Thursday, September 23, 2010

ATA and YATA discussion on the new NATO´s Strategic Concept at GLOBSEC 2010

On 14th September, the Slovak Atlantic Commission organised a discussion of Civilian Advisers to NATO GoE on the new Strategic Concept (STEVEN FLANAGAN and CAMILLE GRAND). The discussion was chaired by TOMÁŠ VALÁŠEK, Member of the Board of SAC, and among participants were members of 9 chapters of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) and Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA).

The discussion represented a unique opportunity for opinion-makers and young leaders from Euro-Atlantic area to discuss process of preparation of the new NATO's Strategic Concept two weeks before NATO Secretary General introduces his draft of the document at the end of September. The discussion also embraced remarks of Amb. ANATOLY ADAMISHIN, President of the Association for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, on the European Security Treaty of President Medvedev in relation to the new Strategic Concept, and remarks of Amb. JERZY NOWAK, Vice – President of the Polish Euro – Atlantic Association.

Photo gallery from the discussion is available at,m6,default,1&m6albumid=29&m6returnid=55&page=55

Report from the discussion you can find at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NATO's position on Georgia and relations with Russia

From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO [2]: This bridge across Europe, between NATO and Russia, makes Europe more stable and more secure. Yes, we disagree every once in a while, and fundamentally on some issues, such as over Georgia. But we have learned not to let that overshadow the importance and the potential of this relationship, to make us all safer. ...

Now, I can imagine a few of you thinking: nice image, but a little bit rosy. What about the areas where NATO countries and Russia disagree? For example, what about Georgia?

And I fully share those concerns. There will certainly be issues on which we simply can’t agree. The massive numbers of Russian forces in Georgia, against the will of the Government, is one of those. So is the recent Russian decision to move missiles into Georgia, which we believe to be a dangerous move that is clearly in violation of the ceasefire agreement between Presidents Medvedev and Sarkozy. The recognition by Russia of the so-called independence of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is also unacceptable to NATO Allies. So as you can see, over Georgia – and by the way, also over the continued presence of Russian military assets in Moldova – we cannot see eye to eye.

But we cannot let this paralyze everything. It is counterproductive for everyone. We must and will continue to stand on the point of principle of host-nation consent – which, as I mentioned, is part of the CFE package. Here too, there is potential for positive reinforcement.

If conventional arms control in Europe is to move forward, it can only do so if host-nation consent is respected. That’s fundamental. And it applies to Georgia as much as to any other country. There is no way around it. Which is why I think that the shared desire to see progress on CFE can help energise efforts to unfreeze the deadlock over Georgia, in a way that fully respects host-nation consent and Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Agent-based model is a proposal for security practitioners as well as a tool for capacity building which could give more responsibility to Afghans for their own affairs just after the nine-year war with Taliban. The proposed model follows a concept of counter-insurgency in framework of security sector reform. It comes out of cognition that the application is about understanding how realistically planners analyze the change of security environment. The analysis highlighted tangible and observable way to assess security environment by local (Afghan) security sector institutions. Such adaptive model provides architecture which allows facilitating Karzai`s Afghan Government with wide range of operational agent networks. The model explicates some political (tribal), and social aspects of the non-combatant population and hinge on the competence of local security forces when reconciliation starts. The security sector management may use uncertainty absorption in advance to avoid turmoil once the NATO-led forces withdraw from the country.

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by JOZEF ULIAN, Slovak Researcher in Security, at :

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It is mandatory for NATO and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) to create a “Bridging Organization” (Afghan Coordinating Unit - ACU) that will have a lasting presence. It must not be established as a “Token” gesture, but as a fully endowed operational entity capable of planning, implementing, clearing, and Coordinating “all” operations both within Afghanistan and the extended Region. Within the Afghan Coordination Unit, the first step in planning will be the recognition, identification, and quantification of all the problems. The Military and Security needs are another class of problems. To be successful, a third category — cross-border and other third-party problems — must be integrated into the planning. This last will require serious inputs and actions from the Intelligence Agencies of many countries.

