In one of the last interviews he gave to the press, the late Ronald Asmus reiterated the importance of strategically reassuring NATO’s vulnerable allies against threats coming from inside and outside Europe. The security guarantee provided by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty needs to be strengthened in order to maintain the cohesiveness and the credibility of the Alliance in a new security environment. Ronald Asmus argued that the strategic reassurance of NATO’s Central and Eastern European allies should have been a precondition of reset policy with Russia. More…
Ronald Asmus was definitely, as Ivan Krastev highlighted in an article for opendemocracy.com, part of a generation “that emerged on the stage in the last days of the Cold War, it was baptized by the fall of the Berlin Wall, inspired by the thinking of dissidents and it never lost its belief in the transformative nature of democracy. It was a generation shaped by the end of the Cold War, the dilemmas of the Balkan wars and the success of the enlargement policy. It is a generation that came to importance at the moment when American power was at its height and American leadership was taken for granted”.
I continue the presentation and analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO strategic concept, an endeavor which I have began in May, with the section dedicated to the future missions and military affairs. The final section of the experts’ report deals with NATO’s future missions and the development of future military capabilities required to fulfill them. Section five of the report provides an analysis of the current needs and capabilities and makes recommendations on what missions and capabilities should be provided in the future strategic concept of the Alliance.
Three months a go I have published on this blog an analysis of the experts’ report concerning the future NATO strategic concept to be adopted in Lisbon, in late 2010. That analysis dealt mainly with general comments and observations concerning the threat environment, NATO’s core tasks and partnerships. The second installment of the analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO’s strategic concept will deal with political and organizational issues.
Romania’s President, Traian Băsescu has announced yesterday the willingness of his country to host parts of US the ballistic missile defense system on its territory. The decision to allow the United States to deploy anti-ballistic missiles in Romania was taken in a meeting of the Supreme Defense Council (CSAT). According to Traian Băsescu Mrs. Ellen Tauscher the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security has formally proposed on behalf of the United States of America that Romania should host on its territory an anti-ballistic missile system. The US State Department has confirmed the agreement while the US embassy in Bucharest has saluted president Băsescu’s decision. Following the CSAT decision bilateral negotiations will be started, however the final approval for the deployment of the missiles must come from the Romanian parliament. The Romanian president has stated that the missile shield is not directed against Russia, but is designed to protect against other threats.
Kazakhstan promises to reform OSCE. Europe still hopes to democratize the entrenched authoritarian Kazakhstan. Who is under the bigger illusion?
Yesterday, Kazakhstan took up the chairmanship of the OSCE for the 2010-2011 mandate. The US manifested all its support to the new OSCE leaders and “stands ready to encourage your efforts to lead by example and reflect in practice the principles and provisions of the organization you now chair.” The Finnish foreign minister, whose country occupied this seat in 2008, explicitly stated his faith in the good intentions of the new team chairing the OSCE and even mentioned a possible reform of the organization concerning the European security. He believes in the Kazakhstan’s projects for the OSCE despite the fact that “none of the Central Asian countries are, I guess, perfect from a Western, democratic, rule-of-law perspective.” He also believes in the diplomatic ability of Kazakh leaders in bringing at the same table all OSCE members in order to reform the European security framework with the help of a recent plan endorsed by the Russian president Medvedev.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama has announced on September 17, a major shift in the policy of the US concerning the deployment of anti-ballistic missile defenses in Central and Eastern Europe in order to protect its European allies from a possible Iranian threat. In this article I will argue that this move is a part of a larger strategy of retrenchment, designed to make American power more flexible and adaptable in an international system defined both by symmetrical and asymmetrical threats. The move does not signal by any means a waning of America’s commitment to Europe’s security or for that matter, the security of Central and Eastern Europe. Canceling the deployment of the Ground Based Interceptors in Poland and the X band radar in the Czech Republic does not mean the United States is giving up on creating a national missile defense capability.