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Mr Tomasz Szatkowski

What to expect in Warsaw-2

in Conflicts · Crisis · Danube · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Moldova · Money · Nation · NATO 2016 · Person · Politics · Power · Russia · USA · World 43 views / 6 comments

GEOMETR.IT   neweasterneurope.eu

*To be or not to be. Let`s talk. NATO’s defence capabilities was agreed at the previous Wales Summit.  NATO is split on the issue of how and where the Alliance’s abilities to defend itself have to be improved

NATO is also concerned about Russian plans to develop “area denial” measures designed to block parts of Eastern Europe in case of a conflict, essentially cutting NATO supply lines or cleaving the alliance through nuclear threats. Here, corresponding counter-concepts are required. However, due to the different geographical interests within the Alliance, finding both a common and appropriate response to the Russian threat will be difficult to achieve.

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  • In my view it makes little sense to continue the ongoing discussion as to whether NATO combat troops should be stationed on a permanent or rotational basis, as the decision by the US to send an armoured brigade to Eastern Europe effectively ended that debate.
  • It is far more important that the stationed forces are in place in case of emergency, with the ability to be used both in and outside of Europe. The security situation in Europe is, quite frankly, very precarious.
  • We need more flexibility in our response, not just to follow the antiquated measures of “Forward Defence” concepts for the old eastern Polish border that bear no relevance to today’s situation. With the advent of “hybrid warfare”, we should really be looking for “hybrid solutions”.

The debate on retaining the NATO-Russia Founding Act, the 1997 agreement which established relations between Russia and NATO, is also superfluous. None of the NATO measures for improving the deterrence and defence capability of the Alliance is contrary to the Founding Act. Therefore, a formal termination of this document by NATO would only provide Kremlin propagandists with useful pretexts. Furthermore, termination would be contrary to the principle: “pacta sunt servanda”.

Particularly sensitive will be the question of the future role of nuclear weapons in NATO’s strategy. NATO’s «Deterrence and Defence Posture Review» (DDPR) is based on the principle that Russia is a partner of NATO and would not use its nuclear capabilities against the Alliance. Both conditions appear to be no longer valid. Russia under Vladimir Putin has defined itself as an anti-western power.

In addition, Russian military exercises are simulating the use of nuclear weapons against Poland, which is also threatened by the further transfer of nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad (not to mention Russia’s frequent violation of Polish airspace with nuclear-capable fighter aircraft). Thus, there is a necessity to look for a new a new nuclear strategic consensus in the Alliance.

A credible nuclear deterrent is necessary, even though this is more complicated today than it was during the Cold War. Generally, it is more difficult to deter Russia in the role of a “declining power” than as a rising one. Despite its inferiority in absolute terms, we have to face the fact that Russia can concentrate combat troops much faster than NATO can react. So the different reaction times and the future role of nuclear weapons will form the basis of necessary and important discussions in Warsaw.

Co-operative security

From a German perspective, it is important to stress that Poland’s security is also our security. Bilateral co-operation with Poland has reached unprecedented levels.

A German Infantry Battalion is subordinated to a Polish unit. There is a Polish Tank Battalion subordinated to a German brigade. Germany has also taken the leading role in the implementation of the new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). This NATO group is to be guided in the future by the Multinational Corps Northeast, based in Szczecin.

The staff of the corps is 400 soldiers in total, a third of them originating from the German Bundeswehr. We also participate in air patrols over the Baltic states. Germany contributes significantly to the readiness of the AWACS unit (a third of the crew members are German soldiers). Overall, in 2015, more than 2,700 soldiers have participated in rotating NATO exercises in the Alliance’s eastern territory.

  • As important as deterrence is, a stable security-architecture in Europe also requires elements of co-operative security. Deterrence and détente are two sides of the same coin. This has been proven since the publication of the 1967 Harmel Report on many occasions.
  • We want to keep the channels of communication with Russia open. For this, we should use the NATO-Russia Council. Risk avoidance and conflict in Ukraine are meaningful topics. The security policy dialogue with Russia is necessary.
  • Germany also sees its OSCE chairmanship as an opportunity to further this. Ultimately, many major challenges, such as Syria or international terrorism, can only be tackled with Russian co-operation.
  •  A good example of progress is the nuclear deal with Iran. Here, it was possible to solve a decades-old conflict, despite the gloomy predictions about the futility of the attempt and the alleged naivety of the West.

Finally, the summit will also be an opportunity to address the continuation of the «Resolute Support» mission in Afghanistan. Germany will increase its contribution to 980 men and also plans further substantial financial and human assistance to stabilise its sector in Afghanistan. Overall, it is my view that although we are beset by many challenges, the Warsaw Summit will provide a much-needed opportunity for the development of productive and innovative solutions.

