The Alliance in the Pandemic Chaos and the Role of the NATO SFA CoE
PUBLISHED: June 29, 2020
Interview with the President of ATA, Fabrizio W. Luciolli by NATO SFA CoE  A strand of RNA, encapsulated by four proteins with a total diameter six hundred times less than a human hair, has produced the most serious crisis since the post-war, affecting a system of institutions, political, economic and social relations, which were not vaccinated against biological threats. THE PANDEMIC CRISIS HAD AN IMPACT ON NATO’S ACTIVITIES.  HOW DO YOU SEE THE ALLIANCE’S RESPONSE TO THIS NEW CHALLENGE? Unlike other international organizations, the Covid-19 pandemic crisis has strengthened the Atlantic Alliance, which reacted with a strong spirit of solidarity. Upon overcoming the first impact, NATO has quickly responded to the Allied needs, adapting its complex political-military organization to support civil efforts and activating the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) to coordinate the air transport of doctors, patients, medical devices and field hospitals. Since 2010, article 15 of the Strategic Concept includes “health risks” in NATO’s security scenario. However, biological threats directly undermine national security and must be addressed with specific strategies that cannot be generically framed within the environment of hybrid threats. Covid-19 has also produced relevant effects on all three of NATO’s fundamental tasks: collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. In the new context of global bio-insecurity, the concept of resilience embodied in Article 3 of the Treaty must be revised in a more rigorous way. Therefore, the protection of NATO forces in operation, as well as the preservation of critical national assets and supply chains, require more attention. HOW IS THE WASHINGTON TREATY RESPONDING TO THE PANDEMIC SECURITY ENVIRONMENT? The pandemic crisis offers further prominence to article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to the political dimension of the Alliance, which confirms itself as the irreplaceable forum for transatlantic consultation on security issues. Moreover, in the current security scenario, article 5 and the core principle of collective defence implies a broader and more demanding solidarity commitment. In fact, in a global pandemic crisis, NATO most likely would not be called upon to intervene in defence of a conventional aggression to a single allied country. Probably, it would be requested to provide all 30 Allies with the necessary support against a biological agent. In this context, the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Forces in Europe (SHAPE) could be further engaged in early warning, situation awareness and air transport for monitoring threats originating from agents of a biological nature, as well as for the planning and managing of complex operations in support of civilian authorities. THE CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN SUPPORTING THE ALLIANCE WITH THEIR EXPERTISE. WHICH ARE THE MAIN TOOLS THEY COULD USE IN THE CURRENT SITUATION? Since the end of the Cold War, NATO devoted its major efforts to the Eastern flank. However, the 360-degree approach of the Alliance underlined the relevance of projecting stability to the Southern Flank, from where many of the threats and challenges to the Alliance’s security arise. Thus, NATO needs to develop a greater understanding of the Southern Flank to project stability by using the wide range of tools at its disposal. In the current security landscape, Covid-19 could seriously impact the fragile institutions and health system of the African countries, with serious consequences on the political and social stability of the region. In this perspective, Security Force Assistance can play a crucial role in assisting Host Nations’ governments and security forces in coping with the disease. These efforts can have a dual beneficial effect: on the one hand, it will improve the conditions of the local population with the possible implementation of effective health protocols combined with the provision of medical equipment. On the other hand, it will indirectly provide NATO troops with an additional shield against the disease through the improvement of the general health conditions in the operational environment. In this context the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE) can play a key role, thanks to its ability and experience in involving various civilian and military actors in defence and security capability development forums and its link with other COEs for facilitating NATO’s actions towards fragile countries in need of assistance. In this regard, it is important to recall the experience identified by NATO and its member countries to build sustainable and long-lasting medical capabilities, including the provision of services to support, facilitate and contribute to the enhancement of the Host Nation and the development of sustainable capacities. The Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO (COMEDS), the NATO Centre of Excellence of military medicine and the recent Multinational Medical Coordination Centre, could contribute to the definition of protocols and standards (STANAG) for NATO’s National military Healthcare. In addition, the Science and technology organization (STO), the Science for peace and security program (SPS) and NATO Centres of Excellence (such as the one for CBRN defence and the Alliance’s database of over six thousand scientists) constitute other bodies, with different responsibilities, which can work in synergy and offer wide margins of development if supported by adequate investments and resources. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW SHOULD NATO AND EU FURTHER DEVELOP THEIR RELATIONSHIP? Cooperation between NATO, the European Union and the United Nations in the areas of prevention, research, monitoring and resilience is also crucial to develop and apply severe regulations to effectively track hazardous and biological materials, as well as to ensure the compliance with bio‑safety standards of the laboratories treating microorganisms. Nevertheless, the new wider NATO commitments cannot distract the Allies from the fundamental tasks of deterrence and defence towards the assertive posture of the Russian Federation and from the threats and risks originating from proliferation, terrorism, disruptive technologies and cyber space. Moreover, China could exploit the pandemic and economic crisis, for predatory interests on Western strategic assets and companies. Furthermore, NATO and the EU are called upon to strengthen cooperation in countering the growing misinformation and disinformation campaigns implemented by Moscow, Beijing, and other non-state actors, through the pervasive and uncontrolled use of modern social media. Finally, NATO’s increased role and experience in support of civil authorities may constitute an extraordinary added value to re-launch the partnerships in the regions of the Middle East and Northern Africa, which are structurally fragile in facing a pandemic crisis. In several regions, the EU covers areas of operations not covered by NATO, such as the EUTM missions conducted mostly in sub-Saharan Africa (EUTM-Mali, EUTM-Somalia, EUTM RCA, EUCAP Sahel Niger and Mali). While these missions are conducted under the EU political direction, from an operational point of view they share many characteristics of the NATO’s SFA activities. In other cases, the EU works in close cooperation with NATO to strengthen institutions and legitimate political authority in complementary and non-redundant activities, such as the European Assistant Mission (EUAM) Iraq, aimed at offering assistance to the implementation of civilian goals within the Security Sector Reform Program (SSRP) and NATO Training Mission in Iraq which is designed to help strengthen Iraqi security forces and military education institutions. The two missions are addressing specific audiences and activities, sometimes overlapping to avoid uncovered areas: the EUAM is focused mainly on internal and civilian security aspects, and the NATO Training Mission is dedicated to the defence aspects. In this context, the NATO SFA COE can play an important role in facilitating the common efforts, such as offering advanced training and education for institutional, military and civilian advisors and providing in-depth analysis and assessment support, either in the early stages of Security Force Assistance missions or during their execution and Transition phases. CONCLUSION Over seventy years after its establishment, NATO proved to be the Organization that adapted itself to respond to the new challenges of a changing security environment quicker than any other multilateral institution. However, in the current complex and demanding scenario it is vital that the Alliance is provided with the necessary capabilities and financial resources to continue operating effectively and to prevent a global health crisis from becoming a security crisis affecting the security of our citizens, territories and fundamental freedoms. DOWNLOAD the article
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
New Geopolitics After Covid-19
PUBLISHED: April 30, 2020
HIGHLIGHTS FULL ONLINE CONFERENCE The COVID-19 pandemic changes and challenges our lives in more than one way. It has pushed almost every person on the planet to narrow their focus on how to get by day after day. In response to the public health crisis, countries across the world have closed their borders to try to limit the transmission and protect themselves. This lockdown has put both globalization and economies under suspension. Many experts warn that the public health crisis we face today will inevitably become an economic crisis in the following months but potentially a national security issue as well. Countries around the world are trying to curb the economic consequences of this pandemic by providing relief for their economies, including the United States, which recently passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion stimulus in an effort to stabilize the markets. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic seems as a “make or break” challenge for the EU. Member countries which have been most affected by the devastating consequences of the coronavirus accuse the block of a lack of solidarity. Others have called upon for a more coordinated international response through NATO, G7, G20, etc. It seems that coronavirus plants the new crop of instabilities that potentially has the power to rearrange the world system we know today. As it happens with the crisis of this scale, the pandemic will aggravate some of the negative developments such as shrinking of global economy, state collapse, migrations, the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism, etc. With western democracies struggling to contain the virus and its consequences, many have praised Chinese response and other authoritarian regimes’ strategies in tackling the crisis. Both China and Russia have seized the momentum and emerged as international benefactors, sending medical equipment, supplies, and human resources to the affected countries. Did these contingents of medical equipment and supplies that Italy received contain only that, or as some experts warn the additional spi(c)es came along as well? In countries such as Serbia, people and authorities are praising China and its help, pushing aside the EU and calling European solidarity a fairy tale on paper. On the other hand, many leaders with authoritarian inclinations have used this crisis to fortify their positions and concentrate even more powers in their own hands (look no further than Hungary). These and many other arising security issues has been the center of this didital conversation. (acm)
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
YATA Visit JFC Naples
PUBLISHED: February 6, 2020
Story by Diana Sodano JFC Naples Public Affairs NAPLES, Italy- A delegation of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) visited Allied Joint Force Command Naples on February 5. Link
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Changing Security Dynamics of Black Sea and Caspian Basin
PUBLISHED: December 25, 2019
Changing Security Dynamics of Black Sea and Caspian Basin Countries in Light of their Partnership policy with NATO and Other International Players. International Conference, Istanbul October 6-9. The book contains the materials of the International Conference organised in Istanbul under the umbrella of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) by Dr. Elkhan Mehdiyev and devoted partly to NATO’s 25th year of partnership with former soviet bloc countries. One of the objective of the Conference was to analyze and assess NATO’s cooperation directions with partner nations and identify “which factors matter for further promotion of integrated relations with NATO and other Western institutions”. Alongside with Black Sea countries, Central Asian countries partnership programs with NATO, both in Afghanistan and on bilateral basis, have been addressed. The International Conference has much focused on the related development in the Black Sea within the context of Russian-Ukrainian hostile relations, perspectives of peace and war in a separatist driven violent conflicts in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Energy security issues running through the region to Europe have taken important part of the conference as well. The International Conference had a large Women, Peace and Security panel where women activists across the region and OSCE ODHIR Office addressed gender equality, human rights, peace building activities, opportunities and challenges for women civil society organizations in their interaction with the security sector. Transitions experiences of former soviet and current NATO members’ have also been addressed as a better expertise for partner nations. From this perspective, the International Conference was rich in discussing and debating the outstanding issues in the wider area of Black Sea and Caspian basin. Some articles presented in the publication, are purely research-based academic papers but at the same time some are the result of observations of the authors. While not all the participants expressed their desire to have their papers published the majority of presented papers are included into the book. The publication of the book of the International Conference has been sponsored by Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. It represents an additional source for better understanding the ongoing development in the entire region. Download the book of the International Conference here.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
65th General Assembly
PUBLISHED: October 5, 2019
The ATA 65th General Assembly took place in Brussels, at NATO Headquarters, on 7-8 November. H.E. Amb. Tacan Ildem, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, and Dr. Nicola De Santis, Head of the Engagemets Section of the NATO Public Diplomacy Division addressed the ATA Council Meeting. A Strategic Review to adapt ATA to effectively meet the wider new tasks of the present times has been presented by Mr. Theodossios Georgiou, President of the Greek Association for Euroatlantic and European Cooperation and Mr. James J. Townsend, Adjunct Senior Fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program and fmr US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europan and NATO Policy.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA NATO Runs throughout the network!
