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Volume 4 - Issue 8 August 2014

NATO Partnerships and Open Door Policy In light of the events in the past six months in Ukraine, discussions on NATO Partnerships and possible enlargement have become highly relevant. Russia’s aggressive foreign policy towards former Soviet space has increased the need for small aspiring countries to accelerate their full accession to NATO. At the same time, NATO must focus not only on Europe, but actively advance its connections around the world. Already established global ties need to be well maintained and new partnerships actively sought. It is therefore

NATO Headquarters (Photo: NATO)

important for NATO to divide its resources

Contents: and attention in proportion with the arising NATO-Georgia Partnership Before the Wales Summit In September 2014 needs, without neglecting one or another. This month’s edition of Atlantic Voices gives an in-depth overview of NATO’s rela-

Lavinia Lupu offers an interesting insight about the relations between Georgia and NATO and the way this has led to a firm path towards membership.

The Cooperative Approach: Securing the Republic of gia and the Republic of Macedonia. Moreover, Macedonia’s Path Towards NATO tionships with its long-standing partners Geor-

moving to the other side of the Atlantic, possi- Jordan Tasev examines the cooperation that NATO and Macedonia have mainble strategic cooperation with influential pow- tained and also explains the aspects of a partnership between the two. ers in Latin America is under observation.

Enlargement of the Transatlantic Link: NATO's Global Partnership with Latin America Genaro Aguilera-Reza explores the possibility of NATO to expand its current

- Mikk Raud, Genaro Aguilera-Reza Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8

network of partners towards Latin America.


NATO-Georgia Partnership Before the Wales Summit in September 2014 NATO-Georgia Relations: A Review NATO-Georgia cooperation began in 1992 fter years of negotiating while facing all when Georgia joined the North Atlantic Cooperation kinds of internal and external pressures, Georgia finally achieved one of its first Council, which in 1997 became the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. This is a forum that brings together goals. On June 27, 2014, together with Moldova and the 28 Allies and 22 partner countries and provides the Ukraine, Georgia signed the Association Agreement (including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Arpolitical framework for NATO’s cooperation with partner countries in the ea) with the European UnEuro-Atlantic area. In ion (EU). Indeed, the signing of 1994, Georgia joined the Partnership for Peace, a the Association Agreement NATO programme of with the EU is a victory for Georgia, an important step practical bilateral cooperation between NATO and towards deeper political partner countries, accordassociation and economic integration with the EU, ing to their individual needs. with great impact on the Georgia started the regional level. But the exultation triggered by this NATO integration proGeorgian Orthodox priest offers a blessing to Georgian soldiers in 2011 (Photo: cess in 2002 at the NATO event was somehow overAtlantic Council) Summit in Prague. On this shadowed by the announcement made by NATO Secreoccasion, Georgia declared its aspiration to become a NATO member and to detary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He said on velop an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) June 25, at the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, that the upcoming NATO summit in Wales with NATO. Two years later, Georgia became the first country to agree to IPAP with NATO in order to assist “will not be about a Membership Action Plan (MAP); Georgia in achieving NATO standards and successfully but about more support to bring Georgia closer to NATO. And it will be a substantive package.” implementing democratic reforms. Based on the progress made by Georgia since the However, one of the goals of the Georgian start of the implementation of IPAP, the Allies decided leadership was to receive a MAP at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales. This is why NATO’s deciat the Bucharest Summit that Georgia, together with Ukraine, would both become NATO members: sion was by far “not really what the Georgian authori“NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euroties aspired to.” Considering these remarks, this article outlines Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members first a brief historical overview of NATO-Georgia of NATO. Both nations have made valuable contriburelations. After this, it focuses on the significance of the latest dynamics concerning the NATO-Georgia tions to the Alliance’s operations and MAP is the next step for Ukraine and Georgia on their direct way to Partnership before the upcoming NATO Summit in membership. Today we make clear that we support Wales. By Lavinia Lupu


