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Transatlantic Security: New Tasks And New Challenges

erschienen in der Publikation "Jahrbuch für internationale Sicherheitspolitik 1999" (ISBN: 3-8132-0599-1) - Dezember 1999

Vollständiger Beitrag als PDF:  PDF ansehen PDF downloaden  6 Seiten (114 KB)


The article examines the changes in security challenges and their impact on the role and mission of NATO since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Although collective defense continues to be a core role of NATO, due to its military involvement in Bosnia and more recently in Kosovo it is now generally accepted that developments outside the NATO area can and do have an impact on the security of its members. There is however still no consensus regarding NATO' expanding, role, since it would require a profound adaptation which neither the US nor Europe agree to at the moment, the former mostly because of the costs and the latter because it fears that the Alliance would become a tool for pursuing American global interests. The question of 'responsibility sharing' is also mentioned, something which is likely to be important in the debate leading to the Washington Summit in April 1999, whose focal point will be the revision of NATO's Strategic Concept, first adopted in 1991, before developments arising from the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The challenges posed by NATO enlargement are also examined and the pressure being put on the Alliance to propose new candidates for the second round. There are no obvious candidates for a second round, except possibly Slovenia. Austria would qualify on economic and political grounds, but its defense spending is well below NATO average and it would have to increase it significantly before it could be seriously considered for NATO membership. It further examines the challenge of working out a cooperative partnership with Russia and the danger that both sides might fail to exploit the Permanent Joint Council's full potential. The next challenge is to integrate an independent Ukraine into a broader European and transatlantic framework; although the Ukraine has opted for a non-bloc status, it has signed a Charter on a Distinctive Partnership with NATO which it can call upon if it perceives a direct threat to its security. A gradual approach with regard to the Ukraine would prevent it from being reintegrated into CIS military structures.

In conclusion it analyses the key challenge to NATO which is to revitalize and expand the US-European relationship by making it more ambitious, more global and more equal, not only regarding the inclusion of the new democracies in Eastern Europe but also the enlargement of its horizons, agenda and functions beyond the confines of Europe to those areas where vital common interests are threatened.

Eigentümer und Herausgeber: Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung | Roßauer Lände 1, 1090 Wien
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