PUBLISHED: June 19, 2019
The ATA NATO RUN project is part of the ATA initiatives for celebrating the NATO 70th Anniversary. ATA chose to contribute to the NATO@70 communications activities by organizing a series of community events in 4 Countries to raise awareness about NATO & EU values among a broader public. The sport events took place on April 6th in Tirana and Skopje, in April 21st in Estonia and on June 9th in Georgia.   A team of 4 runners for Country who won the national Runs, will have the possibility to participate inthe NATO RUN in Budapest, which will take place on October 19th.   More than 1.900 runners took part to the four ATA RUNs in four different Countries (300 in Skopje, 630 in Tirana, 700 in Tallinn and 200 in Lagodekhi) with almost 5.000 spectators.   The events were supported by Municipalities, local EU and NATO liaison Offices, Military Police and Athletic Federations and involved participation of high-level figures as Ministers of Defense, Chiefs of General Staff of the Army, Mayors, Representatives from NATO offices, as well as representatives from most of the military-diplomatic corps and media.   The events were extensively promoted on media and social media in local languages. Additional information can be found on National Associations websites and Facebook pages:  YATA Albania   Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association (EATA)  YATA Georgia  Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia 
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Women, Peace and Security: Where are we?
PUBLISHED: June 14, 2019
As part of its work on Women, Peace and Security and with the support of its dedicated Task Force, the ATA has produced a situational report on the implementation of the National Action Plans (NAPs) for WPS among the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) Member States. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) on 31 October 2000. This Resolution recognizes and addresses the disproportionate impact of conflict on women and girls and committed to enhance the role of women in different areas(e.g. prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction). It also states how important the equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts is in maintaining and promoting peace and security, seeing a woman’s voice as indispensable in the creation of lasting peace. The Resolution urges all actors to consider the gendered differences inherent in conflict when developing peace building solutions, and to increase women’s participation in all UN peace and security efforts. It also urges all actors to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence (such as rape and other forms of sexual abuse) in situations of armed conflict. Many operational mandates, as well as implications for Member States and the entities of the UN system, are included in the Resolution. The Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality established the Inter-agency Task force on Women, Peace and Security to ensure collaboration and coordination throughout the UN system in the implementation of UNSCR 1325. This Taskforce is chaired by the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women. You can find this report under 'Publications and Resources' on our website or directly here: ATA WPS Situational Report
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA - NATO DSG Meeting
PUBLISHED: April 26, 2019
On April 15, 2019, a meeting with the NATO Deputy Secretary General, H.E. Rose Gottemoeller and the ATA Bureau Members, the Committee for the Revision of the Constitution and the Executive Board of YATA, took place at the NATO headquarters. The ATA program of activities for the 70th anniversary of the Alliance and future initiatives have been addressed. On the sidelines of the meeting, the ATA Representatives had the chance to meet the NATO Secretary General, H.E. Jens Stoltenberg. The ATA Delegation was led by President Fabrizio W. Luciolli and composed by the following ATA Representatives: Amb. Elena Poptodorova, Vice President of ATA and Atlantic Council of Bulgaria; Dr. Vladan Zivulovic, ATA Vice President and President Atlantic Council of Serbia; Dr. Zsolt Rabai, ATA Secretary General; H.E. Julio Miranda Calha, President of the ATA Committee for the Revision of the Constitution and President of the Portuguese Atlantic Committee; Dr. Thedossios Georgiou, former ATA President, President of the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, Member of Committee for the Revision of the Constitution; Ms. Krista Mulenok, Secretary General Estonian Atlantic Association and Member of Committee for the Revision of the Constitution; Prof. Antongiulio De’Robertis, Vice President of the Italian Atlantic Committee and Member of Committee for the Revision of the Constitution; Mr. Jean-Paul Preumont, ATA Treasurer and Member of Committee for the Revision of the Constitution; Mr. Simone Zuccarelli, YATA Acting President; Ms. Juxhina Sotiri Gjoni, YATA Vice President; Mr. Rati Bakhtadze, YATA Vice President. Ms. Gerlinde Niehus, Head of the NATO Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) Engagement Section and Officers of the NATO PDD took also part in the meeting. ATA renewed its appreciation to the NATO PDD for the constant support.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO SFA CoE Inauguration
