Europe Prepares for a New Transatlantic Bargain
PUBLISHED: March 28, 2017
Of all American alliances around the globe, the transatlantic relationship is the crown jewel. Despite disagreements and quarrels, the United States and Europe have together built and defended the liberal order for more than seventy years. March 8, International Women’s Day, is an official UN commemoration day and as such, part of that liberal order. Symptomatically for the current state of the transatlantic link, many thousands of pink-knitted “pussy hats”—a symbol of protest against US President Donald J. Trump—are expected to be seen on the streets in the United States and Europe on March 8. Over a month ago, on January 21, the Women’s March on Washington echoed all over the globe as one of the world’s bigger protests against the newly inaugurated US president. In Europe, protests against the Trump administration have continued—1.8 million Britons have, for example, signed a petition calling for the American president to be denied an official state visit to the United Kingdom. In Germany, a recent Infratest poll showed that public trust in the United States fell from 59 percent to 22 percent between early November of 2016 and late January, equaling the level of trust in Russia (21 percent). Given this backdrop, protocol officials are scratching their heads in preparation for Trump’s visit to Europe in May. Deft planning may be necessary to avoid the risk of demonstrators offending the president. It is worth noting that the transatlantic relationship has survived European protests against US presidents in the past. In the 1960s, demonstrations were held in major capitals like London, Berlin, Paris, and Rome against the US war in Vietnam. In the 1980s, there was significant upheaval against the US deployment of the short-range Pershing II nuclear missile in West Germany. In the early 2000s, the Iraq war threatened to tear the transatlantic alliance apart with massive demonstrations all over the Continent. While the European public is worried about the Trump administration’s perceived disrespect of fundamental values, the political leadership has other concerns. Trump has described NATO as “obsolete” and the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union as “smart,” thereby questioning the two cornerstones of the transatlantic alliance: collective defense and European unity. Political leaders in Europe will have to do a delicate balancing act. Europe is mindful of its dependence on the United States for its defense. For a majority of Europeans, the United States is still the preferred partner to preserve the liberal order. Public concerns must, therefore, be addressed even as governments work with the United States to try and resettle the transatlantic bargain so that the costs and benefits to each party are acceptable. However, the transatlantic community is not just a matter of common interest. More fundamentally, it is a matter of trust. Both dimensions must be taken into account. What can be done? First, let us take a look at the transatlantic bargain. In essence, the deal since 1949 has been that the Americans will help the Europeans if they (a) help defend themselves and (b) get on with building a united Europe. On defense, Trump has made remarks that are controversial, but in the end, negotiable. This would mean increased European spending on defense with the aim of better burden-sharing, NATO doing more to fight terrorism, and a detente with Russia. It is noteworthy that Trump has not expressed an interest in dissolving NATO. On the contrary, despite his concerns, he has said that NATO is “very important to me.” European leaders can conclude from this that there is enough common ground to find a way forward as long as there is a realization that Europe has to deliver at a higher level. On European unity, there are more worrying signs. US support for European integration is often overlooked as a crucial factor in the transatlantic relationship, as is the success of European integration for the strength of the transatlantic community. Despite some ambiguity, American presidents have supported European integration for the past seventy years. After the United States was drawn into two World Wars, both originating in Europe, unity on the Continent has been defined as vital for the United States’ national security. That no longer seems to be the case. In a remarkable interview with the Times of London and Germany’s Bild on February 16, after having paid homage to Brexit and anticipating others to follow the British example, Trump declared with regard to the EU that “I don’t really care whether it’s separate or together, to me it doesn’t matter.” The EU is facing multiple crises that originate both from the outside—terrorism, an aggressive Russia, and massive migrant flows—and from the inside—weak economies, increasing inequality, and the rise of anti-EU populism and nationalism. There is no option to European integration if peace and prosperity is to be maintained. An American president who roots for Europe’s fragmentation and disintegration is entering dangerous territory. European leadership must, therefore, continue to demand from the United States, in the words of European Council President Donald Tusk, the “wholehearted and unequivocal support for the idea of a united Europe.” European leaders must themselves get serious about finding common solutions to the many challenges facing the Continent, even if it means putting European integration ahead of national interests. Finally, the transatlantic relationship is not only built of transactions but on a sense of community, of trust, and a collective identity of shared values, norms, and practices. Trump’s consistent lack of acknowledgement of values such as democracy, fundamental freedoms, respect for human rights, and the rule of law places him outside that identity and circle of trust. It is one thing to occasionally not comply with these values. That has happened before on both sides of the Atlantic. It is quite something else when leaders shun these values altogether. Questions about US trustworthiness damage the foundation of the transatlantic community. Reassurances from Trump administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, on shared values and US commitment on their recent visits to Europe were appreciated by their European interlocutors. While these statements injected a degree of optimism in Europe, they were not sufficient to repair the damage that has already been done to the transatlantic relationship. A consistency of words and actions, from all levels of the Trump administration, will be crucial to reassuring the United States’ allies. When Trump attends the NATO summit in Brussels in the spring, allies will listen carefully not only to what he says, but also to what he does not say. That outcome will determine the prospects of negotiating a new transatlantic bargain with fairer burden-sharing and a more efficient common response to new threats. Anna Wieslander is the director for Northern Europe at the Atlantic Council and secretary general of the Swedish Defense Association. You can follow her on Twitter @AnnwieAnna.
