ATLANTIC TREATY ASSOCIATION
Volume 4 - Issue 5 May 2014
Challenges and Future of NATO’s Defense Capabilities The nature of threats and the challenges that NATO is faced with in the present day are ever changing and have added difficulties. The alliance has been posed with an aggression by Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the reaction has been reluctant. In addition, a world financial crisis has worsened the contributions to the defense industry. More and more nations are cutting back on defense spending at a time when investment are mostly needed. The need for military spending is of great importance especially for European nations, as its Eastern
The Airborne Early Warning and Control Force one of the military assets that is owned and operated by NATO. (Photo: NATO)
Contents: Operation Enduring Freedom And The Weakness Of The In that sense, how can prior experiences Revolution In Military Affairs: A Lesson To Learn For The pave NATO’s road towards a stable and secure NATO Allies neighbour grows increasingly hostile.
Francesco Di Massa offers historical background behind the Revolution in Mili-
This edition of Atlantic Voices will exam- tary Affairs and explains why it has not fulfilled its potential. He argues that ine two different views to NATO’s defense there is a need for investment in military technology in order to avoid face-tocapabilities. This issue will first explore how face combat and to reduce casualties.
NATO Capabilities And Threats Since The Global Financial tion of NATO, followed by an analysis of de- Crisis past lessons can be applied to the present situafense spending and its need for reform. Edited by: Genaro Aguilera-Reza Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 5
Quint Hoekstra examines the capability cutbacks that have taken place since the Global Financial Crisis. Additionally, he explores the challenges and difficulties that NATO has endured during the crisis.
Operation Enduring Freedom & The Weakness Of The Revolution In Military Affairs: A Lesson To Learn For The NATO Allies By Francesco Di Massa
development of RMA, should bridge their gaps and conduct new R&D joint efforts, by adopting a strategy of commercialization of the defence industry. As a result of the development of the RMA technologies, soldiers could avoid engaging in face to face mortal combat and the loss of human lives among NATO troops would remarkably diminish. Ultimately, the anti-war sentiment in the countries joining the military alliance would decrease.
fter the defeat in the Vietnam War, an asymmetric conflict in which around 58,000 American soldiers lost their lives, the US Department of Defense decided to modernize its security apparatus by engaging in a process of military application of technology, best known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). The direct applications of this process were reconnaissance, based on From Vietnam to the First Gulf War: the Illuthe employment of drones and satellites, as well as sionary Revolution in Military Affairs’ At the accuracy of ranged weapons. The final aim was to diminish human casualties in conflict, by reducing the beginning, OEF was thought to be a short conflict need of engaging troops in face-to-face combat, and conducted mostly through the use of new technologies, offered by the previous RMA. This military revmake the idea of waging new wars more appealing to olution has its roots in WWI and saw its first developthe American public opinion. This military revolution ment after the Vietnam War. America lost the conflict in turned out to be a successful choice during the First Gulf The impact of such a revolution has been to South East Asia for several reaWar. However, the 2001 Opsons. First, the US army, which reduce human casualties in conflict was used to fighting conveneration Enduring Freedom (OEF), the US led military tional wars, found itself unpreengagement aimed at eradicatpared in the asymmetric conflict against the Vietcong, communist guerrillas who ing Al Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, dismantled this new certainty, as the RMA developused to engage the enemy by employing ambushes ments resulted to be a partially effective means in the and “hit and run” tactics. They knew very well how to move into the jungle and they exploited the fight against the September 11 perpetrators. In principle, RMA should have allowed the US and its allies to knowledge of the territory to their advantage. Secwin the military campaign by only employing drones, ond, during that long and troubled conflict, which lasted from 1964 to 1973, around 58,000 American Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) and laser guided bombs, without risking the loss of human soldiers lost their lives and the public opinion became lives. In practice, ground combat played a fundamenvery restless about the war. Third, the Vietnam War was televised and people who saw the slaughtering tal role in defeating the enemy. In future military operations, reconnaissance from home expressed dissent about the military operdevices and long distance fire power should be indeation forcing the government to withdraw from the pendent means for winning wars and Special Operawar. tion Forces (SOFs) should stand away from frontal After such a demise, which stained the American combats. The US, as well as the other NATO allies, military reputation abroad, showing that the first world superpower could be defeated on the battlewhich do not contribute as much as the former to the Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 4