PUBLISHED: April 26, 2019
President Luciolli Lectio Magistralis delivered on occasion of the official inauguration of the NATO Security Force Assistance Center of Excellence . Cesano, Rome, March 26, 2019. The Official Inauguration of the NATO Centre of Excellence takes place in a historical moment of the Alliance’s life and certifies the vitality and enduring strength of our shared values and commitments. In fact, the Transatlantic link and the Collective Defense - which make the security of Europe and North America indivisible - generated the “strongest and most successful Alliance in history” (J. Stoltenberg). For 70 years, the Atlantic Alliance has been able to prevent conflicts, preserve peace and defend the free democratic values and territories of nearly one billion citizens. Historically, the average life of collective-defense alliances has been estimated in 15 years. In fact, during the last five centuries, just 10 of the 63 major military alliances survived beyond 40-year term (Brookings, Foreign Policy Paper, June 30, 2010). NATO unmatched success relies on its adaptive DNA. Notwithstanding its complex political military structure, NATO has always been able to adapt itself according to the continuous transformation of the security landscape. Moreover, the Open-Door policy has reinforced the Alliance which – from the original 12 States – is ready to welcome the Republic of North Macedonia as its thirtieth Member. The opening of a new Centre of Excellence for Security Force Assistance testifies the continuous NATO’s effort to effectively cope with the security needs of the next 70 years. To better understand the future challenges of the Centre, we can recall the Hegel suggestion telling that “You can understand the future as much you are able to understand the past.” During its first four decades, NATO’s role has been summarized by the first Secretary General, Lord Ismay, statement of “keeping Americans in, Russia out, Germans down”. During the Cold War, the Security concept relied in a mere military meaning of static territorial collective defense, based on the Art. 5 of the Treaty. However, in the 1956 Report of the Three Wise Men Committee – chaired by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gaetano Martino, together with the Canadian and Norwegian colleagues Lester B. Pearson and Halvard Lange – it was already clear that “security is today far more than a military matter. The strengthening of political consultation and economic cooperation, the development of resources, progress in education and public understanding, all these can be as important, or even more important, for the protection of the security of a nation, or an alliance, as the building of a battleship or the equipping of an army. (Point 15) These two aspects of security – civil and military – can no longer safely be considered in watertight compartments, either within or between nations (Point 16)”. Moreover, “NATO should not forget that the influence and interests of its members are not confined to the area covered by the Treaty, and that common interests of the Atlantic Community can be seriously affected by developments outside the Treaty area. (Point 32)”. Such a farsighted vision of the Three Wise Men anticipated the need for a Comprehensive Approach to effectively address the non-Art. 5 Crisis Response Operations (NA5CRO) that NATO was requested to launch in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this context, the Security concept acquired new political, economic, and social dimensions and became a dynamic concept requiring the projection of forces and stability “out of area”. During the post-Cold War era, NATO quickly adapted its Strategic Concept, whilst launching Crisis Response Operations, partnerships programs, training and assistance initiatives, in the Balkans and beyond. The fall of the Twin Towers and the invocation for the first time of Art. 5, dramatically highlighted to the Atlantic community the danger of the modern global, asymmetric and hybrid threats, which need to be addressed where they originate. While NATO promptly reacted with a robust expeditionary role, a new Strategic Concept outlined the paramount relevance “to develop the capability to train and develop local forces in crisis zones, so that local authorities are able, as quickly as possible, to maintain security without international assistance”. From the Balkans to Afghanistan and Iraq, the NATO Training Mission became a key asset in the framework of a Comprehensive Approach Action Plan (CAAP) adopted in the aftermath of the 2010 Lisbon Summit. * * * Therefore, the official inauguration of a new CoE for Security Force Assistance can afford on more than a quarter of a century’s NATO experience in advising, training and mentoring partner states to achieve sustainable defense reform and build capabilities. However, the today security landscape in