Brigadier General (ret.) Erich E. Vad has served as a military adviser to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and as a senior consultant in the German parliament. He is now a lecturer at the chair for international relations at Geschwister-Scholl-Institute for Political Science in Munich.

http://www.neweasterneurope.eu

GEOMETR.IT

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What to expect in Warsaw-1

 

What to expect in Warsaw-1

in Conflicts · Crisis · Danube · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Moldova · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Russia · USA · World 62 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT    neweasterneurope.eu

*To be or not to be. Let`s talk. NATO’s defence capabilities was agreed at the previous Wales Summit.  NATO is split on the issue of how and where the Alliance’s abilities to defend itself have to be improved.

In the East, Russia undermines our European peace, as well as international laws and norms, through its blatantly aggressive annexation of Crimea and “soft” invasion of eastern Ukraine. The West has responded decisively to these actions as the European Union and the United States imposed sanctions against Russia and these sanctions bite. Germany will not recognise the annexation of Crimea by Moscow. Likewise, only through a thorough implementation of the Minsk Agreements can Moscow’s aggression in eastern Ukraine be stopped and peace restored. The Alliance stands firm on this.

1QAS

  • Russia’s neo-imperial foreign policy in Eastern Europe has shown that the core function of NATO, the Article 5 commitment that an attack on one NATO member is attack on all, is still valid and relevant.
  • Therefore, a comprehensive package of measures and military reinforcements to strengthen NATO’s defence capabilities was agreed at the previous Wales Summit.
  • However, NATO is split on the issue of how and where the Alliance’s abilities to defend itself have to be improved.
  • Southern Alliance members, especially Italy and Turkey, are concerned that the Atlantic Alliance might concentrate too much on Eastern Europe while the risks and challenges in the Middle East and along the Northern African coastline will be underestimated. While in Eastern Europe, so-called “hybrid” warfare is the current «hype», and this narrative is a tough sell in Southern Europe due to the more complex security situation there.

North-South divide

The threats coming out of the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East, including failing states, mass migration and extremism, have to be addressed beyond simple military solutions. An appropriate response demands a combination of humanitarian and socio-economic approaches, border police, in addition to military measures, and closer co-operation with the North African states in security matters, including the stabilisation of countries like Libya, where ISIS has recently begun operations.

Many NATO partners are also involved in Syria (US, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey). Germany also contributes there. We support the coalition with Tornado reconnaissance aircraft. In Iraq we support the Kurdish Peshmerga with equipment and training. However, a formal NATO involvement is unnecessary and politically inopportune in many cases. What is important is that we support our NATO partner Turkey, who views the Russian intervention very critically. We need to refocus the situation so that we can begin a political process that can lead to greater stability.

There is also a high probability that the European refugee crisis will have unforeseeable consequences for NATO debates. Some southern NATO members might wish for more solidarity regarding the ongoing refugee crisis and will point to the need for a NATO-supported EU border protection operation. It is possible that our southern partners will demand that the new Rapid Reaction Force must also be suitable for missions along the southern flanks of Europe.

As a result, Germany, France and the UK will need to consider positions which reduce the tensions between the “North” and “South”. The US will surely strive for unity in the Alliance. The Americans will push the Europeans again to show more leadership in security matters, as well as to increase their defence budget spending to the required two per cent threshold of their gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, only five states are able to meet this target, although six have increased their defence spending in 2015.

Due to its internal political situation, Germany will not be able to reach this target, which amounts to some 50 billion euros. There are also ongoing considerations to deviate from this static two per cent rule and to choose military effectiveness as a measure of fair burden-sharing. However, such qualitative criteria are more difficult to measure and compare.

In search of a common response

Another issue that NATO countries will need to address at the summit is the new dimensions of a potential Article 5 situation. Specifically, countries will need to examine Article 5 in the context of «Smart Defence» or initiatives such as the «Framework Nation Concept», in which NATO countries are grouped for certain military tasks.

  • Russia has shown that it can mobilise and concentrate several thousand men in so-called «Snap Exercises» within two to three days. The 5,000 person NATO rapid reaction force cannot cope with these Russian capabilities in an emergency, since their reaction time is around five to seven days.
  • NATO is also concerned about Russian plans to develop “area denial” measures designed to block parts of Eastern Europe in case of a conflict, essentially cutting NATO supply lines or cleaving the alliance through nuclear threats.
  • Here, corresponding counter-concepts are required. However, due to the different geographical interests within the Alliance, finding both a common and appropriate response to the Russian threat will be difficult to achieve.

In my view it makes little sense to continue the ongoing discussion as to whether NATO combat troops should be stationed on a permanent or rotational basis, as the decision by the US to send an armoured brigade to Eastern Europe effectively ended that debate. It is far more important that the stationed forces are in place in case of emergency, with the ability to be used both in and outside of Europe.

The security situation in Europe is, quite frankly, very precarious. We need more flexibility in our response, not just to follow the antiquated measures of “Forward Defence” concepts for the old eastern Polish border that bear no relevance to today’s situation. With the advent of “hybrid warfare”, we should really be looking for “hybrid solutions”.

The debate on retaining the NATO-Russia Founding Act, the 1997 agreement which established relations between Russia and NATO, is also superfluous. None of the NATO measures for improving the deterrence and defence capability of the Alliance is contrary to the Founding Act. Therefore, a formal termination of this document by NATO would only provide Kremlin propagandists with useful pretexts. Furthermore, termination would be contrary to the principle: “pacta sunt servanda”.

