Thursday, July 23, 2009


After the success of the first Joint Research Project (JRP), the Executive Board of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association, in cooperation with the Atlantic Treaty Association is launching the Second JRP Program.

The Initiative aims at: a) contributing to discussion and debate at the ATA/YATA General Assembly in Kiev, October 7-10, 2009; b) reinforcing transatlantic efforts to promote Alliance value among the successor generation.

In 2009, NATO’s 60th anniversary provides a valuable opportunity to reappraise the Alliance’s accomplishments and anticipate the challenges that confront history’s most successful military alliance in the 21st century.

YATA would like to hereby promote the creation of 3 joint research teams, formed by young talented students or professionals, coming from YATA member countries. The team members will work together on one of the three topics listed below, under the supervision of a Tutor (chosen by the Vice-president for Education) and a senior expert (not compulsory). Furthermore, the YATA Board will provide the appropriate communication tools for completing the research.

Prospective candidates are welcome to apply for elaborating on one of the following topics:
• Communicate the outcomes of NATO’s Strategic Concept;
• Atlanticism Beyond Borders;
• Social Media and the Atlantic Community.

The “application packages” are to be sent to until August 6, 2009. The package should include the following:
• application form (sent out to each YATA chapter via mail);
• CV;
• One page long abstract of the chosen topic (font type: times new roman, font size: 12, one & half spaced);
• a recommendation from the national YATA chapter.

According to the selection criteria, all applicants must fit the following requirements:
• is a member of a national YATA chapter;
• not older than 35;
• has (working or study) experience on the field of the chosen topic;
• writes and speaks fluently in English;
• is planning to participate as an official representative of her/his national YATA Chapter at the General Assembly in Kiev;
Please note that only two delegates per national chapters will be reimbursed in Kiev, and there will not be an exception for JRP participants.
• is willing to coop with her/his JRP paper on a daily basis.

Applicants will be notified about the decision not later than August 9, 2009. Two applicants per topic will be asked to start working on the paper. Each selected applicant will receive the contact details of her/his co-worker and of the Tutor (a YATA member, requested by the Vice-president for Education) responsible for the given topic.

JRP participants will have to submit a project summary by August 26, 2009. The project summary must contain the following information:
• 2 pages long draft of the paper with at least 10 reliable sources;
• a short CV of the senior expert (at least 35 years old, who has teacher and/or researcher of the given topic) asked by the JRP participants to help their project;
• a declaration from the senior expert presented in the project summary – that she or he is willing to give a professional assistance to the project (by August 30, 2009).
Please note that it is not compulsory to have a senior expert.

All JRP papers should be submitted to by September 27, 2009. Papers have to cover 10-15 pages (font type: times new roman, font size: 12, one & half spaced), citing at least 15-20 sources (please note that each source needs to have a reference in the text). Each paper should have the recommendations of both the Tutor and the senior expert. Besides, each JRP paper needs to have a Power Point version for the presentations before the Kiev GA. Please note that each JRP team shall agree on the person who’s going to present their project.

The Vice-president for Education (together with experienced researchers) will revise the papers and the Power Point presentations, and will send back his suggestions – if necessary – by October 2, 2009.

The finalized versions of the JRP papers’ project summaries (1 page long outline!) and the Power Point presentations should be sent to by October 5, 2009.

Please note that only the project summaries will be handed out to the attendees at the YATA GA. The JRP presentations would have the role to open the floor for discussions on the given topics.
Thus, a good JRP presentation would:
• supply the audience with enough information to have an overall picture on the topic;
• encourage the audience to debate on the statements delivered, and questions raised by the lecturer.

Nevertheless, JRP papers and presentations should be based on well-founded analysis, and lecturers shall have an adequate knowledge of their subjects!

All attendees will get a chance to reflect on the presented JRPs on an evaluation form, too. This way, JRP participants will have the opportunity to revise their papers based on the suggestions made by the audience, and make a final version of the papers by November 1, 2009.

The papers will be published on the YATA website.