which the new NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence is requested to act and the tasks to be addressed, appears much more complex and challenging. The 2011 Arab uprisings and the 2014 Russian illegal annexation of the Ukraine’s peninsula of Crimea obliged NATO to cope with both the Collective Defense and Crisis management tasks simultaneously, and to adopt a 360° approach able to Deter and Defend the Alliance in the East while Projecting Stability to the South. Moreover, the Russian nuclear posture, the Skripal case and the risk of CBNR proliferation, together with the potential threat of new forms of terrorism of mass destruction, are also of major concern. In addition, the new cyber operational domain, space, artificial intelligence, energy security, climate change and migrations, are testifying the different nature of the today threats and challenges, often originating with unprecedented speed, thus challenging the decision-making process of the Alliance. Likewise, a new Hybrid Warfare is eluding the application of Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty whilst the vicious use of disinformation and false news attempts to weaken the cohesion of the Western societies and their free democratic processes. * * * In this unpredictable security scenario, “If NATO’s neighbors are more stable, NATO is more secure.” This statement is at the heart of NATO’s Concept on Projecting Stability adopted by Allied leaders at the NATO Summit in Warsaw in 2016. In this respect, NATO Secretary General has often pointed out that investing in developing local institution and forces and capabilities is a cost-effective mean to prevent crisis and fight terrorism and destabilization. By stating that NATO’s security is linked to the stability of the neighbors, Allied leaders made clear that while carrying out the most relevant Collective Defense reinforcement since the end of the Cold War, they were not looking to pull up the drawbridge of a NATO Fortress. On the contrary, while NATO was enhancing its Deterrence and Defense posture towards the East, in 2014 an integrated package of Defense Capacity Building (DCB) was launched with Jordan, in 2017 the Allies and Kuwait inaugurated a regional Centre in Kuwait to conduct activities with the Gulf Cooperation Countries, and in 2018 a new DCB assistance measure has been approved on the request of Tunisia and a Training Mission has been planned in Iraq. However, nowdays, cooperation with partners could prove much more challenging. In the past, partners in Central and Eastern Europe were more homogeneous and motivated to act due to their aspiration for NATO membership. At present, just few nations among the over 40 NATO partners are official aspirant Countries. Due to the increased diversity of the today partners, a more flexible approach should be considered by NATO. Moreover, the complexity of the today security scenario requires very-well tailored programs. In the present highly demanding security scenario, a critical issue remains the financial sustainability in the long term of the Centre of Excellence training programs. To this end, NATO’s political consultation is essential to maintain the Atlantic solidarity, which could be affected by different security perceptions among NATO member States and across the Atlantic, as the Alliance is called to act in three different continents, from the Baltic to Iraq and to Afghanistan. However, Allied solidarity and the Transatlantic Bond need to be strengthened by a fairer burden sharing in line with the commitment adopted by the NATO Heads of State and Government participating in the 2014 Wales Summit, which requires to devote the 2% of the GDP to defense expenditures, with a significant portion on major new equipment and related Research and Development. In this perspective, the strategic partnership with the European Union is key, also to ensure a coherent development of civilian and military capabilities and cutting-edge technologies. * * * The aforementioned security landscape represents the field of action of the NATO Security Force Assistance CoE. In this context, the Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence can take advantage and will impact on several NATO concepts, doctrines, and policies, including: Non Article 5 Crisis Response Operations (NA5CRO), Security Sector Reform (SSR), Stabilization and Reconstruction (S&R), Military Assistance (MA), Counter-Insurgency (COIN), Connected Forces Initiative (CFI). The CoE SFA activities are effectively summarized by the acronym GOTEAM: Generate, Organize, Train, Enable, Advise, Mentor. Activities must be based on: the principle of a political and possibly financial commitment of the Hosting Nation (HN); Political Primacy of the local authorities; Legitimacy; Comprehensive Approach to the international community, especially European Union and United Nations; Local ownership and Empowerment of local forces; In-depth Understanding of the operational and Information environment; Sustainability in the long term; Force protection; Strategic Communication; Visible and controlled effectiveness. Last but not least, NATO attaches a great relevance to the gender issue in security. According to the UN Global Review on Women, Peace and Security UNSCR 1325, the security of women is one of the most reliable indicators on how peaceful a state is. The participation of women in peace processes increases by 35% the probability that peace will last longer than 15 years.   