ground, the US Department of Defense decided to enwere quickly targeted by the RMA precision fire powgage in a process of military application of technology, er from 8 km and bombed. This propitious situation changed after some weeks, best known as RMA. Its aim was to improve military capabilities and its direct applications were twofold: reconespecially when Al Qaeda combatants started replacing naissance, based on collecting information about enemy Taliban forces. Weeks of bombardment failed to destroy all the Al Qaeda garrisons and the innovative prepositions and weaknesses through the use of drones and satellites, and accuracy of weapons, enhanced by the use cision guided fire power could not kill all the insurof sophisticate lasers, able to target objectives at a disgents. This happened because PGMs could do only a part of the job in Afghanistan, a country with a particutance of 8 km. The impact of such revolution has been to reduce human casualties in conflict, considering the fact larly dense mountainous environment, where enemy machines and not just human power have been employed targets could disperse, cover and conceal themselves. Another major problem for PGMs, was that Al Qaeda since then, and enhance the effectiveness of military capacombatants used to hide themselves in civilian villages, bilities. This new revolution proved to be highly productive making it difficult for aerial warfare computer models to distinguish between the insurgents and the local during the First Gulf War. Indeed, US satellites quickly identified Saddam Husseinâ€™s positions in Iraq and the new population. enhanced long range precision fire weapons destroyed The situation changed only when terrain SOFs reached the battlefield. At the same time, CIA teams them during a conventional war conducted mostly on the open field. After this success, were operating, tasked with America thought to have demaking connections with the Northern Alliance commanders feated its strategic weaknesses, which caused the demise of the and asking them for assistance Vietnam War, and restored its on the battlefield. The intelligence campaign worked sucmilitary image worldwide. However, the 2001 Afghancessfully and the US led coaliistan War would have resulted tion had on its side a combination of PGMs, SOFs and indigein a doubtful symmetric conflict, which quickly changed its nous allies. One of the first batidentity in asymmetric warfare, tles, fought close to Mazar-iSharif, saw SOFs fighting side revealing to the US and its allies the ineffectiveness of the RMA by side with Northern Alliance Geographic Map of Afghanistan (photo: Talking Proud) developments. troops against the Taliban. During this battle enemies hid in small underground chambers to escape allied Operation Enduring Freedom: fighting an asymfirepower. Coalition troops eventually had to flood the metric war with traditional tactics chambers with cold water in order to kill the insurth On the 7 of October 2001, OEF began with a gents. bombing campaign against the Talibanâ€™s air force and During the following stage of the military operacommunication systems. In the first stage, which recalled tion, advanced US terrain vehicles found it impossible to move over rocky mountain trails and troops had to a typical symmetric warfare theatre, enemy targets were exposed and easy to acquire for the Precision Guided Muproceed with ponies, bearing the weight of their equipnitions (PGMs) technology. The Taliban made no effort ment on their shoulders. Another important battle saw coalition troops fighting against Taliban hidden in old in hiding themselves and their positions, openly standing on mountain peaks. Even their armoured vehicles were Soviet bunkers at the small village of Bai Beche. Here, deployed without revetment shields. Those positions again, the Taliban fell easily but Al Qaeda troops defended themselves from target acquisitions. Coalition Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 4
forces showed resolve and Kabul fell to its feet on Here they could reorganize their forces and plan futh the 13 of November 2001. 