For any other question and for submitting your candidacy, please contact András Hlács at or at hlacs.andras.corvinus (Skype), or call the +36-30-676-0947 (mobile phone).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Portuguese Atlantic Youth Association News Clipping Nr. 2

(NATO Joint Command Lisbon)

Dear and Esteemed Friends and Colleagues,
The second PAYA news clipping is as follows:


Source: Center For Strategic And International Studies

It's imperative, now that we are discussing the new strategic concept, that Europe and USA pursue the development of a shared Euro-Atlantic strategy. Combining the efforts, both USA and European Union, should create a new strategy that will combine soft and hard power to produce good answers for tomorrow’s problems. You can download a paper that explains the needs and the capabilities of this alliance. This paper shows why we should cooperate and what both USA and EU need to do to take benefits of the partnership, and why should we do it as fast as we can.

Source: NATO

Today we are facing a financial crisis that is changing the world. We fear that this financial crisis can be the heart of a more extended crisis since we can easily see the effects of the great depression in today’s crisis, the hardship and the formation of some political extremism.
In this edition of NATO Review, we will analyze this crisis, the need to choose between reduce the defense budget or keep it as it was, we will examine China’s economic growth and its subsequent political one, protectionism as one “twist of the knife” concerning the economical and political aspects, and the need of a bigger investment in the development of renewable energies.

Source: Allied Joint Command Lisbon

General Phillipe Stoltz is the first French to command a NATO headquarter since the announcement of the French return to NATO's military command structure. The general will be in charge of the NATO’s military base in Oeiras, Lisbon. The Joint Command Lisbon is the headquarter responsible for commanding NATO’s counter piracy operation in the African seas.

Source: NATO

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer made a speech in London explaining the Future of the Alliance. The speech started with a presentation of what he has done the position of America and Europe, the increasing number of members like Albania and Croatia, and the increase of NATO’s operations. Secretary General Jaap de Hoop has also made a list of important issues which NATO should take care of, in order to assure that the Alliance keeps going in a good track, such as political dialogue, a comprehensive approach to nowadays’ security challenges, the development of better troops, the improvement of the NATO-Russia relationship and the persistent development a global partnership. Jaap de Hoop finished his speech emphasizing the importance of the new Strategic Concept. 

Source: NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Seventeen members of the Science and Technology Committee had discussions with some American experts in nuclear and energy issues. The main themes on debate were the nuclear disarmament, energy security and security implications. During this discussion it was emphasized the non proliferation of the nuclear weapons, which was strongly supported by some experts. The technological innovations have represented another part of the main topics of the discussions.

Source: Foreign Affairs (registration needed)

The Afghan war is far from the end, mainly because of some President Bush Administration’s mistakes. The mismanagement under Bush presidency had a very strong effect in the Taliban power. Now with president Obama everything is changing. With the deployment of more 21.000 U.S. troops, President Obama shows his strong will in ending this war as soon as he can. But this fact alone will not end the war, it’s also necessary a political intervention in the field, in order to create the conditions needed to weaken the Taliban power and persuade large groups of fighters to lay down their guns.

(by Tiago Alfarroba
Portuguese Atlantic Youth Association - You can also find this post in the Portuguese Atlantic Committee/ PAYA blog)

NATO Secretary General hospitalized

Esteemed Colleagues, dear Friends,

Yesterday, the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, entered hospital to have small blood clot cleared.

According to NATO's official statement, the procedure was carried out successfully, and the Secretary General is resting comfortably. Nevertheless, he will stay in hospital for a few days for observation. It is reassuring to know that Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will make a full recovery.

We wish him well and hope for a quick recovery!

Executive Board of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NATO Secretary General speech at Chatham House, London

Below you will find an abstract of NATO Secretary General speech at Chatham House, London. Probably his fareweel speech.