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these countries’ applications for MAP.” dential elections in 2013. Before these two events, In the same year, Georgia and Russia experienced a NATO underlined the importance of holding free and short episode of armed conflict. NATO expressed its fair elections. In the final Chicago Declaration, NATO concern on “Russia's actions during this crisis” and stated stated that “We stress the importance of conducting that “Russian military action has been disproportionate free, fair, and inclusive elections in 2012 and 2013.” and inconsistent with its peacekeeping role, as well as The way these two elections were held underincompatible with the principles of peaceful conflict resolined Georgia’s progress towards democracy. The final lution set out in the Helsinki Final Act, the NATO-Russia reports released by OSCE/ODIHR show that the Founding Act and the Rome Declaration.” At the same Georgian parliamentary and presidential elections were time, NATO proposed in September 2008 to establish freely and fairly held. The democratic transfer of powthe NATO-Georgia Commission with the aim of deepener in Georgia and the peaceful cohabitation process are ing the political dialogue and cooperation between the elements that prove, according to the NATO SecNATO and Georgia and of supervising the process started retary General, that “Georgia’s democratic process at the Bucharest Summit in April 2008. Ultimately, the continues to mature, and in that way, Georgia serves as NATO-Georgia Commission aimed at assisting Georgia in a model for the wider region.” recovering from the August At each important 2008 conflict with Russia. In high-level meeting, GeorDecember 2008, the Allied At each important high-level meeting, Georgia is gia is praised because of Foreign Ministers agreed to praised because of the progress made on reforms, the progress made on rethe development of an Anforms, especially in the especially in the security and defense sector. nual National Programme security and defense secunder the auspices of the tor. For example, during NATO-Georgia Commission. Thus, the Alliance decided Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s visit to to maximize its assistance and support for Georgia’s reNATO Headquarters in February 2014, Secretary form efforts. General Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised Georgia’s Assessing the Current State of Relations Between efforts in implementing important reforms: “Georgia is NATO and Georgia a strong and committed NATO partner. You are imBecoming a NATO member is one of the top forplementing important reforms. And today we see a eign and security policy priorities of Georgia. Moreover, more mature democracy in your country, after free Georgia enjoys a pro-NATO domestic consensus. The and fair presidential elections last year.” results of a recent report indicate that 72% of the GeorThis is just one example of how NATO pergian population supports a Euro-Atlantic future. Since ceives and addresses Georgia. This kind of discourse Georgia declared its aspiration to become a NATO memhas remained unchanged since 2012, when at the Chiber at the NATO Summit in Prague, it has been strugcago Summit, the Alliance “welcomed Georgia’s progling to meet the requirements of the Alliance, namely to gress since the Bucharest Summit to meet its Euroimplement the necessary reforms in order to achieve the Atlantic aspirations through its reforms, implementaEuro-Atlantic standards. This is why when Georgia retion of its Annual National Programme and active polates to its efforts to join NATO it often invokes the follitical engagement with the Alliance in the NATOlowing elements: the conduct of free and fair parliamenGeorgia Commission.” tary and presidential elections during the last two years, Another important thing that counts when talkthe progress made on reforms and Georgia’s contribution ing about NATO-Georgia relations is Georgia’s notato NATO operations. ble contribution to NATO operations and EuroIn the last two years, Georgia faced two critical Atlantic security. According to official data, Georgia is tests: the parliamentary elections in 2012 and the presicurrently the largest non-NATO troop contributor to Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) most East European states were in favour of giving in Afghanistan and serves as a transit country for Georgia a MAP, but Germany, France and other ISAF supplies. Georgia expressed its desire to conWest European countries were against. After many tribute to the new NATO-led mission to train, debates, during the Bucharest Summit, the Allies deadvise and assist Afghan forces after 2014 and to cided that Georgia, together with Ukraine, will beparticipate in the NATO Response Force in 2015. come NATO members: “We agreed today that these Georgia also supports Operation Active Endeavcountries will become members of NATO. MAP is our, NATO’s only Article 5 operation on antithe next step for Ukraine and Georgia on their direct terrorism held in the Mediterranean. As General way to membership. Today we make clear that we Knud Bartels said during NATO’s Military Comsupport these countries’ applications for MAP.” Acmittee’s visit to cording to NATO Georgia on February officials, Georgia 11-12, 2014, “this will become a dynamism in terms NATO member, but of military engagethe exact moment is ments is a significant not known. In this demonstration of paradigm, it is a Georgia's commitquestion of when and ment to NATO.” not if. Based on these One of the facts, Georgian offimost important reacials state on each sons for the lack of occasion that consensus within Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and Secretary General Anders Fogh NATO on Georgia is “Georgia has clearly Rasmussen, June 24, 2014 (Photo: NATO) shown progress reRussia, which has quired from a NATO always declared that aspirant country, therefore we [Georgians] have an it strongly opposes such a perspective for Georgia. expectation that the progress made by us will be For Russia, Georgia within NATO means that NATO adequately assessed at the upcoming NATO sumhas reached the closest possible point, right next to its mit in Wales.” In other words, “when the aspirant borders. For example, the Russian Minister of Forcountries are performing, when they are contribeign Affairs said on December 4, 2013, while attenduting to the common security… and when we ing a session of the Russia-NATO Council that Russia [Georgians] have public support [within the counwas convinced that NATO enlargement “not only try] to the Euro-Atlantic integration, we need valipreserves the division lines that all of us have commitdation from NATO that we are doing the right ted to dismantle, but it also amounts to transposition things.” From a Georgian perspective, the best way of those lines further into the East. No one should to “adequately reflect the progress made is to grant take steps that pose a danger to partners’ security.” a Membership Action Plan to Georgia.” Another example of Russia’s position towards this But Georgia is already a delicate subject subject is the answer offered by Aleksandr Grushko, within NATO, because there has never been a full Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, to the question of consensus concerning its membership in the AlliNATO Secretary General Rasmussen, during this ance. Just to remember the disagreement on year’s edition of Brussels Forum: “Will you accept granting Georgia a MAP during the NATO BuchaGeorgia’s right to choose NATO membership if this is rest Summit when the United States, Canada and the Georgian decision and if NATO accepts? Would Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


