NATO The Prague Summit and Beyond by yurtgc548


									RESEARCH PAPER 03/05
16 JANUARY 2003
                       NATO: The Prague
                       Summit and Beyond

                       This paper examines the main conclusions of the
                       NATO Heads of State and Government Summit in
                       Prague on 21 and 22 November 2002, and the
                       prospects for the Alliance’s future.

                       It addresses the implications of enlargement, NATO’s
                       response to new threats and challenges, the Prague
                       Capabilities Commitment and the NATO Response
                       Force. It also analyses the attitudes of some member
                       states towards the Alliance.

                       Claire Taylor


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                              Summary of main points
In the aftermath of 11 September 2001, there has been much debate over the continued
relevance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in the new strategic security
environment. The NATO Heads of State and Government Summit on 21 and 22 November
2002 has been seen as a pivotal point for the Alliance. Originally promoted as an enlargement
summit, Prague offered the opportunity for NATO’s leaders to either transform the Alliance
and its ability to adapt to the challenges of the modern world, or risk becoming marginalised.

At Prague seven new members were invited to join the Alliance. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will continue to work towards fulfilling their
Membership Action Plan (MAP) obligations as part of accession negotiations, with a view to
gaining formal membership in 2004.

The Prague Summit updated the Alliance’s Strategic Concept to take account of the changes
in threat assessment. The new Concept included a commitment to the campaign against
terrorism, “out of area” operations and the establishment of a NATO Response Force,
capable of rapid deployment for a period of up to 30 days in areas of high intensity conflict.

In order to underpin the New Strategic Concept, the Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC)
was launched to address, conclusively, the ongoing shortfalls in Alliance capability. Under
the initiative, NATO member states are committed to improving key capabilities within a
specified timeframe.

Measures were also taken at Prague to streamline the Alliance’s military command structure,
to improve its ability to respond to nuclear, biological or chemical (NBC) threats, to assess
the need for strategic missile defence, and to enhance co-operation with partners.

Yet, the question remains as to whether NATO will deliver on the commitments made at
Prague. Some have argued that enlargement has the potential to undermine the Alliance’s
cohesion by making the political decision-making structure more complex. The military
effectiveness of the accession states has also been called into question. The rate of progress in
the accession negotiations, and the pace of NATO’s internal reform, will be important

The enhanced role for NATO envisaged in the New Strategic Concept is at present
hypothetical. How that role materialises in practice will be determined by international events
over the next six months. The extent to which the United States dictates policy and the
willingness of European members of the Alliance to engage in areas outside of NATO’s
traditional sphere of influence will determine NATO’s military relevance for the future.
Underpinning the rhetorical commitment towards the NATO Response Force and improving
capabilities under the PCC will help shape that debate. The application of political will and
the ability of member states to utilise domestic defence budgets effectively will be crucial
elements in determining the future success of NATO as a military alliance rather than a
political club.

I     Background                                                              7

II    The Prague Summit                                                       9

      A.   Enlargement                                                        9
           1. Options for Enlargement                                        11
           2. Enlargement to 26                                              13
      B.   New Threats and Challenges                                        15
           1. The Prague Vision                                              18
      C.   Capabilities                                                      20
           1. Capability Commitments                                         21
           2. The NATO Response Force                                        27
           3. The New Command Structure                                      30
           4. Defence against Terrorism                                      31
           5. Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons                       32
           6. Missile Defence                                                33
      D.   Co-operation with Partners                                        36
           1. Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and Partnership for Peace
              (PfP)                                                           36
           2. NATO-Russia Council (NRC)                                      38
           3. Mediterranean Dialogue                                         40
           4. NATO-Ukraine Commission                                        41
           5. European Union                                                 42
III   Will NATO Deliver?                                                     44

      A.   The Implications of Enlargement                                   44
           1. Status of the Accession States                                 44
           2. Military Effectiveness                                         52
           3. NATO’s Open Door Policy                                        55
      B.   Future Theatres of Operation                                      58
          1. Afghanistan                59
          2. Iraq                       60
     C.   Capabilities                  61
          1. Financial Considerations   61
     D.   Future Relationships          64
          1. EU/ ESDP                   64
          2. NATO-Russia Council        68
IV   National Attitudes                 70

     A.   United States                 70

     B.   United Kingdom                72

     C.   France                        74

     D.   Germany                       75

     E.   Russia                        77
                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

I        Background
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was formed in 1949 with the signing of
the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington. The Treaty created an alliance of ten European
and two North American nations, dedicated to ensuring their collective security and
preservation and intended to counter the perceived threat from the Soviet Union and later
the countries of the Warsaw Pact.1 Four more European countries joined the Alliance
between 1952 and 1982, followed by the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland at the
Washington Summit in 1999, bringing the number of NATO members to 19.2

The main tenet of the Alliance is Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which sets out the
principle of collective security as laid down by the UN Charter. It states unequivocally
that an armed attack against one or more members shall be considered an attack against
them all. Prior to 12 September 2001, the day after the terrorist attacks on New York and
Washington, Article 5 had never been invoked.

NATO is not solely a military organisation. The Washington Treaty contains a number of
articles and provisions which envisage a political and diplomatic role for the Alliance.
Specifically, under Article 2, member states are committed to contributing to the
development of a peaceful and friendly international community through the
strengthening of free institutions and promoting conditions of stability. The Treaty also
calls for efforts towards eliminating conflict in the international economic policies of
member countries and encouraging co-operation between them.

When the Cold War ended in 1989 and the threat of the Soviet Union diminished, some
began to question NATO’s continued relevance. However, conflict in the Balkans and
instability throughout the former Soviet bloc countries in the early 1990s led NATO to
develop a new role. In addition to its original purpose of collective security, NATO
became a catalyst for extending security and stability throughout Europe via its
peacekeeping and peace-support operations.

In response to the changing security environment, the Alliance developed a new Strategic
Concept, which was adopted at the Rome Summit in 1991. Radically different to all
NATO strategic concepts that had gone before it, this evolved strategy maintained the
notion of collective security but also emphasised co-operation with former adversaries
and a commitment to improving and expanding security in Europe as a whole. The North
Atlantic Co-operation Council (NACC) was launched in 1991, bringing together NATO
allies with former Warsaw Pact countries in a forum for security dialogue and co-
operation. In 1994 the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme was established to enable

    A full copy of the Treaty can be accessed online at:
    NATO’s members are: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece,
    Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the
    United Kingdom and the United States.


NATO’s partner countries to develop individual programmes of practical co-operation
with NATO as a complement to the opportunities for multilateral political dialogue
afforded by the NACC. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) was created in
1997 to replace the NACC and build on its achievements. Extending the “hand of
friendship” to Central and Eastern Europe in this way laid the groundwork for later
enlargement of the Alliance. In 1997 the NATO-Russia Joint Permanent Council (PJC)
was also established to foster dialogue and co-operation between the Alliance and its
former adversary.3

By the Madrid summit in 1997, NATO leaders also agreed that the Strategic Concept
should be re-examined and updated to reflect the changes that had taken place in Europe
since its inception and to address the security challenges of the 21st century. At the
Washington Summit in 1999 a New Strategic Concept was adopted. This provided an
“authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives and provided the highest level
guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving them”.4 It reaffirmed
the importance of collective security, the transatlantic link and maintaining the Alliance’s
military capabilities. It also examined the role of other key elements in NATO’s security
strategy, namely conflict prevention and crisis management, partnership, co-operation and
dialogue, enlargement, arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. As part of the
New Strategic Concept the Defence Capabilities Initiative was also launched to help the
military forces of Alliance members become more interoperable, sustainable and
effective. Specifically, the DCI sought to strengthen European defence capabilities,
thereby reinforcing the European pillar of NATO and addressing the perceived capability
gap between the US and Europe.

The Washington Summit also reaffirmed the Alliance’s commitment to the PfP
programme, the EAPC and partnership between NATO and a number of countries,
including the Ukraine, Russia and those on the southern Mediterranean flank of the
Alliance area, through the NATO-Ukraine Commission, the NATO-Russia Council and
the Mediterranean Dialogue. Under the ‘Berlin-plus’ arrangements agreed at Washington,
the first steps towards the EU use of NATO assets were also made.

    Information on the Partnership for Peace Programme (PfP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
    (EAPC) can be accessed online at:
    NATO Fact Sheet Background to the Strategic Concept, 9 August 2000. Available online at

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

II        The Prague Summit
Since the Washington Summit in 1999, the international arena has altered. The events of
11 September 2001 marked a watershed in international relations that challenged the
parameters of strategic thinking and led to a fundamental shift in threat assessment, with
the rise to predominance of the concept of asymmetric warfare.5

For NATO, the immediate consequences have been remarkably similar to those in 1990,
when the end of the Cold War raised questions over the Alliance’s continued credibility
and legitimacy. The Prague Summit on 21 and 22 November 2002 was regarded as a
defining moment for NATO. It represented the opportunity to enlarge the Alliance, while
also giving it the chance to reinvent itself and carve out a new security role for the future.
Alternatively, the Alliance faced the risk of becoming marginalised and ineffective.

At the previous NATO Summit in Reykjavik on 14 May 2002, NATO Secretary General
Lord Robertson summed up this challenge:

          NATO must change radically if it is to be effective…it must modernise or be

A.        Enlargement
Since the signing of the Washington Treaty in 1949, seven additional countries have
joined the original twelve member states of the Alliance.7 Greece and Turkey joined in
1952, Germany in 1955, Spain in 1982, and at the Washington Summit in 1999 the Czech
Republic, Hungary and Poland became members. NATO has continued to maintain,
under Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, an “open door” policy whereby “any
European country in a position to further the principles of the Washington Treaty and
contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area can become a member of the Alliance”.8

However, countries aspiring to NATO membership are also expected to meet certain
political, economic and military goals. At the Washington Summit in 1999, NATO
launched its Membership Action Plan (MAP) as part of this “open door” commitment.
Building on the dialogue process and experience of integrating Poland, Hungary and the
Czech Republic into the Alliance, the MAP is designed to assist aspirant countries in their
preparations by providing advice, assistance and practical support on all aspects of NATO
membership. Specifically, under the MAP:

     The Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter, Cm 5566, p.7 defines asymmetric warfare as “attack by
     unconventional methods which would have a disproportionate effect”.
     “Time for NATO to Adapt” Jane’s Defence Review, 22 May 2002, p.21
     The original twelve members were: USA, Canada, UK, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy,
     Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.
     Prague Summit Fact Sheet Enlarging the Alliance, 16 September 2002. Available online at


a)    Aspirant countries must submit, on an annual basis, a programme of their
      preparations for possible future membership, covering political, economic, defence,
      resource, security and legal aspects. These include settling any international, ethnic
      or external territorial disputes by peaceful means, demonstrating a commitment to the
      rule of law and human rights, establishing democratic control of their armed forces
      and promoting stability and well-being through economic liberty, social justice and
      environmental responsibility. Procedures must be in place to ensure the security of
      sensitive information, while legal arrangements and agreements that govern co-
      operation within NATO must be compatible with domestic legislation. Each country
      sets its own objectives, targets and work schedules.

b) Focused and candid feedback is provided on aspirant countries’ progress, including
   both political and technical advice as well as annual 19+1 meetings at Council level9
   in order to assess progress. Throughout the year, meetings and workshops are also
   arranged with NATO civilian and military experts in order to address the entire
   spectrum of issues relevant to membership. An annual progress report is presented to
   the NATO foreign and defence ministers every spring.

c)    Assistance in the defence field is provided by NATO and by member states to
      aspirant countries. The Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, of which all aspirant
      countries are members, allows candidate states to meet the military obligations of the
      MAP, including the development of interoperability with NATO forces through joint
      exercises and the preparation of their force structures and capabilities.10 The
      allocation of resources to meet the defence and security commitments that future
      membership of NATO would bring is also addressed. Agreed targets are reviewed on
      a regular basis. 11

However, participation in the MAP is not a guarantee of future membership. Decisions to
invite aspirant countries to participate in accession talks are taken by consensus within
NATO and are determined on a case-by-case basis. Each aspirant country is assessed
against its MAP criteria, although prior to Prague some analysts suggested that the
attitude of candidates to the situation in Iraq and the International Criminal Court (ICC)
could have shaped political thinking, particularly in the US.

In an article in The Washington Times, US Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns refuted
these allegations:

     19 + 1 refers to a meeting between all 19 NATO members and the aspirant country.
     For more information on the Partnership for Peace programme, refer to the NATO Fact Sheet
     Partnership       and     Co-operation,     20    February    2002.      Available online at
     NATO Fact Sheet NATO’s Membership Action Plan, 6 September 2000

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          We are taking great care to make sure that the decision is based on such criteria
          as the applicants’ military readiness, institutional strength and human rights
          record…We are not judging candidates on other issues like Iraq.12

Since its inception, ten countries have so far participated in the MAP process: Albania,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

1.        Options for Enlargement

Although they were formal candidates for NATO membership, Albania, Croatia and the
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were regarded as unlikely to be offered
membership in this round of enlargement in view of ongoing instability in the Balkan
region and the relative newness of their candidacies. Therefore, prior to the Prague
summit, many analysts considered that two options for enlargement remained open to the

a.        A core group

On the basis of the achievements made in reforming both military and civil institutions, a
core group of five countries was considered certain to be accepted for NATO
membership. Following an informal meeting of NATO defence ministers on 24-25
September 2002, US diplomats were reported in the media as commenting:

          Five countries– Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia are certain to
          be admitted to the 19-strong Alliance.13

Inviting a core group to begin accession negotiations was viewed as essential for
maintaining political momentum and reinforcing NATO’s “open door” policy, but such
an approach was also viewed as problematic, in that it would have raised the challenge of
dealing with the remaining uninvited candidates, in particular Bulgaria and Romania.
Both countries had invested a lot of political capital in the reform process and in the case
of Romania, which was not admitted in 1997, the failure to gain membership for a second
time was considered by many analysts as a potential catalyst for creating disillusionment
with the enlargement process and undermining future co-operation with the Alliance.

An article in Jane’s Intelligence Review commented:

          However problematic these countries’ [Bulgaria and Romania] early accession
          might be owing to their relatively low level of preparedness, it is preferable to

     “NATO candidates aim to please US and Europe” The Washington Times, 13 September 2002 p.1
     “NATO’s big push east will take in up to seven states” The Daily Telegraph, 27 September 2002


         alienating their electorates and political class and leave them vulnerable to
         increasing Russia influence. 14

Jeffrey Simon, writing in the Strategic Forum, also argued:

         NATO would need to persuade the excluded MAP partners that the invited
         nations had actually achieved reforms that justified inclusion.15

b.       A ‘Big Bang’ Approach

The accession of seven members to the Alliance, which had been dubbed a ‘Big Bang’
approach, was reported to be the favoured option of a number of NATO members,
including the United States.

Leaders of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly issued a Declaration on NATO
Transformation on 6 October 2002, which stated:

         The leaders of the Assembly’s 19 member delegations have called on NATO to
         invite seven nations– Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and
         Slovenia– to join the Alliance at the NATO Prague Summit in November. The
         Declaration on NATO Transformation agreed by the Standing Committee of the
         Assembly…argues that the seven countries have proved their progress towards
         NATO membership by pushing through radical reforms at home, supporting
         NATO operations in the Balkans and contributing to the fight against terrorism.16

The report on NATO enlargement by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations also
recommended the accession of all seven prominent MAP candidates. However, the
committee expressed several concerns and recommended that:

         The MAP process continues for those countries who receive an invitation in
         Prague as was stated in the Reykjavik Final Communiqué (May 2002). Such a
         programme would ensure that there is no back-sliding in the significant reforms
         that have been made by each of the countries.17

These sentiments were shared by the Defence Select Committee in its report The Future
of NATO:

         We see no obstacle in principle to the issuing of invitations to each of the seven
         applicants (although in Slovakia’s case this must be with the caveat of the

     “NATO looks forward to a big bang” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002 p.9
     Jeffrey Simon “The Next Round of NATO Enlargement” Strategic Forum, No.176 October 2000
     NATO Parliamentary Assembly Press Communiqué Declaration on NATO Transformation, 6 October
     United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Letter to the Chairman on NATO Enlargement,
     30 August 2002

                                                                              RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          outcome of the September elections) with the proviso that applicants continue to
          work hard on defence and political reforms up to and beyond any invitation
          issued at Prague.18

In the January 2002 CER Bulletin, Andrew Cottey highlighted some of the advantages of
large-scale enlargement of the Alliance:

          Such a ‘big bang’ would consolidate pro-Western democratic politics, encourage
          co-operation among the states of the region, help them to reform their armed
          forces and provide reassurance that they will never again fall under Russia’s
          sway. Further advantages of a Big Bang would be to avoid the divisive issue of
          choosing among the candidates, and to remove once and for all a potential thorn
          in NATO-Russia relations. The Alliance could then forget about enlargement and
          focus on priorities such as peacekeeping in the Balkans, military reform and
          addressing global security challenges.19

However, opponents of such a robust approach to enlargement argued that it would dilute
NATO’s military capability, threaten its cohesion and ability to take decisions and
increase the debate over its relevance.

Neil Barnett summed up NATO’s dilemma in the July 2002 edition of Jane’s Intelligence

          The simultaneous expansion of its roles and membership has caused some
          disquiet within the Alliance over issues of decision making and unity…The
          coming enlargement presents a dilemma. On the one hand, it serves a political
          role of consolidating the liberal-democratic identity of former communist states,
          and underwriting their territorial security. On the other, it complicates decision
          making at a time when NATO should be grasping the opportunity to take a
          leading role in countering emerging threats such as terrorism, and expanding out-
          of-area operations.20

Observers believed that, for enlargement of NATO to be effective and provide new
impetus to the Alliance, a ‘big bang’ approach would have to be accompanied by
institutional reform, new initiatives for addressing the capability gap and consensus on
the future of NATO’s remit and role.