In a week’s time, I will leave my job as Secretary General of NATO. The five-and-a-half years that I have had the privilege to lead the Alliance have been immensely rewarding. And I will step down with considerable nostalgia. [...]
So the first question that must be faced is inevitably: in what shape am I leaving the organisation? How did it look on the day I took over, and have I been able to strengthen it?
Here I believe that I can give a positive answer. When I took over in January 2004 the Atlantic Alliance was badly bruised from the political fallout of the Iraq war. There was also considerable uncertainty about NATO’s future as a viable transatlantic framework. Many pundits spoke of NATO becoming a mere “toolbox”, and future missions being driven by “coalitions of the willing”. There were predictions of a new era of selective American multilateralism, with NATO being sidelined by shifting country groupings. And in several quarters on this side of the Atlantic, there was equally radical talk about Europe needing to be a “counterweight” to the United States.
Today, such loose talk has disappeared. There is no serious political force on either side of the Atlantic that favours NATO's dissolution. After an interval of nearly half a century, France has returned to the Alliance’s integrated military structure. We have just taken in two new members – Albania and Croatia – and several more countries are knocking on our door. We increasingly work with the rest of the world, and the rest of the world increasingly wants to work with us. In short, NATO is widely accepted as an essential element of the European and indeed, international security order.
NATO today – 60 years after its creation -- is busier than ever. We are being called upon to undertake more and more missions and operations, and to turn our attention not just to immediate threats but also to longer term challenges such as cyber attacks, disruptions in our energy supply and vital lines of communication, piracy and the inevitable security implications of climate change.
[...]For it is precisely the growing demands that are being made of NATO that are causing a dangerous mismatch: we are trying to develop a 21st century Alliance, but we do so with a 20th century mindset.
[...]Now, let me be clear: I know how those words resonate here in the UK these days. This country has suffered a tragic period, and I would like, on behalf of NATO, but also myself personally, to express condolences to the loved ones of those brave servicemen from the UK armed forces, who have paid the ultimate price.
It is not my job to wade into a national debate, and I won’t do it here. But let me say just a few things. First, UK forces are doing a critical job, and they are doing it well. I’ve seen them in the field myself, many times. Let no one call into question their effectiveness.
My second point is that they are part of a team. If one reads any national press, you could be forgiven for thinking that your forces were fighting in Afghanistan alone. But they are not. They are part of a team. 14 NATO nations are fighting in the South of Afghanistan, alongside their British colleagues, along with Afghan forces. Hundreds of NATO soldiers from other countries have also lost their lives – which is a sad, but real, measure of shared sacrifice.
We can debate the right numbers of helicopters of troops to have in Afghanistan - and we should. This is not an easy operation, and it needs public debate and public support. But to me, there can be no serious debate about the necessity or the legitimacy of this mission. If we were to walk away, Afghanistan would fall to the Taliban, with devastating effect for the people there – women in particular. Pakistan would suffer the consequences, with all that that implies for international security. Central Asia would see extremism spread. Al Qaida would have a free run again, and their terrorist ambitions are global.
This is not conjecture. This is fact. Those who argue otherwise – who say we can defend against terrorism from home – are simply burying their heads in the sand. That is not the way the world is anymore. As my predecessor, Lord Robertson, used to say, either we go to Afghanistan or Afghanistan will come to us. His dictum remains as valid as ever.
We must succeed in what we have set out to do: help the Afghans build a country that can secure itself, for our benefit as much as theirs. And I have confidence that the people of the UK understand this, despite the recent sacrifices.
Afghanistan is just one example of a broad range of issues where we cannot afford not to engage – where we must rise to the occasion, despite scarce resources. But how can we do this? Well, first and foremost, by acknowledging – as hard as it may be – that the new security environment poses an entirely different set of challenges for our Alliance.
[...]This is an entirely new ballgame – and it touches upon the very essence of our Alliance. Because solidarity is now a much more active concept. During the Cold War, it was about sharing a certain degree of risk. Today, however, it implies the willingness to accept sacrifice and share burdens – and the degree of solidarity that a nation wants to render is very much at its own discretion. A nation’s contribution is now far more a function of its domestic setting, its constitutional reality and its military culture. The true test of our Alliance, therefore, lies in its ability to convince Allies to show the necessary solidarity and to increase their willingness to share burdens equitably.
[...]Another truth of the new strategic environment is that NATO can no longer be a solo-player. Quite the contrary. True success in Afghanistan requires civil reconstruction – something which NATO cannot provide, but which others must supply. If these other actors do not engage, NATO cannot truly succeed either. To put it bluntly: NATO’s success depends increasingly on factors which lie outside the Alliance's own control.
[...]Can we manage? Can we achieve a new understanding of Alliance solidarity in the 21st century? And will we be able to connect NATO with the broader international framework of institutions and nations?
After five-and-and-a-half years at the helm of NATO, my answer to these questions is clear: we are not yet there, but we are on the right track. If we push NATO’s agenda energetically forward, we will achieve our aim: a new NATO for a new century. Specifically, I see six key areas in which we need to make progress. Let me very briefly touch upon each of them.