you accept that?” His answer was “No. I was absolutesia’s position towards Georgia’s future membership in NATO does not count, thus removing any interpretaly very clear; we are against. We believe that this is a tions that Russia has a veto to any NATO aspirants huge mistake. This is my country’s position.” On this topic, NATO Secretary General, in an that were part of the U.S.S.R. What Lies Ahead for the NATO-Georgia Partinterview for Foreign Affairs, stated that “NATO ennership? largement is not a threat against Russia. On the conGeorgia will not receive a MAP at this year’s trary: through enlargement of NATO, we have estabNATO Summit in Wales. Instead, NATO will offer lished a zone of security, stability, and prosperity in Georgia a “substantive package” of measures to Eastern and Central Europe. And Russia has profited strengthen cooperation. significantly from that. And apart from all this, it’s NATO Secretary General’s Special Representanot for Russia to decide whether an individual nation tive for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Apwants membership in NATO, or partnership with pathurai, visited Tbilisi on July 9 to discuss this topic. NATO, or a non-alliance policy. That's for each speHe declared that the package would enhance security cific nation to decide.” for Georgians and that it would concretely move In the same interview, the NATO Secretary Georgia towards NATO. This would probably mean General referred to Georgia and its objective to join closer political cooperation, training the Georgian armed forces, more GeorNATO, saying that “they do gian presence in NATO’s not fulfil all the criteria at this moment”. But this does One of the most important reasons for the lack of discussions and, a clear conconsensus within NATO on Georgia is Russia, firmation that Georgia is not mean that NATO will not stay firm in its decision which has always declared that it strongly opposes moving closer to NATO. such a perspective for Georgia. But given Russia’s taken at the Bucharest Sumaggression on Ukraine and mit that “Georgia will bethe annexation of Crimea, come part of NATO, provided, of course, they fulfil will this “package” have a clear impact on Georgia’s the necessary criteria… They [Georgians] have a clear security? This is a sensitive topic for Georgia and the aspiration. And we stand ready to assist them in fulbest example to prove it is mentioning the suggestion filling the necessary criteria.” The fact that the NATO of the Georgian Minister of Defence that in response Secretary General stated again that the Alliance would to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, NATO Allies should stay firm in its decision taken at the Bucharest Summit deploy “defensive assets” in Georgia: “Air defence and is a very important affirmation both for Georgia and anti-armor capabilities are something we need to put in Georgia and Russians will understand that you are NATO. For Georgia, this kind of statement represerious.” This proposal reflects not only Georgia’s sents an attestation that NATO stands by Georgia and security concerns about the critical situation it finds supports its Euro-Atlantic goal. For NATO, this asitself in after Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, but also sertion repeated both at the level of public discourse Tbilisi’s perception on NATO and how it should react and in the official Summit final declarations proves toward a partner country in times of crises. credibility, coherence and political responsibility. Deploying defence assets by NATO on a partAt the end of his remark on Georgia, the ner country’s territory would be something unpreceNATO Secretary General also emphasized that dented. First of all, this is because Georgia is not a NATO’s position towards Georgia and its EuroNATO member, but a partner. This reality implies Atlantic aspiration “will not be changed by what we the following consequences: Georgia is not protected have seen in Ukraine.” This statement should be perunder Article 5, it does not participate in the NATO ceived by Georgia as an assurance that NATO sustains decision making process, and it has no access to classiits Euro-Atlantic goal no matter what external events fied information. On the other hand, NATO’s Strategic Concept “Active Engagement, Modern Defence” take place. At the same time, it could mean that RusAtlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