5,000 Taliban and Al ture counterattacks against NATO’s International Qaeda troops organized a resistance in Konduz, Security Assistance Force (ISAF). but after 12 days they surrendered. After Kabul and Konduz were taken, SOFs moved with KarLearning from the past: NATO’s need for a rezai’s troops toward the Taliban’s fortress in Kannewed RMA engagement th dahar. On the 6 of December, before coalition OEF revealed the weakness of RMA as the miltroops reached the area, Mullah Omar and some itary campaign was conducted as an orthodox examother Taliban rulers had escaped. The Taliban reple of modern face to face warfare, despite the presence of drones and heavy fire support. Precision air gime was finished. The last great battle of the military campower played a fundamental role in making the differpaign, namely Operation Anaconda, started with ence between stalemate situations and victory, even if an intensive reconnaissance operation during it could not have ensured the final result by itself. Inwhich less than 50% of the Al Qaeda positions deed, ground combat revealed to be a necessary stratwere identified before SOFs and Northern Alliegy against Taliban and Al Qaeda combatants, who ance troops engaged in direct fighting. This hapengaged in asymmetric operations by exploiting their pened because drones could not identify all tarknowledge of the Afghan territory and hiding on the gets, covered by the complex Afghan natural envimountains. Precision fire power, based on the use of ronment. The battle saw coalition troops fighting JDAMs as well as laser-guided bombs, and land troop face to face against Al Qaeda combatants in the manoeuvers demonstrated the interdependent means Shah-I-Kot valley. During this fight, soldiers got necessary to win the war. However, RMA should surprised by Al Qaeda’s have allowed the US led coalition insidious fire attacks, which to employ only fire power, obcame from previously untaining success on the battlefield NATO members should embrace the so called without risking the loss of human seen positions, and conse“globalization and commercialization of the lives. Then, OEF represents an quently had to engage in defence industry”. close combat operations element of continuity with WWI and WWII, where joint air-land conducted by traditional tactics were employed, instead of a turning point in infantry. The remaining enemy positions, which drones had not been able to identify, were discovthe history of military strategy. ered by ground forces observing through the The US and NATO military apparatus must be source of fire. redesigned in order to give major power to the long This unforeseen situation should not have range precision engagement and leave ground frontal combat behind. In future operations, reconnaissance taken place. Drones and long distance fire power should have been able to defeat the enemy withdevices and ranged weapons should be independent out the need to expose the US led forces to means for gaining victory and SOFs should only play a backing role by standing apart from face to face comfrontal mortal attacks. This is the reason why, although coalition troops won the battle, a group bats and enemy fire. of Al Qaeda survivors probably including Osama However, a major obstacle for a renewed RMA Bin Laden escaped to Pakistan through the White engagement within NATO is represented by the miliMountains near Tora Bora. From a strategic point tary capability gap between the US and its European of view, this episode caused tactical and diplomatallies, partially due to reduced defence budgets in ic challenges, considering the fact that the Taliban Western European countries. Indeed, since the end of obtained a new refuge outside of Afghanistan. the Cold War, these members have cut military spending by 25% in real terms. The US spends Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 4
Bibliography around two and a half times as much on R&D as all the other NATO allies combined. With regard to this Biddle S. (2002), Afghanistan and the Future of point, Bill Lynn, chief executive officer of both Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Finmeccanica North America and DRS Technologies, Policy, Carlisle, US Army War College. argues that NATO member states should embrace the so called “globalization and commercialization of the defence industry” and Biddle S. (2003), bridge their differAfghanistan and the ences in military capaFuture of W a r bilities, since not all fare, in Foreign Afinnovations in such fairs, vol. 82, no. 2, field will come from pp. 31-46. the US. Most importantly, giving major power to long range precision engagement and leaving Predator UAV. Widely used for reconnaissance missions throughout OEF (photo: ground face to face combat behind could reduce the loss of human lives Lynn B. (2013), Interview with Bill Lynn on 2013 among NATO troops and thus defeat a major point of Global Security Forum, in The International weakness for the US and the whole military alliance: Relations and Security Network, URL: http:// namely, the ability to achieve strategic objectives fastisn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Video/Detail/? er while avoiding high casualty rates which would lng=en&id=172492 simultaneously lower the anti-war sentiment at home.
About the author Francesco Di Massa holds a Master of Arts in International Politics and Security Studies, completed at the Roberto Ruffilli Faculty of the University of Bologna and the University of California Santa Barbara. After having completed an internship at the Italian Embassy in Oslo, during which he attended several conferences at the Norwegian Atlantic Committee, he is currently contributing through the organization Automated Mapping – Facilities Management GIS Italia to some EU funded projects, including the Upsidedown Project for the protection of underground critical infrastructures.