First, one of my own dictums ever since I took office, we must continue to broaden the political dialogue among the Allies. As I have noted, today’s security environment can divide us just as well as it can unite us. That is why we need a more proactive discussion in NATO on emerging issues – for example energy security, nuclear proliferation, climate change. This is not about turning NATO into a talking shop. But debate is a precondition for building – and sustaining – the consensus that is necessary for common action.
Second, we need to make further progress in uniting all major international institutions and NGOs in a “Comprehensive Approach” to today’s security challenges. The NATO-UN Declaration which I signed with Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon last September has certainly sent the right signal. I believe NATO should also develop closer contacts with the Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference – and indeed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. But what is truly crucial for any successful “Comprehensive Approach” is that we finally manage to better combine the complementary assets of NATO and the EU.
Third, we must continue to develop more flexible and deployable forces. Transforming static Cold War capabilities into expeditionary forces is immensely difficult. The fact is that every country in the Alliance, not just the UK with its long expeditionary tradition, now has a debate about lacking equipment. The financial crisis is clearly taking its toll, and we need more imaginative approaches when it comes to funding capabilities. To my mind, we have been much too timid in exploring such new approaches.
Still, I see NATO on the right track. Even those Allies which are more concerned about Article 5 contingencies than expeditionary engagements acknowledge that it does not make sense to maintain forces solely for the defence of one’s national territory. So we are developing forces that can do both – defend Alliance territory and take on stabilisation tasks well away from our own borders.
My fourth point: We must get the NATO-Russia relationship back on track. Russia’s recent assertiveness has raised genuine security concerns, particularly among NATO’s eastern-most Allies. It has also led some to question the future of NATO enlargement as a benign means of consolidating Europe. But most importantly, it has exposed a lack of Allied unity vis-à-vis Russia.
This is an untenable situation – for NATO, but also for Russia. Because despite all our disagreements we need each other more than we sometimes dare to admit. I predict that as the new security environment unfolds, the number of common interests will grow. This will not eliminate our disagreements on, say, enlargement, CFE, Georgia. But I believe that we can get beyond the on-off nature of the NATO-Russia relationship.
My fifth point: keep developing global partnerships. Australian or New Zealand troops or Japanese funds for Afghanistan are most welcome and play a hugely valuable part in ISAF’s effort. Let us not squander such valuable contributions by a false debate about a “global NATO”. Let us simply continue to develop the necessary structures for non-members, wherever they may be located, to associate themselves – politically or even militarily – with NATO-led missions and operations. When we face global challenges, it makes eminent sense to have global partners to help us meet those challenges.
This brings me to my last point, which is to write a new NATO Strategic Concept. Over the past decade, NATO has been busy adapting to rapid change. Indeed, we were so preoccupied with managing our operations that we sometimes ran the risk of missing the bigger picture. We have allowed NATO to evolve in many different directions but without producing a 21st century mission statement that makes it clear to our publics why they still need NATO and what it offers that other organisations or security frameworks do not. And as a result, many people understand what NATO does -- but they don’t understand how this relates to their immediate security interests.
A new Strategic Concept will provide NATO’s transformation with the broad political context that it needs – not just for our publics, but for the Allies as well. [...]A new Strategic Concept will be an indispensable piece of the puzzle of a new, more effective NATO. But let us be perfectly clear: by no means will a piece of paper “solve” NATO’s problems.
For NATO to be truly successful, we need political elites and the general public in all the Alliance’s member nations to realise that the meaning of security – and the means to provide security – have changed irreversibly. [...] In short, security in today’s globalised world is much more demanding to achieve, and yet it is far less perfect.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When he was asked what constituted the greatest challenge for a statesman, British Prime Minster Harold Macmillan responded: “events, my dear boy, events.” Macmillan’s quip explains perfectly well why not even a well-crafted Strategic Concept will guarantee NATO’s continued success. After all, “events” have the nasty habit of occurring unplanned and unexpected.
We have had our share of examples. Allies fundamentally disagreed over the war on Iraq, yet today NATO is training Iraqi security forces. No one considers NATO to be a humanitarian relief organisation, and yet we provided vital support after a devastating earthquake hit Pakistan in the autumn of 2005. Allies may have different views on a NATO role in Africa, and yet we acted when the African Union asked for logistical support in the Darfur crisis. And while the specific NATO role in responding to new challenges, such as energy security or piracy, is not yet perfectly defined, it requires little imagination to predict that NATO will play its part.
Why? Because NATO is unique. Nowhere else on the globe does there exist a group of nations with such a strong sense of belonging together, with a common vision of a just political order, and with shared values. And there is no other group of nations that is equally ready, willing and able to uphold these values when they are under threat.
This, then, is my key message for my successor: Let us do everything in our power to keep this Alliance in good shape. As Winston Churchill has reminded us, working with Allies can be tedious and frustrating, yet the end result is superior to anything we could ever achieve on our own. This is a timeless observation. And this is why NATO is a timeless Alliance.
Thank you.