2.        Enlargement to 26

A fifth enlargement of NATO was confirmed at the Prague Summit on 21 November
2002. This decision, involving the largest expansion of the Alliance in its history, will
allow Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to begin

     Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC 914 24 July 2002, p.64
     Andrew Cottey “NATO’s Big Bang” CER Bulletin, Issue 21 January 2002
     “NATO looks forward to big bang” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002 p.8


accession negotiations with a view to ratification and formal membership of NATO in
May 2004.

Announcing the decision, the NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, stated:

          We can say with complete confidence that this round of enlargement will
          maintain and increase NATO’s strength, cohesion and vitality, and that it is not
          directed against the security interests of any partner state…This is a crucially
          important decision where consensus among Allies has emerged gradually over
          the last few months. I believe that consensus has now been reached.21

The Prague Summit Declaration, issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, also

          During the period leading up to accession, the Alliance will involve the invited
          countries in Alliance activities to the greatest extent possible. We pledge our
          continued support and assistance, including through the Membership Action Plan
          (MAP). We look forward to receiving the invitees’ timetables for reforms, upon
          which further progress will be expected before and after accession in order to
          enhance their contribution to the Alliance.22

US President George W. Bush welcomed the decision, but cautioned:

          All NATO members– both new and old– must contribute military strength to the
          alliance, even if it means increasing defence spending.23

In a Statement to the Commons on 25 November 2002, the Prime Minister stated:

          The summit reflected the extraordinary changes in the global security
          environment in which all nations now operate. NATO itself has changed. We
          decided on seven new members: I congratulate Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
          Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia on their invitations; they are well
          deserved, and they reflect the progress in reform that all seven countries have
          made since the end of the cold war. All are on course to be in the Alliance by the
          next summit in 18 months’ time, and to be contributors to European security.
          That enlargement will strengthen NATO and make the whole continent of Europe
          more secure…24

     Prague Summit Announcement on Enlargement by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, 21
     November       2002.      The     full     text    of     the   speech     is    available   online at:
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:
     “NATO embraces new members”, BBC News Online, 21 November 2002
     HC Deb 25 November 2002, c35

                                                                          RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

On the implications of NATO enlargement, BBC News Online commented:

         Although enlargement will be trumpeted as a sign of security and democracy in
         Europe, to some, it will be seen as proof that NATO is less a top-notch military
         alliance and more just a political club.25

John Simpson, former Foreign Affairs Editor at the BBC, also expressed scepticism:

         As a result of the Prague summit last week, NATO is even more an alliance built
         according to an American blueprint[…] NATO is now entirely dominant. It
         includes virtually all the most powerful and prosperous countries on earth. Unlike
         the United Nations, it can be relied on – no matter how unenthusiastically at times
         – to do what Washington wants. Sure, it can hobble American policy; the Greeks,
         the French and the Italians made it much more difficult for the Pentagon to attack
         Serbia as hard as it wanted in 1999[…] Overall though, if the Americans want
         NATO to do something, NATO does it. Much less pressure is required than
         persuading the UN Security Council to accept American leadership, for instance.
         The new candidates, coming as they do from the old Soviet Union, the Warsaw
         Pact and the Yugoslav Federation, all understand that they owe their membership
         to the Americans[…] Their loyalty will be to Washington, not to Paris, London or

B.       New Threats and Challenges
Following the demise of the Soviet Union, NATO’s strategic landscape has been defined
by ethnic conflict and civil war, migration, organised crime, the proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction technology and the rise of asymmetric warfare.27

In a speech on 3 October 2002 NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson highlighted
what he believed to be the threats and challenges for the next decade:

         My first prediction: more instability[…] the Caucasus, Central Asia, Northern
         Africa and the Middle East all offer a rich current and potential cocktail of
         instability…My second prediction: more spillover[…] through migration, rising
         numbers of people seeking asylum, a booming industry in people smuggling and
         all that goes with it…My third prediction: more terrorism[…] a special breed of
         terrorism has come to the fore – driven not by achievable political aims but by
         fanatical extremism[…] My fourth prediction: more failed states[…] My next
         prediction: more proliferation[…] the spread of weapons of mass destruction will
         be a defining security challenge of this new century.28

     “NATO embraces new members”, BBC News Online, 21 November 2002
     “NATO marches on– to the beat of the US drum”, The Sunday Telegraph, 24 November 2002, p.32
     The Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter defines asymmetric warfare as “attack by
     unconventional methods which would have a disproportionate effect”. p.7
     “NATO: A Vision for 2012” Speech by Lord Robertson to the NATO/GMFUS Conference, 3 October


The search for a new role for the Alliance was initially addressed at the Rome Summit in
1991, with the adoption of a new Strategic Concept. This was developed eight years later
at the Washington Summit with a re-assessment of the challenges and priorities facing the
Alliance at the beginning of the 21st century. Three years on, the strategic basis on which
that Concept was founded has again shifted fundamentally and, as a result, has raised
questions over NATO’s role in the world. That shift has also highlighted the disparities in
national perceptions within the Alliance, particularly in terms of its military effectiveness.

The lessons of Kosovo, which were largely focused on the deficiencies in decision-
making and the US-European capabilities gap, have shaped thinking, particularly in the
US, that the multilateral institutional structure of NATO is a hindrance to military and
operational effectiveness. As a consequence, the US has pursued a largely unilateralist
strategy, supported by only a few key allies, in its military operations against al-Qaeda
and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Gen. Klaus Naumann, former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, commented:

         European Allies see NATO as a collective defence and crisis management
         organisation, whereas the United States, its most powerful and indeed
         indispensable member, no longer looks at the Alliance as the military instrument
         of choice to use in conflict and war.29

US Republican Senator, Richard Lugar, supported this view:

         Rightly or wrongly, the legacy of Kosovo has reinforced the concern that NATO
         is not up to the job of fighting a modern war.30

Henry Nau, writing in the Royal Institute of International Affairs publication, The World
Today, stated:

         The United States made a mistake by not using NATO in some capacity in the
         Afghanistan war. After September 11, for the first time, NATO invoked Article 5
         to declare the attack against American territory as an attack against the territory
         of all its members. This decision expressed the deepest ties that bind the members
         and constitute the Alliance. America failed to validate these ties […] This
         decision will come back to haunt the United States. NATO is being progressively
         weakened as a military organisation.31

NATO has been called on to provide little more than political support in the ongoing
campaign against terrorism, a development that some commentators believe to be

     “Crunch time for the Alliance” NATO Review, Summer 2002
     “NATO Obviously has to Move Ahead” BASIC Newsletter on International Security, April 2002
     “Alliance at Risk” The World Today, May 2002 p.18

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

indicative of the current prominence of the political and diplomatic role of the Alliance, at
the expense of the military dimension.

An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly of 22 May 2002 commented that:

          Despite constant public prodding of its European allies to increase military
          capabilities, the Bush administration has probably accepted that real defence
          budget growth in Europe is unlikely to happen. NATO’s value then becomes
          increasingly important as a mechanism for conflict management and security in
          Europe by virtue of its inclusiveness. Membership in NATO carries
          responsibilities and ties member countries into a system based on Western,
          democratic principles and transparent operating procedures. By co-opting Eastern
          Europe and the Balkans through membership, the West can better influence the
          political and economic development there and further the maturity of civil-
          military relations. This does not mean that NATO’s military role is consigned to
          history but it does imply that its diplomatic role becomes paramount.32

These questions over NATO’s military competence, and suggestions that it has been
facing a crisis of confidence, have been an impetus for the Alliance to establish a new and
definitive role for itself at Prague. In the run-up to the November 2002 summit, NATO
Secretary General Lord Robertson had been forthright in laying down the challenge to re-
establish NATO’s military and political credibility. In his opening statement to the
informal meeting of NATO defence ministers on 24 September he stated:

          As we approach the Prague summit, we need therefore to think very carefully
          about the role of this Alliance in the future, not least in protecting our citizens
          from criminal terrorists and criminal states, especially where they are armed with
          weapons designed for massive and indiscriminate destruction…NATO played the
          key role in defeating the threats of the Cold War and the instability that followed
          it. We must now transform our Alliance so it can play an equally pivotal part in
          the war against terrorism and the dangers of weapons of mass destruction.33

In a speech to the NATO/German Marshall Fund of the United States conference in
Brussels on 3 October 2002, he went further:

          It is hard to overestimate the importance of our Prague summit. It will invite new
          members to join, ending Europe’s Cold War division for good, and setting the
          stage for a wider NATO. It will deepen NATO’s partnerships with our
          neighbours to our East and South. It will give NATO a clearer profile in
          combating terrorism, and in responding to the challenges posed by the
          proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And it will meet the challenge of

     “Time for NATO to adapt” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 22 May 2002 p.21
     Statement by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, to the Informal Meeting of NATO Defence
     Ministers, 24 September 2002. Available online at


          improving NATO’s defence capabilities, with new commitments, new targets and
          concrete new improvements.34

1.        The Prague Vision

The evolution of the NATO Strategic Concept has not been as profound at Prague as it
was at the Washington Summit in 1999. Rather than re-define a strategic vision for the
Alliance, the decisions taken at the Prague Summit sought to build on, and strengthen, the
premises of the 1999 Strategic Concept.

The Prague Summit Declaration, issued by the North Atlantic Council, stated:

          Recalling the tragic events of 11 September 2001 and our subsequent decision to
          invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, we have approved a comprehensive
          package of measures, based on NATO’s Strategic Concept, to strengthen our
          ability to meet the challenges to the security of our forces, populations and
          territory, from wherever they may come […]

          We underscore that our efforts to transform and adapt NATO should not be
          perceived as a threat by any country or organisation, but rather as a demonstration
          of our determination to protect our populations, territory and forces from any
          armed attack, including terrorist attack, directed from abroad. We are determined
          to deter, disrupt, defend and protect against any attack on us, in accordance with
          the Washington Treaty and the Charter of the United Nations.35

In a speech at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on 12 December 2002, NATO Secretary
General Lord Robertson reaffirmed this commitment:

          When it came to defining the threats and challenges this Alliance faces, and the
          missions NATO should take on, there was no disagreement whatsoever.

          NATO’s members all agreed completely that NATO must address head-on the
          threat posed by terrorism…the key feature of this new terrorism is the mass
          murder of civilians– which is why the NATO countries also agreed to co-operate
          on defence against weapons of mass destruction…Prague also put an end to
          transatlantic debate on the “out-of-area” question. Allies agreed that in facing
          new threats, artificial geographical limitations make no sense. They agreed that
          NATO should deter, disrupt, defend and protect against threats from wherever
          they come. And that our forces must be able to go wherever they are required to
          carry out their mission.36

     Speech by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson to the NATO/ GMFUS conference on 3 October
     2002. Available online at:
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:
     Speech by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on 12 December

                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

Specifically, the comprehensive package of measures agreed at Prague focused on
boosting capabilities. These included:

     •   Creating a NATO Response Force (NRF), capable of rapid deployment to any
         theatre of operation.
     •   Streamlining NATO’s military command arrangements.
     •   Approving the Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC) as a successor to the
         Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI).
     •   Endorsing the military concept for defence against terrorism.
     •   Endorsing the implementation of five nuclear, biological and chemical weapons
         defence initiatives.
     •   Examining the options for addressing the missile threat to Alliance territory,
         forces and population centres.

All of these issues are dealt with in more detail in Section C below.

Attitudes to the new proposals have generally been mixed. In his statement to the North
Atlantic Council meeting on 21 November 2002, the British Prime Minister stated:

         NATO’s founders had an unprecedented vision of how free nations could work
         together in the common cause of freedom and democracy. Some might question
         whether NATO can still play that vital role. I believe it can. Together with our
         new Allies and our renewed Alliance, we can be confident that we are ready to
         meet the many challenges we face.37

Yet, many analysts have questioned whether the Prague summit really established a long-
term vision and role for the Alliance.

On 23 November 2002 an article in The Financial Times argued:

         After Prague there is an ominous sense of anti-climax. There is no big
         vision…The trouble is that neither the Americans nor their allies have a clear
         concept. To the extent that they do, they differ. For Europe, the primary purpose
         of the alliance is to bind the US to Europe. For Washington, that is not a priority,
         for Europe is no longer the prime area of insecurity. If NATO is to have a point
         for the US, it must be prepared to operate out of area– in regions such as the
         Middle East.

     Statement by British Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, to the North Atlantic Council, 21
     November 2002


          That is the difference the summit failed to resolve…the fundamental lack of
          clarity remains. Prague has provided some sticking plaster but it has not provided
          the real glue needed to give the alliance cohesion and a sense of purpose.38

The Independent of 22 November 2002 commented:

          They all [the NATO members] have their individual reasons for finding the
          organisation useful at this particular moment. The Americans, having ignored
          and, indeed, deliberately marginalised the institution over the year since 11
          September, now see it as a way of establishing the grand alliance to invade Iraq.
          The Europeans, having bravely talked of being a countervailing force to US
          ‘unilateralism’ are now becoming distinctly nervous that America might go its
          own way and they want NATO to keep the great power locked in. The new
          entrants look upon NATO as a means of consolidating their freedom from Soviet

          All these are valid short term uses. What they do not add up to is a long-term
          purpose. And that…is the only thing that can keep an alliance alive. NATO’s
          great strength has always been that it has had a common enemy and an effective
          system of military command. Now it has neither…Alliances are made and held
          by self-interest not idealism, military alliances most of all. For half a century,
          NATO worked as one of the most successful multi-national organisations in
          history because the security interests of Europe and America were felt to be the
          same– the containment of the Soviet Union.39

Jeffrey Gedmin, Director of the Aspen Institute, was also quoted in The Sunday Times as

          The summit was a near-last ditch attempt to save NATO. Maybe it will work,
          maybe it won’t…The Americans want a Europe that is militarily stronger and a
          Europe that moves closer to our strategic vision and responsibilities in the world.
          But even if they accomplish the first, it is unlikely they are going to welcome and
          embrace the latter.40

C.        Capabilities
Bolstering the capabilities of the Alliance was one of the main features of Prague, and
was regarded as vital to the ability of NATO to meet future threats and challenges.

     “No vision in Prague: The US and its allies have yet to find a purpose for NATO”, The Financial Times,
     23 November 2002
     “NATO suffers from a terminal illness, but no one dares kill it off just yet”, The Independent, 22
     November 2002
     “America dwarfs NATO’s new recruits”, The Sunday Times, 24 November 2002

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

1.        Capability Commitments

a.        The Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI)

The capability gap between the US and its European allies has been one of the main
difficulties in the transatlantic relationship and a perceived hindrance to the operational
effectiveness of the Alliance. Attempts to address the gap have been underway since the
collapse of the Soviet Union, although little progress was made until the launch of the
Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) at the Washington Summit in 1999. NATO
Secretary General Lord Robertson stated at the time:

          The Defence Capabilities Initiative is designed to ensure that all Allies not only
          remain interoperable, but that they also improve and update their capabilities to
          face the new security challenges.41

Specifically, the DCI sought to address:

      •   Mobility and the deployability of forces – including to those areas outside of
          Alliance territory.
      •   Sustainability – ensuring forces are capable of operations of long-duration.
      •   Effective engagement – allowing successful engagement in all types of
          operations, from high to low intensity.
      •   Survivability – the ability to protect forces and infrastructure against current and
          future threats.
      •   Interoperable communications – specifically command, control and information

Much of the focus of the DCI had been on lessening the capability gap in areas of key
strategic importance such as C4ISTAR,42 strategic lift, precision guided munitions and the
suppression of enemy air defences. In order to avoid duplication and overlap, the DCI
was also closely tied to progress made by EU members on the Helsinki Headline Goal
and the establishment of the European Rapid Reaction Force (ERRF).43

However, as the Defence Select Committee report on The Future of NATO commented:

          NATO carried out an assessment of progress in implementing the DCI for the
          NAC meeting of defence ministers in June 2001, which concluded that:
          ‘Although progress has been made in certain areas, further efforts are required to
          achieve the necessary improvement.’ ‘Critical and long standing deficiencies’

     NATO Fact Sheet NATO’s Defence Capabilities Initiative, 9 August 2000. Available online at
     C4ISTAR stands for: command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, target
     acquisition and reconnaissance.
     Further information on the Helsinki Headline Goal is available in Library Research Paper RP00/84
     Common European Security and Defence Policy: A Progress Report.


         remained in such areas as: suppression of enemy air defence and support
         jamming; combat identification; intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition;
         day/night and all weather air weapons systems; all aspects of air defence, and
         capabilities against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.44

Guillaume Parmentier in his article, “Rejuvenating the Alliance”, in the summer edition
of NATO Review also argued:

         A key lesson needs to be drawn from experience gained in implementing the
         Defence Capabilities Initiative…setting too many priorities means that there are
         effectively no priorities. The 58 items identified for priority action diluted the
         focus of the DCI, making it too easy for nations to find excuses for not coming up
         with the essential goods.45

In light of criticisms of the progress made with the DCI, and the need to re-address
NATO’s military capabilities in the post-11 September environment, work towards a new
DCI concept was begun in June 2002.

As Dr Jamie Shea, Director of Information and Press for NATO, pointed out in an
interview with the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) in April

         11 September brings back to us an old problem in NATO which has not gone
         away, but which requires urgent treatment: the question of defence
         capabilities…we have seen the United States pull ahead spending $48bn more
         than NATO, China and Russia combined. The danger is that there will be a kind
         of unbridgeable chasm between the Americans and the Europeans, which will
         make coalition operations more difficult. We won’t be able to communicate, we
         won’t be interoperable…The Europeans spend $150m a year, which was about
         half of the US defense budget prior to 11 September, but it is calculated that they
         only get 10-12% of what the Americans get in terms of output.46

Consequently, the NATO Defence Ministers meeting on 6 June 2002 concluded:

         A greater and more focused effort is now necessary. We therefore directed the
         Council in Permanent Session to prepare recommendations for a new capabilities
         initiative, taking into account military advice and national proposals. This should
         focus upon a small number of capabilities essential to the full range of Alliance

     Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC 914 24 July 2002, p.49
     Guillame Parmentier “Rejuvenating the Alliance” NATO Review, Summer 2002
     “NATO Obviously has to move ahead” BASIC Newsletter on International Security, April 2002
     NATO Press Release Statement on Capabilities, 6 June 2002. Available online                 at

                                                                   RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

Four priorities for the new DCI were established:

     •      To defend against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.
     •      To ensure secure command communications and information superiority.
     •      To improve interoperability of deployed forces and key aspects of combat
     •      To ensure rapid deployment and the ability to sustain combat forces.48

The new initiative would also be based on national commitments with specific milestones
and target dates, a marked difference from the previous DCI. The intention would be to
provide the impetus for members to re-prioritise defence spending, reduce force numbers,
shift resources towards the upgrading of equipment, and co-operate on a multinational
level where possible, including, in some cases, the pooling of resources and role
specialisation. A system of high-level monitoring was expected to be put in place.

