Role Essay, Research Paper
NATO After the Cold War and Changing Role
2. NATO s main functions
3. NATO s new missions after Cold War
4. NATO in the 21 th century
5. Europe after the Cold War
6. NATO s relations with OSCE and WEU
(1) After the end of World War II, all involved countries, with no exception of being victorious or defeated, have started seeking of the prevention of a new disaster by reconstructing and maintaining the security and peace primarily in Europe. All huge and disastrous events (such as World Wars) which affected whole world were originated from the uncomfortable conditions and conflicts in the continent. Thus the main task was to settle a mechanism that would eliminate any emerging threat against the continental security and maintain the order and peace. For this purpose, in 1949 West European countries established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in order to protect the member countries against any possible attack which was primarily expected from the East European Countries led by the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, NATO s primary goal was to circumvent any aggression held by the iron-curtain countries. Military deterrence (by developing high-tech and nuclear weapons and locating them to the eastern frontier of the Alliance, Germany and Turkey) was the main strategy in preventing any large-scale attack from the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries. By the end of Cold War many debates were made and still is going on whether the Alliance completed its mission in the territory. In spite of all, The North Atlantic Treaty has continued to guarantee the security of its member countries ever since. Today, following the end of the Cold War and of the division of Europe, the Alliance has been restructured to enable it to participate in the development of cooperative security structures for the whole of Europe. It has also transformed its political and military structures in order to adapt them to peacekeeping and crisis management tasks undertaken in cooperation with countries which are not members of the Alliance and with other international organizations.
Table 1: The 19 Member Countries of the North Atlantic Council (NAC)
Belgium Canada Czech Republic Denmark
France Germany Greece Hungary
Iceland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands
Norway Poland Portugal Spain
Turkey United Kingdom United States
Through initiatives such as the creation of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) and Partnership for Peace (PfP), and the establishment of a new Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), the member countries of NATO have opened the way for new forms of partnership and cooperation with other countries within the framework of the Alliance. On 27 May 1997, in Paris, NATO and Russia signed a historic agreement on their future relations. A few days later a NATO-Ukraine Charter was initialed in Sintra, Portugal, where NATO and Partner countries met to inaugurate the EAPC. A Dialogue with the Mediterranean countries, initiated in December 1995, is also being further developed. New structures and procedures designed to further the internal adaptation of NATO are being introduced. As part of this process, the development of the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) within the Alliance, and the implementation of the concept of Combined Joint Task Force (CJTFs) are also being pursued.
In July 1997, Heads of State and Government met at Summit level in Madrid to take decisions on opening NATO to new members and on future policies in all these fields. Further initiatives were taken at the Washington Summit in April 1999.
2. NATO s main functions
NATO’s essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The Alliance has worked since its inception for the establishment of a just and lasting peaceful order in Europe based on common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. This central Alliance objective has taken on renewed significance since the end of the Cold War because, for the first time in the post-war history of Europe, the prospect of its achievement has become a reality.
+ It provides an indispensable foundation for a stable security environment in Europe, based on the growth of democratic institutions and commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes. It seeks to create an environment in which no country would be able to intimidate or coerce any European nation or to impose hegemony through the threat or use of force.
+ In accordance with Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty, it serves as a transatlantic forum for Allied consultations on any issues affecting the vital interests of its members, including developments which might pose risks to their security. It facilitates coordination of their efforts in fields of common concern.
+ It provides deterrence and defense against any form of aggression against the territory of any NATO member state.
+ It promotes security and stability by pursuing permanent and active cooperation with all its Partners through Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, and through consultation, cooperation and partnership with Russia and Ukraine.
It promotes understanding of the factors relating to international security and of the objectives of cooperation in this field, through active information programs in Alliance and Partner countries as well as through initiatives such as the Mediterranean Dialogue.
3. NATO s new missions after Cold War
NATO is a security organization able to adapt to changeable conditions without any act of turning. Actually, it is not new. As from the administrative, structural and ideological point, NATO, also protected this adaptability in the Cold WAR. For example, NATO can still continue to exist since there is no statistics in NATO which we saw in Warsaw Pact.