  • Particularly sensitive will be the question of the future role of nuclear weapons in NATO’s strategy. NATO’s «Deterrence and Defence Posture Review» (DDPR) is based on the principle that Russia is a partner of NATO and would not use its nuclear capabilities against the Alliance.
  • Both conditions appear to be no longer valid. Russia under Vladimir Putin has defined itself as an anti-western power.
  • In addition, Russian military exercises are simulating the use of nuclear weapons against Poland, which is also threatened by the further transfer of nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad (not to mention Russia’s frequent violation of Polish airspace with nuclear-capable fighter aircraft).
  • Thus, there is a necessity to look for a new a new nuclear strategic consensus in the Alliance.

A credible nuclear deterrent is necessary, even though this is more complicated today than it was during the Cold War. Generally, it is more difficult to deter Russia in the role of a “declining power” than as a rising one. Despite its inferiority in absolute terms, we have to face the fact that Russia can concentrate combat troops much faster than NATO can react. So the different reaction times and the future role of nuclear weapons will form the basis of necessary and important discussions in Warsaw.

http://www.neweasterneurope.eu

GEOMETR.IT

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NATO summit. Alliance renews its marriage vows-1

in Conflicts · Crisis · Danube · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Moldova · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Russia · USA · World 24 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT  foreignpolicy.com

* The alliance should renew its vows in Warsaw – loudly and clearly enough to be heard in Moscow.

The history of modern Poland used to be a story of annexation and perennial partitions — a subjugated nation that time and again has fallen prey to more powerful neighbors.

Poland was sometimes regarded as a geopolitical trouble spot. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945 — a summit that unfortunately saw Great Britain and the United States concede our country to Josef Stalin – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt even said that Poland had been a headache to the world for more than five centuries.

But now, it is a headache no longer. Since Poland signed up for NATO in 1999, since becoming a full member of the alliance and the European Union, we have been a robust and reliable partner. Our troops have stood strongly shoulder-to-shoulder with Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Poland and the United States are now more than strategic partners: We are close friends and allies with shared values and interests. Regrettably, Poland’s previous leadership neglected relations with the United States, but the new Law and Justice government wants to rebuild them and, as equal partners, bring our countries even closer together.

We all cannot escape difficult geopolitical reality:

  • We are witnessing a dramatic deterioration of the security situation in Europe’s eastern and southern neighborhoods, including directly on Poland’s doorstep.
  •  So we are pressing our allies to take a more dynamic approach to NATO, one that recognizes the menace posed by a restless and intrusive leadership in Moscow.
  •  It is not the time for passivity or complacency.
  • NATO’s Eastern flank must be strengthened to ensure real security for Poland and the region. We have to send a powerful message in defense of democracy and respect for the sovereignty and integrity of international borders.

As Russia flexes its muscles on Poland’s – and NATO’s – eastern border, the only rational response is to tighten transatlantic solidarity. To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy: “History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies.”

Poland and the United States have been long-term allies since the Polish and American general Tadeusz Kościuszko, friend and advisor of George Washington, built West Point and helped win the Revolutionary War. Now we share not only the same norms and values but also a special interest in European security. That is why both sides of the Atlantic need to be concerned that institutions set up to defuse regional tension and foster dialogue – such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – are being sidelined.

Their soft power is ignored and discounted while our hard power and resolve are constantly being challenged. This is creating a vacuum that is being exploited by the Russian leadership. It is increasingly drawn to the politics of force. Poles — but not only Poles — well remember the misery inflicted on 20th century Europe by such policies.

Poland is not in the business of causing political migraines. NATO remains the cornerstone of Polish and transatlantic security. Warsaw has demonstrated its credibility as a reliable, active member of NATO, having raised military spending to the benchmark of 2 percent of GDP. But it has earned the right to give its friends and allies a bit of a shake.

What we are telling our friends is that the alliance does not in itself guarantee security. What Europe and the United States need is a more active, energetic NATO that takes practical steps to ensure the real safety of its citizens.

And the place to start is the alliance’s Eastern flank. Only a substantial investment in infrastructure, the deployment of military units on the ground – reinforced by precise contingency plans in the event of attack – can give Poland and its neighbors the security we need. These measures are not meant to provoke anybody. Rather, they are important steps toward reducing the risk of conflict. Build up defenses and we eliminate the temptation to test NATO’s cohesion.

The founding principle of NATO is to deter an external aggressor, share military capacities, and demonstrate the solidarity to make that deterrence credible. It means re-invigorating NATO’s basic tenets. It means the United States sticking to the idea that it shares a common worldview with its European partners — and Western Europeans recognizing the geopolitical reality by extending more support to their allies on the vulnerable eastern fringes of NATO.

The deployment is an important step toward greater security of the region and the whole continent and goes a long way in strengthening NATO’s Eastern flank.

http://foreignpolicy.com

GEOMETR.IT

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