In order to avoid the duplication of resources, the DCI would also continue to work in
tandem with the European Capability Action Plan (ECAP), devised under the auspices of
the EU, and its attempts to develop a rapid reaction capability.

At an informal meeting of NATO defence ministers in Warsaw on 24-25 September
2002, proposals aimed at enhancing the Alliance’s military capabilities, and specifically
those identified in the four key areas, were reviewed. A set of commitments and
programmes were put forward for discussion and adoption at Prague. Decisions on the
streamlining of NATO’s command structure were also expected to be taken at the

However, the question of whether a new DCI would provide the impetus required to
address the capability gap remained open to debate. It is widely acknowledged among
analysts that European defence budgets and investment in defence research and
development (R&D) are inadequate to accommodate the procurement of required assets.
Germany’s problems over the funding of the A400M transport aircraft and the Meteor air-
to-air missile for the Eurofighter are regularly highlighted as examples of insufficiencies
in European defence spending.

Plans for the new DCI would place emphasis on the pooling of assets, specialisation and
co-operative procurement as a means of achieving economic viability. Thus far,
multinational procurement has been acknowledged as problematic, as both the A400M
and Meteor projects have demonstrated, while the pooling of assets and role
specialisation has implications for sovereignty in defence which could be unacceptable to
some European countries.



As the Defence Select Committee pointed out in its report:

          …those countries with significant Armed Forces, which have traditionally ranged
          across all the main military tasks, for example the UK and France, would have to
          contemplate giving up certain capabilities in order to focus on others. As a
          consequence they would have to rely upon allies to provide the forfeited
          capabilities when necessary. This requires a willingness to accept a reduced
          capacity to act alone in pursuit of national foreign policy.49

b.        The Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC)

The PCC was adopted at Prague as the successor to the DCI. Although one of the more
high profile decisions of the summit, the declaration on the PCC has been largely
symbolic, with the parameters for the commitment having been laid down in June 2002.
Focusing on the four priorities identified in June 2002 by NATO Defence Ministers, the
PCC attempted to establish a roadmap towards creating niches of excellence rather than
attempting to sustain interoperability across the whole combat spectrum.

The Prague Summit Declaration stated:

          Individual Allies have made firm and specific political commitments to improve
          their capabilities in the areas of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear
          defence; intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition; air-to-ground
          surveillance; command, control and communications; combat effectiveness,
          including precision guided munitions and suppression of enemy air defences;
          strategic air and sea lift; air-to-air refuelling; and deployable combat support and
          combat service support units.50

The Declaration went on to state:

          Our efforts to improve capabilities through the PCC and those of the European
          Union to enhance European capabilities through the European Capabilities Action
          Plan should be mutually reinforcing, while respecting the autonomy of both
          organizations, and in a spirit of openness.

          We will implement all aspects of our Prague Capabilities Commitment as quickly
          as possible. We will take necessary steps to improve capabilities in the identified
          areas of continuing capability shortfalls. Such steps could include multinational
          efforts, role specialisation and reprioritisation, noting that in many cases
          additional financial resources will be required, subject as appropriate to
          parliamentary approval. We are committed to pursuing vigorously capability

     Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC 914 24 July 2002, p.50
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:

                                                                          RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

         improvements. We have directed the Council in Permanent Session to report on
         implementation to [NATO] Defence Ministers.51

A number of multinational efforts aimed at procuring key strategic assets have already
been established.

A press release issued by the US administration on 21 November 2002 stated:

         •    Germany is committing to lease C-17 transport aircraft as an interim
              measure, and lead a consortium of nations aimed at pooling airlift resources
              and capabilities.
         •    Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey are individually
              committing to buy UAVs.
         •    The Netherlands is leading a consortium with Canada, Denmark, Belgium
              and Norway to pool purchases of precision-guided munitions (PGMs).
         •    Spain and the Netherlands are buying munitions for suppression of enemy air
              defences (SEAD).
         •    Denmark and Norway are contributing to air-to-air refuelling and Spain is
              leading a consortium of nations interested in pooling their refuelling
         •    Norway and Germany have committed to improving maritime counter-mine
         •    Poland and Hungary are improving nuclear, chemical, and biological
              identification and defence capabilities.52

An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly provided further detail on some of these capabilities:

         Strategic Lift: Germany is organising an effort to lease between eight and 15
         “outsized aircraft” such as Boeing C17s or Antonov An-124s to bridge the gap
         until 2008 when the European-built Airbus Military A400M is expected to enter
         service. A NATO official said 12 allies are already committed in principle to a
         plan to create a NATO agency similar to the one that operates the NATO-owned
         fleet of E-3A Air Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, except that the
         transports would be leased on a long-term basis.

         Inflight refuelling: Spain is leading a plan to bridge another gap by securing some
         48 tanker aircraft by 2005. The NATO official said so far 10 countries are
         involved and “there are good long-term prospects for all nations increasing their
         fleets of tankers” through leasing, refitting older aircraft and new purchases,
         including a special A400M tanker version that some nations, including Italy will

     “NATO: Building new capabilities for new challenges”, White House Press Release, 21 November


         PGMs: The Netherlands is looking to expand a programme involving five
         nations– Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal– that wish to
         purchase PGMs for their F16 fighters. This is a unique problem since US export
         laws prohibit the sale of the most sophisticated armaments abroad. “The Dutch
         are talking to the US on this and the Americans are probably going to come up
         with something positive involving the same degree of accuracy as the US system”
         a NATO official said…53

In the week prior to the Prague Summit, the National Armaments Directors of France,
Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States also signed a Statement of
Intent to assess co-operative development of a radar system that will be an essential
element of an Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) capability. A press release issued by
NATO on 21 November 2002, went on to comment:

         The Statement of Intent is a practical demonstration of true and equitable
         transatlantic co-operation and specifies that the participating nations will jointly
         design and build a radar sensor, leveraging, where possible, technology from
         existing programmes. Specific technology and information sharing agreements
         are yet to be worked out, but the goal is to maximise the exchange of information
         among participants and their industries, within the constraints of each nation. The
         Transatlantic Co-operative AGS Radar (TCAR) will be designed primarily for the
         ongoing NATO core-owned and operated AGS project, but will also be available
         for participants’ use to meet other national defence requirements.54

During Commons defence questions on 9 December 2002 the Secretary of State for
Defence, Geoff Hoon, stated:

         NATO’s defence capabilities initiative, launched at the Washington summit in
         1999, has made good progress in a number of areas. To continue this progress, a
         new initiative– the Prague capabilities commitment, or PCC – was launched at
         the Prague summit on 21 and 22 November, focusing on improvements in
         chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence, information superiority,
         combat-effectiveness, and deployability and sustainability. Allies have made firm
         political commitments to improve their capabilities in each of those areas.55

He went on to state:

         The Washington defence capabilities initiative was an important step in the
         transformation of NATO, but I agree that, with hindsight, it could be considered
         too broad a programme. In the run-up to Prague, therefore, the United Kingdom
         argued consistently that any successor initiative should have a narrow focus with
         clear objectives, backed by high-level ownership. The Prague capabilities

     “NATO’s build-up to Prague”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 13 November 2002, p.27
     NATO Press Release, 21 November 2002
     HC Deb 9 December 2002, c1

                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

         commitment is a good package that will focus nations on providing the
         capabilities necessary for the alliance to perform the full range of its missions.56

In a speech to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on 12 December 2002, the NATO Secretary
General, Lord Robertson, also commented on the achievements of Prague:

         It is unacceptable that our countries spend hundreds of billions of euros on
         defence every year, but cannot deliver the military capabilities we need, when we
         need them. Over the years, various efforts to make improvements have been
         made, including within NATO. And they have delivered some results. But in the
         end, each initiative foundered on one of three shoals. Either the plan was unclear,
         or it did not have political support from the top, or it was deemed unaffordable.

         At Prague we demonstrated that we had learned our lessons. NATO’s 19 Heads
         of State and Government undertook to make major changes to Alliance
         capabilities…First, they made clear and precise commitments. Through what we
         call the Prague Capabilities Commitment, each and every NATO nation pledged
         to make specific improvements to the key military capabilities we need today,
         such as strategic air and sea lift, air refueling, and precision guided munitions.
         And these pledges came with specific timelines for development. Already a

2.       The NATO Response Force

a.       Initial US Proposals

At an informal meeting of NATO defence ministers in Warsaw on 24-25 September, US
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld unveiled proposals for the establishment of a NATO
rapid reaction force.

The proposal envisaged a permanent 20,000-strong standing force of land, sea and air
assets, capable of deploying quickly for a period of between five and thirty days. The
force would function in small and highly mobile units under a new command and would
be used to help in the campaign against terrorism, and if necessary to operate in areas of
high intensity conflict beyond NATO’s borders. The rapid reaction force would be taken
from existing forces, would be ready for training in 2004 and operational by 2006.

NATO already has an Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) which is a high-readiness
force capable of rapid deployment. Unlike the ARRC, the proposed new rapid reaction
force would only be used for short-term operations at the high end of the conflict
spectrum, whereas the ARRC can deploy for as many as 90 days and its remit is much
more focused on peacekeeping missions.

     HC Deb 9 December 2002, c2
     Speech by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on 12 December


In a speech to the NATO defence ministers on 24 September 2002, Mr Rumsfeld

         If NATO does not have a force that is quick and agile, which can deploy in days
         or weeks instead of months or years, then it will not have much to offer the world
         in the 21st century.58

However, initial reactions to the US proposals were reported as mixed. BBC News Online
stated in an article on 25 September 2002 that:

         NATO ministers have given a generally positive response to American plans for a
         new NATO rapid reaction force.59

The International Herald Tribune reported:

         Foreign diplomats and military officers at NATO complained that the proposal
         was vague and the timing suspect. Senior diplomats said they had not been
         briefed in any detail by the Americans about the proposal. “We are waiting to see
         what kind of military requirements are involved” an ambassador to NATO said.
         “What will be the cost? What will be its mission? Its command arrangements?
         NATO is in the middle of expanding. Will this add to the burden and complicate
         the issue?”60

The US proposals also sparked debate among EU members over the potential impact on
the EU’s own rapid reaction force (EU RRF), which is expected to become operational in
2003. The remit of the EU RRF is currently defined by the parameters of the Petersberg
tasks, which focus mainly on low-level peacekeeping operations.61 The intention is for the
NATO force to operate in high intensity conflicts similar to the US action in Afghanistan.

UK Secretary of State for Defence Geoff Hoon was quoted on 6 October 2002 as denying
that there would be a conflict between the EU force and a planned NATO rapid reaction

         This is not the case…We believe that the EU and NATO’s work is
         complimentary…both initiatives need Europeans to fill the capability gaps that

     “Russia joins NATO anti-terror talks” BBC News Online, 25 September 2002. Available at
     “NATO warms to Rapid Reaction Force” BBC News Online, 25 September 2002. Available at
     “NATO role in terror war” International Herald Tribune, 19 September 2002 p.3
     More information on the Petersberg tasks is available in Library Research Paper RP00/20 European
     Defence: From Pőrtschach to Helsinki.

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          have been identified and ultimately with a similar aim to improve European
          military capabilities.62

French Defence Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie was, however, reported to have “warned
NATO about venturing out of its main geographic area of responsibility”.63 A senior EU
diplomat was also quoted as suggesting:

          On the one hand we feel the Americans are robbing us of our plans for a rapid
          reaction force…on the other hand, what would you expect when the Europeans
          both in the EU and NATO are dragging their feet over capabilities?64

b.        Adoption at Prague

Formal approval of the US proposals was given at Prague. The Prague Summit
Declaration stated:

          We have therefore decided to create a NATO Response Force (NRF) consisting
          of a technologically advanced, flexible, deployable, interoperable and sustainable
          force including land, sea and air elements ready to move quickly to wherever
          needed, as decided by the Council. The NRF will also be a catalyst for focusing
          and promoting improvements in the Alliance’s military capabilities. We gave
          directions for the development of a comprehensive concept for such a force,
          which will have its initial operational capability as soon as possible, but not later
          than October 2004 and its full operational capability not later than October 2006,
          and for a report to Defence Ministers in Spring 2003. The NRF and the related
          work of the EU Headline Goal should be mutually reinforcing while respecting
          the autonomy of both organisations.65

The air, maritime and ground units assigned to the NRF will be rotated every six months
and will be under the command of a Combined Joint Task Headquarters. The size of the
force will be determined by operational necessity but it would theoretically consist of air
assets and the command and control capabilities necessary to support up to 200 combat
sorties per day, a brigade-sized land force and maritime forces up to the size of a NATO
Standing Naval Force. This equates to approximately 21,000 personnel.66

     “EU vows to go ahead with joint force, denies it will clash with NATO” AFX European Focus, 6
     October 2002
     “Rumsfeld Presses for New NATO force” The Financial Times, 25 September 2002, p.14
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:
     “NATO: building new capabilities for new challenges”, White House Press Release, 21 November 2002


An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly, on 27 November 2002, quoted a NATO military
source as commenting:

          In the past, when we began to contemplate missions to places like Bosnia and
          Kosovo, we had to stand up a joint command from scratch…now the idea is to
          have a generic joint force, a pool of national land, air and sea elements, from
          which the military planners at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Command
          Europe) could draw on for a particular operation.67

The article also suggested:

          An initial operational capability is to be ready no later than October 2004, which
          is sooner than originally proposed by the USA and shows a high level of support
          for the concept […] Washington is not intent on the NRF force being entirely
          distinct from the EU’s planned 60,000 strong rapid reaction force which is being
          tailored to fulfil less robust tasks such as peace support operations and response
          to civil emergencies […] in general the NATO and EU forces are meant to
          complement each other.68

3.        The New Command Structure

NATO’s current command headquarters structure is a legacy of the Cold War, designed
to fight in situ with a fixed contribution of forces. Restructuring of the command
arrangements has been motivated by the need to make it flexible enough to run joint task
forces of varying sizes and composition, reflecting the changes in operational
requirements that have come about over the last decade.

North Atlantic Council leaders stated at the Prague Summit:

          We have approved the Defence Ministers’ report providing the outline of a
          leaner, more efficient, effective and deployable command structure, with a view
          to meeting the operational requirements for the full range of Alliance missions. It
          is based on the agreed Minimum Military Requirements document for the
          Alliance’s command arrangements. The structure will enhance the transatlantic
          link, result in a significant reduction in headquarters and Combined Air
          Operations Centres, and promote the transformation of our military
          capabilities…We have instructed the Council and Defence Planning Committee,
          taking into account the work of the NATO Military Authorities and objective
          military criteria, to finalise the details of the structure, including geographic
          locations of command structure headquarters and other elements, so that final
          decisions are taken by Defence Ministers in June 2003.69

     “Lift-off for the Response Force”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 27 November 2002
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:

                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

At the highest military-strategic level, the new command structure will have two
commands, one for operations and one for the functional transformation of Alliance
forces. The Strategic Command for Operations will be headquartered in Belgium and will
be supported by two Joint Force Commands able to generate a land-based Combined
Joint Task Force (CJTF) headquarters and a more limited standing joint headquarters
from which a sea-based CJTF headquarters capability can be drawn. In the new structure,
the strategic commander for operations will be responsible for the preparation and
conduct of all operations, including defence of NATO territory previously under the
responsibility of the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT).

The Strategic Command for Transformation will be headquartered in the US, but with a
presence in Europe. It will be responsible for the modernisation of forces and training
through the transformation of military capabilities, reducing the capability gap and
promoting the interoperability of Alliance forces. NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied
Powers Europe (SHAPE) command will focus on the near-term operational requirements,
while the Strategic Command for Transformation will focus on the longer-term shaping
of the force.

A press release, issued by the US administration, went on to state:

         ACT [Allied Command Transformation] will develop concepts and doctrine;
         design and conduct experiments; identify future force requirements; supervise
         military education and training; and set and assess unit standards for jointness and
         transformation. We expect the command to begin functioning by the summer of

         There will be some realignment of responsibilities between SHAPE and ACT.
         Allied Command Transformation will be NATO’s means of synchronising efforts
         across our national programs and forces to create a more effective alliance
         fighting team. ACT will increase interoperability by ensuring that as
         transformation accelerates in the US and other militaries, our soldiers, sailors,
         airmen and marines are able to find solid, creative solutions to the operational
         challenges of coalition warfare against the new threats.70

A final decision on the full details of the new command structure is expected to be taken
at the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting in June 2003, and implemented by 2004.

4.       Defence against Terrorism

The concept of ‘homeland defence’ has formed a large part of the campaign against
international terrorism which has dominated security policy and thinking since September

     White House Press Release, “NATO: Building new capabilities for new challenges”, 21 November


2001. The inclusion of measures to improve NATO’s capabilities in this area is
fundamental to any new role for the Alliance.