identifies “cooperative security” as one of NATO’s three essential core tasks together with collective defence and crisis management. Partnerships are seen as a valuable way for promoting Euro-Atlantic security, they enable the cooperation with NATO members, thus becoming a win-win situation, both for NATO and its partners. The package proposal offered by NATO to Georgia should not be perceived as an attempt to move away from the decision taken at the Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a NATO member. Rather, it should be seen as proof that NATO stands by Georgia by finding solutions so as to help Georgia move closer to NATO. This is why Georgia should continue working to achieve its reform agenda and its democratic consolidation. NATO always refers to Georgia as being a “special partner” or a “strong and committed partner”, thus reflecting their good political dialogue and practical cooperation. Moreover, NATO states on each occasion that it actively supports Georgia’s territorial integrity, its democratic progress and its ongoing process of implementing the necessary reforms (such as reform of the armed forces, security sector reform, level of interoperability, defence planning, etc.) in order to meet the required Euro-Atlantic standards. Together with the package proposal, these are indicators that the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales will properly recognize Georgia’s progress and the fact that it is on the right path.

About the author Lavinia Lupu is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning in Bucharest, Romania. She is a PhD candidate at the National University for Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, where her work is focused on conflict transformation, reconciliation in inter-ethnic conflicts, inter-ethnic conflicts in the post-Soviet space. She holds a MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Visiting International Fellowship in Azerbaijan.

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Bibliography Books: Ronald D. Asmus, A little war that shook the world. Geor gia, Russia and the future of the West, Palgrave Macmill an, New York, 2010 Reports: Georgia, Parliamentary Elections 1 October 2012, OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission F i n a l Report, Warsaw, 21 December 2012 Georgia, Presidential Election 27 October 2013 O S C E / ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report, Warsaw 14 January 2014 Articles: John C.K. Daly, What does Russia’s annexation of Cri mea mean for Georgia’s efforts to join NATO? 04/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst Interviews: NATO is back. A conversation with Anders Fogh Rasmus sen, Foreign Affairs, March 21, 2014 Surveys: Luis Navarro, National Democratic Institute (NDI) Georgia, Public attitudes in Georgia: Results of a April 2014 survey carried out for NDI by CRRC –Georgia Sites: European Commission, Memo, The EU’s Association Agree ments with Georgia, the Republic of Mo ld ov a an d Ukraine, Brussels, 23 June 2014 NATO, Public opening remarks, 25 June 2014 PM calls for NATO MAP for Georgia, 26 February 2014 MAP for Georgia not on agenda of upcoming NATO Summit, June 26 2014 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, NATO-Georgia relat ions Chicago Summit Declaration, 20 May 2012 Statement, meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the l evel of Foreign Ministers held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, 19 August 2008 NATO-Georgia Commission NATO’s relations with Georgia Foreign Ministers praise Georgia’s reform efforts, 4 Decem ber 2013 NATO Secretary General praises Georgia’s reform efforts, 5 February 2014 NATO Military Committee acknowledges Georgia’s pro gress in defence reforms, 11-12 Febru ary 2014 British Foreign Secretary Holds Talks in Tbilisi, 8 May 2014 Bucharest Summit Declaration, 3 April 2014 NATO’s relations with Russia Georgia sets sights on NATO Membership Action Plan, Jan uary 16, 2014 Appathurai: ‘Substantive Package’ to solidify NATO-Georgia ties Alasania Calls for NATO ‘Defensive Assets’ in Georgia, 1 May 2014


Join the ‘Future NATO’ Twitter Debate

NATO‘s Emerging Leaders are discussing the future of the Alliance, in preparation of the Cardiff Summit in September 2014. Please contribute by comments, shares and usage of the hashtag #FutureNATO! Find more information and get in touch with us in Facebook: Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