By: ATA Admin
US Officials in Europe: A Glass Half-Full
PUBLISHED: February 24, 2017
By Former ATA President Ambassador Robert Hunter published by The European Institute.  Last week, the senior leadership of the new Trump Administration turned out in full force in Europe to try reassuring anxious allies about the continued strong commitment of the United States to European security and to transatlantic relations overall.  To the extent we can make judgments based largely on media reporting, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the right things to his colleagues at the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels about the “rock solid”[1]  US defense commitment and continued implementation of decisions taken at the 2014 and 2016 NATO summits in the wake of Russian military aggression in Ukraine.  He and Vice President Mike Pence did the same thing at the 53rd annual Munich Security Conference last weekend – the defense and foreign policy equivalent of the World Economic Forum in Davos.   Many important people from more than 100 countries spoke at the Munich conference, including the German Federal Chancellor and her key ministers, the British, French, Russian, and Chinese foreign ministers, as well as leaders from many other countries from around Europe and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the newly-minded US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, went to Bonn, Germany, for a meeting of the Group of Twenty leading economic nations to talk about the state of the global economy, including what is happening within the less affluent members.  He had less to say publicly than did his Defense Department colleague and the US Vice President and thus was overshadowed by them both.  (Notably, the new head of the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly was also in Munich, which was appropriate given that a key issue now facing the West is the threat from terrorism.) All this US “show and tell” was important to demonstrate, to the degree that can be done, where the American “heart really lies” in terms of the priority that the new administration in Washington will give to European matters and the depth of the US commitment to transatlantic relations.  Whether or not then-candidate Donald Trump was quoted correctly about NATO on the campaign trail last year, the line that came across in Europe was his assertion that “NATO is obsolete.” Arguably, he was not referring to NATO as a whole but rather to its not being engaged as an alliance in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq -- an accurate assessment.  (A few of the allies are, individually, minimally engaged militarily in the fight against ISIS.)  When matters of this political sensitivity are involved, however, precision is important, as President Trump has still not fully learned. Europeans who tend at the best of times to worry about every new US administration may not have been completely reassured last week by what they heard from the visiting Americans; and before making any clear judgments, they will wait to hear what President Trump says when he travels to Brussels in May for a previously-scheduled NATO summit.  Basically, however, his surrogates in Europe last week at least exceeded the minimum standard required, even though their presentations broke little new policy ground. There are some caveats, however.  One of the central points made by all the US participants in the European meetings was that the non-American members of NATO need to spend more money on defense.  As Secretary Mattis put the point most clearly to NATO Defense ministers in Brussels: No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of western values….Americans cannot care more for your children's security than you do. Disregard for military readiness demonstrates a lack of respect for ourselves, for the Alliance, and for the freedoms we inherited, which are now clearly threatened.[2] He was referring most specifically to a NATO goal, proclaimed most forcefully in a speech by former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates just before he left office in 2011, that all the allies should spend at least 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense.[3]   This has now become a firm pledge by members of the alliance.  In fact, as when Gates spoke to his NATO colleagues in 2011, only 5 of NATO’s 28 countries have met that standard (more about that below), although at the last NATO summit in Warsaw last year, they collectively agreed that all the allies should meet the goal within a decade and they agreed at the Brussels Defense Ministers’ meeting to have a plan for more rapid progress by the end of this year. The basic point being made by the American leaders is twofold: first, that there needs to be more military capability within NATO for it to be able, as an alliance, to meet the threats and challenges, notably posed by Russia and Middle East-based terrorism; and second, that the European allies and Canada need to show the US Congress that they are pulling their weight and not leaving so much of the work to the United States.  According to Britain’s Defense Minister, Mattis said at the Defense Ministers’ meeting that "Congress will not continue to tolerate unequal burden-sharing."[4] What the US Defense Secretary and other US officials are referring to has two components.  The first is the distribution within the alliance of its direct costs – that is, what it costs to run the institution, primarily through its three basic budgets: military, civilian and infrastructure (the last called the NATO Security Investment Programme.)[5]  The United States pays more than another other ally, at about 22%.  But this figure is what the NATO allies have agreed to be a “fair share,” based on the relative GDP of each member state. In this sense, the US is not being “overcharged.” Furthermore, the total amount of direct NATO spending is only about $2.6 billion a year, which is a small fraction of defense spending by the allies, most of which goes for “indirect” elements of defense – that is, what individual nations spend on their own forces within their own defense budgets. Here is where the big argument takes place and the big discrepancies are found among countries.  Of the 5 countries that meet the 2% goal, one -- Greece – does so primarily because of its concerns about Turkey; another, Britain, has just hit the mark, although that point is disputed by some experts, who see Britain as just under the magic number and believe it had to do some fast-footwork with its defense budget to get over the NATO threshold. It can also be argued that even the United States does not meet the 2% goal.  This seems absurd on the face of it, since the United States spends more on defense than any other country in the world by a significant margin, currently measured at about 3.61% of its GDP.  But that defense spending is for its world-wide deployments and world-wide commitments.  By contrast, other NATO allies, save for Britain and France, that do see themselves as having broader engagements beyond Europe and environs, are essentially “regional” powers, even when they become engaged militarily in limited ways outside of Europe.  Only a relatively small fraction of US military capabilities is directly committed to Europe on a day-to-day basis, although much more could become engaged if there were a palpable threat to European security.  