The Prague Summit Declaration of 21 November 2002, stated:

          [We] endorse the agreed military concept for defence against terrorism. The
          concept is part of a package of measures to strengthen NATO’s capabilities in
          this area, which also includes improved intelligence sharing and crisis response

          To combat terrorism effectively, our response must be multi-faceted and
          comprehensive. We are committed, in co-operation with our partners, to fully
          implement the Civil Emergency Planning (CEP) Action Plan for the improvement
          of civil preparedness against possible attacks against the civilian population with
          chemical, biological or radiological (CBR) agents. We will enhance our ability to
          support, when requested, to help national authorities to deal with the
          consequences of terrorist attacks, including attacks with CBRN against critical
          infrastructure, as foreseen in the CEP Action Plan.71

5.        Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons

Prompted by the increasing prominence of the terrorist threat and current international
events, NATO leaders endorsed at Prague the implementation of a number of measures
intended to counter the nuclear, biological and chemical threat.

The Prague Summit Declaration stated:

          [We] endorse the implementation of five nuclear, biological and chemical
          weapons defence initiatives, which will enhance the Alliance’s defence
          capabilities against weapons of mass destruction: a Prototype Deployable NBC
          Analytical Laboratory; a Prototype NBC Event Response team; a virtual Centre
          of Excellence for NBC Weapons Defence; a NATO Biological and Chemical
          Defence Stockpile and a Disease Surveillance system. We reaffirm our
          commitment to augment and improve expeditiously our NBC defence

A press release issued by the US Department of Defense noted:

          In February [2002], NATO accelerated work on NBC defenses. The idea was to
          pool NBC capabilities from many member nations. This pooling of expertise,
          equipment and training created a multinational capability that didn’t exist
          before…The Deployable NBC Laboratory and the NBC Event Response Team

     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:

                                                                          RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

         are the tangible results of this process. NATO will test the prototypes over the
         next year…but the prototype teams can be used now. If an NBC event happens,
         the prototype team is available for deployment…The NBC event team would be
         used to asses the effects of an NBC event and advise NATO commanders on how
         to mitigate them. Also, the team would have the ability to maintain
         communications with other technical experts for advice. The laboratory is a small
         setup that can be flown to areas of operations. Personnel assigned to the lab
         would be able to investigate and collect suspect samples and quickly and
         accurately identify them.

         Part and parcel of these initiatives are a disease surveillance system, a chemical-
         biological defense “virtual” stockpile and NBC training. The disease surveillance
         system would collect battlefield information and correlate it with information
         from other areas. Personnel would then be able to advise NATO commanders of a
         biological outbreak. The virtual stockpile allows NATO commanders to be able
         to get antibiotics, vaccines or treatments where they are needed quickly.73

Defence against NBC threats are niche capabilities that the newest NATO member states,
in particular, are keen to contribute to, in the absence of significant effective military

An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly commented:

         Some nations, including the alliance’s three newest members the Czech Republic,
         Hungary and Poland, are keen to offer personnel and equipment for the initiatives
         and see it as a key niche of expertise to enhance overall alliance capability.74

Five exercises are expected to be undertaken in 2003 in order to test the various elements
of the NBC concept before a final validation phase is conducted during Exercise Allied
Action in Turkey in November 2003.

6.       Missile Defence

The Strategic Concept agreed at the Washington Summit in 1999 first outlined the
Alliance’s formal position on missile defence.

Paragraph 56 of the Strategic Concept stated:

         The Alliance's defence posture against the risks and potential threats of the
         proliferation of NBC weapons and their means of delivery must continue to be
         improved, including through work on missile defences. […] The aim in doing so
         will be to further reduce operational vulnerabilities of NATO military forces

     US Department of Defense Press Release, “NATO showcases new nuclear, chemical and biological
     defenses”, 21 November 2002
     “Outlining NBC defence measures”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 27 November 2002, p.3


          while maintaining their flexibility and effectiveness despite the presence, threat or
          use of NBC weapons.75

As a result of the 1999 Strategic Concept, a number of national, multinational and
NATO-wide Theatre Missile Defence (TMD)76 programmes and exercises have been
pursued. At the Alliance level this work has focused on the potential for deploying, by
2010, a TMD capability on top of the planned Air Command and Control System
(ACCS). The ACCS is an extended air defence system, which is intended to be fielded
later this decade as a replacement for the NADGE integrated air defence system.

In August 2001 feasibility study contracts were let to two transatlantic consortia. With
additional analysis from the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency
(NC3A), a decision is expected to be taken in 2004 on taking this project forward into a
second phase.

Since 11 September 2001, however, attitudes to missile defence as a strategic Alliance
capability have changed. Robert Bell, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence
Support, outlined in a speech in June 2002:

          Last Fall, standing with President Bush in the Rose Garden only a few weeks
          after September 11th, the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson, said that
          “defence against ballistic missiles is here to stay”.

          And just two months ago, when the Secretary General was back in
          Washington…he said in an important speech to the Council on Foreign Relations
          that NATO needs to give “new emphasis” to missile defence, together with other
          critically-needed warfighting capabilities, at its historic summit in Prague this

Following the formal end of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in June 2002, an
opportunity for NATO allies to participate in the development of a multi-layered strategic
ballistic missile defence system was offered by the United States.

An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly outlined:

          The USA has presented NATO allies with a comprehensive invitation to help
          build, host and share the protection of a multi-layered ballistic missile defence
          system up to and including the strategic level previously opposed by
          Europeans…the broad options for allies to participate [were mapped out]. The

     The Alliance’s Strategic Concept, 23 April 1999. A copy of this document is available online at:
     Theatre Missile Defence refers to the missile defence capabilities used to protect forces in the field.
     Speech by Robert Bell, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Support on 3 June 2002. A copy
     of his speech is available online at:

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          options ranged from simple political support to hosting a radar site to taking part
          in the industrial development or production phases.78

The article went on to comment:

          There is a growing belief that the resources of terrorists should not be
          underestimated and Bush’s argument that preparing a defence against missile
          attacks is prudent has struck a chord with allies. Washington has pressed on,
          doing away with the title NMD and adjusting the concept to include an umbrella
          of protection for “allies and friends”.79

In a speech to the Foreign Policy Centre on 12 November 2002, the Secretary of State for
Defence, Geoff Hoon, commented:

          NATO is already examining the threat to deployed forces from ballistic missiles.
          It also needs to look carefully at the emerging threat to the territory and
          population centres of NATO nations…as the threat grows, and technologies
          develop, there may come a day when we need to decide to add a further
          capability to our current range of responses by acquiring missile defences for the
          UK and Europe as a whole, in the way the US has already decided.80

Conclusions reached at the Prague Summit confirmed the decision to broaden the focus of
the Alliance from TMD towards the US concept of strategic missile defence as outlined in
July 2002.

The Prague Summit Declaration of 21 November 2002, stated:

          [We will] examine the options for addressing the increasing missile threat to
          Alliance territory, forces and population centres in an effective and efficient way
          through an appropriate mix of political and defence efforts, along with deterrence.
          Today we initiated a new NATO Missile Defence feasibility study to examine
          options for protecting Alliance territory, forces and population centres against the
          full range of missile treats, which we will continue to assess. Our efforts in this
          regard will be consistent with the indivisibility of Allied security.81

Many analysts consider that NATO’s current TMD feasibility studies will be incorporated
into the larger missile defence study announced at Prague.

     “USA pushes missile defence”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 24 July 2002
     Speech by Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon to the Foreign Policy Centre on 12 November
     2002. A copy of this speech is available online at:
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:


However, an article in Defense News commented:

         Such a change in scope, however, could mean that two ongoing studies, expected
         to be concluded in 2003, may not result in a theatre ballistic missile defence
         (TMD) architecture by 2004, as originally envisaged.82

An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly also suggested:

         Given the lag time in the NATO programme, it is too early to predict a link up
         with US missile defence plans.83

D.       Co-operation with Partners
Working with partners has been on NATO’s agenda since the end of the Cold War and
has emerged as one of the Alliance’s principal strengths. One of the main aims of the
Prague summit was to deepen and enhance the relationships that exist between NATO
and non-members.

NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson commented during a speech to the European
Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Defence and Common Security
Policy on 8 October 2002:

         Enhancing NATO’s Partnerships will be another priority. The Partnership for
         Peace programme, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Mediterranean
         Dialogue have all served us well in the past. If we continue to develop these
         mechanisms, they will serve us better still in the future…This is also true for
         NATO-Russia relations. If the Prague Summit will not showcase any grandiose
         new initiative, it is simply because we already launched a new NATO-Russia
         relationship five months ago in Rome. Since the Rome Summit, the working
         atmosphere between NATO and Russia has constantly improved. This gives us
         the confidence that we can build further on this momentum.84

1.       Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and Partnership for Peace (PfP)

The EAPC evolved out of the North Atlantic Co-operation Council in 1997. This
reflected NATO’s desire to build a security forum that matched the success of co-
operation under PfP and the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and
Herzegovina. The new body also broadened its focus to incorporate not only former
adversaries but also traditionally neutral countries such as Austria, Finland, Sweden and

     “NATO allies rethink ballistic missile defence”, Defense News, 2 December 2002, p.4
     “French turnaround on NATO missile defence”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 13 November 2002
     Speech by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson to the EU Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human
     Rights and Defence and Common Security Policy, 8 October 2002

                                                                              RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

The EAPC is now the overarching framework for NATO’s co-operation with its partners
from Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It brings together 27
partners with NATO member states for regular discussions on issues encompassing all
aspects of security in the Euro-Atlantic area.85 A two-year EAPC Action Plan provides for
long-term consultation and co-operation on regional issues, arms control, proliferation,
peacekeeping, defence economic issues, civil emergency planning and scientific and
environmental issues.

As a multilateral forum, the EAPC also acts as the political framework for the PfP, a
programme focusing on bilateral co-operation between NATO and individual partner
countries (19+1).86 The basic aims of the PfP programme are to promote transparency in
national defence planning and budgets, promote the democratic control of national armed
forces and develop the capacity for joint action between forces from partner countries and
NATO members in peacekeeping or civil emergency operations. Within the PfP
Framework Document there is also a commitment by NATO members to consult
bilaterally with any partner country that perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity,
political independence or security.

At the Madrid summit in 1997 steps were taken to enhance PfP by giving partners an
operational role. The new arrangements ensured greater decision making opportunities for
partner countries, an increased role in planning and the strengthening of political

Participation in the PfP programme has been particularly important to candidate countries
involved in the MAP. It has allowed each partner to address its military obligations within
the MAP, develop interoperability with NATO forces through joint exercises and
restructure its forces and capabilities.

a.        Measures Adopted at Prague

In the wake of 11 September, discussion at Prague on enhanced co-operation with partner
countries was expected to focus primarily on the campaign against terrorism.

The Prague Summit Declaration, issued by the North Atlantic Council, stated:

          The Euro-Atlantic Council (EAPC) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) have
          greatly enhanced security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. We
          have today decided to upgrade our co-operation with the EAPC/PfP countries.
          Our political dialogue will be strengthened, and Allies, in consultation with
          Partners, will, to the maximum extent possible, increase involvement of Partners,

     A full list of the 46 members of the EAPC can be located on the NATO website at:
     There are 27 members of the PfP, all of whom are members of the EAPC. A list is available online at:


          as appropriate, in the planning, conduct and oversight of those activities and
          projects in which they participate and to which they contribute. We have
          introduced new practical mechanisms, such as Individual Partnership Action
          Plans, which will ensure a comprehensive, tailored and differentiated approach to
          the Partnership, and which will allow for support to the reform efforts of Partners.
          We encourage Partners, including the countries of the strategically important
          regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia, to take advantage of these mechanisms.
          We welcome the resolve of Partners to undertake all efforts to combat terrorism,
          including through the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism. We will also
          continue to enhance interoperability and defence-related activities, which
          constitute the core of our partnership.

          Participation in the PfP and the EAPC could be broadened in the future to include
          the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina once necessary
          progress is achieved, including full co-operation with the ICTY.87

The importance of strengthening NATO’s partnerships was highlighted by the Prime
Minister, Tony Blair, in his speech to the Prague Summit. He stated:

          Partnership has been one of the Alliance’s great successes, encouraging defence
          reform, transparency, and stabilisation to NATO’s east and south…We must
          commit ourselves to adapting our relations with our Partners to reflect the
          challenges of the new security environment. This will involve identifying areas
          where practical co-operation can make a difference– for example, in countering
          the terrorist threat, promoting security sector reform and improving border

2.        NATO-Russia Council (NRC)

The NATO-Russia Council was formally established at the Rome summit on 28 May
2002 in response to changes in the security environment post-11 September. Regarded by
many commentators as marking a new chapter in NATO-Russia relations, the new body
brings together all NATO allies and Russia (a forum that is currently referred to as
‘NATO at 20’) to work as equal partners in areas of common interest and in addressing
future security challenges.

The Rome Declaration built on the goals and principles first laid down in the 1997
Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Co-operation and Security, which established the
NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC). Unlike the PJC, where all issues were
decided among the NATO allies before discussions took place with Russia, the NRC will
work from a position of consensus.

     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:
     Speech by the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to the Prague Summit, 21 November 2002

                                                                              RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

The work remit of the NRC will continue to reflect those areas of interest identified under
the Founding Act, although co-operation is expected to intensify in a number of key
areas. These include the campaign against terrorism, crisis management, non-
proliferation, arms control, theatre missile defence, sea search and rescue, military-to-
military co-operation and civil emergencies.

Russia has no right of veto in the NRC and NATO reserves the right to keep discussion
and decision-making on contentious or central issues, such as enlargement and collective
security, among Alliance members.

The establishment of the NRC has been met with both optimism and scepticism from
analysts and the media.

An analysis by Mark Galeotti in Jane’s Intelligence Review stated “some observers see
this as the beginning of the end for NATO as a distinctive western alliance”.89

He went on to argue:

          Russia is still very much the junior partner in the Council…Putin will have to
          accept that the Alliance with which he is now publicly identified will continue to
          enact a range of policies that are against stated Russian national interests.
          Furthermore, there are concerns in Moscow that closer alignment with the West
          will undermine relations with China.90

The Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta is reported in Jane’s Intelligence Review,
as having stated that “Russia’s relations with the Alliance, even in the format of the ‘20’
look like a sham”.91

In contrast, Andrew Cottey, writing in the January 2002 CER Bulletin, has suggested:

          The new Russia-North Atlantic Council…should become a useful forum for
          practical co-operation on matters of common concern– such as counter-terrorism,
          non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and research on missile
          defence. NATO should also state that the door to Russian membership remains
          open for the longer term.92

At the first meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on 28 May 2002 question marks were
placed over the future success of the Council after the Russian Defence Minister, Sergei
Ivanov, announced that:

     “The View from the Kremlin” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002 p.15
     “The View from the Kremlin” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002 p.16
     Andrew Cottey “NATO’s Big Bang” CER Bulletin, Issue 21 January 2002


          Russia does not plan to discuss with the Alliance issues that could in any way
          impose restrictions on the development of Russia’s armed forces.93

With the establishment of the NRC only six months prior to Prague, the summit had little
to offer on NATO-Russia relations, aside from a reaffirmation of the commitment to co-
operate through the NRC.

The Prague Summit Declaration stated:

          We welcome the significant achievements of the NATO-Russia Council since the
          historic NATO-Russia summit meeting in Rome. We have deepened our
          relationship to the benefit of all the peoples in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO
          member states and Russia are working together in the NATO-Russia Council as
          equal partners, making progress in areas such as peacekeeping, defence reform,
          WMD proliferation, search and rescue, civil emergency planning, theatre missile
          defence and the struggle against terrorism, toward our shared goal of a stable,
          peaceful and undivided Europe. In accordance with the Founding Act and the
          Rome Declaration, we are determined to intensify and broaden our co-operation
          with Russia.94

3.        Mediterranean Dialogue

The Mediterranean Dialogue was launched in 1994 as a political discussion forum aimed
at contributing to regional security and stability and achieving mutual understanding. Its
work is organised through an annual Work Programme which focuses on practical co-
operation in security and defence-related areas, information, civil emergency planning
and science. Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia joined the Dialogue
initially, with Algeria becoming a participant in February 2000. The Dialogue was
intended to complement similar initiatives conducted by the EU and OSCE.

In line with the agreements reached at Prague on the EAPC and PfP, NATO allies also
confirmed their commitment to enhanced co-operation with their Mediterranean partners
and with specific reference to terrorism-related activities.

The Prague Summit Declaration stated:

          We reaffirm that security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in
          the Mediterranean. We therefore decide to upgrade substantially the political and
          practical dimensions of our Mediterranean Dialogue as an integral part of the
          Alliance’s co-operative approach to security. In this respect, we encourage
          intensified practical co-operation and effective interaction on security matters of
          common concern, including terrorism-related issues, as appropriate, where

     “Russia’s NATO romance seems long over” The Russia Journal, Issue No. 22 14 June 2002
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          NATO can provide added value. We reiterate that the Mediterranean Dialogue
          and other international efforts, including the EU Barcelona process95, are
          complementary and mutually reinforcing.96

Enhancement is expected to include a greater number of co-operative activities such as
conferences, high-level visits, training and military exercises.

4.        NATO-Ukraine Commission

Ukraine established co-operative relations with NATO in 1991, following the break-up of
the Soviet Union. It became a participant in the North Atlantic Co-operation Council
(succeeded by the EAPC in 1997) and in 1994 joined the PfP programme, becoming the
first country of the Commonwealth of Independent States to do so. In 1997 co-operation
with NATO was intensified with the signing of the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a
Distinctive Partnership. The Charter established the NATO-Ukraine Commission as a
forum for discussion of issues of common interest and ways of improving co-operation.
Conflict prevention, crisis management, peace support and humanitarian operations are
high on the Commission’s agenda. The Charter also provides the framework for NATO
assistance as Ukraine continues its efforts towards economic and democratic reform.

In the weeks prior to the Prague Summit the work of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
was overshadowed by speculation that the Ukrainian President had approved the export of
a radar system to Iraq in contravention of a UN arms embargo. Concern over the
allegations was reflected in the Prague statement by the North Atlantic Council on
NATO’s continuing relationship with Ukraine.