The Cooperative Approach: Securing the Republic of Macedonia’s Path Towards NATO tries. For the first time, the Alliance had close coophe upcoming NATO Summit in 2014 has eration with the biggest number of its partners, both “Future NATO” as its overarching theme on and off the field. Invaluable lessons were learned for the whole event. As part of this broad and foundations for better, global partnerships were topic, there will be huge focus on NATO Partnerlaid. ships, their role and diversity. The overarching The new security landscape created in Europe goal is to make sure that NATO will be ready for will also have a strong impact on the NATO Open whatever the future holds. Door Policy. Although already agreed that this Sum2014 is an mit will not be an enimportant year for largement Summit, there NATO and marks will be strong support to the 20th anniversary the aspiring countries. of the two key and Acknowledgement of the fundamental partnew situation is expected nership formats: the and encouragement for Partnership for increased cooperation Peace and the Mediwith Ukraine and Moldoterranean Dialogue. va is almost a necessity. The Partnership for Learning from the previPeace was estabous Summits, encouragelished in 1994 in ments for full memberA squad of Macedonian soldiers patrolling in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2008 order to help the ship of Republic of Mace(Photo: J. S. Rafoss) participants developing a relationship with NATO, donia and Montenegro and a MAP for Bosnia and allowing them to choose their own priorities, ways Herzegovina once they solve their respective probof cooperation and the time frame of progress. lems are expected too. Their future is part of the Under this program, the participant is allowed to transatlantic family and full membership of the Allitouch upon every field of NATO. Currently, there ance. are 22 countries in the Partnership for Peace proNATO’s Open Door Policy is based on Article gram. The Mediterranean Dialogue program was 10 of its founding treaty: “The Parties may, by unanialso started in 1994. At present, there are seven mous agreement, invite any other European State in a countries involved: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, position to further the principles of this Treaty and to Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The objectives contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area of this dialogue are to contribute to regional secuto accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may rity and stability, achieve mutual understanding become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instruand dispel any misconceptions about NATO ment of accession with the Government of the United among Dialogue countries. States of America. The Government of the United Furthermore, the biggest NATO operation States of America will inform each of the Parties of – ISAF in Afghanistan is coming to an end. This the deposit of each such instrument of accession”. operation has included participation from 49 counBy Jordan Tasev


Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


NATO’s enlargement is aimed at promoting stability and cooperation, building whole and free Europe, united in peace, democracy and common values. The NATO Open Door policy and the enlargement policy is an ongoing and dynamic process which brought NATO from the 12 founding members to 28 member countries in 2009. The case of the Republic of Macedonia will be analysed to assess the value, benefits and the importance of the NATO Open Door Policy and NATO Partnership programs for the aspiring countries. The Republic of Macedonia has been a long term partner of NATO since 1995 and became an aspiring country for membership in 1999. First of all, the approach of the Republic of Macedonia towards the NATO Partnership must be defined. Going through the 15th Membership Action Plan (MAP) cycle and using all mechanisms that NATO offers, the Republic of Macedonia interprets the NATO Partnership Policy as a member country of NATO and not as a partner of NATO. The country cooperates with NATO through the Partnership for Peace and the Euro – Atlantic Partnership Council. Using the available mechanisms, the Republic of Macedonia has advanced in the integration processes. It has successfully reformed its security sector and reached the basic conditions for NATO membership. Reforming the defence and security sector, civil emergency planning, transformation of the Army, increasing human resources and potential, improving legislation and reaching budgetary requirements from 2,2% until the economic crisis are just a few of the results of effective usage of the Partnership for Peace. The Republic of Macedonia is actively engaged with all available mechanisms for practical cooperation with NATO. Using these tools, the Republic of Macedonia reached the level of NATO membership in 2008. For the development of the Republic of Macedonia and the successful integration processes speaks to the fact that from being an importer and consumer of security from its independence, the Republic of Macedonia has become a country that exports security since 2002 with the participation in the NATO led ISAF mission in Afghanistan. As a part of this mission, Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8