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Sloan E. (2000), DCI: Responding to the US Led Revolution in Military Affairs, in NATO Review, URL: http://www.nato.int/docu/ review/2000/More-capable-balanced-alliance/ DCI-Responding-US-led-Revolution- Military -Affairs/EN/index.htm Watts B.D. (2011), The Maturing Revolution in Military Affairs, Washington DC, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
NATO Capabilities And Threats Since The Global Financial Crisis By Quint Hoekstra
ing. His successor Chuck Hagel echoed these words more recently by saying European states must renew their investment in military capacity. Ironically, the US has also been cutting its own defence spending. Last February, Hagel even announced he is planning to shrink the US army to pre-World War Two levels. Capabilities, therefore, are a central concern to both the US and NATO. But capabilities on their own do not say much. It is their relation to the threats NATO faces that is important. So, does there exist something like a threat-capability gap? Is there really something to worry about? This article first investigates what capability reductions there have been since the outbreak of the global financial crisis. It then examines trends in threats and issues NATO faces over the same period.
ext September, NATO member states will gather in Wales to discuss collective NATO capability levels. In some member states, the Global Financial Crisis has led to reduced military spending. Yet the recent crisis in Ukraine shows threats continue unabated. So by how much have budgets exactly been cut? How have NATO threats evolved since the outbreak of the financial crisis? And what does that mean for the alliance? After years of economic woes dominating Western newspapers, Russia’s advance in the Ukraine has reminded NATO member states that money is not everything. The global financial crisis and the corresponding government budget deficits have sparked a string of cuts on military spending, leaving military analysts worried about the collective level of NATO Capabilities capabilities. 1 Turkey 17,3 15 Estonia -13,2 The assessThe Obama 2 Norway 9,5 16 Albania -15,2 ment of NATO administration 3 Germany 7,3 17 Italy -17,8 capacity levels first 4 USA 2,4 18 Netherlands -18,2 has repeatedly 5 Portugal 2,1 19 Slovenia -30,1 requires a way to urged Europe 6 Poland 1,3 20 Spain -30,8 measure military to spend more 7 Denmark -1,1 21 Slovak Rep. -31,4 capabilities. This is on defence, 8 Luxembourg -4,1 22 Iceland -31,9 not as easy as it insisting that 9 Romania -4,4 23 Czech Rep. -34,5 may seem. The peace does not 10 France -5,2 24 Bulgaria -35,0 s i m p le s t way come free of 11 UK -6,9 25 Lithuania -35,1 would be to count charge. In 12 Canada -8,0 26 Hungary -36,3 and compare troop 2011, US Secnumbers. The 13 Belgium -8,8 27 Greece -37,5 retary of Demore soldiers a fence Robert 14 Croatia -13,1 28 Latvia -49,6 state has, the highGates warned Table 1. Percentage change in military budgets from 2007 to 2013. (Source: SIPRI er its capabilities that NATO Military Expenditure Database 2012) are. A core probwould have a lem with this “dim if not dismethod is that it does not account for differences in mal future” if it does not increase its military spendequipment. One thousand poorly equipped Turkish soldiers would arguably be no match for a hundred Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 4
third of member states (10 out of 28) have decreased highly specialized British troops using the latest technolotheir budgets by more than 30%. Admittedly, these are gy. This problem could be solved by measuring material the small member states and this explains why the total capacity instead. Yet this too runs into problems. An old has remained so stable. Figure 1 shows differences beformer Soviet tank is not equivalent to Germany’s best. tween Europe’s great powers: the United Kingdom, Academics at the SIPRI institute offer a solution for this France and Germany. France remains the top spender problem. They track all official national government miliout of these three but Germany is steadily closing the tary spending in their Military Expenditure Database, gap. allowing for cross-national comparisons. Simply put, Figure 2 shows differences between the US and higher budgets are assumed to lead to higher capabilities. the EU. The earlier 2007-2013 comparison hid the One downside is that this mechanism does not pick up on true dynamic of US spending. During the first three differences in purchase power. A thousand dollars spent years of the crisis the US budget increased, but it noted on military personnel wages arguably goes a lot further in a sharp decline afterwards. The EU, by comparison is India than in the United States. But as the goal here is onmuch more stable. It first slowly increases and then ly to compare Western military budgets, this poses less of decreases a year prior to the US. The figure’s scaling a problem. This paper therefore uses SIPRI’s 2014 dataset somewhat hides the fact that between 2007 and 2013, to compare