Then the “big battalions” would be brought to bear, including not just ground forces but also some major portion of America’s air armadas (Navy and Air Force) and – potentially, if things came to that – its nuclear arsenal, though one hopes only in a deterrent role.[6] But even with these qualifications—the “worst-case scenario” – it is hard to argue that the United States devotes 2% of its GDP on defense spending to European contingencies, or even close to it.  Thus Washington’s argument that 23 of the 27 other allies are not meeting their responsibilities, based on defense spending at the 2% of GDP level, is not particularly convincing, although no ally has yet made this point, at least not in public. Nor should the size of defense spending necessarily be the only standard for defense contributions that individual allies make to alliance security.  After all, how much money is spent on defense does not by itself connote how much usable military capability is actually created.  Some allies have organized their military capacities in ways that, as Secretary Gates acknowledged in 2011, enable them to “punch well above their weight.” [7]  Furthermore, the deterrent capacity of NATO, even against an expansionist Russia, is enhanced significantly by alliance political solidarity, a factor that does not depend on simple calculations of military budgets. Nor does the size of military budgets account for other things that allied nations do to provide security for themselves and others, especially given that many European states are involved in operations conducted by the European Union, notably in Africa, that relieve the United States (and NATO itself) of that burden.  It also does not account for monies and other economic instruments that European countries devote to bolstering the economies and political development of Central European states, including Ukraine, activities which certainly contribute to “security” even if not directly being “defense.” Furthermore, every single member of the NATO alliance sent military and other security personnel to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), essentially in support of US policy, even though very few of the allied countries believed that their military engagement there was necessary to keep terrorism from their shores (terrorist incidents in Western Europe have been mainly sourced out of the Middle East states and the Islamic State, with very little of this terrorism related to Afghanistan).  Rather, virtually all the allies took part in ISAF in an effort to ensure that the United States would remain committed to Europe, notably to provide reassurance against threats Russia might someday pose but, at the time, had not yet done so. The vigor and persistence with which the United States has made a fuss over the 2% goal can also have untoward consequences.  When NATO declares a goal and only 5 of 28 countries meet it, that is obviously a sign not of allied strength, but of weakness – which is not a good image for NATO to be projecting in public and indeed emphasizing. Second, there have been statements, not just hints, by American officials that, if the Europeans don’t meet the 2% goal, the United States might, as Secretary Mattis said in Brussels “moderate its commitment.”[8]   That is risky business.  The essence of the NATO Treaty’s Article 5 commitment, the “three musketeers” agreement that all member countries will support any ally that suffers external aggression, must be absolute in order to be credible.[9]   To make the commitment conditional, for whatever reason, potentially weakens its effect and, if pushed too far, could vitiate it.   Secretary Mattis no doubt did not mean to give that impression, but that is what his words meant.[10]  Of course, now that successive US administrations have nailed their colors to the mast of the 2% goal, it has acquired political significance that cannot be ignored. Further regarding the Trump Administration officials’ European tour, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was essentially in what, in bureaucratese, is called a “listening mode.”  That is not ever a good thing for a US Secretary of State to do when abroad, given that allies still expect the United States to exercise leadership in the Alliance. This “listening mode” is also what happened in January 1977, when Vice President Walter Mondale was sent at the beginning of the Carter administration to meet with leaders in Europe.  The administration had no firm plans for transatlantic relations at that point, as opposed to obligatory assurances, and the allies were nonplussed by what they believed was a lack of US leadership, however much that expectation was premature at that early point in the new administration.  Something similar happened to a new Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, in 1993.  In both cases, it took some considerable time and effort for the United States to demonstrate to allies that it was ready to do the “right thing” by its NATO allies.  The problem this time is even more significant, given European uncertainties about President Trump.  The roles played in Europe last week by the US Vice President and Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security were important; but the relatively passive role of the secretary of state, at least in public, did lead to some eye-brow raising.  It is compounded by the fact that not a single senior official has yet been appointed to a State Department post or even nominated; and only one person has so far been confirmed by the Senate as an ambassador (Nikki Haley at the United Nations). This is not good from the standpoint of fostering confidence abroad in the State Department and its secretary as leavening agents in juxtaposition to President Trump’s White House staff. Still, these are “early days.” None of these factors need have significant consequences for the future; not even the lack, so far, of anything approaching a coherent US approach to Russia: expecting a fully-fledged policy on such a complex and consequential matter so early in the new administration would be unrealistic, as important as the issues involved clearly are.  So much still depends on decisions that President Trump will take, where making confident predictions is a fool’s game, and on the roles that his cabinet-level appointees in foreign policy and national security are able to play. In sum, the visit by the Trump administration’s team in Europe last week can be rated as having been both positive and workmanlike, in the attempt to shore up transatlantic relations, although these senior officials had little to say to anxious allies beyond general reassurance about US fealty to transatlantic relations.  No doubt, President Trump will have his work cut out for him when he visits Europe in May and, before that, as he develops concrete policies and approaches to critical issues facing the Alliance, notably regarding Russia. Ambassador Robert Hunter is a member of The European Institute Board of Directors and former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, 1993-98 Find The European Institute Publication here. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ [1] See https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1085679/press-conference-by-secretary-mattis-at-nato-headquarters-brussels-belgium. [2] See http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/politics/james-mattis-nato-brussels/ [3] “Today, I would like to share some parting thoughts about the state of the now 60-plus year old transatlantic security project, to include…more broadly, the growing difficulty for the U.S. to sustain current support for NATO if the American taxpayer continues to carry most of the burden in the Alliance.”  The Security and Defense Agenda (Future of NATO), Brussels, Belgium, Friday, June 10, 2011, at: http://archive.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1581. [4] “But [British Defence Minister] Fallon said Mattis also appeared to welcome a British proposal to create a road map for increased spending by other countries.” See: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/15/mattis-nato-members-must-boost-defense-spending-or-us-will-moderate-its-commitment.html. [5] The author invented that name as US ambassador to NATO when, in 1993, then Secretary of Defense Les Aspin told him that, as a former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, there was no way he could get Congress to contribute to a program called “infrastructure!” [6] Certainly, without the United States, there would be no NATO and inadequate capacity by any coalition of Europeans to deal with a truly serious military contingency, such as further Russian aggression. Thus the percentage of its military spending that the US devotes primarily to European contingencies does not reflect its overall contribution. The fact of US strategic commitment to European security is most important. [7] “…though some smaller NATO members have modestly sized and funded militaries that do not meet the 2 percent threshold, several of these allies have managed to punch well above their weight because of the way they use the resources they have.”  Gates, Ibid. [8] “America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to the alliance, each of your capitals needs to show its support for our common defense.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/02/15/mattis-trumps-defense-secretary-issues-ultimatum-to-nato-allies-on-defense-spending/?utm_term=.8b2c6773d11f [9] “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them… will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.  See: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_17120.htm [10] For several years, the author has proposed a different standard: a 3% goal for all “security” spending by each ally.  “Security” would be defined to include all efforts to advance the interests of the alliance and its strategic environment, broadly defined.  As noted here, that can include support to shore up the Ukrainian economy, which may prove to be more important than anything that NATO does militarily in promoting security in that part of Europe, including against Russian encroachment. This definition can also include certain kinds of foreign aid, support for productive investments, and the costs of political efforts to help promote effective governance.  That includes parts of the Middle East and Africa, which are germane to European security. The United States also should be mindful of the added burdens on European governments stemming from refugee flows from the Middle East, to a considerable degree because of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
By: ATA Admin
ATA Secretary General Remarks | Strengthening Security & Stability In The Mediterranean
PUBLISHED: January 11, 2017
MODERATOR REMARKS By ATA Secretary General During the Conference "Strengthening Security & Stability In The Mediterranean – The Role Of Morocco" at the European Parliament in Brussels. 7 September 2016 Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests, Esteemed Organizers, Dear Friends, I would like to start by first thanking our organizers and hosts for arranging this engagement and constructing this panel with such esteemed speakers and distinguished guests. I would like to provide a special thanks to Miss Reese for her role in bringing us together along with a special recognition to our distinguished guests from both France and Belgium joining us in the audience here today, many of which share a close experience and insight on these issues.   Introduction The Euro-Atlantic and MENA region find themselves in an increasing threat environment due to the ongoing challenge of radical jihadi terrorism and the spread of ISIS combined with a continuing migration crisis largely fueled by the war in Syria. Since the declaration of the Caliphate in June 2014, ISIS or individuals inspired by Daesh have carried out over 95 terrorist attacks in 21 separate countries, claiming the lives of over 1,500 people. The targets are wide ranging and include: Belgium, France, Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh, Australia, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and the United States. Following the recent attacks in Paris, Nice and Brussels while taking into account that France today is Europe’s leading exporter of Foreign Fighters to Syria with Belgium being the biggest proportional exporter, we have an emerging trend to recognize that the Francophone world is suffering the highest threat level from jihadi terrorism in Europe with Belgium having become a front line state. Looking to our Mediterranean Partners, Morocco has been a key ally, working closely with their French, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese and American partners to counter the terrorist threat Morocco faces not only from ISIS and Middle East jihadist groups such as al-Nusra, but also the wider Sahel region and Maghreb groups operating out of Mali, Mauritania and Niger, along with global jihadist organizations including AQ and AQIM. After suffering its own tragic attacks in Casablanca and Marrakesh several years ago, the threat continues both at home and abroad as an estimated 1600- 2000 persons who have gone to Syria, making Morocco the 3rd largest provider of jihadists to Syria. This is why we are fortunate to have Minister Hassad here with us today. Having taken a proactive approach in countering terrorism and radicalization, Morocco has made notable contributions and efforts that are necessary to briefly mention before opening up to the panelists here tonight. I will stress 4 key points that I will divide them into two categories, short term and long-term: SHORT TERM: 1.Since 9/11 over 120 terrorist organizations have been dismantled by Moroccan authorities that were operating inside the country. According to France 24’s recent report, over 20 terrorist cells were dismantled in Morocco this year. Many of the thwarted attacks were targeting high value civilian and national security posts such as: Non-Muslim places of worship At least 116 plots against national security targets Including the famous case of a Saudi sleep cell that was targeting a NATO fleet in Gibraltar While also stopping at least 108 targeted assassinations against national security services personnel 2.Due to the threat of ISIS, Morocco has revised its CT laws and created a new elite CT force in 2015 In addition, membership to ISIS has been made illegal and any returning FF’s have been quickly detained 3.Earlier in 2016, Morocco joined NATO’s Interoperability Platform and stepped up military cooperation with special forces training with Egypt, Tunisia and Mauritania They are currently working with their Spanish, French and Portuguese allies