the Republic of Macedonia achieved significant success, sending dozens of rotations and reaching high level of efficiency. During the ISAF mission, our troops have maintained physical security of the main base in Kabul. Lessons learned are of immense importance. We have learned to cooperate with our partners and allies. As part of the Adriatic Charter, we participated together with troops from Albania and Croatia to the British and German contingent. Furthermore, in 2010, the Republic of Macedonia participated with teams of instructors for training in the Military by assisting a police school in Afghanistan as part of the 86th Brigade of the National Guard of Vermont. This mission is the first jump in quality which was made by the Republic of Macedonia in its international commitment. According to the White Paper on Defence, the Republic of Macedonia has participated in ISAF with a total of 3500 personnel, the biggest rotation reaching a number of 250 soldiers. Furthermore, the country will continue its active participation after 2014 in operation “Resolute Support”. The mission will be to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces. As part of the “Resolute Support”, the Republic of Macedonia will fully undertake its duties underlined by the NATO operational plans for the mission. The Republic of Macedonia is also continually active as a logistical center for the KFOR mission in Kosovo ever since the 1999 NATO intervention. It is of immense importance to state the benefits which the Republic of Macedonia receives by participating in the international missions. Increased knowledge, experience and expertise are invaluable for the future development of the Ministry of Defence and the Army. On the road towards Euro-Atlantic integration the Republic of Macedonia also learned and reaped the benefits from regional cooperation. As mentioned, the country was and is still part of the Adriatic Charter. This initiative was formed in 2003, with the support of the United States in the spirit of US-Baltic charter.


Starting together with Albania and Croatia, the mon goal of full Euro-Atlantic integration. initiative was enlarged in 2008 with Bosnia and The US-Adriatic Charter highlights the amazing Herzegovina and Montenegro becoming new accomplishments of the countries on their way tomembers and Serbia and Kosovo observer counwards the Euro-Atlantic integration. Also, in continutries. ation is promoting and supporting stability and full As a user of the NATO Partnership mechaEuro-Atlantic integration of the region. Sharing the nisms, the Republic of Macedonia reached this sucsame values and having the same goals is of invaluable cess and will continue to participate in the missions meaning for the region after long years of conflicts. led by NATO. Instead of previous physical protecGoing through the MAP processes, reforms and tion missions, the Republic of Macedonia will parregional and international cooperation has helped the ticipate with expertise Republic of Macedonia to adby contributing instrucThe NATO Open Door Policy was one of the key vance and develop as a country. tors and training. Participation in international mechanisms that gave the opportunity to the As announced by missions has allowed us to learn countries of the Western Balkans to cooperate. the Minister of Defence to cooperate with partners both Mr. Talat Xhaferi after the meeting in Skopje on on and off the field and to learn the most from the 14 November 2013 with the Deputy Assistant Seccooperation. Cooperative Approach to Security is a retary of Defence of the US Mrs. Evelyn Farkas: hihgly valued concept and is included in every main “Our priority is the engagement for full memberpaper and strategy of the country that is in the direcship of the Republic of Macedonia to NATO and tion of finishing the remaining work towards integraEU and in this context for us remains of highest tion to NATO and EU . Learning and gaining all the priority to continue with our participation in the benefits from it, the Republic of Macedonia will uninternational missions led by NATO, UN and EU�. doubtedly continue on this road. The Republic of Macedonia will continue with its engagement in international missions. About the author The best example of this is the participation in a mission with the National Guard of Vermont Jordan Tasev has graduated from the Institute for in Senegal. Senegal, beside all its problems, is a Security, Defence and Peace Studies in Skopje. He is huge security exporter. Until now, Senegal has currently a member of the Presidency of the Europarticipated with 3500 personnel in the UN led Atlantic Council of Macedonia, where he has commissions, however, they are still in need of instrucpleted an internship and is working as office manager. tors, training, preparation and expertise to improve their capacities and capabilities for internaBibliography tional missions. Once again, the Republic of MaceInternational Security Assistance Force http:// donia will definitely complete the jump in quality and will continue with fulfillment of the strategic NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, Looking towards the Wales Summit goals which are foreseen with these politics. White Paper on Defence The NATO Open Door Policy was one of wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELA-KNIGA-NAODBRANATA.pdf the key mechanisms that gave the opportunity to Fact sheet on Adriatic Charter the countries of the Western Balkans to cooperate. eur/rls/fs/112766.htm This cooperation brought security, stability and development of the region. The countries learned the benefit of working together towards the comAtlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


Balkan SAYS Security Architecture Youth Seminar

24 – 27 October 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia The Balkan SAYS 2014 seminar will gather and connect students, young professionals and future leaders, who will, through interesting round tables, debates and workshops, seek for new ways of dealing with regional security issues. Main focus will be on topics as follows: •

Regional security and cooperation through the lens of possible future Western Balkans integration into the Euro-Atlantic family;

The role of youth in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation;

Impacts and consequences of the catastrophic floods in the Western Balkans and more. See more at: Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