In conclusion, let me to congratulate the creation of the NATO Center of Excellence for Security Force Assistance and to thank once again the Director for inviting me to address this distinguished audience. Last year, at the Brussels Summit, NATO leaders declared the Full Operational Capability of the NATO Strategic Direction South-Hub, based at the Joint Force Command in Naples. The today inauguration of the Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence represents another milestone of the Italian contribution to the Alliance. I am confident that under the leadership of Colonel Merlino (IT-Army), the Centre will soon become an internationally recognized focal point, able to provide NATO and partner countries with a unique capability to train and develop local forces in crisis zones while offering a comprehensive expertise and support in the area of the Security Force Assistance (SFA). While the world is changing and NATO is continuously adapting to cope with the new security challenges, the core values of freedom, peace and security that the Centre is looking to serve remain the same which, 70 years ago, the Heads of State and Government of the Western community decided to defend by signing in Washington the Atlantic Treaty.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA Strategic Briefing WPS: Ms. Claire Hutchkinson
PUBLISHED: March 18, 2019
On February 27, 2019, ATA had the pleasure of hosting Ms. Clare Hutchinson, NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security for a Q&A session with various ATA Members. During her intervention Ms. Hutchinson spoke about the importance of increasing the participation and role of women in all sectors both within and outside of NATO. She mentioned how essential it is to integrate different voices into the work that is being done at NATO and supporting its allies & partners with this mission through encouraging their national forces to increase the number of women within and to listen to their voices. What NATO is doing to encourage this behavior is integrating women’s voices into their Civil Society Advisory Panel through launching a new project called “Women’s Defense Dialogues.” The goal of “Women’s Defense Dialogues” is about giving a platform to women and their voices across intersectional spectrums into talking about defense and security- NATO will be hosting these dialogues in every one of their allied and partner countries, especially in conflict countries. Did you miss the Briefing? Rewatch it below! Do you want to receive more info about the ATA task Force on Women, Peace and Security role and activities? visit the dedicated page on our website. Minutes of the discussion are available here.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO@70, Key Priorities for the Alliance - Greece
PUBLISHED: March 12, 2019
On February 28, 2019 the Greek Association for Atlantic & European Cooperation organized a discussion with H.E Amb. Tacan Ildem, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy in Athens, Greece. A select diverse public of key decision makers and influencers had the opportunity to discuss with the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy the contemporary security challenges. You can find a selection of photos from the event here.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Analysis: The INF Treaty
PUBLISHED: February 11, 2019
By: Simon Herteleer On October 20, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty; the international community received the announcement with worry – this short paper aims to shed light on the reasons and evolutions behind this development. Background The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) resulted from a series of negotiations aimed to curtail the manufacturing of strategic nuclear weapons between the then Soviet Union and the United States of America. These negotiations were part of broader efforts to defuse tensions in the midst of the cold war and which had previously resulted in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Agreement (SALT I & II).  