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by ABDUL JALIL GHAFOORY, Embassy of Afghanistan to the United States, at :

Friday, September 10, 2010


Exactly the Visegrad countries, thanks to their lessons learned, can offer to countries of the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe their experience. If Visegrad countries wish to have the Western Balkans or its Eastern border stable, then first of all the themselves have to be strong and stable and thereby naturally inspiring and prestigious for this region. Our homework therefore is to do our best so that our countries - V4 countries – would be the most useful NATO and EU members.

Being a member is much more demanding than becoming a member. This have to be extended by strengthening our own capabilities in the largest sense of meaning – starting with economy via civic society up to defence capabilities. Earning membership does not mean it is all over, on the contrary, it is the beginning. However, nongovernmental as well as governmental partners in these areas are frequently focusing only on the goal of becoming a member, and they focus much less on being a member.

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by ZBYNEK PAVLACIK, Chairman of Jagello 2000- Association for Euro- Atlantic Cooperation(Ostrava), Czech ATA, at:

Riga Conference live

On September 10-11, 2010, Rīga, the capital of Latvia, will host one of the leading security forums in Northern Europe – the Rīga Conference. The conference has become the most significant gathering of some of the most respected world thinkers, academics, commentators, journalists, and politicians, providing a platform for a broad intellectual exchange on the current Transatlantic agenda.
To engage broader audience across the Transatlantic, live broadcast of the discussions will be available on homepage of the Rīga Conference 2010 or by clicking here. Broadcast will commence on September 10, 16:00 (CET + 1 h).

Broadcast will be supplemented by online discussion where participants will be able to discuss topics of the Rīga Conference and post questions to the panelists. Most interesting comments and challenging questions will be forwarded to the moderator of discussion panel. Online broadcast program will include discussion panels and additional exclusive interviews for our on-line audience only.

Follow the news on Please note that Night Owl sessions are closed for any broadcast or press coverage, thus will not be available online.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


There don´t have to be a kind of choice between applying Article 5 and out-of-area operations, because they go hand in hand. Today, without a single overriding threat, differences in geography and history will push allies towards different conclusions about risks to their territory. Doubts over NATO’s commitment to defend Central Europe drain support in the region for ISAF. Reassurance measures can arrest the trend. The alliance needs to find the resources to guarantee a successful reinforcement in case of a crisis; mutual defence is the NATO’s core purpose.

New allies are anxious because, in their mind, NATO has ceased to function as crisis manager in Europe. But NATO should also create a mechanism that would monitor crises on NATO's borders – not just those with Russia but all borders. Finally, the alliance needs to be able to address the needs of both types of missions at the same time. The key to its continued validity lies in being able to convincingly address multiple challenges at the same time.

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by TOMAS VALASEK, Director of foreign policy and defence of the Centre for European Reform (London) and Chairman of the Slovak Group of Experts on the new NATO´s Strategic Concept of the project STRATCON 2010 at:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Visit at the CIMIC Group South

Last 16th March 2010 the Youth Atlantic Club of Gorizia, YATA Italy, carried out an interesting activity thanks to the collaboration of the CIMIC Group South unit, located in Motta di Livenza in the district of Treviso, Italy.

The CIMIC Group South represents the only Operational Cimic Headquarters within NATO and is the only military unit capable of developing and carrying out activities of Civil – Military Cooperation within NATO’s southern flank. It was created on the 1st January 2002 with the participation of Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Romania – which joined in 2007. The CIMIC activity represents a high level of cooperation within the framework of NATO where military units from different contributing nations work together with other Governmental Organizations, International Organizations and Non Governmental Organizations to cooperate in restoring essential services to countries that have been affected by natural disasters, wars or other state of emergencies.