The Prague Summit Declaration stated:

          We remain committed to strong NATO-Ukraine relations under the Charter on a
          Distinctive Partnership. We note Ukraine’s determination to pursue full Euro-
          Atlantic integration, and encourage Ukraine to implement all the reforms
          necessary, including as regards enforcement of export controls, to achieve this
          objective. The new Action Plan that we are adopting with Ukraine is an important
          step forward; it identifies political, economic, military and other reform area
          where Ukraine is committed to make further progress and where NATO will
          continue to assist. Continued progress in deepening and enhancing our
          relationship requires an unequivocal Ukrainian commitment to the values of the
          Euro-Atlantic community.97

     More information on the EU Barcelona Process is available online at:
     Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
     full copy of the declaration is available online at:


5.     European Union

NATO has been taking steps to strengthen the security and defence role of its European
allies since the end of the Cold War. At the Berlin summit in 1996 NATO members
adopted an agreement which allowed NATO assets and capabilities to be made available
for operations undertaken by European allies as part of the Petersberg tasks. Conducted
under the political auspices of the Western European Union (WEU), these were aimed at
crisis response and peacekeeping rather than collective defence.

The principle of allowing European access to NATO assets was taken a step further at the
Washington summit in 1999. Under the ‘Berlin-Plus’ arrangements, the European Union
would have ready access to NATO collective assets and capabilities for crisis
management operations, where the Alliance as a whole chose not to be engaged. In
December 1999, at the European Council summit in Helsinki, EU leaders also adopted
proposals to develop an EU rapid reaction force by 2003 and take political control of the
Petersberg tasks from the WEU.

Immediately preceding the Prague Summit, progress on implementing the ‘Berlin-Plus’
proposals remained at a standstill after two years of negotiation. Under the agreement, all
NATO members retain a veto over the use of NATO assets if they object to a particular
EU operation. Reservations were initially held by Turkey, a non-EU NATO member,
over the lack of participation of non-EU members of NATO in EU crisis management
decision-making. The Ankara Text proposed in December 2001 outlined measures that
would allow Turkey a role in EU crisis management operations when NATO
infrastructure and assets would be used. However, Greece had raised objections over the
text, placing negotiations in a situation of deadlock.

Efforts to overcome the impasse over the EU use of NATO assets formed a main part of
the relationship-building agenda at Prague.

Prior to the Summit, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson had stated:

       NATO-EU relations...that is the area where momentum is currently lacking -- and
       has been lacking for some time…let there be no mistake: The progress we have
       made so far has been largely made by improvisation. These achievements could
       all disappear in a second, if we cannot "lock them in" by putting in place
       permanent arrangements between NATO and the EU. If we want to realise the
       full potential of these relations, we must go beyond the status quo and agree on
       the so-called "Berlin Plus" arrangements…we need to break the current impasse.
       We need to break it because it affects the credibility of both institutions. How
       can we confidently speak of a new NATO-EU relationship, when this relationship
       cannot be institutionalised? And how can we argue in favour of more and better
       defence spending and improved crisis management capabilities, if NATO and the
       EU are perceived as being blocked over essentially procedural issues? It is
       therefore essential that the participation issue is resolved in a manner that is
       satisfactory to all. Simply put, we have to find the right balance between
       "assured access" to NATO assets for the EU-members, and "assured

                                                                               RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

           participation" in the EU political-military decision process for non-EU Allies. I
           do think this goal is within reach, even if some of our member countries still have
           to walk the extra mile to achieve it.98

An article in European Report suggested on 9 October 2002:

           Progress is being made on ending the deadlock between Greece and Turkey
           which has been preventing an agreement with NATO over access to the
           Alliance’s assets…Diplomats said that a deal could be announced at the NATO
           summit in Prague on November 22.99

Despite optimistic predictions, however, the Prague Summit saw little progress made on
the EU-NATO relationship.

The North Atlantic Council concluded:

           NATO and the European Union share common strategic interests. We remain
           strongly committed to the decisions made at the Washington Summit and
           subsequent Ministerial meetings, in order to enhance NATO-EU co-operation.
           The success of our co-operation has been evident in our concerted efforts in the
           Balkans to restore peace and create the conditions for prosperous and democratic
           societies. Events on and since 11 September 2001 have underlined further the
           importance of greater transparency and co-operation between our two
           organisations on questions of common interests relating to security, defence and
           crisis management, so that crises can be met with the most appropriate military
           response and effective crisis management ensured. We remain committed to
           making the progress needed on all the various aspects of our relationship, noting
           the need to find solutions satisfactory to all Allies on the issue of participation by
           non-EU European Allies, in order to achieve a genuine strategic partnership.100

      Speech by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson to the EU Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human
      Rights and Defence and Common Security Policy, 8 October 2002
      “Hopes rise of EU-NATO deal by end of November”, European Report, 9 October 2002.
      Prague Summit Declaration issued by NATO Heads of State and Government, 21 November 2002. A
      full copy of the declaration is available online at:


III       Will NATO Deliver?
In the words of NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, the Prague Summit was a
“transformation summit”. For other observers and analysts, Prague represented the
defining moment for the future of NATO and a test of the political will and commitment
of NATO’s leaders towards the Alliance.

The achievements of the Prague Summit have been regarded by some as an historic step
forward. However, the ability of NATO’s member states to deliver on their rhetoric will
be put to the test over the coming year. NATO’s future as a cohesive military alliance or
merely a political ‘talking shop’ is at stake.

A.        The Implications of Enlargement
1.        Status of the Accession States

The expansion of NATO to 26 members has provoked mixed reactions. For an indicator
of the success of enlargement, the progress made by each of the seven new members with
its MAP commitments over the next year and a half will be crucial. As RUSI pointed out
in its November 2002 RUSI Newsbrief:

          A key question is whether NATO will be enfeebled by accepting countries with
          inferior military capabilities and relatively high levels of societal corruption.
          Moreover, there is some justifiable concern that by accepting candidate countries
          in their current condition, the allies will lose any leverage to push through further
          reforms. While the three Visegrad countries have made some improvements since
          1997, the pace of military reform has been sluggish, particularly in Hungary.101

For some analysts, the contribution of the new members to military capabilities and
operations alone will be a benchmark against which success is measured.

In an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt in the week preceding the Prague
Summit, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson sought to pre-empt this issue:

          While it is true that the new members will not bring vast military resources or
          finances to NATO, they have specialised capabilities that are very important.
          Most of these countries have experience in protection against biological and
          chemical weapons, which many current NATO countries have already given

      “Can NATO be rejuvenated?”, RUSI Newsbrief, November 2002
      “Enlargement will strengthen NATO”, die Welt, 18 November 2002

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

a.        Bulgaria

NATO membership was regarded as a key foreign policy priority for the Bulgarian
government for many years and its accession was considered probable by most analysts,
despite the shortcomings in Bulgaria’s process of reform.

Progress has been made on Bulgaria’s legal obligations under the MAP. A Confidential
Information Protection Law has been passed, while amendments to an Arms and Dual
Use Goods Trade Law, putting in place stronger export controls, are currently pending
parliamentary approval.103

Progress on military reform remains a challenge in Bulgaria, however. Frequent changes
in the post of civilian defence minister and an ongoing debate over political control of the
military have slowed the reform process down. The country also has a legacy of large,
conscripted armed forces and vast quantities of equipment which is becoming
increasingly outdated and fails to reach NATO standards of interoperability. As part of
its MAP obligations, Bulgaria has therefore earmarked 3% of GDP for defence spending
and has pledged to dispose of obsolete Soviet-era equipment by 2004, and to reduce its
troop numbers by 30-40% to 45,000 personnel by 2004.104 The first round of compulsory
discharges was undertaken in 2002, with a further round expected in 2003. An assessment
of Bulgaria, in the July 2002 edition of Jane’s Intelligence Review, suggested that:

          the government has allocated most funds for the immediate personnel costs
          associated with force reduction…only after 2003 will Bulgaria be able to invest
          significantly in modernising its equipment to achieve interoperability with NATO

Limited progress in the reform of civil and political institutions in Bulgaria and the slow
pace of economic development are also considered to be areas that will dominate
accession negotiations over the next eighteen months. A report on NATO enlargement by
the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, prior to the Prague summit, argued:

          As a general matter we found that those countries with strong assets to contribute
          militarily– both in the form of troops, weapons, or strategic location (specifically
          Romania and Bulgaria)– have more serious work remaining to develop and
          modernise their democratic institutions.106

Bulgaria has, however, shown its willingness to participate as an international partner.
The country opened its airspace to NATO during the Kosovo conflict, Bulgarian troops

      “Bulgaria’s Regional Credentials” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002, p.15
      Information taken from: Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC 914 24 July 2002, p.27
      and “Bulgaria’s Regional Credentials” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002, p.15
      United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO Enlargement, 30 August 2002,


have been seconded to the NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Bosnia (SFOR) and in
Kosovo (KFOR) and they have supported the International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) in Afghanistan. Bulgaria also supported the US in Operation Enduring Freedom
by providing bases and access to its airspace.

Despite the lack of progress in reform to date, Bulgaria is considered by many analysts to
be geo-strategically important to NATO, in view of its location on the Black Sea and the
stabilising role that it plays in the Balkan region. For many, this factor overrides any
political concerns over the pace of domestic reform. The Daily Telegraph argued in
September 2002 that:

           Romania and Bulgaria, whose economic development and political processes are
           still open to question, are likely to be admitted because of their strategic
           importance on the Black Sea.107

Andrew Cottey, writing in the January 2002 edition of the CER Bulletin, expressed the
view that:

           Bulgaria’s and Romania’s strategic locations on Europe’s south-eastern fringe
           makes them essential allies in the battles against terrorism, weapons proliferation
           and organised crime.108

b.         Estonia

Despite a recent change of government in Estonia, there has been continuity of support
for NATO membership between administrations. Since the last wave of enlargement,
Estonia has progressed well with its MAP commitments

In military terms, Estonia’s armed forces are small and have thus far continued to focus
on territorial defence, a psychological legacy of the Cold War. The recent completion of a
force structure review to 2015 has, however, re-focused its military priorities. The
government has expressed its intention to allocate 2% of GDP to defence expenditure, to
procure NATO compatible equipment and also to focus on developing a number of
specialist capabilities including mine countermeasures and decontamination. In common
with all NATO candidates, Estonia’s full participation in the PfP programme has allowed
it to demonstrate its willingness to engage in NATO operations. Specifically, Estonia has
contributed troops to both KFOR and SFOR.

However, some analysts have argued that, in view of their size and location, the Baltic
States do little to improve the military strength of the Alliance. An analysis in Jane’s
Defence Weekly, in May 2002 argued:

      “Nato’s big push east will take in up to seven states” The Daily Telegraph, 27 September 2002, p.13
      Andrew Cottey “NATO’s Big Bang” CER Bulletin, Issue 21 January 2002

                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          Membership of the three Baltic States is riding on historical impetus and a sense
          of Cold War guilt and their admission will add no real defence benefits to the
          Alliance unless the security relationship with Russia evolves.109

The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations also expressed concern that Estonia’s
commitment to NATO might diminish following its anticipated accession to the EU in

c.        Latvia

The economic and political transition of Latvia has been relatively untroubled, with the
establishment of a strong economy and free and contested elections. Public support for
Latvian membership in NATO is approximately 60%, although the government has set a
goal of 70% support.111

One of Latvia’s largest problems in terms of its MAP obligations remains the integration
of the sizeable ethnic Russian population into society. In 1993 the Organisation for
Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) established an observer mission in the
country to assist in the social integration of some 700,000 people who had become
stateless with the demise of the Soviet Union. Although initially slow, sufficient progress
was made for the OSCE to close its mission in 2001. Nonetheless, it is recognised that
there is still progress to be made.

With respect to its military, Latvia has been slow to push through reform. In May 2002
legislation was passed by the Latvian Parliament, requiring 2% of GDP to be devoted to
military spending from 2003 to 2008. This will entail a 43% increase in defence spending,
which many analysts have viewed with scepticism, calling for Latvia’s compliance to be

The restructuring of the defence budget is also expected. As the Commons Defence Select
Committee outlined in its report on The Future of NATO:

          In 2001, 89% [of the defence budget] was spent on personnel and operational
          costs and only 11% on investment; the intention is to increase expenditure on
          investment, procurement and infrastructure to 33% by 2005 and to 38% by

      “Time for NATO to Adapt” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 22 May 2002, p.21
      United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO Enlargement, 30 August 2002,
      United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO Enlargement, 30 August 2002,
      United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO Enlargement, 30 August 2002,
      Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC914 24 July 2002, p.25


The committee also pointed out:

          The number of land forces will be reduced, in order to streamline administration,
          although the total force size will remain steady…work is under way to integrate
          the General Staff and the Ministry of Defence. There are no plans to end
          conscription; conscripts are not deployed overseas and therefore do not
          participate in peacekeeping operations; all deployable forces will be

Like Estonia, Latvia is focusing on developing niche capabilities in the areas of mine
countermeasures, explosives disposal and naval diving. The two countries are also
participating in a joint air surveillance radar procurement project.

In the international arena Latvia has contributed to KFOR and SFOR, and in the wake of
11 September it agreed to double its contingent in the Balkans so that US and NATO
assets could be freed up for use in Afghanistan.

d.        Lithuania

Like the other two Baltic States, Lithuania is meeting its overall MAP requirements.
Reform and modernisation in the defence sector has been the most significant, with the
government pursuing investment in personnel, the creation and training of a professional
corps, the procurement of NATO interoperable equipment and the improvement in public
perception of the armed forces.

Forces have been streamlined significantly, with the intention of introducing a battalion
sized unit for NATO Article 5 missions by 2003 and a rapid reaction brigade by 2006.115
The contribution of Special Forces and medical services is also part of the agenda. At
present, a Lithuanian medical team is deployed in Afghanistan as part of ISAF.

The Lithuanian government has committed itself to allocating 2% of GDP to defence
expenditure up to 2004, although it has also been acknowledged that this level of
spending may be sustained beyond that date.

Despite these advances in military reform, the US Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations argued in its report that: “Operationally, Lithuania will make but a modest
military contribution to NATO”. Instead, they commented that “Lithuania’s key asset for
NATO is its role in securing stability in the Baltics”.116

      Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC914 24 July 2002, p.26
      “Preparing for the Newcomers” European Defence, 6 August 2002. Available online at
      United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO Enlargement, 30 August 2002,

                                                                              RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

e.         Romania

Romania’s failure to gain membership in the last round of enlargement in 1999 gave the
country renewed impetus to push through reforms and establish a strong case for
membership a second time around.

Levels of interoperability between the Romanian armed forces and NATO is high. Since
the early 1990’s, Romania has been involved extensively in international operations (both
NATO and UN-led), in order to demonstrate its credibility as a security provider. Troops
have been deployed to Kuwait, Rwanda, Somalia, Angola, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and
more recently to ISAF in Afghanistan. Romania also supported the US in Operation
Enduring Freedom with the provision of 500 troops, bases and access to airspace. As an
indication of Romania’s willingness to participate internationally, the US, UK, Germany
and Italy all have military co-operation advisers in Romania’s Defence Ministry.

Despite Romania’s extensive level of international participation, the Commons Defence
Select Committee noted in their report, The Future of NATO, in July 2002 that:

           Reform of the armed forces has really only got properly under way in the last two
           years, with a focus upon producing mobile, deployable units and reducing the
           number of conscripts…the armed forces number 98,000, with a plan to reduce
           them to 75,000.117

Plans to achieve interoperability with NATO are also evident at the equipment
procurement level. In May 2002, the Romanian parliament gave the go-ahead for the
purchase of two UK frigates, while plans are on the table to upgrade the air force’s MiG-
21 aircraft, modernise communications technology and procure a number of Hawk
missiles. In order to fund these proposals, on 5 April 2002 the Supreme Council on
National Defence approved the government’s action plan for accession. The plan
stipulated that 2.4% of GDP would be allocated to the defence budget over the next five

Although military reforms have been far-reaching, progress in developing civil and
political institutions in the country has been slow. The US Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations stated in their report:

           Corruption remains a pervasive and serious problem in Romania. Although not
           unique to their post-communist government, we were struck by a lack of resolve
           to tackle the problem head on…Romanian officials and other observers told us of
           the deteriorating effect of what goes on behind the scenes to influence

      Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC 914 24 July 2002, p.27
      “Romania gears up to join ‘new’ NATO” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002, p.12


          government decisions, the troubling influence that business connections can have
          on government, and the severe corruption of the judicial system.119

The Committee also suggested:

          Much work has to be done to reform its civil institutions…reforming the process
          for international adoptions before the senate considers potential Romania
          membership in NATO is essential.120

An article in Jane’s Intelligence Review in July 2002 argued:

          The government has stepped up domestic reforms, with the left of center
          government privatizing key industries and following broadly responsible
          economic policies in order to demonstrate that the days of reform-ambivalence
          are over.121

However, in common with Bulgaria, the progress of Romania’s reform process is seen by
many observers as less significant than the overriding political and geo-strategic factors
that Romania’s membership of NATO would bring.

In an article in the Autumn 2002 edition of NATO’s Nations, Romania’s Prime Minister,
Adrian Năstase, commented:

          On 13 February 2002, the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey, together with
          their colleagues from Romania and Bulgaria, jointly endorsed the vision of
          NATO enlargement expressed by the US President George W. Bush…and
          stressed the need for a geographically balanced enlargement of NATO. They also
          underlined that one of the central aims of the enlargement should be to extend the
          zone of stability and security to south-eastern Europe. NATO enlargement
          towards this region will strengthen the military capabilities of the Alliance and
          enhance its ability to counter terrorism as well as illegal migration and trafficking
          in drugs, arms and human beings.122

f.        Slovakia

The status of Slovakia in its candidacy for NATO membership had been the most volatile.
The outcome of the September 2002 elections was seen as a defining moment in the
country’s hopes for accession at Prague. Although former Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar’s party (the HZDS) emerged from the election on 21 September as the largest

      United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO Enlargement, 30 August 2002,
      “Romania gears up to join ‘new’ NATO” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002, p.12
      Adrian Năstase, Prime Minister of Romania, “Contribution and Performance Count” NATO’s Nations,
      Vol.47, No. 3/2002

                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

single party, it was unable to form a governing coalition due to the lack of support from
potential partners. Four centre-right parties that back Slovakia’s integration into the EU
and NATO, a policy not shared by Meciar, won 78 of the 150 seats in Parliament. With
little hope of Slovakia joining NATO under Vladimir Meciar, the election result paved
the way for membership at Prague.