Whilst SALT I & II resulted in the restriction of the number of Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and their launchers - as well as submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), the INF treaty eliminated all land-based ballistic and cruise missiles and launchers with a range of anywhere between 500-5500km, increasing arms control. In total over 2600 missiles were eliminated under the INF treaty. Discussions were held between the US and Russia concerning the universalization of the treaty under the US administration under President Bush in 2004. These discussions mainly related to changing security environments and an increasing number of nuclear capable nations worldwide, especially along the Russian borders. In 2007 – due to the changing security environment – the idea was relaunched for the universalization of the INF Treaty so as to ensure non-signatories of the INF Treaty would not pursue the development of the weapons foreseen in the INF treaty. This would have been disadvantageous for both the United States and the Russian Federation. Russia especially feared the risk it faced of not being able to counter new missiles being developed by neighbouring countries. This proposal was  dismissed by other concerned states. Recent Evolutions Both sides have accused each other of violating the INF treaty, see section - compliance. This evolution has led to the adoption of an integrated strategy by the US government based on two principles: Diplomacy and Sanctions. Prior to the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, efforts were made to find a bilateral solution including during the meeting held between President Trump and President Putin held in October 2018. Prior to the October meeting, National Security Advisor John Bolton, met with his Russian counterpart in Geneva and put forth three possibilities with regards to the INF treaty: The return to compliance of Russia as foreseen in the treaty The Universalization of the treaty as had already been suggested in 2007; the main issue with this proposal remained objections by other nations, such as China. Leaving or terminating the treaty In October 2018, a follow-up meeting was held between Security Advisor Bolton and President Putin. During this meeting, the Russian Federation did express a desire to continue collaborating on: START Iran Syria The US administration made it clear that Russia’s threat to transatlantic security remains a key priority. Continuing the collaboration, as the Russian Federation wanted was not possible given the illegal Russian occupation of Crimea. However, this stance does not mean that a closed-door policy is being applied to the Russians (see above – diplomacy & sanctions), cooperation continues for example in the field of counter-terrorism. Compliance For the US Government and its allies, it is a key issue that compliance with the treaty is verifiable and enforceable. The US administration made its decision to withdraw based on what itself calls sufficient evidence of non-compliance. The monitoring & evaluation mechanism applied within the INF is a deliberative process, which means that a large number of actors and parties are involved, ranging from disarmament & arms control experts to Intelligence gathering & administrative officials. It is important to note that the treaty foresees military research but that this must be treaty compliant. Following the October withdrawal announcement by the United States, the Russian Federation has claimed that the United States is in fact in violation of the INF Treaty – including with the deployment of the Aegis Ashore Missile Defence Systems – which the US administration has refuted as evidence of violating the treaty. The US accusation of non-compliance dating back to 2014 was based on conclusions made by an inter-agency group of US Administration officials with many senior level engagements, 2 interagency meetings as well as bilateral meetings with their Russian counterparts. All of these encounters were convened at the request of the US government. The alleged Russian breach culminated in the deployment of a renewed version of the 9k720 Iskander missiles in 2017. The missile system can be mobilized easily with launcher vehicles and are reported to have been deployed in Kaliningrad and Crimea; it has been reported to even have been deployed in Syria The Russian Federation has equally claimed that the US government was not compliant with the treaty and they themselves denied any breach. This included the development of the NATO missile defence system and  the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, which according to the US administration is only capable of launching SM-3 interceptor missiles and does therefore not violate the INF treaty in accordance to paragraph 3 of Article VII. Russia furthermore claims that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the MQ-9 Reaper and the MQ-4 violate the INF treaty, something the United States vehemently denies. US, NATO and Russia As was mentioned previously, the consultation process with Russian authorities has become more extensive. Foreign Ministers of NATO member states highlighted in a statement in December 2018 their preference for full compliance that is in line with US policy. Furthermore, Secretary General Stoltenberg has floated the idea to expand the INF treaty deal in an effort to save the treaty. Due to Russian non-compliance of the INF was ultimately forced to withdraw from the INF treaty, the aim is ultimately not to insight an arms race. The military response would remain proportionate to the threats, according to US government sources.  
By: Atlantic Treaty Association

Join the ATA newsletter!

The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an organization of 37 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.