Full Text

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Portuguese Atlantic Youth Association News Clipping Nr. 1

In preparation for the 14th Portuguese Atlantic Youth Seminar, under the general theme "Drafting NATO's New Strategic Concept" the Portuguese Atlantic Youth Association (PAYA) will be sending out a news clipping to all participants and will also post it in the Portuguese Atlantic Committee/ PAYA Blog. You can find the first here, which is as follows:

(USS Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Lisbon the 14th July after a 3 months mission in the Arabic Sea supporting NATO troops in Afghanistan)


Source: NATO

NATO started in the past 7th July a session of dialogues with some experts from the strategic community in order to get a new strategic concept to the organization. The objective was to examine the relations with the rest of the world and analyze NATO's role in the new threats and challenges. This debate will create the new strategic concept that will be used as the guidance lines to the military and political issues. This will substitute the old strategic concept signed at the Washington summit in 1999.

Source: Daily Telegraph

A group of Central and Eastern Europe's most important political figures have written a letter to President Obama in order to explain the strong pressure and intimidation that Russia makes in those countries. The Antimissile system is the key issue. Now that the U.S.A are spreading their net to the Eastern Europe this countries demand diplomatic negotiations with Russia and European Union in order to weaken the energetic dependence and Russia's influence.

Source: New York Times

In the last few years the relationship between USA and Russia suffered some problematic issues mainly because of G.W. Bush presidency. Now with some change of tone showed by President Obama they have reached new grounds. The opening of Russia's airspace for the Afghan War is a very important step in the diplomatic ground. Some issues continue to concern the two countries, the antimissile defense system and the nuclear arms cut.

Source: The Economist

In the last few days the Afghan war has been very destructive to the British troops. Besides the recent efforts done by President Obama, some of the allies want to withdraw from Afghanistan. Gordon Brown has recently said that they should promote an emerging democracy, but the price of this strategy can be much more expensive. Now that Iraq is almost over control it's imperative to keep the troops in Afghanistan and this supplementary effort should be done not only by Americans but also by all their allies.

Source: i (article in Portuguese)

Severiano Teixeira, Portuguese minister of Defense, in an interview reminded that Portugal and other America's allies said no when President Bush asked for more troops to Afghanistan, he said " Our conception was different: we thought that the solution to the Afghan problem couldn't be exclusively military". But when President Obama was elected to the White House everything changed: "The President Obama's strategy is focused in a political dimension (…) the military safety should be followed by economic development and stabilization of the political institutions". Now Portugal will send more special troops to Afghanistan and this not only gives an important role to Portugal in the Atlantic alliance but also upgrades the relationship between Portugal and America.