Since NATO is not a tool of cold war or a tool of struggle between blocks; the question of whether we need NATO or not is not a product of logical concept. It is knotted in the point of how will NATO adapt to new threats. Today, in the first stage NATO keeps its priority on whatever can cause damage to Europe s security. NATO is still the best organization to adapt to problems in Europe. In this framework, NATO s new mission is;
a. To structurally change to answer any possible crises occurring inside or near Europe, such as genocide, micro nationalism, border disputes and problems of stabilization of potential instability sources such as refugee migrations and expand terrorism.
b. To play a catalytic role on subjects like safety of Mediterranean and East Europe.
c. In a medium that the global structure hasn t formed, NATO takes the intermediary role in continuing the ties beyond the Atlantic since Europe can t handle all the load of possible and probable security by itself.
d. If required, to form a united and experienced security base to provide multilateral support to threats in and around Europe.
e. It can be considered to form an example infrastructure for a future global common security system.
4. NATO in the 21st century
4.1. Europe after the Cold War
By the collapse of Soviet Union and the end of Cold War, European system has shifted from bipolarity to multi-polarity and has entered the new era called neo-Westphalian system . Improving relations with and helping the newly emerging Central and Eastern European countries to establish democratic and respectful regimes to human rights and rule of law have become the significant steps toward a new stable and peacefully united Europe. In this new neo-Westphalian system Western democracies pay effort to undermine the old-fashioned relationships of hostility with their former adversaries and try to conduct partnership during the process of settlement of a new peaceful era.
NATO still has a significant standing point in these new process. However, there are many different, even contrary, opinions on the structure of NATO and relationships between its members, especially between US and Western countries. Some authors argue that the US should withdraw its hands from the continent and European allies should give more importance to the integration with Russia rather than with other small and less significant states. According to them, Europe should not depend on America any more, but stand on its own. Yet, the Kosovo case once again showed the European countries incapability of eliminating the conflict without US support and proved the idea of forming transatlantic defense cooperation that is argued to serve best NATO s security needs and political interests.
There are several international organizations, outside of the NATO, in which both Western and Eastern European countries are involved. The common goal of these institutions is to provide peaceful resolution for possible conflicts which are mostly taken place in new emerging states and are originated from the multi-ethnic structure of those states and disputes, to assist the conduction of democratic regimes in new states, to prevent any crime committed against humanity. OSCE, WEU, CIS, the Council of Europe are the examples of these organizations that we are going to examine and refer to their relations with NATO.
4.2. Other Security Organizations and their relationships with NATO
4.2.1. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), formerly known as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), was initially a political consultative process involving participating states from Europe, Central Asia and North America. It became an Organization in January 1995.
Launched in 1972, the CSCE process led to the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. This document encompassed a wide range of standards for international behavior and commitments governing relations between participating states, measures designed to build confidence between them, especially in the politico-military field respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and cooperation in economic, cultural, technical and scientific fields.
Alliance interaction with the OSCE
As the only forum which brings together all the countries of Europe, as well as Canada and the United States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) represents a key component of Europe’s security architecture. It provides a comprehensive framework for cooperation in the areas of human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy, the rule of law, security and economic cooperation.
The Alliance has actively supported the CSCE/OSCE since its creation, and was among the proponents of the institutionalization of the CSCE process agreed at the Paris CSCE Summit Meeting in 1990. At its Rome Summit in November 1991, the Alliance confirmed its commitment to the CSCE process, and defined the roles of the CSCE and the Alliance, in the development of dialogue and cooperation in Europe, as complementary. Recognizing that the security of the Allies was inseparably linked to that of other states in Europe, the Alliance regarded dialogue and cooperation between the different institutions dealing with security as an important factor in helping to defuse crises and to prevent conflicts.
The importance ascribed to the CSCE by NATO was further underlined at Oslo, in June 1992. Foreign Ministers of the Alliance stated their preparedness to support peacekeeping activities under the responsibility of the CSCE, including by making available Allied resources and expertise. This important decision paved the way for increased NATO interaction with the OSCE, especially in the context of the Alliance’s new tasks such as peacekeeping operations.
