Towards a renewed transatlantic partnership
NATO's transformation and ESDP
di Luigi RAMPONI
1. Transf. NATO
The evolution of international situation characterized by the end of the cold war, the necessity to face the new threats represented by the terrorism and the WMD, the spreading of the international instability and illegality, put the NATO in front of new attitude, new strategic concept and new operational procedures.
So we had to move from a static defensive apparatus to a mobile organization, able to develop a dynamic strategy in order to face in the right place and the right time the new challenges.
NATO changed the goal of territorial defence in the goal of security, not only for the partners countries territories, but also for every place in the world, where can emerge a threat against the security of the partners or the security in general, referred to the stability and the peace. Naturally such a kind of intervention must always take place under request or authorization of U.N. Security Council.
Following this change of strategic concept and attitude we have had in NATO the consolidation of new kind of engagements and procedures.
We became familiar with concepts like out of area interventions, effect based, expeditionary operations, rapid reaction combined or joint forces.
By the conceptual point of view the evolution had been developed through the Washington 1999, Prague 2002, Istanbul 2004, NATO’s Summits.
By the operational point of view, the changing evolution of the instrument had been certainly more difficult, less easy, because we had and still have to change many assets of the defence organization of each partner.
But today, inside NATO, we are already well ahead. The knowledge, the capability, the professionality acquired by the partner’s military units, through the participation in the humanitarian peace keeping and peace enforcing operations, consistently helped the evolution and the changing inside NATO.
The Allied Command transformation and the NATO Response Force represent two examples of real realization of the change.
NATO has carried out many important operations. Today, we have in progress the followings:
- In the Balkans:
- KFOR in Kosovo; while had been concluded three operations in Albania and FYROM and Bosnia, but in Tirana, Skopje and Sarajevo NATO still maintains two headquarters with the task of helping the local authorities.
- In Afghanistan: with the ISAF operation.
- In the Mediterranean sea: the active endeavour.
- In Sudan: in the UNMIS I e UNMIS II operation.
- At last in Iraq: NATO is running a training mission for the Iraqi military and security forces.
This is for NATO.
For UE, as far as it is concerned, with the Helsinki treaty and the constitution of the Petersberg mission CORP. With the Headline goal, the constitution of the management’s bodies, the constitution of the battle groups and Defence Agency, is progressively, slowly but positively, realizing his Defence and Security policy.
In the contest of the Solana report “A secure Europe in a better world” which represents the strategic frame, in the last 5 years UE has done very important improvements.
Today troops of the European partners are engaged in quite a bit of peace operations and in a few of them (CONCORDIA, ALTHEA, DARFOUR) they are operating or operated under the UE flag.
Summed up the situation concerning the NATO transformation and the ESDP, the renewed Transatlantic Partnership presents very good reasons of improvements considering that:
1. There is in both sides a common will to help the development of the third world countries and common will to support the diffusion of the Democracy.
2. The strategic concept of defence and security after the recent developments is in short the same for both.
3. We already have or have had in the field integrated and successful NATO/UE operations in Bosnia, in Fyrom, in Darfour etc..
4. In the future we will have more and more situations in which NATO and UE will operate in cooperation convinced by the experiences already done or in progress.
5. The threat of the international terrorism in particular the Islamic terrorism concerns all the west world, and the response must be a common transatlantic response. I know that there are different sensitivities between USA and Europe concerning the terrorism threat, but we must work in order to achieve an only one strategy.
6. The more we build up and improve bodies of common management in the field of defence and security inside UE, the more we easy the transatlantic cooperation.
7. Last consideration:
We continue to talk about the relation between NATO and UE.
As the UE improves his political integration, as we consolidate ESDP, we must consider UE as a part of NATO, in place of the today different partners which will be, included in a united Europe, except non significant exceptions.
So in the future we will have to talk about the America-Europe transatlantic relations inside NATO.
It does not make much sense that for example Italy continues to play two roles: the first as part of NATO and the second as part of UE; discussing about the cooperation between itself.