Source: Foreign Affairs (registration needed)

In April 2009 a group of Somali Pirates tried to seize a U.S. cargo ship named Maersk Alabama. The crew fought back trying to protect themselves and the ship but Richard Phillips was caught. This episode finished with the marines killing the pirates and saving Richard. Piracy is becoming a real problem and now NATO is contributing to assure the safety of the African sea. In this essay we can understand how we defeated the pirates in the past and how we can do it now.

(By Tiago Alfarroba, PAYA)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wil Iceland be the 28th member-state of the EU?

The parliament of Iceland, the Althing, voted on Thursday the 16th of July, with majority in favour of Iceland becoming a member of the EU. This means that an Icelandic application for membership will be sent to Brussels within days.

A majority of the 320.000 inhabititants of Iceland also seem to be in favour of an EU-membership. This will be an important factor to the enlargement of the EU, because membership can only be confirmed through a positive vote of the Icelandic people at a referendum. Iceland's membership will clearly be beneficial to its economic stability, which was severely hurt during the latest economic crisis. On the other hand the Icelandic people fear the Europeans' interference with its fishing-policies. The Minister of Finance put it out clearly: 'the Icelandic people want the Euro, but not the European Union'. If Iceland really wants to become a member, it will have to raise the bar, many European politicians have already stated. Being a reliable and like-minded member of NATO is not enough. Committing itself to all EU-regulations will be essential, like it has been to al candidate-memberstates.

Nevertheless the enthusiasm in Brussels is great after the positive vote in the Icelandic parliament. It looks like Iceland will catch up with Croatia in the enlargement-process. The EU better manage the expectations well, especially in relationship with Croatia!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

YATA Newsletter Summer Edition

Dear friends,

The Summer Edition of the YATA Newsletter will be out soon. Please send your photos, reports, articles and contributions to until July 24th.

Monday, July 13, 2009

G8 Summit outcomes

G8 L'Aquila Summit ended in the Italian city among critics and perspective of success.
Food security, world economic recovery and Africa were some of the major topics addressed by the 39 heads of State and International Organization present at the meeting. International commentators are debating about the real impact of the measures agreed upon in Italy and their long term effect on the global economy.

The outcomes of the meeting are available here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10th in History

Dear Friends,

This Friday July 10th, I would like to draw your attention to what happened on the same date but 58 years ago. This date will be remembered because on July 10th 1951 the armistice negotiations began in Kaesong to end the Korean War which was the first serious test for collective security of the then newly formed Atlantic alliance and of course for the newly formed United Nations as well.

The city of Kaesong is close to the Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea. When Korea was partitioned at the 38th parallel after World War Two, Kaesong was on the southern side of the line (within the Republic of Korea). Thus Kaesong is the only city to change control after the Korean War.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NATO Pressrelease: NATO to launch a public debate on the Strategic Concept

NATO formally launched the process leading to the new Strategic Concept of the Alliance at a major security conference in Brussels. The Conference – taking place under the authority of the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer - also marked the beginning of a dialogue with the wider public.

The event, held at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels on the 7th July 2009, was attended by the NATO Secretary General designate, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and brought together a broad range of representatives from Allied and Partner governments, NATO structures, international organizations, civil society, including parliaments, the corporate sector, NGOs, think tanks, academia and the media.

The Secretary General gave the introductory address. Other speakers included the former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright; the IAEA Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei; Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General James Mattis; former EU Commissioner António Vitorino; the Chairman of the EU Military Committee, General Henri Bentégeat; the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran; the Chief Executive Officer of ENI, Paolo Scaroni; and the Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, Lord Levene of Portsoken.

The aim of this Secretary General’s conference on July 7th was to formally launch the process leading to the new Strategic Concept and begin a dialogue between NATO and a wide range of experts from the strategic community as well as the broader public. The conference examined how the Alliance relates to the rest of the world, as part of a wider network of security actors. It also looked at NATO’s role in addressing new threats and challenges.

At the Summit in Strasbourg and Kehl on 4 April 2009, NATO Heads of State and Government tasked the Secretary General to develop a new NATO Strategic Concept. The current Strategic Concept was approved at the Washington Summit in 1999 (   The Summit also tasked the Secretary General to convene and lead a broad based group of qualified experts who will lay the ground for the new Alliance Strategic Concept. This will be done with the active involvement of the North Atlantic Council.