military figures between 2007, which is the total EU military spending decreased by 9.3%. The year before the global financial crisis started, and the latgraph does clearly est figures from show the differ2013. ence between the The first US and EU: dequestion to ask is spite its much whether NATO larger population military spending and economy the has indeed deEU only spends creased in this time just under half period. In 2007, (45%) of what combined NATO the US does. spending was The con$939,407 million. Figure 1. Military spending figures from France, Germany and the United Six years later this Kingdom, expressed in millions of constant 2011 US dollar. (Source: SIPRI Mili- clusion on NATO capabilities since had dropped to tary Expenditure Database 2012) the global finan$928,348 million, a cial crisis is that while total NATO capacity has redecline of just over 1%. From these figures, it would be mained stable, differences between major EU powers tempting to say the global financial crisis has almost no have shrunk and differences between US and EU milieffect on NATO’s military spending. However, as table 1 tary spending have increased. Gates and Hagel’s comillustrates, a closer look reveals great differences between ments therefore do appear to be justified. But how member states. does this compare to the threats NATO faces? After With a rise of 17.3%, Turkey has by far increased all, defence spending primarily serves to protect the its military budget most. Other risers are Norway, PortuAlliance. If the threats have reduced proportionally, gal and Poland. Perhaps surprisingly, Germany displays the reduced spending can be seen as a positive sign as it an impressive increase of 7.3%. The only other riser is keeps NATO safe while freeing up resources for other the United States, with 2.4%. Out of all 28 member policy areas. states, 22 (79%) show negative figures. Latvia ranks last; it nearly halved its military spending. Worryingly, over a Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 4
Social cohesiveness and stability may be undermined Threats versus Issues by friction between different generations, such as In order to fully understand the context in youth unemployment or elderly care. Another issue which NATO operates, it is important to distincan be friction between a host population and migrant guish between threats and issues. Threats are decommunities. fined as any external actor (state or non-state) that Some of these interests are in general only chaljeopardizes the territorial integrity of NATO lenged by outside actors, such as a statesâ€™ territorial member states. A historical example is the Soviet integrity. Others, such as forced migration issues, are Union during the Cold War and a more contemmore often caused by internal actors. But as recent porary example is Al-Qaeda. Issues, on the other events in the Ukraine show, minority groups can also hand, are external problems that NATO faces but cleavages and attract (military) attention from outside which do not directly challenge NATO member states. If NATO statesâ€™ soveraims to protect eignty. Exammember states ples are, for from all these instance, interthreats and issues, national crime it must pay atten(such as drug tion to each of the trafficking) and five levels outenvironmental lined in the Dutch change. Even National Security though these Strategy. Now issues can have that it is clear Figure 2. Military spending figures from the US and the EU (combined total of member a great impact on the long states), expressed in millions of constant 2011 US dollar. (Source: SIPRI Military Expenditure what threats and Database 2012) issues can consist term, on their of, it is time to analyze security trends in the 2007 to own they do not warrant large military expendi2013 period. tures. Contrary to the previous section, threats Trends and issues cannot be easily quantified. A more hoStaying with the Dutch analysis in 2010 the listic approach is therefore needed to map these Dutch government released a report called Verkenout. The 2007 Dutch National Security Strategy ningen [Explorations]. In the midst of the global finanprovides a good starting point in classifying their cial crisis the authors of the report attempted to anticimpact. It states five vital interests of the state. ipate future developments in the world of security First, there is the aforementioned territorial secupolitics, in order to help policy makers to make strarity. Second, is economic security, which refers to tegic decisions. the free and independent functioning of the econoOne of the main conclusions is that the internamy, such as international trade. Third is ecological tional environment can go one of four ways, illustratsecurity. This concerns the capacity to be resilient ed in Table 2. The crucial factor is whether the domito the environment, something challenged by clinant actors in international politics are state or nonmate change. Fourth is human security, which is state actors and whether cooperating is high or low. A used to indicate the functionality of individual citimultipolar world would see states cooperate with zens. Epidemics, for example, can inhibit citizens each other, while a multilateral world would see from carrying out their daily life. The last vital states struggling to do so. Fragmentation occurs when interest for the state is social and political stability. Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 4
