. The three signatories of the Declaration believed that the time had come to give new impetus and new substance to the NATO-EU strategic partnership. In fulfilling the objectives of the Joint Declaration, there is an urgent need to boost the ability to counter hybrid threats, including by bolstering resilience; working together on analysis, prevention, early detection and intelligence-sharing between staffs; and cooperating on strategic communication and response. Furthermore, stepping up coordination on hybrid warfare exercises, by developing initially parallel and coordinated exercises for 2017 and 2019, will benefit both organisations. One common set of proposals for the implementation of the Joint Declaration was endorsed in a parallel process by NATO, through the NAC, on 6 December 2016, and by the Council of the EU on the same day. These proposals include: – Encouraging participation by EU and NATO, as well as EU Members States, and NATO allies in the work of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, to be established in 2017;  – Putting concrete measures in place to enhance sharing of time-critical information between the EU Hybrid Fusion Cell and the relevant NATO counterpart;  – Intensifying cooperation between the EU and NATO staffs with regard to strategic communication, and encouraging cooperation between the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence and the EEAS Stratcom division. – Enhancing preparedness, inter alia, on crisis response by holding regular meetings at staff-to-staff level;  – EU and NATO raising awareness of existing and planned resilience requirements for the benefit of EU Member States and NATO Allies. NATO is committed to effective cooperation and coordination with the EU and other relevant partners in its efforts to counter hybrid threats. Dr Federico Yaniz became a General in the Spanish Air Force in 1997 and appointed Chief of the Second Division of the Joint Staff. In June 2001, he joined the International Military Staff as Assistant Director for Cooperation and Regional Security, and was appointed Director of Aeronautics in 2006. General Yaniz holds a Doctorate in Economics and a Masters in Statistics. He is a lecturer, author of several books and has written more than 300 articles related to Strategy, Aeronautics, Economics and History. General Yaniz is a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Council of Spain and Vice President of Eurodefense-Spain. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Projecting Stability: The transatlantic partnership
PUBLISHED: January 30, 2018
Arnold H Kammel says frank debate about the principles and objectives of the Transatlantic Partnership is crucial to its success and relevance to NATO Seventy years ago, the Global Marshall Plan initiative was launched by the United States to help Europeans rebuild the continent, and the creation of NATO in 1949 added a security-political dimension to this partnership. Both events helped end American isolationism and created the transatlantic partnership, a cornerstone of the Western world based on common values, overlapping interests and shared goals. Over those seven decades, the partnership has faced multiple ups and downs. However, the existence and the core substance of the partnership have never been in question. Not even the differences over the Iraq War in 2003, or the subsequent rhetorical differentiation of Europe into old and new by former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have led to such a fundamental debate about the value of the transatlantic partnership as experienced in recent months. QUESTIONING THE PARTNERSHIP A strong anti-transatlantic rhetoric has emerged on both sides of the Atlantic. Across Europe, a growing number of nationalist and extremist political movements are calling into question Western unity, and even the validity of a Western identity. The same holds true for the new American administration in office, which seems not to rely on any of its European partners any longer. The failure of agreeing on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) marked the negative peak in this development. Unfortunately, all these developments are happening at a time when both Europe and America are being confronted with a common set of challenges, including a broad range of economic concerns, as well as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, armed conflict and other forms of instability in many parts of the world. All those challenges would, therefore, call for a renewed and intensified transatlantic partnership. To best assess the value of the transatlantic partnership as a cornerstone of the NATO Alliance, it is necessary to take a closer look on some key issues, including trade and security, to draw the lessons for the future relationship between the US and the European Union (EU). WHY THE PARTNERSHIP MATTERS  In economic terms, the EU and the US have established the largest bilateral trade relationship and enjoy the most integrated economic relationship in the world. Either the EU or the US is the largest trade and investment partner for almost all other countries in the global economy. The two economies also provide each other with their most important sources of foreign direct investment. Aside from economic cooperation and the Marshall Plan initiative, the creation of NATO symbolised the value of the transatlantic partnership in political and security terms, and thus, the creation of the West. As it was stated by former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana in a speech on renewing the transatlantic partnership at Georgetown University, Washington DC in 1996: “The reason is not only because NATO represents the definitive American rejection of isolationism but, first and foremost, because it is a recognition that America’s most fundamental foreign policy interest is its partnership with Europe. It is in Europe that the US had discovered those allies who most profoundly share its global outlook and responsibilities and those who are most willing to share its global burdens. When