The Strategic Concept is the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives and provides the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving them. It also describes NATO’s fundamental security tasks and is the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole. It is therefore, one of the key policy documents of the Alliance. The process leading to the new NATO Strategic Concept will engage all Allies in a major intellectual exercise and will examine all aspects of NATO in the run-up to the next summit.

Monday, July 6, 2009

NATO: New Strategic Concept: Launching the Process - 07 Jul 2009 - Live Streaming

NATO will formally launch the process leading to the new Strategic Concept of the Alliance at a major security conference in Brussels.

The Conference – taking place under the authority of the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer - will also mark the beginning of a dialogue with the wider public. The event, to be held at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels on the 7th July 2009, will be attended by the NATO Secretary General designate, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and will bring together a broad range of representatives from Allied and Partner governments, NATO structures, international organizations, civil society, including parliaments, the corporate sector, NGOs, think tanks, academia and the media.
A detailed programme of the conference can be viewed here.
Watch the live streaming here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Russia to open airspace

Today the International Herald Tribune mentions that Russia will open its airspace to America in order to let that country use the airspace for the transportation of troops and weapons to Afghanistan. It might only seem a minor detail, but in the last couple of months under the Obama adiministration it can be seen as s sign that the troubled relation between the two former superpowers under the Bush-administration, is cooling down. There is no agreement yet on the missile defense, neither a nuclear arms deal, but it can maybe be seen as a first step.

When Obama visits Moscow this coming Monday and Tuesday his foreign policy will be tested. There is faith on both sides that minor steps will be taken in the near future to meet each other on very heavily debated topics like nuclear arm cuts. On the other hand their has no real action been seen yet, and if people wonder if climate change will be discussed the coming two days, it is sad to say that such an important topic, will not be dicussed, yet.

That 'yet' is what it's all about. I'm positive that under Obama-Medvedev hard issues will be taken up.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jule 3rd in Transatlantic History

Dear Friends,

This Friday again I will direct your attention to a historical event(s) related to the transatlantic relations that happened on the same date.

July 3rd is Independence Day in Belarus. 65 years ago on this date the city of Minsk and the capital of present-day Belarus is liberated from Nazi occupation by the Soviet troops.

Additionally, on July 3rd 1979, the US President Jimmy Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.

Montenegro in NATO?

The majority of the Montenegrin citizens would like to decide the country's membership in NATO trough a referendum. This type of major decisions' making is well embedded into the practice of the small Balkan state as its independence from Serbia was decided with a referendum in 2006.

About 70% of the approximately 670 000 citizens are for holding the referendum.
Nevertheless, AP reports that according to a poll some 43% of the population is against joining the Alliance while 30% are supportive of such a move.

The Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic pointed out that membership in NATO and the EU should be the strategic goal of his government which was formed in June.

Additional Information for NATO and Montenegro relations

"Montenegro is one of the newest members of the Partnership for Peace, joining in December 2006. Democratic, institutional and defence reforms are a key focus of cooperation. In April 2008, Montenegro was invited to begin an Intensified Dialogue with NATO on its membership aspirations and related reforms.

Montenegro agreed its first Individual Partnership Programme (IPP) with NATO in January 2008. Cooperation was deepened in July 2008, when its first Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) was agreed. A first NATO assessment of the implementation by Montenegro of its IPAP took place in early 2009."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Picking Up The Piece In Gori, Georgia

14th YATA General Assembly, Kyiv, 7-10 October 2009

Dear friends,
the 55th ATA General Assembly and 14th YATA General Assembly will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine from October 7-10, 2009.

This year's program is entitled "Security for Civil Society in the 21st Century". This will allow organizers to include a focus on a new NATO Strategic concept, on NATO's missions (paying special attention to Afghanistan), NATO enlargement and partnerships, NATO's Public Diplomacy as well as non-military challenges such as energy security and cooperation with countries of the FSU region.

YATA participants will have an extra day of meeting under the general theme: “60 Years of NATO and looking ahead”. A detailed program will circulate soon.
For further information and registration forms, please approach your national ATA Councils.