There has been progress in reform of the military and civil institutions. A Comprehensive
Defence Review undertaken in 2001 established specific planning and budget systems
through to 2010. The plan allocated funding for the modernisation or disposal of military
equipment and sought to reduce the size of the military from 41,500 to 24,500 by 2006,
end conscription, establish professional armed forces and develop rapidly deployable
forces for multilateral operations. Defence expenditure is expected to remain at 1.9% of
GDP until 2006, after which there will be a small increase to 2%.123

Slovakia currently has troops deployed as part of KFOR and ISAF.

Although there has been significant reform within the civil institutions, concern still
remains at the levels of corruption within the Slovakian government.

g.        Slovenia

Of the ten candidates for NATO membership, Slovenia is the one country that had long
been deemed ready for accession. The country has a strong free market economy and a
stable democracy which many analysts consider appealing to NATO in terms of stability
for the Balkan region.

However, in contrast to the progress of reform in civil and political institutions, progress
in implementing reform in the defence sector has been slow. Defence spending is not a
priority, with 1.51% of GDP currently allocated to the defence budget. There are plans to
increase this figure to 1.6% by 2007 and then 2% in 2008. However, many believe that
this target will not be reached, as there is little prioritisation of spending. Most of the
defence budget is focused on providing effective personnel rather than providing or
modernising military equipment to NATO standards. As the US Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations pointed out:

          Of the additional funds it [Slovenia] is devoting to defence spending, it chose to
          spend millions on a private aircraft rather than on upgrading its military

      Information from the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO
      Enlargement, 30 August 2002, p.7 and from Defence Select Committee The Future of NATO, HC914
      24 July 2002, p.28
      United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Report on NATO Enlargement, 30 August 2002,


Slovenia has deployed a small contingent to both SFOR and KFOR.

2.         Military Effectiveness

The greatest criticism of enlargement centres on the detrimental effect it may have on
military effectiveness and decision making.

An article in The Independent summed up the concerns:

           It remains unclear whether, on a practical level, an alliance of 26 nations that
           takes decisions by consensus will be able to agree on missions for a NATO
           response force. Opinions on this are divided because, with just 19 countries,
           NATO’s decision making during the Kosovo campaign was tortuous. The seven
           newcomers may reduce military cohesion since only two have much military
           hardware. Most officials expect most work to be done informally in the corridors
           before going to the ruling North Atlantic Council. One diplomat said “At least
           there is one dominant player in NATO– the US– which can usually whip the
           others into line”.125

In much of the debate by analysts and the media, military effectiveness is discussed in
terms of the need for consensual decision making at the political level within NATO.
However, military effectiveness of the Alliance is also linked to several other issues,
including capabilities and interoperability, spending and training within the accession
states. It is the impact that the addition of seven new members will have on these issues,
and on the decision making structure, that will prove decisive.

a.         Political Decision Making Structure

The problem of consensual decision making with an Alliance of 26 members has been
widely acknowledged as an issue within NATO itself. Consequently, the enlargement
decision made at Prague was closely tied to a radical streamlining of the bureaucracy
inside NATO Headquarters, in order to achieve effective decision making. More
executive power was vested in the Secretary General and the Alliance’s 467 committees
were reduced by 30%, while meeting formalities were also eliminated to gain more

However, some observers consider that reforms of the internal decision making structure
need to go further than this, in view of the potential for divergence of individual interests
within the Alliance. An article in The Financial Times summed up this concern:

           The biggest difficulty is that what used to unite NATO members is now what
           divides them– the perception of global threats and how to deal with them. In the

      “Can NATO reinvent itself as a powerful force in the modern world?”, The Independent, 21 November

                                                                               RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

           cold war there were transatlantic squabbles aplenty but no one really differed on
           the scale or the character of the Soviet threat, or how to confront it.126

In a speech on 5 December 2002, the Head of NATO Policy Planning, Michael Ruhle,
outlined some potential changes for the future:

           Future changes could involve having troop-contributing nations manage a given
           military operation. Although this might appear contrary to NATO's traditional
           rule by consensus, it need not be. The idea of 'constructive abstention,'– that
           countries do not immediately work with others but have no problems with others
           working together– is an idea that will inevitably become part of NATO decision
           making. This may put NATO in the position of becoming a "tool box," or
           springboard, by which temporary "coalitions of willing" member countries
           organise to tackle a given security issue. I think the time has come to reconcile
           this “tool box” idea with the need for continuing political cohesion. Such a
           streamlined NATO, I believe, could cope with a lot of new challenges. I believe it
           could arguably cope with such new and very different ideas, such as pre-

The concept of having a committee or administrative council, similar to the UN Security
Council, to take responsibility for the main decision making process has also been mooted
by US Senator Christopher Dodd, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, he commented:

           It should be left up to NATO to decide who would be on the council or what their
           powers would be, but…it would have to include the U.S., Britain, France and
           Germany to be workable. [However] if NATO becomes ensnared in the kind of
           political wrangling that has come to characterize the UN, the U.S. is likely to
           move even further down the path of unilateralism.128

b.         Capabilities, Interoperability and Spending

As outlined in the section above on the status of the accession states, all seven proposed
members have identified capability improvements and potential spending increases over
the next few years, in an attempt to carry through military reform, acquire NATO-
standard assets and achieve interoperability with other Alliance members.

In terms of spending, five out of the seven accession states are committed to the 2% of
GDP which NATO has set down as a minimum for defence expenditure. Slovakia has
expressed its intention to raise defence expenditure from 1.9% to 2% of GDP in 2006,
while Slovenia intends to raise defence spending from 1.51% to 2% of GDP by 2008.
Even at present levels, these figures place all seven accession states ahead of some NATO

      “NATO is not dead but missing in action”, The Financial Times, 21 November 2002
      “Initiatives from Prague address new security challenges”, Aerospace Daily, 6 December 2002
      “Rapid growth risks NATO effectiveness”, Ottawa Citizen, 2 December 2002


allies, including Germany which allocates 1.5% of GDP to defence, Canada which
allocates 1.1% and Spain which spends 1.2% of GDP on defence.129

The acquisition by the new members of capabilities that reflect NATO’s emphasis on out-
of-area operations and the NRF will also be vital.

An article in The Sunday Times commented:

           It is not just a matter of how much is spent. Alliance officials remain frustrated at
           the amount wasted on heavy weaponry more suited to seeing off Soviet tanks
           than to tracking al-Qaeda fighters through the mountains of the Middle East.130

The focus of many of the accession states on developing further niche capabilities and
expertise, such as NBC defence, could, many commentators have observed, provide an
opt out for them on spending significant amounts of money on expensive but greatly
needed assets such as C4ISTAR131 and strategic airlift.

The implementation of both the spending and capability plans of all seven countries,
however, will be the greatest test. Assessments, by many analysts, of the progress made
by Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic since 1999 have been far from positive.

An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly highlighted:

           In describing NATO’s dissatisfaction with the country’s defence reforms since
           joining the alliance in 1999, [Deputy Defence Minister] Ivancsik said that NATO
           Secretary General Lord Robertson has told the new Prime Minister that Hungary
           was nowhere near NATO standards […] NATO sources said Robertson pointed
           out that Hungary’s performance had significantly declined since the commitments
           it gave at the time of NATO accession.132

Concerns are high that domestic issues affected by candidates’ accession to the EU will
come to dominate the political agenda and shift the emphasis away from fulfilling the
spending and capability commitments given to NATO.

c.         Training

One of the basic aims of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme is to promote the
capacity for joint action between forces from partner countries and NATO members in
peacekeeping or civil emergency operations. Therefore, as longstanding members of the

      Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (1980-2002). A copy of this document is available online at:
      “America dwarfs NATO’s new recruits”, The Sunday Times, 24 November 2002
      C4ISTAR refers to Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance,
      Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance capabilities.
      “Hungary reviews defence to mollify critics”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 7 August 2002

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

PfP programme, the seven accession states have undertaken a series of joint military
exercises with NATO allies over the past few years.

In 2003 this activity will be consolidated through a number of major exercises which have
been planned. These include NATO war games in Armenia in June, Exercise Allied
Action in Turkey in November and a joint NATO-EU exercise which was announced at
the Prague summit.

3.         NATO’s Open Door Policy

Article 10 of the Washington Treaty maintains an “open door” policy to future waves of
enlargement of the Alliance.

In its report, The Future of NATO, the Defence Select Committee commented:

           NATO should maintain its support and encouragement of all applicants, both
           those who are invited to become members at Prague and those who are not. This
           is crucial to ensuring that the countries which are invited to join are not tempted
           to slow or halt the considerable progress they have made to date and that they
           come into NATO as planned in 2004 with the maximum achieved. It is equally
           important that those who are disappointed at Prague are not left with any sense of
           having been abandoned and that NATO continues to work with them to ensure
           that they develop into suitable candidates in the medium term.133

In a statement to the House on 25 November 2002, the Secretary of State for Defence,
Geoff Hoon, reaffirmed the commitment of the Washington Treaty:

           …enlargement will strengthen NATO and make the whole of Europe more
           secure. Those invitations will not be the last. The United Kingdom will help those
           who want to join, and who meet the criteria, to succeed in the future.134

a.         Current MAP members

Croatia, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will continue as
members of the MAP, which is generally regarded as a fundamental process for
democratisation and reform, regardless of the eventual goal of NATO membership. The
Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, reportedly told the Commons Foreign Affairs Select
Committee in November 2002 that:

           Croatia and Albania were both future possible candidates, and that their
           accessions could be an “engine of change for better in those countries”.135

      Defence Select Committee, The Future of NATO, HC 914, 30 July 2002
      HC Deb 25 November 2002, c35
      “Alliance adapts to new times”, The House Magazine, 18 November 2002, p.46


Many observers consider their involvement in NATO’s PfP programme as a valuable
means of promoting military reform and fostering co-operation and interoperability. The
ongoing presence of a NATO force in Macedonia is also regarded as essential in
consolidating political stability and promoting reform in the Balkan region as a whole.

b.        Finland and Sweden

The possibility of neutral European countries, such as Finland and Sweden, taking a
decision to join NATO within the next few years also continues to be a subject of debate.
In early December 2002 the Finnish Minister of Defence, Jan-Erik Enestam, expressed
the opinion that:

          Finland will have to adopt a position on the question of seeking membership of
          the NATO alliance during the next couple of years… decisions will have to be
          made in the next government report on defence and security policy which is due
          in the year 2004.136

However, public opinion in Finland remains strongly opposed to Finnish membership of
NATO, with a recent poll by Gallup Finland suggesting 62% of the public were against
the idea.137 The Finnish President, Tarja Halonen, has also rejected the idea, stating that
“what Finland really needs is good co-operation between NATO and the European

The Swedish government is also against the idea of Swedish membership of the Alliance.
In a recent comment to the Swedish Parliament, the Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, stated:

          Non-alignment gives us the freedom to act as we wish in a crisis and we do not
          have to be bound by our defence expenditures as we would be forced to if we
          joined NATO.139

c.        Central Asia, the TransCaucasus and Beyond

Analysts have questioned whether future enlargement beyond the borders of Eastern
Europe and the South-East Mediterranean is a viable possibility. The NATO-Russia
Council has consolidated Russia’s relationship with NATO allies to an unprecedented
degree, while the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
and Azerbaijan and the TransCaucasian states of Armenia and Georgia are all members of
the PfP and the EAPC. Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia
form the Mediterranean Dialogue countries. At the Prague summit Georgia also submitted

      Helsingin Sanomat web site and reported by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 2 December 2002
      “Majority of Finns approve of NATO transiting Finland”, Agence France Presse, 11 December 2002
      “Finnish President says Finland does not need NATO now”, Nordic Business Report, 17 December
      “Swedish Foreign Minister: No reason to join NATO”, Dagens Nyheter, and reported by BBC
      Worldwide Monitoring, 4 December 2002

                                                                               RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

a formal application for NATO membership. On 13 September 2002 the Georgian
Parliament had preemptively approved an army reform plan aimed at preparing the
country for NATO entry.140 To many observers, the eventual expansion of NATO to
include these countries seems a logical step.

President Putin has, however, dismissed suggestions of possible Russian membership of
NATO. In an article from the Russian News Agency Interfax Putin is reported to have

           For providing Russia's security in itself, I am sure the prospect of full
           membership of NATO is irrelevant, at least for us.141

Others have noted, however, that further enlargement in this direction and to this degree
adds more resonance to the criticism of NATO as a political club rather than a military
alliance. China’s formal request at the end of October 2002 for regular bilateral dialogue
with NATO has, some argue, come as a result of the Alliance’s increasing politicisation.
For others, a constructive relationship between China and NATO is regarded as important
to help shape the campaign against terrorism by targeting political and economic
instability in the Central Asian states.

An article in the International Herald Tribune commented:

           China’s outreach to NATO appears to be part of a much larger effort to establish
           a more constructive and less critical international presence. A more positive
           assessment would attribute this change in tone to a more confident and mature
           foreign policy in Beijing. A more cautious view acknowledges such potentially
           constructive adjustments in Beijing’s outlook but recognises that they may be
           motivated by tentative and short term interests. Either way, an interesting
           convergence of sorts is under way between China and Western interests in
           Central Asia, particularly since the terrorist attacks on the US of 11 September
           2001…By working together to bring stability as well as political and economic
           development to Central Asia, China, Western nations and their partners in the
           region can counter problems of terrorism and political instability in the area. Co-
           operating to help establish a more secure and prosperous Central Asian region
           would bring long term strategic and economic benefits to all involved…142

      “President Shevardnadze is soon to announce Georgia’s bid to join NATO”, Atlantic News, 16 October
      “Russia's Putin sees NATO enlargement of no use against terrorism threat” Interfax, 29 November 2002
      “A romance worth entering”, International Herald Tribune, 22 November 2002


B.        Future Theatres of Operation
One of the main thrusts of the Prague Summit was to enable the Alliance to contribute to
essentially “out-of-area” operations. This was achieved at both the policy level and also
through adoption of the proposals for a NATO Response Force.

However, for many analysts, the Alliance’s military relevance for the future will be
determined by international events over the next six months and the extent to which
NATO is engaged. A key question will be the extent to which the US will dictate policy
and the willingness of European allies to engage in areas outside of the Alliance’s
traditional sphere of influence.

An article in The Guardian stated:

          Critics fear that it [the NRF] may become an instrument to force European allies
          to pursue US policies against groups such as al-Qaida or “states of concern” such
          as North Korea.143

Strobe Talbott, writing in Foreign Affairs, commented:

          NATO’s long-term potential is virtually limitless, but its cohesion is at imminent
          risk. That is largely due to another paradox. The strength of the alliance has
          always derived from American power, which has never been greater, and from
          American leadership, which has never been more assertive. Yet these days many
          allies are feeling not so much led by the United States as bossed around; for them
          the exercise of American power has become less a source of protection and more
          a cause of resentment and a problem to be managed.144

The Independent also suggested:

          In the long term, NATO faces a classic squeeze if the US fights big campaigns
          alone or with selected allies only, and the EU realises its ambitions of taking over
          smaller-scale peacekeeping operations…They key will be whether the US truly
          engages the new NATO, giving allies a significant stake in campaigns and
          consulting them before decisions are taken. Anything less will consign the
          world’s most powerful military alliance to a lingering and long-predicted

      “NATO summit: leaders agree to multinational strike force”, The Guardian, 22 November 2002
      Strobe Talbott, “From Prague to Baghdad”, Foreign Affairs, November-December 2002
      “Can NATO reinvent itself as a powerful force in the modern world”, The Independent, 21 November

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

1.        Afghanistan

An initial indication of the possible theatres of operation in which a NATO force could
operate is reflected in the limited role the Alliance took up in December 2002 in support
of the international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. To date, NATO support has
consisted of military planning, but is expected to include communications, logistics and
intelligence gathering and assessment when the German-Dutch command of ISAF
formally takes over in February 2003.

The presence of NATO in Afghanistan is symbolic in light of the apparent snub by the
US after 11 September and Washington’s determination to pursue a mainly unilateralist
approach in tandem with a few key allies in the campaign against terrorism.

In the long term, speculation has increased among analysts and the media that NATO
could take on a heightened role following the German-Dutch command of ISAF, which
will last for six months. Some NATO countries are understood to be pushing for the
Alliance to take direct command of ISAF.

An article in The Washington Post, commented:

          Chief among the reasons why NATO is examining taking command of the
          peacekeepers in Afghanistan is to avoid disruption of the current system. Many of
          the countries capable of commanding a large and complex multilateral operation–
          Britain, for example, followed by Turkey– have already completed six-month
          rotating turns in command, and few other countries have expressed a willingness
          to take over. NATO taking over would give the ISAF command structure some
          longevity and continuity without a disruptive changeover every six months. Also,
          it would show the Bush administration’s commitment to keep the organisation at
          the forefront as its main military coalition.146

There is, however, a lack of consensus within NATO on taking up command of ISAF
towards the end of 2003, and France is understood to be opposed to any direct NATO role
in Afghanistan. This raises questions as to whether the need for unanimity will hinder the
ability of NATO to take up these kind of operations in the future.

Some analysts have also commented that associating NATO in the long term with
operations of this kind would lay the groundwork for the Alliance to become a tool for
post-conflict reconstruction and peacekeeping, rather than a body capable of conducting
operations at the high-intensity end of the spectrum.