Europe and America have gone their separate ways, both have suffered. When they have worked together, they have protected their security more effectively than ever before in history, and they have also projected their values across the globe and drawn others into their orbit. And, above all: they have succeeded.” During the Cold War, it was generally accepted that ‘the West’  consisted of the transatlantic democracies and several nations around the world that accepted, at least in principle, the North Atlantic Treaty’s support for democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. With the enlargements of NATO, the number of countries obeying to those principles steadily increased. However, members of the Alliance took different paths towards applying these principles in their countries, and they never were in full agreement on all foreign policy or defence issues. Those developments have led to a growing heterogeneity within NATO and a divide especially regarding contributing effectively to the Alliance. In more recent years, the rifts over the war in Iraq and the decreasing defence budgets in Europe led to growing disenchantment on the American side, whereas Europeans strongly opposed American unilateral actions. The diverging perceptions could only be covered, but not entirely solved, at NATO summits. Even the geopolitical developments in the world did not lead to a closer cooperation, but underscored existing dividing lines. The Europeans should demonstrate their commitment by increasing their defence commitments and fostering cooperation across the Atlantic. They should actively support American engagement in the war against ISIS and other security challenges, and should express appreciation for US contributions to their security. Overall, it will be crucially important to rebuild the trust that has existed over the past seven decades and has been severely damaged in recent months. This cannot be done by rhetoric and vague commitments; it will require a frank debate about the basic principles, concepts and objectives of the partnership. This is the key requirement for keeping a strong transatlantic partnership as an indispensable cornerstone for NATO. Arnold H Kammel is a former Vice President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, Secretary General of the Euro-Atlantic Association of Austria and Secretary General of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES). Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
26th GAAEC Symposium and Transatlantic Youth for the 21st Century, Athens 13-14 December 2017
PUBLISHED: December 19, 2017
PHOTO GALLERY The role of the civil society and the new generations in countering terrorism, cyber and the new hybrid threats, have been addressed by the 26th annual Symposium organized by the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation and the TRansatlantic Youth for the 21st Century in Athens during December 13-14, 2017. Key Government and military representatives, together with experts and students participating in the Transatlantic Youth program, took part in the discussion at the premises of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media. The Symposium has been opened by the welcome address of Dr. Theodossis Georgiou, President of GAAEC, the introductory remarks of Prof. Fabrizio W. Luciolli, President of ATA, the opening address of Mr. Nikolaos Pappas, Minister of Digital Policy, Media and Telecommunication, and Adm. H.N. Evangelos Apostolakis, Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff.    
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Strenghtening the Youth Dialogue for Democracy, ATA Macedonia, Skopje 13 December 2017
PUBLISHED: December 19, 2017
The final conference of the research project conducted by the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia entitled "Strengthening of the Youth Dialogue for the promotion of democratic processes in the light of the Euro-Atlantic integrations" took place on 13.12.2017 in Skopje, in the premises of the Members of Parliament Club. The project goal was to encourage young people to actively participate in building of the democratic processes and thus to contribute to the Euro-Atlantic integrations by developing dialogue, building capacities and networking of youth and youth organizations. The Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia also marked the 20th anniversary of its establishment. At the opening of the closing conference, the key speakers were the Prime Minister Mr. Zoran Zaev and the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia Talat Xhaferi, as well as the Vice President of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), Vladan Zivulovic. Moderator of the opening session was Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, Member of Presidency of ATA Macedonia. After the opening of the conference, the President of ATA Macedonia, Mr. Ismet Ramadani, pointed out that the chance that is now opening to Macedonia 10 years after the NATO Summit in Bucharest should be utilized. He emphasized the role of young people in these processes as an important contributing segment. The President of the Assembly, Mr. Talat Xhaferi, emphasized the importance of the dialogue for the youth and the Euro-Atlantic processes as a way of solving the open issues in order to increase the stability of the region and the Euro-Atlantic perspective, noting that: "Behind these positive trends stand only one tool and that is the dialogue. Dialogue on the internal plan, among the political entities, dialogue with the expert public, with the NGO sector, dialogue and openness with the media. " In his address, the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev pointed out that the citizens of Macedonia are convinced that the Republic of Macedonia deserves the Euro-Atlantic perspectives. Among other things, he stated: "Over 75 percent of all our citizens want membership in the EU and NATO. The government, with the support of the citizens and our international partners, paves the way for our country towards NATO."He also added