The cooperation programme was carried out during the Functional Specialist Cimic Course (15th -19th March 2010). This course, together with the NATO CIMIC Basic Course, are the two main courses provided by the CIMIC Group South, open to both military and civil personnel and offering theoretical formation and professional training in the field of civil-military cooperation. (for more information visit its website:

The day was divided into two main periods, following the activities scheduled in the programme for the attendees. During the morning we first followed two lessons regarding cultural awareness and negotiation, and then some of the personnel prepared only for us an interesting description of the CIMIC unit. They gave us an outline of its position within NATO structures, its role and the specific tasks of its personnel in the war/crisis theatres, and the activities provided regularly on the base in Motta di Livenza, as an international benchmark in the NATO CIMIC field. In the afternoon activities of simulation in specific scenarios were scheduled. First we listened to an explanation of the scenarios they would play and then we watched a simulation were the attendees were asked to deal with the local authorities asking for help and support of the military detail.

After that the personnel of CIMIC reserved a place for us as role players in the second simulation scheduled for the day. We had to simulate a meeting with the military and civil personnel personifying the representatives of a NGO complaining about actions taken by them that had disturbed our work in the area. The aim was to put them in a spot and to lead the argument to a negotiation in order to solve the deadlock and reach a positive compromise.

That day represented a really unique moment for that group of students, for many reasons. First of all they had the opportunity to enter into direct contact with the world of the army and to observe the work of our Italian military personnel in a multinational framework. Secondly, they had the chance to discover what the civil-military cooperation really is, its particular characteristics, its small but important place in the crisis theatres and its role within NATO’s lead operations. Moreover, they also got to become familiar with the only Operational Cimic Headquarters within NATO and its team of professionals at work: they had the opportunity to sit in on some of the lessons and to take active part in the activities with them.

All of this was possible thanks to the kind availability of the CIMIC personnel that with a hearty welcome have opened their doors to the students, not only letting them share in the activities, but also trusting in them by giving them a part as role players for a simulation.

The students were all enthusiastic of the stimulating and exciting experiences that were new to them. They showed that they learned a lot from the visit itself, from what they had seen, heard and felt, and also from the previous preparation, for which they had to concentrate on studying for their role in the simulation and to learn how a counterpart to our military personnel in a real scenario of crisis would react.

Article by Atlantic Club of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


What will be needed to make AFPAK work is something the British understood only too well in the nineteenth century – fighting power, staying power and paying power. The AFPAK strategy has eight essential principles which include an international approach, a regional approach, a joint civil-military approach, a better co-ordinated approach, and a long-term approach. However, the weaknesses of the strategy reflect the essential paradox of the position taken by the Americans and the wider West. AFPAK is a big place fractured into a thousand hatreds. For strategy to succeed requires a commitment to success that is normally only seen during major war.

Therefore, in September 2010 severe questions remain given the financial and economic challenges faced by many Allied governments as to whether sufficient staying power and paying power is likely to be generated, let alone fighting power. Is the West still collectively prepared to invest politically or financially at a higher level of effort at a crucial moment? What to do?

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by JULIAN LINDLEY- FRENCH Eisenhower Professor of Defence Strategy at the Netherlands Defence Academy at:

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The origin of the Visegrad cooperation was to transform this group from a NATO membership-delaying group into a NATO membership promoting pressure group, and it worked. However, the European Union accession talks did not favor such cooperation, since the Commission followed – rightly so – a strictly bilateral approach and in the process of joining. Security, where the interests still were close to each other, hardly played any role in the accession process.

Since accession to EU in 2004, there were occasions, where the Visegrad countries acted together, but Several security issues, like the relationship to Russia proved even divisive: the Visegrad countries were as divided as the NATO and the European Union. On the other hand, the some successes of the Visegrad cooperation within the European Union in last years opened the eyes of these leaders to recognize that common initiatives and/or support to individual or partially supported initiatives by the other Visegrad countries are tremendously helpful.

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by Amb. ISTVÁN GYARMATI, President and CEO of the International Centre for Democratic Transition (Budapest) at:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kosovo offers to bury differences with Serbia

The prime minister of Kosovo, which seceded from Serbia and declared independence two years ago, has offered to make a fresh start in relations with Belgrade, which is coming under increasing European pressure to respond in kind.