mestic politics of the developed world. At the turn of non-cooperative non-state actors dominate global polthe century, globalization was seen to lead to a ‘race itics. Lastly, the world can be classed as a ‘network’ to the bottom’ whereby states deregulated business environment when non-state actors dominate and and dressed down social welfare provisions in order cooperate with each other. Using this model to anato stay internationally competitive. This was especiallyze the trend in international politics will help assess ly the case in Europe, where the European Union NATO’s threat levels. passed liberalization laws to be implemented in memBefore the global financial crisis NATO member states. But as the markets (and especially the fibers were fully embroiled in the conflicts in Iraq and nancial sector) failed Afghanistan. Back then, NonCooperative cooperative to deliver, states saw Islamic extremist terrorno option but to inism arguably posed the State-based Multipolar Multilateral tervene in the econolargest threat to NATO my. For a short perimember states. Analysts od, Keynesianism spoke of the rise of nonNon-state Fragmentation Network based was back. Once state actors such as Alsome North EuropeQaeda and of the general decline of the threat emTable 2. The Scenario Framework. Source: (Ministerie van Defensie. an economies recovered, member states anating from militarily 2010) pressed the European strong states. Contrary Union to call for austerity measures. This put states to the Cold War era, it was now weak states that firmly back in the driving seat of international politics NATO worried about. In 2002, the US National Seat the expense of businesses and other non-state accurity Strategy stated that “America is now threatened tors. less by conquering states than we are by failing ones”. While the global north struggled with its econThe idea was that these failing states, such as Somalia, omy, the south (especially Asia and Latin America) Sudan and Yemen, could be used as safe havens for continued to grow. The global financial crisis marked terrorists. Yet more recent thinking suggests nonChina’s rise to superpower status, overtaking Japan as state actors do not tend to operate from failed states. the world’s second biggest economy. India grew inJust like citizens, terrorists require some degree of creasingly confident while high gas prices led to a reorder to carry out their business. They rely on stable assertive Russia. communication methods and they need access to Some of NATO’s pre-global financial crisis sebanking and international transport. Weak states cancurity threats moved to the background. NATO efnot provide these, making terrorists turn to middleforts in Iraq were rounded off with the training of tier states instead. These are weak enough not to disover 15,000 Iraqi security forces. NATO involvement turb their business but do have the facilities terrorists in Afghanistan is winding down later this year, even require. This means weak states no longer appear to though continued support to the new Kabul adminbe a grave danger to NATO security as analysts istration is expected. Yet these old issues have been thought they were a decade ago. In addition, the globreplaced by new ones, such as the aftermath of the al financial crisis marked a general decline in the imArab Spring. NATO showed its continued relevance portance of non-state actors in international security. by exercising an effective air campaign to oust Libya’s Al-Qaeda, for example, did expand throughout the Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. Middle East and North Africa but the organization In contrast to 2007, current NATO member failed to repeat its attacks on Western targets of the state threats are predominantly state based, but they late 90s and early 2000s. also highly differ. The US keeps a tab on developNon-state actors also made a retreat in the doments in China, with Obama calling even himself the Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 4