Thomas Friedman, writing in The New York Times, suggests, on the other hand, that
NATO should pursue this level of operation:

      “NATO steps quietly into Afghan mission”, The Washington Post, 12 December 2002


          A NATO rapid reaction force?...A NATO expanded to 26 countries is not going
          to be reacting rapidly anywhere. NATO already has a rapid reaction force, the
          only one it needs. It’s called the US Army Special Forces. What NATO needs to
          be relevant is not a new rapid reaction force, it’s a NATO peacekeeping army.
          We don’t need a NATO that can run. We need a NATO that can sit– in more
          places than Bosnia and Kosovo. And today there is no more important a place for
          NATO to sit than between Israel and the Palestinians.147

2.        Iraq

At the Prague Summit NATO expressed its full support for the implementation of UN
Security Council Resolution 1441. A Declaration by NATO leaders on 21 November
2002 stated:

          NATO Allies stand united in their commitment to take effective action to assist
          and support the efforts of the UN to ensure full and immediate compliance by
          Iraq, without conditions or restrictions, with UNSCR 1441. We recall that the
          Security Council in this resolution has warned Iraq that it will face serious
          consequences as a result of its continued violation of its obligations.148

In a series of remarks on 26 December 2002, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson
stated his belief that:

          NATO is very supportive of the UN process and if that breaks down, clearly there
          is a moral obligation to NATO to give what support is required.149

Operational involvement in Iraq by NATO as an alliance has not been suggested and
would be unlikely to be agreed by the 19 NATO Allies. Political and diplomatic support
and military assistance from individual NATO members has, however, been sought by the
US. Nonetheless, many observers have suggested that, in order to keep NATO engaged
and relevant for the future, a role in any potential conflict with Iraq needs to be found.

Strobe Talbott, writing in Foreign Affairs, commented:

          The US administration’s success after September 11 in crushing the Taliban
          stoked the President’s confidence in the ability of the American armed forces,
          acting largely on their own, to bring down enemy regimes. In planning and
          executing the campaign in Afghanistan, the administration gave NATO short
          shrift. Many in Canada, Europe and some in the United States, worry that if the
          administration is similarly dismissive of NATO when push comes to shove in

      Thomas Friedman, “Israel, Palestine and NATO”, The New York Times, 12 December 2002
      Prague Summit Statement on Iraq, 21 November 2002
      “NATO must back war with Iraq”, The Express, 27 December 2002

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          Iraq, the alliance might never recover, since NATO must be taken seriously by its
          strongest member if it is to be taken seriously by anyone.150

One possibility would be a role for NATO in any post-conflict reconstruction and
peacekeeping mission. This would be particularly appealing if NATO were successfully
to assume command of ISAF at some point in the future.

C.        Capabilities
The commitment to capabilities made at Prague was a decisive step forward for the
stalled Defence Capabilities Initiative and a demonstration of solidarity by member states
towards underpinning previous rhetoric with practical action.

However, to avoid the PCC, NRF and other initiatives becoming a symbolic gesture, both
member states and accession states must deliver on defence spending and, in the absence
of expenditure increases, spend more effectively.

1.        Financial Considerations

Membership of NATO brings with it a number of financial costs.

a.        Common Costs

NATO operates a common budget, to which all members contribute on an annual basis,
which funds those expenditures that reflect the interests of all member countries. These
include costs related to maintaining buildings and personnel at NATO Headquarters and a
few permanent military commands, maintaining the NATO AWACS force and collective
requirements, such as air defence, command and control systems, or Alliance-wide
communications systems and the common-funded elements of Peace Support Operations
and PfP activities.

The common budget is divided into three main parts: the Civil Budget, Military Budget
and the NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP). For 2002 the Civil Budget
amounts to approximately €124.7 million (approximately £78.2 million); the Military
Budget is around €746 million (approximately £463.7 million) and the ceiling for the
NSIP has been agreed at the equivalent of $624 million (approximately £433.3 million).151
By convention, the agreed cost-sharing formula which determines each member country’s
contributions reflects each country’s financial capabilities and economic and political
considerations, including the degree of participation in the integrated military command

      Strobe Talbott, “From Prague to Baghdad”, Foreign Affairs, November-December 2002
      NATO Handbook, Chapter 9. This document is available online at:


Enlargement of the Alliance will prompt a review of the cost-sharing arrangements and
the ability of the seven accession states to contribute.

b.         National Costs

Only a relatively small portion of NATO expenditure and activity is funded from the
common budget. The majority of military forces and assets are nationally owned and
funded, including those seconded to forces such as SFOR and KFOR. National
delegations and military missions to NATO HQ and the various NATO agencies are also
a national responsibility.

For the capabilities debate, it is the allocation of funding by NATO allies and the seven
accession states, in order to maintain these national costs and responsibilities, which is
important. However, there is some debate among analysts and the media over the
credibility of the political commitments made at Prague and some suggestion that
domestic budgetary concerns may come to the fore, at the expense of member states’
defence budgets. This is not a new argument, since European defence budgets have
declined steadily since the end of the Cold War, with little political enthusiasm or
expediency to be gained in allocating more to defence expenditure.

Daniel Keohane, Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform, was quoted in
Defense News as commenting:

           The commitments they [NATO member states] made are the right ones and it
           would be fantastic if they provide the funding, but DCI demonstrated that nations
           find it easier to make commitments than follow through on them…It’s virtually
           impossible for NATO leaders to force nations to meet the commitments they have
           made. Absent such enforcement, and with only modest budget increases by some
           countries, it’s unclear how these capability improvements will be paid for.152

The article went on to comment:

           According to Keohane and other analysts, the commitments outlined in Prague–
           shaped in part by the Sept 11 2001 terror attacks– are no different from past
           promises driven by other crises. For example, DCI was adopted to bridge
           capability gaps between European and US military forces during combined air
           operations over the Balkans. “Kosovo is what really drove DCI, but it’s not clear
           to me why the Europeans would do any better now than in the past” Keohane
           said. “Spending is up a little bit in some countries, acquisition monies are not
           increasing with the exception of France and Britain. The point is that it’s time for
           the Europeans to spend better, not necessarily more. That’s why it’s so
           encouraging that some countries are taking the lead in spearheading key

      “Prague summit seeks to transform alliance”, Defense News, 25 November 2002, p.4

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

Robert Bell, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Support, has suggested:

           Success or failure in enhancing NATO’s defence capabilities will…depend in
           great measure on the willingness of governments to invest more resources to
           acquire more defence capabilities, quickly and efficiently. It goes without saying
           that the defence procurement community, and in particular the defence industry,
           will need to be able to react speedily to these requirements…To ensure the
           success of the Prague Capabilities Initiative, we need to have an understanding of
           what defence expenditures are really going to be made available. Otherwise, they
           risk the danger of the PCC becoming largely a theoretical, paper, exercise.154

He also argued that:

           One main reason for defence capability asymmetries as between the two sides of
           the Atlantic is the difference in the size of the defence input, which is growing.
           Europe’s defence spending for some years has been running at about 60% that of
           the US, but its military research and development spending is only one quarter of
           the US level, and these ratios have not improved in Europe’s favour, given the
           recent significant increase in the US defence budget…

           Secondly, a fundamental question before the European and Canadian allies…is
           how they view their future military operational partnership with the United
           States. Do Europe and Canada wish to be a full partner of the United States
           across the full spectrum of transformational warfighting capabilities now
           associated with high-intensity conflicts?...and thus have forces which can join
           those of the US in high-intensity, high-tech, long-range coalition expeditionary
           operations? Or will Europe and Canada end up opting– perhaps by default– for
           far more modest (and less expensive) crisis management and peacekeeping tasks
           including post conflict reconstruction tasks? I hope the former will be the case.155

However, the reluctance of member states to increase their defence budgets is not a
universal trend. Both the UK and France increased their defence budgets during 2002.
Under the UK Government Spending Review in July 2002 an additional £3.453 billion
over three years was allocated to the defence budget.156 In September 2002 the French
Military Programme Bill for 2003-2008, allocated an average of €14.64 billion
(approximately £9.63 billion) to equipment appropriations, which reflects a rise of
approximately 12.4% between 2002 and 2003, and 7.5% between 2003 and 2004.157

      Robert Bell, “The Pursuit of Enhanced Defence Capabilities”, NATO’s Nations, Edition 4/2002
      Ministry of Defence Press Release, 15 July 2002. Available online at:
      French Ministry of Defence, Military Programme Bill of Law 2003-2008. This is available online at:


However, as an article in The Sunday Times commented:

          Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, made it clear that his country’s
          parlous economic state meant that there could be no increase in military spending
          this year or next. Other countries, such as the Netherlands and Italy, are equally
          reluctant to spend more, citing constraints on borrowing under EU rules on the
          single currency.158

D.        Future Relationships
For many observers, the development of relationships between the Alliance and the EU
and Russia will dominate NATO’s agenda in this area over the next few years.

1.        EU/ ESDP

The inability to reach a decision at Prague on the ‘Berlin-Plus’ arrangements was, for
many analysts, indicative of the prevailing state of EU-NATO relations. The future of this
relationship will depend to a great extent on reaching an agreement over the EU use of
NATO assets and on how the NATO Response Force develops with respect to the EU’s
own Rapid Reaction Force (RRF).

a.        ‘Berlin-plus’ Agreement

On 13 December 2002 the North Atlantic Council finally approved a deal on ‘Berlin-
plus’ that will pave the way towards the use of NATO assets in EU-led operations where
the Alliance as a whole is not militarily engaged.

Agreement on the NATO-EU Accord came followed the EU Summit in Copenhagen on
12 December 2002 where, in a concession to Turkey, EU leaders agreed that EU-led
operations using NATO assets would only be open to states that are NATO allies or
partners under the PfP. Thus, Cyprus and Malta, which are due to join the EU in 2004,
would be excluded. They would, however, be involved in decision-making on issues
related to the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) more generally.

The Declaration of the Copenhagen European Council stated:

          1. As things stand at present, the ‘Berlin plus’ arrangements and the
          implementation thereof will apply only to those EU Member States which are
          also either NATO members or parties to the ‘Partnership for Peace’, and which
          have consequently concluded bilateral security agreements with NATO […]

          3. The fact that, as things stand at present, Cyprus and Malta will not take part in
          EU military operations conducted using NATO assets once they have become

      “America dwarfs new recruits”, The Sunday Times, 24 November 2002

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          members of the EU will not, within the limits of the EU Security Regulations,
          affect the right of their representatives to participate and vote in EU institutions
          and bodies, including COPS, with regard to decisions which do not concern the
          implementation of such operations.

          Likewise, their right to receive EU classified information, within the limits of the
          EU Security Regulations, shall not be affected, provided the EU classified
          information does not contain or refer to any classified NATO information.159

The deal struck at Copenhagen builds on the proposals agreed during the Brussels
Summit on 24 and 25 October 2002, on the implementation of the provisions on the
involvement of non-EU European allies in ESDP. Under that agreement, non-EU
European Allies such as Turkey would be able to raise concerns if an autonomous EU
operation was conducted in its geographic proximity or risked affecting its national
security interests.

Annex II of the Brussels European Council Conclusions stated:

          12. In the case of any EU-led operation not requiring NATO assets and
          capabilities, non-EU European Allies will be invited, upon a decision by the
          Council, to participate […] In a specific case when any of the non-EU European
          Allies raises its concern that an envisaged autonomous EU operations will be
          conducted in the geographic proximity of a non-EU European Ally or may affect
          its national security interests, the Council will consult with that Ally and, taking
          into consideration the outcome of those consultations, decide on the participation
          of that Ally…160

The NATO-EU Accord will allow the EU to take over Operation Allied Harmony
(formerly Operation Amber Fox) in Macedonia as early as February 2003, following
NATO’s review of its presence there.

The possibility of the EU assuming command of the NATO-led Stabilisation Force
(SFOR) in Bosnia has also been suggested, following an EU offer at the Copenhagen
Summit in December 2002.

An article in Jane’s Defence Weekly commented:

          Lord Robertson [has] cautioned that more work needed to be done to formalise
          NATO-EU relations. Still outstanding is a security agreement on the handling of
          sensitive documents and intelligence between the organizations, due to be
          finalised by 1 March [2003]…this should not bar the EU assuming command of

      Annex II of the Copenhagen Presidency Conclusions. These are available online              at:
      Annex II of the Brussels Presidency Conclusions. These are available online                at:


           operation ‘Allied Harmony’ in Macedonia before then. NATO will study the
           EU’s offer to assume command of the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in
           Bosnia…but [Lord] Robertson noted that SFOR is “a highly complex

Therefore, transfer of command to an EU-led force is considered by many observers to be
unlikely before 2004, despite the fact that the majority of SFOR troops are already
European. The EU High Representative for the Common and Foreign Security Policy,
Javier Solana, is expected to report to the European Council on SFOR in February 2003.

The success of the EU Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia, which was launched on 1
January 2003, may determine the EU’s suitability to take over SFOR in the long term.162

The decision was also taken at the Prague Summit to plan a joint military exercise
between NATO and the EU during 2003.

b.         NRF v. EU RRF

With the end of the deadlock over the use of NATO assets for EU-led operations,
development of the EU Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) can at last move forward.

However, since the adoption of proposals for a NATO Response Force at Prague, many
commentators have raised concerns over the ability of European allies to evolve and
implement both concepts at the same time.

The main concerns are over funding and the consequences of simultaneous deployment
by both the NRF and the EU RRF, with the fear that commitments to NATO will take

An article in Defense News summed up the dilemma:

           How NATO intends to develop its new rapid-response force alongside EU efforts
           leaves many questions unanswered….such as finding equipment and funding for
           the two forces in a period of austere spending in Europe. While allied officials
           such as NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson claim that there will be no
           competition between the forces regarding missions or equipment, such statements
           are misleading, a Danish official said. “Both forces need expensive protection
           against weapons of mass destruction, both need strategic airlift, both need
           advanced communications systems and intelligence gathering assets…These
           things are not cheap and they are not available in abundance in Europe…we rely
           on Washington to provide them, and you know where the assets are going to if
           both forces have to deploy to different locales: to NATO.163

      “EU gets NATO backing for military missions”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 8 January 2003
      The EU Police Mission took over from the UN International Police Task Force.
      “NATO, EU rapid reaction programs raise doubts”, Defense News, 2 December 2002

                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

The article goes on to quote Hartmut Buhl, Director for EU defence policy and NATO at
European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS), who disagrees with this assessment:

           There will be no competition in assets or deployment schedules between the two
           forces. “NATO’s force is geared to a three-day, seven-day, 30-day deployment
           cascade. The EU’s deployment will be 60 days. The military assets and command
           structures lying behind them are completely different”.164

An assessment of NATO and the EU in Jane’s Defence Weekly commented:

           The impression that NATO holds the higher ground is inescapable. By apparently
           stealing a march on the Headline Goal work, the new NRF strengthens a
           perception that NATO has seized back the initiative […] It might seem logical to
           conclude that the EU’s erstwhile promise in the defence and security sphere has
           fallen from its high-water mark and that NATO has been left firmly in the
           ascendant. However an alternative reading suggests that NATO’s decisions are
           just as likely to re-energise activity in the EU.

           The EU Headline Goal and the NRF have the same end goal: for member
           countries to develop the capabilities to perform tasks as required. Commenting in
           a NATO context, Gen. Schuwirth, said “the fact that…programmes have run in
           parallel has possibly contributed to confusion about their nature among
           commentators, some of whom have even speculated about competition between
           the two organisations”.

           The truth is quite the contrary. Any capabilities France or Germany get, for
           example, whether it be strategic airlift, PGMs or secure deployable
           communications, can be used as part of an EU or NATO-led operation: same
           personnel and same equipment. The proposal and subsequent commitment to the
           NRF has actually helped to bring the ESDP back into the public eye. NATO’s
           defence ambitions in fact further the EU’s defence ambitions. The NRF and the
           EU Headline Goal are merely two different structures under which member states
           can get capabilities, like two horses pulling the same cart.165

In evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on 14 November 2002, Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw commented in response to a question on whether the NATO
requirement would come first:

           Almost certainly, yes, it would do. It would come first. The truth is, as is
           currently under discussion, in practice the issue of the EU moving will only arise

      “Sharing the reigns”, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 8 January 2003


           if NATO for one reason or another decided not to be directly involved or wishes
           to withdraw from involvement.166

A report on the progress of NRF planning is due to be submitted to NATO Defence
Ministers in Spring 2003. More detail on how the force will work in tandem with the EU
RRF is expected to be provided in that report.

However, the real test of the complementarity of the NRF and the EU RRF will be when
either of those forces is deployed and, in particular, when the type of operations that the
NRF is involved in has been resolved.

2.         NATO-Russia Council

Many analysts agree that prospects for the future of the NATO-Russia Council look
positive, following the unprecedented level of collaboration achieved to date and the
agenda for further co-operation and reform that has been put in place for the next few

In a speech to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 13 December 2002, NATO Secretary
General Lord Robertson outlined some elements of that future agenda:

           We have made a quick start in ensuring that this revolutionary new relationship
           delivers substantial new security. First and foremost we have dramatically
           deepened our co-operation in the struggle against terrorism… Of course military
           reform goes beyond preparing for terrorism. It means fundamental adaptation: to
           jettison out-dated Cold War heavy metal armies and to create modern, light and
           flexible forces that are trained and equipped to meet the 21st century threats…We
           are exploring options for co-operating in this area as well– to share best practices,
           and to see where we can co-operate to make best use of our collective resources.

           Our new partnership extends to many more areas. For example, we are deepening
           our military-to-military co-operation– including talks about having Russia air
           tankers refuelling NATO aircraft. We are also laying the groundwork for future
           joint NATO-Russia peacekeeping operations. We have already agreed broad
           political guidance for such future missions. And we are discussing holding a
           crisis management exercise together in the coming year.

           We are deepening our co-operation on short range Missile Defence, and to better
           protect our deployed forces against attack. We are jointly assessing the threat to
           Russia and NATO nations posed by chemical, biological, radiological weapons,
           and their means of delivery. And we are preparing to work together in the event
           of such an attack, or indeed in any civil emergency.

      Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Evidence Session on the Prague Summit, 14 November 2002, Section

                                                                            RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

          We are also deepening our co-operation on search and rescue at sea…we aim to
          sign a framework document…in the next few weeks.167

Political support in Russia for the NRC is also strong. President Putin is quoted in an
article from the Russian news agency Interfax as stating:

          The NATO-Russia Council has been set up and we are currently satisfied with
          how our co-operation is proceeding. Moreover, we do not rule out that we could
          expand co-operation with that organisation even further…168

However, he went on to caution:

          [Co-operation will be expanded]…only if NATO itself, as the leaders of NATO
          member states are saying, gradually transforms, adapts itself to addressing new
          tasks, and prepares to respond to new threats, and if the activity of this
          organisation meets Russia’s national security interests.

      Speech by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 13 December
      “Russia’s Putin sees NATO enlargement of no use against terrorism threat”, Interfax, 29 November


IV        National Attitudes
A.        United States
Many analysts considered that the perspective and attitude of the US towards NATO
would shape either the success or failure of the Prague summit. This view has arisen from
the Bush administration’s unwillingness to use NATO in the campaign against al-Qaeda
and the Taliban in Afghanistan and its perceived reluctance to involve the Alliance in any
possible planning for a potential conflict against Iraq.

An article in The International Herald Tribune on 24 September 2002 suggested:

          The prospect of NATO again being sidelined in an important military operation–
          as it was in Afghanistan– has deepened concerns on both sides of the Atlantic
          about the Alliance’s relevance in the age of terrorism…part of the reason for
          NATO’s lack of involvement is political, reflecting the difficulty of winning
          consensus in the 19-member group from controversial US initiatives outside
          Europe…but there is also a practical reason for NATO’s apparent irrelevance in
          the Iraq showdown: the growing gap in capabilities between the US and Europe.
          [US Defence Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld’s main message is that if the Alliance
          is ever to joint the fight against new threat, it needs to acquire new capabilities
          and streamline its command structure.169

The IISS Strategic Survey 2001/2002 agreed with this assessment:

          …influential US officials and politicians have indicated that a big-bang
          enlargement alone would no longer be sufficient to ensure NATO’s ongoing
          strategic relevance for the US. Instead, an active global military role for NATO in
          the campaign against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction would be

At Prague, however, President Bush highlighted his country’s commitment to NATO,
calling it “America’s most important global relationship”. He also hailed enlargement of
the Alliance as a “decisive and historic moment” and sought to allay Russian fears by
commenting that “a larger NATO is good for Russia as well…it will gain from the
stability and security of nations to its West”. 171

For the US, one of the more profound achievements of Prague has been the adoption of
the proposals for a NATO Response Force, put forward by US Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld on 24 September 2002. The NRF could give the Alliance the type of capability
that critics have determined is essential to keep the US militarily engaged in the Alliance

      “US cold-shoulders NATO in planning for attack” The International Herald Tribune, 24 September
      2002, p.4
      “Europe’s Evolving Strategic Role” Strategic Survey 2001/2002 p.132
      “Bush calls for new NATO commitment”, BBC News Online, 20 November 2002

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

and NATO militarily engaged in the campaign against terrorism. The NRF is also seen by
the US as important for giving impetus to addressing the capability gap between the US
and Europe. Donald Rumsfeld commented in his speech at the 24 September meeting:

           The United States wants NATO to be important…we believe in this Alliance and
           want it to succeed.172

Following the Prague Summit, Mr Rumsfeld went on to state:

           The idea of the response force was that NATO ought to have standing forces in
           high readiness able to function in the 21st century security environment…It is
           something that will contribute a great deal to NATO’s relevance and ability to
           function in the world.173

However, some in the US Department of Defense reportedly remain sceptical. An article
in The Guardian suggested:

           Pentagon hawks are still deeply suspicious of NATO, arguing that the mission
           should determine the coalition and not the other way round.174

The Independent went on to comment:

           At the Pentagon, the Hawks argue that the US must never again pool control of
           operations with nations that contribute so little. Yet the diplomats in the State
           Department value a big multinational institution which is so clearly dominated by

An article in RUSI Newsbrief agrees with the State Department view of the Alliance and
predicts that NATO will remain valuable to the US for more than military reasons:

           The Alliance is unlikely to disappear any time soon, not least because it remains
           valuable for numerous reasons. It sustains America’s political engagement with
           Europe and promotes Western standards and values on members and candidates
           for future accession. On both sides of the Atlantic, public opinion favours
           multilateral solutions to security problems and supports strengthening the

      “NATO warms to rapid reaction force” BBC News Online, 25 September 2002
      US Department of Defense Press Release. 22 November 2002
      “Threat of war: NATO puts on heavy display of forces as leaders seek role in Bush’s plans”, The
      Guardian, 21 November 2002
      “Can NATO reinvent itself as a powerful force in the modern world?”, The Independent, 21 November
      “Can NATO be rejuvenated?”, RUSI Newsbrief, November 2002, p.125


B.        United Kingdom
The UK regards NATO as the cornerstone of its defence and security policy. Franco-
British initiatives to develop a European defence capability have, for the UK, been in
pursuit of strengthening the European pillar of NATO.

The 1999 Defence White Paper outlines the UK’s position:

          NATO is crucial for Britain because a vigorous and relevant Atlantic Alliance,
          including an effective European pillar, is essential to our security interests…Only
          by acting with our Allies in Europe and North America can we safeguard our
          future and ensure that no major new military threats emerge.177

The Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter confirms the importance of NATO and
outlines what the Ministry of Defence regards as important for the future of the Alliance.

          Key to success will be the continued development of modern and effective
          Alliance military capabilities, the creation of more flexible command structures
          (with the focus on deployable headquarters) and the implementation of a new
          force structure capable of generating, deploying and sustaining NATO forces
          wherever they are needed. Also important will be the exploitation of NATO’s
          strategic partnerships, particularly with the EU and Russia - but also through
          Partnership for Peace and NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue.178

In an interview with the BBC on 30 September 2002, Secretary of State for Defence
Geoff Hoon outlined the Government’s hopes for Prague:

          The British government views NATO as the main transatlantic guarantor of
          security for its member states and defender of the values written in the
          Washington agreement on democracy, personal freedom and supremacy of law.
          We are convinced that the transatlantic link plays an important role in defending
          peace and maintaining security in the whole world. Together with other NATO
          countries we are working on achieving such an outcome of the Prague summit
          which would ensure that NATO, based on the commitment to collective security
          as written in Article 5 of the NATO Charter, would remain the foundation of
          European security in the 21st century in the same way as during its successful
          activities in the 20th century. More specifically, we suggest that in Prague the
          Alliance achieve agreement on the following issues:

              •   NATO's effective role in combating new threats, such as international
                  terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

      Ministry of Defence, Defence White Paper 1999, CM 4446 December 1999 p.12
      Ministry of Defence, The Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter, CM 5566 Vol 1, July 2002
      Section 4.2

                                                                           RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

              •    Renewed work on strengthening the possibility of more flexible
                   deployment, which would make it possible to move NATO forces where
                   they are required.
              •    Invitation to all the countries that want to become members of NATO
                   and meet NATO standards.
              •    Definite mutual advantages from the new relationship between NATO
                   and Russia.
              •    Deeper and mutually advantageous relations between NATO and
                   Ukraine, based on the values shared by both sides.
              •    Closer attention to the region south of NATO, in particular, within the
                   framework of the Mediterranean dialogue.
              •    Internal restructuring which will ensure effective functioning of the
                   enlarged Alliance.179

On the basis of the decisions adopted at Prague, the summit has been considered by many
commentators as largely successful for the UK Government in terms of achieving its
objectives. The progress made at Prague has, however, been met with the criticism that
the conclusions and initiatives launched at the Summit are lacking in detail.

During a debate in the House on 25 November 2002, the Opposition Leader, Iain Duncan
Smith, commented:

          The Prague commitment to transform NATO with its new members, new
          capabilities and new relationships with our partners is a step in the right
          direction…However, there are practical questions…when will European
          members of NATO start increasing defence spending instead of cutting it?

          The Prague summit is long on capabilities but short on specific spending
          commitments…how [does] the Prague statement differ from the previous NATO
          defence capabilities initiative? What guarantees are there that Prague will deliver
          where previous initiatives have so far failed?

          We also welcome the commitment to the new NATO response force, which is
          vital to enable NATO nations to contribute effectively to the war against
          terrorism…The Army, however, now finds itself committed to both the Euro
          army and to NATO. Can he [the Prime Minister] confirm that NATO
          commitments, rather than those of the Euro army, will always have priority? That
          question underlines the failure of the summit to deal with the relationship
          between the Euro army and NATO.180

      Interview with Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 30 September 2002
      HC Deb 25 November 2002, c37-8


The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy, welcomed the “success of the
summit” and went on to comment:

          …it is hard to imagine any British Prime Minister making a statement confirming
          that seven new accession countries, based on the principles of democracy, are
          joining NATO. That is a great justification for the entire raison d’être of NATO
          and its success over the years.181

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has expressed the opinion that:

          NATO has lost focus as a defensive alliance and has not found a substantive role
          with which to replace it. Is this necessarily bad? A world where the West does not
          need NATO to fight its wars might plausibly be seen as an improvement on the
          Cold War. Moreover, NATO’s relative decline is tolerable provided the leading
          Western powers retain the capacity to operate effectively in ad hoc coalitions. In
          this respect, NATO performs a valuable role in promoting interoperability and
          common doctrine […]

          Yet, if the reformers are sufficiently bold, they have every chance of enhancing
          the ability of Alliance members to collectively address the new security
          environment. Whether they choose to so by utilising the formal decision making
          processes of the Alliance is unclear, but also, perhaps, of secondary

C.        France
France is a member of NATO but withdrew from the integrated military structure of the
Alliance in 1966 in order to retain national control over military planning and nuclear
issues. However, in recent years France has increased its participation in the Alliance. It
is a member of the North Atlantic Council, the Military Committee and participated in the
Defence Capabilities Initiative which was replaced at Prague by the Prague Capabilities
Commitment (PCC).

France’s foreign policy goals, and therefore its attitude to NATO, are based primarily on
independence of action. The two main tenets of French foreign policy are to pursue
European integration in order to guarantee stability and prosperity on the continent; and
to encourage progress towards peace, democracy and development within the
international community.183 France is less favourably disposed towards NATO and is an
advocate for an independent European defence capability through the development of the
European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). More recently, France has been pushing
for further integration in European defence. In November 2002 France, in conjunction

      HC Deb 25 November 2002, c39
      “Can NATO be rejuvenated?”, RUSI Newsbrief, November 2002, p.125
      Website of the French embassy in the UK can be located at:

                                                                             RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

with Germany, submitted a proposal to the Convention on the Future of Europe, outlining
a future strategy for European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The proposal
included support qualified majority voting in defence matters.184

Consequently, France’s attitude to the US proposals for a new NATO rapid reaction force
has been reticent. In response to Mr Rumsfeld’s initial proposals, French defence minister
Michèle Alliot-Marie expressed the view:

           We will study it, but we will continue to focus our activities within the Atlantic
           territory and we will always act with the consent of the United Nations.185

Following the Prague Summit, French President Jacques Chirac warned that the NRF
could conflict with the EU’s plans to set up the EU rapid reaction force based on the
Helsinki Headline Goal. On adopting the NRF he commented:

           Terrorism could not be the only reason for NATO’s reorganisation. “Nothing
           justifies terrorism but there cannot be an exclusively military response to this

France has recently increased its defence budget for the next financial year by €1.4bn in
order to shore up European defence capabilities, and has called on other European
governments to follow suit.

D.         Germany
Since the beginning of the Cold War Germany has always sought a balance between
NATO, on the one hand, and closer defence and foreign policy ties with its European
partners on the other.

The German Ambassador to the UK, Dr von Ploetz, outlined in a Chatham House lecture
on 17 June 2002:

           The relationship with the United States has always been a defining factor in the
           debate on Europe, after 11 September perhaps even more so than before. On this
           issue there has for decades been a deep-seated difference between Britain and
           Germany. In London, the dominant attitude was until St Malo defined by classic
           zero-sum thinking - that is, the idea of having to choose between Europe and
           alliance with the US. Where as all German governments have persistently said
           “we need both”…We share the overriding interest in the alliance with the

      More details of the Franco-German proposal are available online at:
      “NATO cautiously welcomes elite force plan” United Press International, 25 September 2002
      “NATO summit: Leaders agree to multinational strike force”, The Guardian, 22 November 2002


          US…we equally know that European nations can only safeguard their vital
          interests by acting together.187

In a similar vein to the UK, the German government has been supportive of a strong
foreign and security policy within Europe as a means of strengthening the NATO

Many analysts observed that the downturn in Germany’s diplomatic relations with the
United States since the German elections in September 2002 could affect Germany’s
future attitude towards the NATO Alliance, but in an interview with The New York Times
on 24 September 2002 German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer stated:

          We’ll work very hard to improve relations [with the US], they are crucial to both
          sides, especially for us.188

The concern remains, however, that Germany’s opposition to any involvement in a
possible conflict in Iraq may continue to undermine that relationship. Nonetheless, an
article in RUSI Newsbrief, suggested:

          Although Germany has already contributed troops to operations in Afghanistan,
          including as part of ISAF, the high-profile assumption of command
          responsibilities signals Germany’s commitment to the peace support operation
          and offer the government an opportunity to repair the damage with Washington.
          Germany’s biggest contribution to a campaign in Iraq will be to reduce the
          operational burden on the allied forces that actively participate in that
          [Afghanistan] theatre.189

According to some observers, Germany’s military credentials are in question in view of
its ongoing budgetary difficulties. Defence budgets are set to fall by up to €100 million
(approximately £65.9 million) over the next fiscal year, while reductions in key
procurement programmes such as A400M and the collaborative Meteor missile have led
to speculation that cuts or cancellations in other procurement projects will follow.

An article in RUSI Newsbrief commented:

          In its commitments to NATO and to the nascent Common European Security and
          Defence Policy (CESDP), Germany has pledged to address the fundamental
          weakness at the heart of European defence: the absence of key capabilities. But
          its membership of the single European currency and its attendant fiscal stability
          pact threaten to hamstring Germany’s ambitions for a more prominent foreign
          policy role… The very fact of defence cuts at a time of expanding commitments

      The speech by Dr von Ploetz can be accessed online at: http://www.german- by ambassador dr von pl.html
      “President rebuffs moves by Germany to mend relations” The New York Times, 24 September 2002, p.1
      “Germany: Europe’s penny pinching peacekeeper”, RUSI Newsbrief, December 2002, p.134

                                                                                  RESEARCH PAPER 03/05

           sends out the wrong signal about Germany’s resolve to play a leading role in the
           global security sphere.190

E.         Russia
The attitude of Russia to NATO is mixed. Politically, President Putin recognises the value
of closer ties with the Alliance. His government has actively encouraged co-operation
through the new NATO-Russia Council and has voiced little opposition to enlargement,
despite long-standing concerns over the expansion of NATO into the Baltic States.

An analysis in Jane’s Intelligence Review suggested:

           There is a grudging consensus that Russia lacks the ability and opportunity to
           stop the process [of enlargement] and can only hope to extract as favourable a
           deal as possible in return for its blessing.191

On the future of the NRC, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov commented in an
interview on 31 December 2002:

           The new format of international relations in the NATO-Russia Council
           strengthens security and stability worldwide. While expanding these ties, Russia
           wants to obtain more information on the goals behind the alliance’s enlargement
           and be actively involved in its political decisions.192

Nonetheless, some areas of disagreement remain, as Mr Ivanov outlined:

           The discussion key military threats would be incomplete without mentioning the
           US invalidation of the 1972 ABM Treaty and the ongoing expansion of NATO.
           Although these steps do not pose and immediate threat to Russia’s national
           security, they undermine the existing strategic stability system.193

President Putin still faces domestic opposition to his pro-Western policies, particularly
among the military establishment, where opposition to the developing NATO-Russia
relationship remains prominent.

The IISS Strategic Survey 2001/2002 states:

           A majority in both the Russian political elites and the Russian public would like
           to see NATO’s identity transformed not towards a greater military role in the
           global campaign against terrorism but towards a political organisation in which
           Russia can play a more equal role. Russia’s Ministry of Defence and many

      “The View from the Kremlin” Jane’s Intelligence Review, July 2002 p.16
      “Russian defence needs reorientation in view of terrorist threat”, Interfax, 31 December 2002


          members of the Duma have spoken against greater Russian military co-operation
          with NATO on the grounds that it would entail greater transparency and thus
          expose many failures of Russia’s decade-long programme of military reforms.
          Moreover, Russia is still committed to keeping NATO and any Western
          institutions from interfering in Russia’s own counter-terrorist campaign in

It is possible, however, that progress made within the NRC at the level of military chiefs
may help ease some of the internal military opposition to closer ties between Russia and
the Alliance. Following a meeting of the NRC on 3 December 2002, Chief of the Russian
Armed Forces General Staff General Anatoliy Kvashnin commented:

          A broad range of practical deeds and areas of work was discussed at the Council
          to provide for regional and European security and an efficient fight against
          international terrorism…Russian military representatives may also be assigned to
          Norfolk, the location of a NATO strategic command authorised by NATO’s
          Prague summit to tackle the problems in the development of the alliance’s armed
          forces…Russian military diplomats should be there to provide for mutual

At the political level, the Russian Communist Party leader, Gennady Zyuganov, was
quoted in The Daily Telegraph as suggesting that:

          NATO’s expansion will pose the most serious military threat to Russia since the
          Nazi invasion.196

      “Russia Moves Westward” The Strategic Survey 2001/2002 p.146
      ITAR-TASS News Agency, reported by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 3 December 2002
      “Alliance extends to Russia’s borders”, The Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2002


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