In an article for the Guardian's Comment is free, Hashim Thaçi said it was "inevitable" that Kosovo and Serbia would resolve their deep enmity, bury their differences, and look to a future integrated in the European Union (EU).

The call for new negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade followed a blunt warning to the Serbian government this week from the foreign secretary, William Hague, who said the Serbs were jeopardising their chances of joining the EU by refusing to deal with an independent Kosovo.

The Serbs have tabled a draft resolution, to be discussed next week at the United Nations in New York, calling for Kosovo's secession to be condemned.

Hague told the Serbian president, Boris Tadic, to ditch the resolution. If he refused, Serbia's application to join the EU would be in trouble, Hague warned. If Tadic agreed, Britain would be Serbia's biggest backer in seeking to join the EU. Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, delivered a similar message in Belgrade last week.

Thaçi appeared to be responding to the growing calls from Brussels and west European capitals for the opening of new talks between Belgrade and Pristina.

"My country looks forward to working with Serbia and discussing practical issues that would improve the lives of all of our citizens," Thaçi said. "We are neighbours and we face common challenges. Our Serbian neighbours may not recognise Kosovo's independence just yet, but cooperation between the two independent states is inevitable."

The International Court of Justice dealt Serbie a blow in July, rejecting a demand from Belgrade to declare Kosovo's independence against international law.

Hague told the Serbs it was time to end recriminations from the outcome of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, to accept the new reality, and to focus on the future, with eventual EU membership.

Serbia has applied to join, but Brussels has yet to rule on opening negotiations. Membership is years away and improbable unless Serbia recognises an independent Kosovo, something it has vowed never to do.

Nato went to war against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999. The territory, populated mainly by ethnic Albanians, was then put under UN stewardship, leading to the declaration of independence in 2008. Serbia refuses to accept that. But Thaçi complimented Tadic. "Today's Serbian government," he said, "has a different complexion from the one that terrorised my people 11 years ago."

Hague said the map of the Balkans, redrawn in the 1990s as a result of the wars and the collapse of Yugoslavia, was now complete and would not be re-opened, meaning Kosovo's fate was settled and there could be no Serbian secession in Bosnia.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Early in the twenty-first century, there is a general feeling that the primacy of the transatlantic economy is in its twilight. Given the global weight of the transatlantic partnership, disputes and disagreements between the United States and Europe invariably take on global dimensions. Against this backdrop, the world cannot afford the transatlantic economy to fail, which makes the all the transatlantic bickering since the crisis began all the more discouraging. The current economic crisis presents a unique opportunity for leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to rewrite and reconfigure some of the basic fundamentals of the transatlantic economy. Only strong cooperation and coordinated response to the global crisis would underpin and support the transatlantic economy’s role as one of the most important components of the global economy.

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by JOSEPH QUINLAN, Chief Market Strategist of Bank of America Capital Management, at:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The speed with which the financial crisis that originated in the USA has spread into the rest of the world has shown how interdependent the world is. The financial crisis followed by the economic and social crisis has not triggered trade wars but was a strong blow to globalisation through protectionism, hostility towards foreign investors and immigration. On the positive side, it strengthened efforts to improve global governance to prevent recurrence of such crisis. G20 emerged as a new global economic governance body.

The crisis has speeded up the process towards multipolar world by accelerating the shift of much of the economic power from the G7 to the rest of the G20 countries with China and India as the two new world powers. The crisis generated sharp increase in unemployment, inequalities, extreme poverty that are often drivers of social unrest, political instability, regime change, increase in xenophobia, extremism, organised crime and terrorism. However, so far there has not been any big threat to international security indicating that global coordination in crisis response has succeeded in preventing the worst.

Read more in Policy Paper prepared especially for 5th GLOBSEC Security Conference by BRIGITA SCHMOGNEROVA, former Vice- President for Environment, Procurement and Administration at the European Bank For Reconstruction and Development (London) at :