In 2007 threats predominantly came from nonfirst ‘Pacific President’. Turkey, on the other hand, is state actors, such as Al-Qaeda, but in 2013 they apmore focused on preventing the civil war in neighpear to originate from stronger states instead, such as bouring Syria from spilling over to its territory. Russia and China. There is also greater diversity beWestern European NATO member states are worried tween the threats the various NATO member states about instability in North-African states, such as face. This potentially undermines NATO solidarity. Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, while East-European states Not helping matters is the fact that NATO’s role in perceive Russia as the biggest threat to their security. the world is still debated. The global financial crisis Turning to the smaller issues, global state cohas not brought NATO any closer to the question operation has repeatedly proven difficult. Progress on whether it should be a regional or global actor. The climate change is obstructed by seemingly irreconcilamore diverse threats also make it more difficult for ble differences between the developed and developing states to anticipate on future military needs. This adds world. The permanent members of the United Naan extra challenge to those states wishing to further tions Security Council also clashed over how to hanreduce military budgets. In dle the Arab Spring and its an increasingly uncertain aftershocks. Superpower coFrom this perspective, a hundred thousand extra dollars world, states have no option operation has been successful for NATO’s War College in Rome may very well be betin some cases. There has ter spent than millions for a few extra Joint Strike Fight- but to maintain a versatile military force. State differbeen strong action on piracy ers. ences between the level of off the Somali coast and the military budget cuts and the US and Russia have cooperatdifference in threats mean individual NATO member ed with regards to the issue of Syria’s chemical weapstates can end up facing threat-capability issues in the ons supply. Yet recent events in Ukraine re-ignited near future. tensions between the two former rivals, marking an Smart defence, the idea of doing more with end to the brief period of détente. less, can be part of the solution. The increase of To summarize, the trend during the global fiNATO interoperability could for example help mainnancial crisis is one towards a state-based multilateral tain collective capabilities. Yet military might is not world in which the specifics of security threats have everything. Recent campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq changed but the level of threats and issues have rehave shown that high capabilities do not always transmained the same. US political, economic and military late into desired outcomes. The lesson may very well hegemony in much of the world continues, but it is be to try and use what capabilities NATO has got in a increasingly questioned by other rising powers, probmore intelligent way. After all, military capacity is lematizing global cooperation. constrained by the capacity of political leaders to use it effectively and efficiently. Russia’s swift invasion of Conclusion the Crimea shows that NATO military might does Military spending figures suggest total NATO little to protect its interests if it is not utilized propermilitary capabilities have not significantly decreased ly. If military capacity goes unused (in the sense of since the global financial crisis. Differences between ineffective deterrence or non-deployment), these remajor European powers have shrunk while the Atlansources may be better redirected to other policy aretic divide (between the US and EU) has widened. The as, such as education or health care. If NATOtotal level of threats NATO faces remained unmember states really seek to make the most out of changed. That means on a NATO-wide level there is their capabilities they must think better about how no need to speak of a threat-capability gap. Yet the they deploy their forces. Both too much (Afghanistan) type of threats have significantly changed.
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and too little (Crimea) can be detrimental to its interests. From this perspective, a hundred thousand extra dollars for NATO’s War College in Rome may very well be better spent than millions for a few extra Joint Strike Fighters.
About the author Quint Hoekstra currently studies Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations and Organizations at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
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Ministerie van Defensie. 2010. Eindrapport: Hou vast voor de Krijgsmacht van de Toekomst. Den Haag: Thieme GrafiMedia Groep bv. The National Security Strategy of the United States o f America. 2002. Pp 1. Stewart Patrick. 2011 Weak Links: Fragile Global Threats, and International S Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Financial Times. 2011. “China Economy O v e r takes Japan.” http://www.ft.com/intl/ cms/ s / 0 / 3 2 7 5 e 0 3 a - 3 7 d d - 1 1 e 0 - b 9 1 a 00144feabdc0.html#axzz30LryvUnK (April 30, 2014). February 14. NATO. 2013. “NATO’s Assistance to Iraq.” h t t p : / / www.nato.int/cps/ en/natolive/ t o p ics_51978.htm (April 30, 2014). June 11. NATO.2014. “ISAF Ministers Discuss Afghan Mis sion Progress and Post-2014 Planning.” http:// www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/ news_107519.htm (April 30, 2014). February 27. The White House. 2009. “Remarks by President Barack Obama at Suntory Hall.” http:// www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarkspresident-barack-obama-suntory-hall (April 30, 2014). November 14.