to train Moroccan police in document fraud 4.While when we look to migration concerns, Morocco has taken measures to stem the flows to Europe: In 2014, Morocco launched a special regularization program of 20 000 irregular migrants in Morocco while integrating a control system and coastal lock while upgrading its border posts Key outcomes can be seen if you look at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla as well as the Canary Islands numbers of migrants have been significantly reduced. LONG TERM: In the Long Term Moroccan authorities: 1.In the domestic and political field, Morocco took a proactive approach by moderating the Malikiti ideology by deploying imams to more than 50,000 mosques in Morocco to counter extremist propaganda; 2.Has monitored and taken action against the spread of Sha Islam from Iranian agents in the Sahel area; 3.Looking to Libya, Moroccan authorities have taken many meetings and significant efforts at the highest levels in an effort to assist unification and governance efforts in Libya; Looking to its wider neighbourhood: Moroccan authorities have sought to maintain political stability and assist local and national security services through a permanent and active involvement in CT and countering drug trafficking, not only through intelligence integration, financial cooperation and tactical support, but also with social and educational programs for healthcare and education; A good example of this is that following the 2013 Mali elections, Morocco expanded its coop and visited 4 african countries and signed 92 economic partnership conventions with economic and social support programs for Mali, Coite de voire, gabon, equatorial guinea This includes restructuring in religious teachings that has so far brough over 500 malian imams to Morocco for religious training while also the Ivory coast, Niger, Libya and Tunisia have sent imams to be trained in morocco Morocco has increased its already close ties with the EU through an Advanced Status Road Map Finally, recognizing the links between radicalization, migration, food security and climate change, Morocco will host the next climate Change Summit in November to help bring into force the Paris Agreement So once again we are very fortunate to be joined by our esteemed speakers and distinguished guests to provide insight into these issues.
By: ATA Admin
DEBATE: What are the real prospects for strengthened European defence?
PUBLISHED: December 23, 2016
Two experts debated the significance of the conclusions of the European Council meeting on 15 December 2016. European leaders agreed that Europeans must do more to strengthen Europe's security and defence in a challenging geopolitical environment. They discussed proposals to implement the EU Global Strategy in the area of Security and Defence, which sets the level of ambition of the European Union. They welcomed the Commission's proposed European Defence Action Plan and looked forward to the establishment of a European Defence Fund and the joint development of capabilities commonly agreed by EU member states. They also urged swift action to implement EU-NATO cooperation in jointly agreed areas.
By: ATA Admin
NATO Assistant Secretary General PDD Speech to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Key Note Address  by H.E. Amb. Tacan ILDEM, Assistant Secretary General, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO, During the ATA Conference "NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare Subject: Cooperative Security Strategy for NATO-EU relations following the Warsaw Summit Introduction Thank you, President Luciolli. I am pleased to be here with you this afternoon. Thank you as well to Jason and his team at Atlantic Treaty Association for organizing this event on a subject that is both timely and important. Today, the Euro-Atlantic community faces enormous challenges. We live in the most demanding security environment we have seen in many years – confronted by serious threats from both the South and the East, as well as unprecedented hybrid challenges. Given the challenges we face, the relationship between the EU and NATO has never been so important. Fortunately, this relationship has never been so strong as it is today. Cooperative security NATO has long recognized the importance of partnership and cooperative security. We formally began working with partners over 25 years ago as the Cold War ended and the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace gained new momentum. Working with individual partner countries, we fostered new and closer relationships. And working with international institutions, we began to understand how the unique strengths and capacities of organizations like NATO, the UN, OSCE, and the European Union, could best be brought to bear on the key challenges of the day through a comprehensive approach. In 2010 at NATO’s Summit in Lisbon, we formally adopted cooperative security as a core task – alongside collective defence and crisis management. By recognizing the value of our partnerships and prioritizing this work, we took a more proactive stand towards: achieving international harmony and cooperation; synchronizing efforts to deal with new multidimensional threats; and to providing a better understanding of common problems. I would like to underline that third element related to common problems. We know that our challenges are many – and that they are shared. We see increasing demands on limited resources and rapidly evolving challenges that sometimes test our understanding and our capacities. But we also know that we have much to offer and much to gain – and that we will be best equipped to enhance Euro-Atlantic security when we work together. EU, NATO common interests NATO and the EU are unique and essential partners. We aspire to the security and prosperity of all of our members – many of which we also share. 90 percent of all EU citizens live in a NATO member state – so there is substantial overlap simply in terms of the people we exist to serve. Yet we are linked by far more than territory and population. Our deeply-held values are the ties that bind. NATO and the EU work hand-in-hand to increase European security because we believe in peace, security, and prosperity. And because we believe that the international rules-based order on which these depend is worth defending. Evolution of NATO-EU cooperation For many years, NATO and the EU have worked together, whether through staff-level cooperation or the attendance of our highest officials at each other’s formal meetings. In July of this year, however, we underscored the importance of doing more to advance the relationship between NATO and the EU. In Warsaw for the NATO Summit, Secretary General Stoltenberg signed a Joint Declaration with Presidents Juncker and Tusk. This set out our joint plans to work more closely in several areas – including countering hybrid threats, enhancing resilience, building defence capacity, improving cyber defence, and advancing our cooperation in relation to maritime security and exercises. This is crucial progress. And I’d like to make clear that this enhanced cooperation has every day consequences for how we work together and what we can achieve. Our cooperation in the Aegean Sea is one example. Thanks to our joint efforts, together with Greece and Turkey, the flow of migrants has decreased substantially. Of course the situation in the Mediterranean remains extremely serious and we continue to see illegal human trafficking and tragic loss of life. This is why Allies decided that NATO’s new Operation Sea Guardian will support the EU’s Operation Sophia. We can tackle this challenge best by working together. This is an example of how we can do more together in the field – but there’s also much we can do together here in Brussels. For example, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division is implementing the Joint Declaration by broadening the areas in which we coordinate – not focusing only on immediate and practical issues but approaching our common challenges early and from a strategic perspective. We coordinate on best practices, share information, and exchange views. This experience solidifies unity of approach and shared narrative of the two institutions in relation to Russia as well as in other areas of mutual interest. And across NATO’s many Divisions – and across the EU – similar deliberate, structured, and strategic efforts are being made. Successfully countering hybrid warfare demands the contributions of a wide range of actors from across the EU, NATO, and beyond. The development of joint “playbooks” should allow us to identify ways in which we can support one another in hybrid situations and should our member nations come under attack. A stronger European defence While NATO and the EU are doing more to ensure that we can draw on our unique and complementary strengths to address common challenges, the EU is also considering options for strengthening European defence. I know that this has long been seen as a divisive issue – dating back decades to discussions about potential duplication, de-linking, or discrimination. And while that famous debate is revived and rehashed across this town and beyond, the reality is that a strong Europe and a strong NATO are mutually reinforcing. Of course it is important that NATO-EU defence efforts be complementary, transparent, and mutually supportive, avoiding duplication. But it is also important to recognize that increased defence spending and enhanced capabilities among European Allies is a good thing. Furthermore, a strong EU and a strong NATO reinforces the transatlantic bond. With a new administration soon to arrive in Washington, this is an important time to note that the partnership between Europe and the United States has been rock-solid for almost seventy years. There is no doubt that a strong NATO is good for both the United States and for Europe. Conclusion So where do we go from here? As we face the greatest security challenges in a generation, cooperation has never been more key. We have increased cooperation between NATO and the EU, yet more can and must be done to strengthen this relationship. As we work through this afternoon and this evening’s proceedings, I urge participants to consider how they can strengthen the EU-NATO relationship. We are united in our values and our belief in the international rules-based system. Yet that system is being challenged. Now is the time to ensure that we are doing our best to guarantee the peace, security and prosperity that we all have the privilege to enjoy. We can do this best together. Thank you.
By: ATA Admin
Global Cyber Security Center Operations Planning Manager Speech to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Speech by Mr. Massimo CAPPELLI, Operations Planning Manager Global Cyber Security Center During the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare The political concept of territory has been broken by the technological evolution. The statement “We are anonymous” represents people of several countries, several cultures, several ages, joining common ideas of hacktivism and supporting campaigns. The distances are irrelevant. Be an “Isle” in cyber security is not a wise approach and cooperation is essential. NATO Member States have recognized the importance of resilience and the cyberspace as a domain of operations in Warsaw Meeting. The cyberspace is the domain in which the private operators have a relevant defense role and a potential attack one, as seen in the last attack by IoT in US in October. They are the backbone of societal resilience. Internet has no owners but it is also truth that a lot of companies struggle everyday in order to prevail on the others for what is concerning the “Hegemony on Internet”. IT devices and applications could be transformed in attack tools and Countries could oblige private industries to support the conflict through National mobilization laws. Together NATO and EU include 34 countries. Most of them are in both the organizations. In terms of R&D, know-how and capability there is a huge capital to exploit, but should be addressed. The expression of cooperation between NATO and EU is not sufficient. Both the Organizations should establish together a concrete operational plan, address investment on an integrated way and be more effective. The trust will be the main pillar of this collaboration.
By: ATA Admin
NATO Head of Operational Preparedness Section Speech to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Speech by Mrs. Sarah TARRY, Head of Operational Preparedness Section, NATO During the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare Hybrid warfare is a nebulous concept, which has evolved over time. For NATO, it has come to be associated with state and non-state actors using a complex strategy of conventional and unconventional means to achieve their strategic objectives.  The measures taken are designed to target nations’ vulnerabilities and impede decision-making, often taking advantage of technological advances, especially those in cyber space and communications in general. NATO’s strategy to counter hybrid warfare, which was agreed in December 2015, outlines three interrelated functions to counter hybrid threats: prepare, deter, and defend. The focus of this presentation was on the “prepare” aspect of the strategy, which is also where there is the most scope for NATO-EU cooperation. Specifically, NATO’s strategy calls for adaptation in three areas under this pillar: recognizing and attributing hybrid actions; supporting rapid assessment and effective decision-making, and building resilience.  In terms of the first area, NATO is focusing in particular on improving early warning and situational awareness, which will be enhanced by the establishment of a new Intelligence and Security Division.  Second, NATO has introduced a concept of accelerated decision-making and is in the process of adapting and reinforcing our standing plans and procedures to ensure they are fully tailored to this strategic environment.  Third, NATO is supporting Allies in their efforts to build their resilience and resistance to hybrid threats, including against their critical infrastructure and other essential functions and services. In terms of NATO-EU cooperation in this area, the two organizations are currently developing proposals at the staff level to implement the Joint Declaration made at the Warsaw Summit.  A wide range of valuable contacts have already been established in the areas of resilience, early warning, information sharing, strategic communications, cyber, exercises, and capability development.  All these contacts, as well as the additional proposals currently under development, will improve the ability of the two organizations to cooperate in a hybrid crisis.
By: ATA Admin
Member of the European Parliament Welcome Remarks to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Speech by Mr. Michael GAHLER, MEP, Group of the European People’s Party, Federal Republic of Germany, Member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence During the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare Hybrid warfare is threatening the transatlantic community at an unprecedented speed. The fight against terror, guaranteeing energy security and managing the refugee crisis require strong multilateral cooperation. At a conference on how to advance EU-NATO cooperation on hybrid warfare, Michael Gahler, Member of European Parliament and spokesperson on security on defence of the EPP Group, called on all member states to work together: "I deeply hope that this time member states will convince us that they are able and willing to overcoming roadblocks of EU - NATO cooperation and implement existing decisions and keep their promises."
By: ATA Admin
Donald Trump Seen From The Arab & Muslim World
PUBLISHED: November 24, 2016
The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States represents the start of a new phase following eight years of the Obama administration.  While Trump’s win has surprised many people, Donald Trump the candidate will be very different to Donald Trump the President. His victory speech was the first indication of this change, and there is more to come.  Prior to his candidacy, Trump was hardly known by the Muslim and Arab world. However, some of his comments during the campaign have lead to his portrayal as an enemy, with suggestions that his first priority as President will be to attack Arabs and Muslims. This perception will be difficult to change, as it was one of the key arguments used against him by his opponent and those in the media who do not support him.  Trump’s management of the issue is not as simple as the media has portrayed, and it has massive political implications for Arab societies. A clear pillar of Trump’s foreign policy is to take the fight to the terrorists, specifically targeting ISIS. For many Arab leaders, especially the American-bloc leaders, a strong clear strategy to fight ISIS would be welcomed as it represents the re-building of relations with US through this anti-terror strategy. Many US allies in the region have struggled to openly support Obama’s strategy and rhetoric and have tried to deal with America under the same assumptions from the early stages of the War on Terror under George W. Bush. A US return to those strategies will be a relief to many regimes in the region.  A Hillary Clinton White House would likely have meant a new set of challenges for many Arab and Muslim countries. According to the Obama doctrine published in the Atlantic, the Arab world’s problems are internal. Their strategy was based on placing blame on the American-bloc countries in the region, especially the Gulf monarchies, particularly Saudi Arabia.  This is despite those monarchies are facing the threat of new and diverse Islamic movements under the Muslim Brotherhood banner, in Egypt and across the Gulf that could lead to a new wave of Arab Spring uprisings targeting the monarchies and sheikhdoms. The arrival of Trump will make an uprising of these groups far more difficult but another Democrat in the White House, according to many observers, would have created a series of challenges based on the strategy of promoting democracy and human rights at all costs. It is interesting to compare Trump’s stated position on the Gulf countries with the position that Congress has taken in overruling Obama’s veto of Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act (JASTA). Clearly they are on the same page. The next challenge for Trump will be in relations with countries that support the Muslim Brotherhood.  While Trump may be viewed negatively by the Muslim and Arab public because of some of his comments, his relationship with their leaders is likely to be good as politically, their positions are aligned. Trump is likely to build relations based on cooperation in fighting terrorism and any steps towards weakening the Muslim Brotherhood because of the connections with terrorists, may force the region to return to the old paradigms which will rebuild US-Arab relations.  A Trump White House could also lead to a rapprochement with Russia, which will have a huge impact on US foreign policy and specifically on NATO as the alliance is increasingly concerned with Russian aggression. It may lead to a new wave of political extremism and a growth in extreme right wing groups in Europe. It will also mean concrete changes on the ground in Syria, potentially ending the confusion of policy in the area. The current dynamics in the Arab world mean that many leaders do not see a Trump Presidency as a negative. The two major threats to the current political system in the region are more serious calls for democracy and human rights, which would directly support the Muslim Brotherhood who are the only organized alternative in many political systems in the region. These calls were supposed to be part of Clinton’s Agenda, so Trump’s win means that many leaders will avoid some tough challenges. Trump’s primary foreign policy agenda in the region is fighting terrorism, which will enable many countries to restore legitimacy and importance as part of an anti-terrorism alliance. There are some threats still, especially for Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. Trump has made comments that indicate the type of relationship he wants to establish with Gulf countries. The US agenda after the passing of JASTA and overruling Obama’s veto is based on the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The other interesting factor for the Gulf monarchies is Trump’s position on Iran. While Trump can do little to change the Iran nuclear deal signed by the P5+1, the Gulf countries can take solace in the fact that while he may not be an enemy to Iran, he is certainly not going to be a friend. The other issue that interests Arabs is the President-elect’s position on Syria.  Trump’s declared statements about improving relations with Russia and taking serious steps against ISIS are steps that would likely help put an end to the crisis there, yet another positive for the Arab world. The US relationship with Israel will also shape the way Arabs see the President-elect. Trump has publicly supported Netanyahu’s policies on many occasions. Apparently Netanyahu will also be the first leader to be received in the Trump White House. Full adoption of Israeli policies by Trump will negatively impact the perception of common Arabs and Muslims but not necessarily Arab leaders. However, it will impact the peace process and could increase the possibility of regional clashes. Trump represents a series of contradictions that makes Middle Eastern politics seem more complicated. While the people of the Arab and Muslim world might view Trump negatively, their leaders might actually be quite positive towards him as his policies could have a positive impact for the region by creating common ground for cooperation especially in combatting terrorism. While Iran would love to have a US President putting real pressure on the Gulf countries, it will not like him trying to revise their nuclear deal. Revising relations with Iran may be a positive for many Arab countries, but they will not be happy to see the US strong-arming Arab countries who would be happier to have an American president who cares more about fighting terrorism than imposing democracy and human rights issues. Syrians would love to have an American president who cares more about eliminating ISIS rather than the positioning on the future of Bashar Al Assad, but they would not like to see another American President who completely backs Israel in a regional settlement process. Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh, Political analyst and University professor Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh is a University professor and Geo-political analyst and security expert. He is a leading columnist in various newspaper and Media outlet beside being part of several Think Tanks. His is emerging as a leading expert and commentator on politics in the Middle  East. He has a PHD degree from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2006 focusing on intercultural dialogue and interreligious encounter in the Mediterranean region (Management of the intercultural conflicts).  Prior to that,  he was awarded a Master degree in Education  for  Peace,  International Cooperation,  Human  Rights  and  Politics of the European Union from the university of Rome III. Dr. Sabaileh is also the secretary general of the Mediterranean gulf forum (MGF), NGO that aims to connect culturally the Mediterranean – Europe and the Gulf.
By: ATA Admin
Opening Address Fabrizio W. Luciolli President Atlantic Treaty Association
PUBLISHED: November 17, 2016
Opening Address  by Fabrizio W. LUCIOLLI, President of the Atlantic Treaty Association and Italian Atlantic Committee during the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare" at the European Parliament, Burssels 16 November 2016 As President of the Atlantic Treaty Association it is for me a great honor to introduce this relevant initiative that brings together NATO and EU with the aim to foster the cooperation in countering Hybrid Warfare.
By: ATA Admin
ATA Senior Program Officer Remarks | NATO - EU Cooperation, 7 November 2016
PUBLISHED: November 16, 2016
Moderator Remarks by Alessandro Niglia, ATA Senior Program Officer, during the Norwegian Armed Force Delegation Visit to ATA HQ Honorable Speakers Distinguished Guests, Good Morning, welcome to the Atlantic Treaty Association. I am Alessandro Niglia, Senior Program Officer.  I want to build on what have been already said by the ATA Secretary General. The opportunity to host you today here at our HQ is indeed a great honor for us and this comes in a moment when the necessity for greater security in our society is more relevant than ever since the end of cold war. With that, I am very confident We are going to have a stimulating discussion on NATO-EU cooperation with two preeminent speakers: Dr. Arnold Kamel and Mr Gabriele Cascone. I will introduce both of them in more details in just a moment. Before that, I will take few moments for some remarks on the importance of the cooperation between NATO and EU. Just a statistic that gives the sense of this new way of cooperation between NATO and EU. In the last 9 months more formal arrangements have been signed than in the previous 13 years when the cooperation started. This clearly shows that progress has been made NATO Sec Gen Stoltenberg few days ago, during the Defence Ministerial Meeting clearly stated that A stronger EU means a Stronger NATO. It is evident that the cooperation between NATO and the European Union is essential and strategic. It is indeed essential because we cannot forget that 22 EU members are also NATO members sharing comparable principles and values. As a result, NATO and EU have to cope with common challenges from a complex security environment on the Southern and the Eastern flank. Furthermore, cooperation becomes necessary to avoid overstretching and duplication of efforts in a time when operational and financial resources are scarce or at least less accessible than the cold war period. From a strategic point of view NATO and EU are supposed to look at each other in a complementary way and make up for shortcomings. The last NATO Summit in Warsaw demonstrated that this cooperation is feasible. Both NATO Sec Gen Stoltenberg and HR Mogherini have been working very closely in the last 2 years and now NATO and EU have never been so close. In this sense, the extent of political consultation is remarkable and official meetings have outlined the positive spirit. I hope this lays a useful groundwork for today’s discussion and without further hesitations please allow me to kick off this panel. Concluding Remarks We all see the multitude of crisis at our doorstep and in our backyard. NATO and EU face the same threats today, and it is essential strengthening information sharing, intensifying interaction and enhance the commitment on defence spending wisely. But let me also say that NATO and EU are bound by much more than only common threats.
By: ATA Admin
Opening: Security & Cultural Understanding MA | 26 October 2016, Oslo
PUBLISHED: October 26, 2016
The ATA Secretary General, Jason Wiseman, opened a new MA Course at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo on Monday September 26th. In cooperation with The Norwegian Armed Forces (Forsvaret), BI Norwegian Business School developed the Executive Master of Management with a specialisation in security and cultural understanding. ATA Secretary General delivered an opening address at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noZKSTMViu4&t=2s[/embed] The Presentation was titled “Norway in a Changing Security Environment” and focused on the biggest security concerns facing this country and its NATO Allies and Partners. He stressed three biggest challenges: an aggressive Russia, collapsing Middle East, and insufficient financial and operational resources to address these challenges.
By: ATA 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.