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  1. avatar
    AllegraBrigata at |

    Proposed NATO Reforms Worry Moscow
    Richard Weitz

    Last week, the group of experts assisting with the drafting of NATO's new Strategic Concept released their final report, entitled "NATO 2020: Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement." In anticipation of the planned Strategic Concept, which is scheduled for approval at this November's NATO heads-of-state summit in Lisbon, the experts' report recommends how the alliance should define its purpose, nature, and fundamental security tasks in the contemporary and future security environment. Since last fall, the 12-member group, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, has convened a series of public and private meetings in various countries to discuss international security challenges, including several last week in Washington.

    One of the earlier sessions occurred this February in Moscow. Albright and other members of the group met with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, National Security Secretary Nikolay Patrushev, members of the Russian parliament, and other Russian security experts. Albright also delivered a speech on "the new NATO" at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. 

    However, gauging from the Russian response to the final report, February's Moscow session evidently failed to overcome many Russian concerns about NATO's future development.

    The group of experts believes that the upcoming Strategic Concept "can be instrumental in unifying the Allies' views on Russia, clarifying NATO's intentions toward Moscow, and laying the groundwork for more substantive cooperation." Their report reaffirms the standard NATO line that "the alliance neither poses a military threat to Russia, nor considers Russia a military threat to the alliance." 

    Yet, it acknowledges that "doubts persist on both sides about the intentions and policies of the other." Within NATO, "For reasons of history, geography, and recent events, some countries are more skeptical than others about the Russian government's commitment to a positive relationship." The experts note similar caution on Moscow's part, claiming that, "Russia has sent conflicting signals about its openness to further cooperation with NATO, and its proposals for an alternative security order in Europe seem designed in part to constrain NATO's activities."

    The report itself underscores this mutual mistrust by observing that, "Because Russia's future policies toward NATO remain difficult to predict, the Allies must pursue the goal of cooperation while also guarding against the possibility that Russia could decide to move in a more adversarial direction." It similarly observes that, "The alliance does not consider any country to be its enemy; however, no one should doubt NATO's resolve if the security of any of its member states were to be threatened."

    The experts recommend that the next Strategic Concept "should underscore NATO's desire for a qualitatively better relationship with Russia based on shared interests, mutual confidence, transparency and predictability." At the conceptual level, their report urges that "the new Strategic Concept should reaffirm NATO's desire to help build a cooperative Euro-Atlantic security order which includes security cooperation with Russia." The experts presume that NATO can more easily cooperate with Moscow if the alliance takes steps to reassure those members concerned about Russia that NATO will ensure their security. At the same time, the report reaffirms the continuing importance of the two main documents governing NATO-Russia relations: the 1997 Founding Act and the 2002 Declaration signed in Rome. Both texts describe security in the Euro-Atlantic region as inherently indivisible. They also commit the alliance and Moscow to promote their mutual interests through joint action. 

    To this end, the experts advocate that, "NATO should pursue a policy of engagement with Russia while reassuring all Allies that their security and interests will be defended." In terms of specific areas for cooperation, their report calls for "pragmatic collaboration" within the NATO-Russian Council (NRC) "in pursuit of such shared interests as nuclear nonproliferation, arms control, counterterrorism, missile defense, effective crisis management, peace operations, maritime security, and the fight against trafficking in illegal drugs."

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has found several positive features in the expert group's report — especially its interest in promoting NATO-Russian cooperation in the pursuit of shared security interests. Russia's permanent representative to NATO, Dmitriy Rogozin, said the report's contradictory language showed that the group of experts, like NATO members, was divided about Russia. 

    Yet, most Russian commentary has been generally negative, with concerns centered on four core issues. 

    First, Russians object to the report's asserting a global role for NATO. 

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  2. avatar
    Silendo at |

    Vi segnalo questo paper di Riccardo Alcaro, dello IAI: http://www.iai.it/pdf/DocIAI/iai1012.pdf

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