Yahoo! News. 2014. “Hagel Says Europeans S h o u l d Step up NATO Support.” http:// news.yahoo.com/ hagel-says-europeans-stepnato-support-145427038--politics.html (April 30, 2014). February 26. Reuters. 2014. “Budget Cuts to Slash U.S. Arm y t o Smallest Since Before World War Two.” http:// www.reuters.com/ a r t i cle/2014/02/24/us-usa- d e f e n s e - b u d g e t idUSBREA1N1IO20140224 (April 3 0 , 2014). February 24. SIPRI Military Expenditure Database. 2012. h t t p : / / milexdata.sipri.org (April 30, 2014). Figures are expressed in constant 2011 US dol lar. Strategie Nationale Veiligheid. 2007. http:// www.rijksoverheid.nl/bestanden/documentenen- publicaties/kamerstukken/2007/05/14/ strategie- nationale-veiligheid/ m i crosoftword-strategienv- definitief.pdf (April 30, 2014). Pp 10.
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ATA Programs YATA Italy in cooperation with the University of Trieste, host the first Gorizia Youth Model NATO from May 12 –16 in Gorizia, Italy. GYM-NATO serves as an international student simulation of NATO’s decision-making process and aims at fostering awareness of NATO’s role, activities and organization. This year’s event will focus on the transformation process taking place throughout the Mediterranean and the engagement with old and newly aspiring conflicts.
The Slovak Atlantic Commission is hosting its annual GLOBSEC conference from May 14 –16 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The ramifications of the Crimea crisis, the upcoming NATO Summit as well as the European Parliamentary Elections will be dominating this years agenda.
From May 29-31, the city of Budva will serve as the venue for this year’s 2BS FORUM. Organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro this conference will discuss the emerging security threats such as cyber defense and prospects for the future of counterterrorism post-2014 Afghanistan. Furthermore the 20th Anniversary of the Partnership for Peace is reason enough for a retrospective. Atlantic Voices is always seeking new material. If you are a young researcher, subject expert or professional and feel you have a valuable contribution to make to the debate, then please get in touch. We are looking for papers, essays, and book reviews on issues of importance to the NATO Alliance. For details on how to submit your work please see our website. Fur-
Atlantic Voices is the monthly publication of the Atlantic Treaty Association. It aims to inform the debate on key issues that affect the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, its goals and its future. The work published in Atlantic Voices is written by young professionals and researchers. The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an international nongovernmental organization based in Brussels working to facilitate global networks and the sharing of knowledge on transatlantic cooperation and security. By convening political, diplomatic and military leaders with academics, media representatives and young professionals, the ATA promotes the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty: Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, Peace, Security and Rule of Law. The ATA membership extends to 37 countries from North America to the Caucasus throughout Europe. In 1996, the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) was created to specifially include to the successor generation in our work. Since 1954, the ATA has advanced the public’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of joint efforts to transatlantic security through its international programs, such as the Central and South Eastern European Security Forum, the Ukraine Dialogue and its Educational Platform. In 2011, the ATA adopted a new set of strategic goals that reflects the constantly evolving dynamics of international cooperation. These goals include:
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The nature of threats and the challenges that NATO is faced with in the present day are ever changing and have added difficulties. The alliance has been posed with an aggression by Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the reaction has been reluctant. In addition, a world financial crisis has worsened the contributions to the defense industry. More and more nations are cutting back on defense spending at a time when investment are mostly needed. The need for military spending is of great importance especially for European nations, as its Eastern neighbour grows increasingly hostile. In that sense, how can prior experiences pave NATO’s road towards a stable and secure Euro-Atlantic region? This edition of Atlantic Voices will examine two different views to NATO’s defense capabilities. This issue will first explore how past lessons can be applied to the present situation of NATO, followed by an analysis of defense spending and its need for reform. Edited by: Genaro Aguilera-Reza Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 5
Published on May 9, 2014
Operation Enduring Freedom And The Weakness Of The Revolution In Military Affairs: A Lesson To Learn For The NATO Allies Mr. Francesco Di M...