From December 1991 onwards, NATO’s dialogue and cooperation with its Partner countries in Central and Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union took place in the framework of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC). The NACC obtained tangible results in a number of important areas, including the promotion of good neighborly relations, disarmament and arms control, and cooperation in peacekeeping. The process provided a substantial contribution to the strengthening of cooperation among NATO Allies and Partner countries and in so doing supported the CSCE/OSCE role in these fields.
A stronger, more operational partnership between NATO and its NACC partners began to take shape in 1997, with the replacement of the NACC by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). The EAPC provides the overall framework for cooperation between NATO and its Partner countries, including Partnership for Peace (PfP) and raises it to a qualitatively new level. A body known as the Political-Military Steering Committee/Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping, working within the EAPC framework, provides an important institutional link to the OSCE. A representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office regularly attends its meetings and gives briefings on current OSCE issues of relevance to the Group. This formalized arrangement is particularly important in the field of peacekeeping. It provides evidence of the complementarily and transparency which characterizes the development of cooperation in the field of peacekeeping which is now taking place in the EAPC and PfP framework.
Since its Budapest Summit in December 1994, the OSCE has been involved in a broad and comprehensive discussion on all aspects of security aimed at devising a concept of security for the 21st Century.
In December 1996, in their Lisbon Summit Declaration on a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the 21st century, OSCE Heads of State and Government reaffirmed that European Security requires the widest cooperation and coordination among participating states and among European and transatlantic organizations. They also stated their intention to strengthen cooperation with other security organizations. The Alliance has contributed to OSCE discussion of the security model in this context.
In their 1997 Madrid Declaration on Euro-Atlantic security and cooperation, NATO Heads of State and Government recognized the OSCE as the most inclusive European-wide security organization. They emphasized the essential role it plays in securing peace, stability and security in Europe and underlined the importance of the principles and commitments adopted by the OSCE as a foundation for the development of comprehensive and cooperative European security structures.
In Madrid, NATO also expressed its continued support both for the OSCE’s work on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the 21st Century and for giving consideration to the idea of developing a Charter on European Security in accordance with the decisions taken at the 1996 Lisbon Summit of the OSCE.
The Common Concept for the Development of Cooperation between Mutually Reinforcing Institutions, as agreed at the OSCE Ministerial in Copenhagen in December 1997, features a list of principles and commitments for the development of cooperation between mutually reinforcing organizations and institutions within the Platform for Cooperative Security. Within the relevant organizations and institutions of which they are members, participating states commit themselves to work to ensure the organizations’ and institutions’ adherence to the Platform. As a first set of practical steps towards the development of cooperation between the OSCE and those organizations and institutions, the Common Concept prescribes regular contacts, including meetings, through a continuous framework for dialogue, increased transparency and practical cooperation. This includes the identification of liaison officers or points of contact, cross-representation at appropriate meetings, and other contacts intended to increase understanding of each organization s conflict prevention tools. NATO and the OSCE have been developing their relations on the basis of the Common Concept.
At the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC), NATO member states, in association with other participating states, tabled a number of substantive proposals addressing issues such as the exchange of information on defense planning; non-proliferation and arms transfers; military cooperation and contacts; global exchange of military information; and stabilizing measures for localized crisis situations. Between 1993 and 1995 all of these proposals contributed to the development of a number of agreed OSCE documents. The Alliance also made proposals for the updating of the Confidence and Security Building Measures (CBS s) contained in the OSCE’s Vienna Document and this contributed to the completion of a revised and improved version of the document, which was agreed in December 1994 (the Vienna Document 1994)
4.2.2. The Western European Union (WEU)
The Western European Union has existed since 1954 and today includes 10 European countries Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. It has a Council and Secretariat formerly located in London and based in Brussels since January 1993, and a Parliamentary Assembly in Paris. The WEU has its origins in the Brussels Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective self-defense of 1948, signed by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
With the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, the exercise of the military responsibilities of the Brussels Treaty Organization or Western Union was transferred to the North Atlantic Alliance. Under the Paris Agreements of 1954, the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy acceded to the Brussels Treaty and the Organization was renamed the Western European Union. The latter continued in being in order to fulfill the conditions and tasks laid down in the Paris Agreements.