that the Republic of Macedonia will always make a positive contribution to every kind of initiative that will bring wider and better cooperation in the region. He also referred to other indicators of the research that indicate that young people are not sufficiently involved in the Euro-Atlantic integration processes and pointed out that it is now time to change that. Mr. Vladan Zivulovic, Vice President of  ATA, stressed the need for joint cooperation, as well as the prospects that would be opened for FYR Macedonia and the youth after joining NATO and the EU. He also added that: “the reforms implemented by FYR Macedonia over the past ten years constitute the bedrock for its forthcoming Euro-Atlantic integration.” After the opening speeches, two panel discussions were held. The first panel discussed the domestic and institutional perspective when it comes to the inclusion of youth in democratic processes. Speakers on the first panel were: Mr. Bekim Maksuti, Deputy Minister of Defense of theFYR Macedonia; H.E. Sibyl Suter Tejada, Ambassador, Swiss Embassy Macedonia; Lieutenant Colonel Ivailo Toshirov, NATO Liaison Office in Skopje; and Marija Jankuloska, Research Coordinator, YATA Macedonia. The moderator of the panel was Mr. Viktor Andonov, Secretary General of ATA Macedonia. The second panel was focused on the regional dimension and the perspectives for regional co-operation. Speakers at the second panel were: Colonel Ljube Dukoski, Vice President of ATA Macedonia; H.E. Bisserka Benisheva, board member of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria; Mr. Vlade Radulovic, Project Director at the Atlantic Council of Serbia and Dr. Beitush Gashi, Executive Director of the Euro-Atlantic Association of Kosovo. After the end of the conference, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia held a reception which was and awarded Certificates of Appreciation for support and contribution in spreading of the Euro-Atlantic values. More info here
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
63rd ATA General Assembly and European Defense Industry Summit, Brussels, Palais d'Egmont, 3-4 December, 2017
PUBLISHED: December 7, 2017
Europe and its strategic partners face growing security challenges, ranging in scale and intensity. These challenges require innovative responses, leading to a growing need for cutting edge capabilities, as well as a tighter connection between the defence industry sectors of both sides of the Atlantic. The ATA General Assembly and the European Defense Industry Summit, together have significant implications for the security of the Euro-Atlantic Community. For 70 years, the Transatlantic Bond has allowed us to maintain a qualitative and technological edge over those that seek to undermine our unity and democracy. As Europe and its transatlantic Allies face the same global threats, the opportunity for fostering a tighter relation between defence technology and our industrial bases is essential. To this end, this Summit allow us to exchange knowledge, promote technological innovations, and deepen the manufacturing of our joint systems. In fact, a strong Euro-Atlantic strategic partnership relies on the capabilities of its members. With economic growth on the rise - for the first time since the financial-crisis - the new complex set of security threats can be finally addressed with the horizon of the 2% rule. To this end, ATA is strongly supporting the strategic partnership and cooperation between NATO and EU by developing concrete initiatives, in Brussels and all over the Euro-Atlantic area. In particular, ATA has focused its activities on counter-terrorism, hybrid warfare and the cyber domain. Our action is also devoted on the engagement of SMEs in the defense sector, particularly in areas of knowledge sharing, technical assistance, early warning systems, and cyber security. Currently, there are more than 1300 European SMEs that contribute to the defence supply chain with highly efficient niche goods and services. This has been a key area of work for ATA, that has initiated the foundation of the first “Small-Medium Enterprise Advisory Group”, which lead us to focus, on a daily basis, with implementing policies and strategies aimed at developing new and cutting-edge technologies. As we all are aware, technology is always evolving. However, sometimes not to our benefit. The cyber domain and the progress of Artificial Intelligence, represent new challenges as well as an opportunity for development. Creating innovative technologies is essential to effectively cope with the security concerns of tomorrow. Finally, the role of academia constitutes a critical asset for ATA. Scientific research needs to work alongside with industry innovation to beneficing the defense sector of the Euro Atlantic Area. Since more than 60 years, ATA represents a unique platform able to connect selected defense industries with the academic and scientific dimension, the political elites, military departments, decision makers, specialized media and the successor generations, in order to exchange best practices and explore new opportunities to stimulate innovation and maximize the efficiency of Euro-Atlantic defense spending. By promoting, coordinating and organizing an average of 500 initiatives per year, ATA and its 38 national associations, will continue to serve, alongside our NATO, EU and industry partners, to ensure that our technologies and capabilities remain at the cutting edge and will keep our transatlantic community free, whole and at peace.
By: Admin

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The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an organization of 38 national chapters that, since 1954 has been conducting analyses, training, education, and information activities on foreign affairs and security issues relevant to the Atlantic Alliance. ATA draws together political leaders, diplomats, civilian and military officers, academics, economic actors as well as young professionals and students in an effort to further the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty.