NATO and Russia: Sobering thoughts and practical suggestions
Dmitri Trenin

After a bumpy ride through the 1990s including disagreements over NATO enlargement and operations in the former Yugoslavia, improvements in the NATO-Russia partnership were visible in the first few years of this decade. From Moscow’s perspective, an alliance which for decades had been facing off against the Soviet Union in Central Europe, had turned into a coalition that was helping to secure the approaches to Central Asia, Russia’s most vulnerable flank. Yet more recently, relations have again taken a turn for the worse. Nevertheless, despite disagreements, Russia understands NATO much better today than it did in the 1990s. This lends a degree of stability and predictability to the relationship, even though mutual expectations have been revised downward. It is clear that for the relationship to improve, both sides must make efforts. What the NATO-Russia relationship needs most is careful management to ensure that rivalries and misunderstandings are minimised, and that cooperation is maximised wherever possible.

NATO and Ukraine: At the crossroads
Professor Grigoriy M. Perepelytsia

Ukraine finds itself at a turning point in its relations with NATO. One path could lead to Alliance membership and offers Ukraine the prospect of becoming a westward-looking European state; the second path could lead Ukraine to renounce its Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, with less certain results. Following the “Orange Revolution”, NATO accession was put at the top of President Viktor Yushchenko’s foreign policy priorities. Significant steps were taken to smooth the way to Euro-Atlantic integration. By holding a free and fair democratic parliamentary election in March 2006, Ukraine successfully passed a key test. So it was ironic that the result of the election has been a significant slow-down in the pace of progress towards that goal. The “Anti-Crisis Coalition” that eventually emerged, with Viktor Yanukovych as Prime Minister, put a brake on moves toward NATO membership. Political uncertainties in Ukraine have had an impact on the level of cooperation with NATO; membership of the Alliance remains a highly politicised issue and the outcome is far from certain.

NATO and the Balkans: The case for greater integration
Dr Amadeo Watkins and Srdjan Gligorijevic

After solid engagement with the region since the Bosnian war, NATO today retains a significant presence in the western Balkans. In addition to KFOR, the Alliance maintains its presence in the region through three local headquarters and recently set up a liaison office in Belgrade. This presence on the ground is a positive factor not only in terms of security but also in helping move the nations of the region towards Euro-Atlantic integration. Nevertheless, work is needed to improve the perception of the Alliance in some countries. The coming year will be a crucial period for the region and for NATO’s involvement in it, particularly in regard to the status of Kosovo. The Alliance has achieved much in the Balkans, most importantly providing a stable and secure environment for long-term development. However, work should not stop, as there is a long way yet to go. The switch to local ownership of stability and security must be carefully managed.

NATO and Japan: Strengthening Asian stability
Dr Masako Ikegami

NATO and Japan share common democratic values and key strategic concerns. East Asia is increasingly important to maintaining global stability. Yet unlike the Euro-Atlantic area, a number of dangerous regional flashpoints remain, and inter-state conflicts are a real possibility. With the globalisation of threats and challenges, NATO now conducts operations far from its traditional Euro-Atlantic theatre. Japan has also expanded its contribution to international peace, humanitarian and security operations. The Alliance is expanding; this presents threats as well as opportunities for the Euro-Atlantic community. Admitting or cooperating with states that do not share basic democratic values could potentially reduce NATO’s effectiveness in the future. However, a coalition composed of partners who share fundamental democratic values would strengthen NATO’s implementation capacity as well as its deterrent effect. In order to capitalise on these gains, NATO could create a new, tiered partnership structure, with countries such as Japan that share Alliance values and can significantly contribute to operations.

Ten years of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council: A personal reflection
Robert F. Simmons Jr

At the tenth anniversary of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), we reflect on the institution’s successes, and look forward to the future. With 26 Allies and 23 Partners as members, the EAPC is a strong catalyst for domestic transformation and international security cooperation. As a forum for dialogue and for coordinating cooperative efforts between Allies and Partners, the EAPC has enabled Partners to contribute to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan, the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. In the future, the EAPC will continue to evolve on the lines set out at the Prague, Istanbul and Riga summits. Procedures and programmes are being simplified and opened more widely. But the Allies must do more to ensure that our EAPC Partners have a real sense of co-ownership.

NATO and the European Union: Cooperation and security
Professor Adrian Pop

NATO and the EU face similar strategic challenges, from bringing peace and security to their respective peripheries, through terrorism, transnational crime, frozen conflicts and potential pandemics. Greater efforts should be made to cooperate to promote security and stability. At the strategic level, cooperation precludes duplication and amplifies influence for both organisations. Practically, it is now widely accepted that forms of outreach like peacekeeping in Africa and the Balkans should be EU-badged, while others, like current operations in Afghanistan fall under the NATO remit.

Lieutenant General David Leakey, Director-General of the EU Military Staff

As Director-General of the European Military Staff (EUMS), British Army Lieutenant General David Leakey oversees early warning, situation assessment and strategic planning for the EU. From December 2004 to December 2005, General Leakey commanded the first EU Force (EUFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, experiencing first-hand the Berlin Plus arrangements in practice. In this interview, General Leakey touches on civil-military cooperation, EU combat readiness and the lessons learned from operations in the Congo. In addition, he sheds new light on his experiences as the first EUFOR commander in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and potential future operational cooperation with NATO.

The NATO-Russia partnership: More than meets the eye
Paul Fritch

The NATO-Russia relationship often makes headlines for all the wrong reasons. In Russia and in the West, journalists, political scientists and all too many senior politicians thrive on confrontation, both real and imagined. Nothing sells newspapers like the declaration of a “new Cold War”. However, cooperation and debate is far more multi-faceted than many suspect. The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) has evolved into a forum for serious discussion on thorny issues, as well as less controversial ones. Earlier this year Russia expressed concern over the implications of US missile defence plans, and the NRC became the primary forum for debate. Alongside political dialogue, major operational and practical cooperative activities are also ongoing. Motivated by the urgent threats of terrorism and proliferation, the work of the NATO-Russia Council has focused on the future, and new ways to cooperate in facing down unprecedented threats. Over the next five years, we will have to pursue both of these goals simultaneously, in order to ensure that deepening cooperation stands on a firm foundation of mutual trust.

Money at the root of evil: The economics of transnational terrorism
Adrian Kendry

Economic ideas and techniques have a timeless potency. Their ability to illuminate the motivations, choices and trade-offs in decision-making by people and organisations in all walks of life deserve recognition. Terrorism is no exception – funding for terrorism can come from a wide range of sources, including states, illicit trade and partnership with organised crime. NATO is not an economic organisation, but it has an important, if modest, role to play in exchanging economic and financial information with Allies and partners to help them confront an increasingly complex and sophisticated challenge. There are a number of steps the Allies can take to halt the financing of terrorism. Proper economic management of defence budgets, cooperation in international policing and critical infrastructure protection, in coordination with other relevant international and national bodies, are key starting points.

The Alliance’s lesson in ‘Solidarity’
Lech Wałęsa

The path of Poland and other countries of the former Eastern bloc towards membership of the North Atlantic Alliance was neither easy nor short. The West initially failed to notice that the geopolitical environment had changed dramatically and that, with the tearing down of the Iron Curtain, a new, global era had begun. This era was to be governed by different rules. The world without borders in which we now live must have as its foundations as precise rules and regulations as possible. This is a role for the Alliance. The more countries it encompasses, the better and more effectively it will do its job. Today, ten years after the momentous and historic decision to enlarge NATO, the Allies can say with full confidence that it was worth doing. And Poland is able to say with a clear conscience that it has carried its share of the Alliance’s load.

The big move
François Le Blévennec

On 10 March 1966, in a memo addressed to the 14 other NATO member nations, the French government announced its intention to withdraw French personnel from the NATO integrated military headquarters, to terminate the assignment of French forces to international commands and to request the removal from French territory of NATO’s headquarters, Allied units, and other facilities and bases which were not under French authority. But France did not question the Washington Treaty, and wished for the Atlantic Alliance to remain. The problem of the Alliance’s headquarters began. For several months of uncertainty, rumours were rife. A number of other cities were proposed, yet eventually Brussels was chosen to house the new HQ. Communist shenanigans, impenetrable concrete runways constructed by the Luftwaffe, security issues and an impossibly short construction time-frame all added to the eventful move northwards of NATO HQ in 1967.