Enlargement of the Atlantic Link: NATO's Global Partnership with Latin America and stability in different regions of the world. HowevATO is actively looking for strategic parter, there has been little or no interest in Latin America despite its large Atlantic coast and strategic posiners in order to contribute to security and stability in different areas of the tion in world trade. The question is open, why world. Unfortunately, Latin America has been neNATO has developed partnerships in many places, but has not extended its network of cooperation into glected by the Alliance. In recent decades, Latin America has grown economically and the region is Latin America? now internationally engaged more than ever, while An unprecedented event took place in January 2014 when NATO signed a cooperation agreement having some of the largest and best equipped armies in the world. Countries like Mexico and Colombia, with Colombia, marking the first collaboration bewhich have friendly relations tween the Alliance and a Latin American country. with both the United States and countries that refuse any type of Diana Quintero, ColomWestern influence in Latin bia's Vice Minister has stated that “[Colombia] has America, such as Venezuela and Ecuador, could serve as a bridge approached NATO in orbetween the Atlantic Alliance der to be one of its global allies and this invitation is and other countries in this region. One of the possible reain response to NATO’s sons why Latin American coungoal of sharing good practices and experiences with tries have not been the ones NATO Deputy SG Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and taking the initial steps in creating other countries” (Tase, the Defence Minister of Colombia (Photo: NATO) a partnership is the fear of 2014).This demonstrates the interest that this South American nation has in “neocolonialism” that some leaders in South America have been denouncing for decades. It is a crucial time establishing a system of cooperation with NATO simifor Latin American nations to understand that there is lar to those that Japan, Australia or Mongolia already enjoy. This agreement between NATO and Colombia much to learn from a strategic partnership with NATO where the benefits outnumber the risks of fallcould be an initial step in upgrading the status of some ing into “neocolonialism”. In other words, both Western-friendly Latin American nations to eventually become part of NATO's global partners. This artiNATO and Latin American countries need to realize the importance of working together. cle will study the cases of Colombia and Mexico and Currently, NATO has a network of partners how they could contribute to the Alliance. It will then proceed to demonstrate the ways that NATO can help and talks are held and information is shared with a wide range of countries in very diverse areas of the strengthen these nations’ military structures and share globe. NATO's global partners include nations such as information in order to improve stability in the area. Colombia and Mexico are among the most Australia, Pakistan, Mongolia and Japan which lie very far from NATO's area of responsibility, sphere of inWestern friendly countries in Latin America, both fluence and of the Atlantic Ocean itself. Nonetheless, sharing stable economies comparable to those of Eastern and Central Europe. Moreover, both Colombia these partnerships contribute to maintaining peace By Genaro Aguilera-Reza


Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


and Mexico are two of the countries with the better In 2014, NATO and Colombia signed a security trained and most powerful armies in Latin America. At cooperation agreement that was “aimed at exchanging the same time they suffer from unresolved problems with intelligence information in order to improve the capadrug trafficking and drug related violence. Therefore, bilities on both sides of the Atlantic to face common these two nations are good examples demonstrating how threats, particularly transnational crime” (Sanchez A, bilateral cooperation can be beneficial to both NATO and 2014). NATO made an excellent step, as this bilateral Latin American countries. agreement will be very fruitful for the Alliance and the Colombia South American nation. After overcoming decDespite the evident benades of internal struggle to efits for the region, maintain its national security many neighboring counby fighting drug trafficking tries, such as Venezuela and terrorist groups such as and Bolivia, did not the Fuerzas Armadas Revolushare this positive view cionarias de Colombia and publicly denounced (FARC), Colombia is now both Colombia and the enjoying a more peaceful enAlliance (AVN, 2014). Drug Bust in Mexico (Photo: Council on Foreign Affairs) vironment and one of the Providing the civilian popmost stable economies in ulation with clear and full South America. At the same time, decades of hostilities information of the agreement with NATO could make have led to a generation of professionals trained in the public more open for discussing and accepting fighting drug trafficking and terrorism who have arguably the Alliance’s presence in their country. become very respected experts in these fields. For examThe possibilities of cooperation for Colombia ple, during the Mexican Drug War, a considerable numand NATO are extensive. The Atlantic Alliance can ber of Colombian intelligence was used to combat drug obtain a great source of information from Colombia in violence and drug trafficking in Mexican cities, such as order to better fight drug trafficking in Europe and Ciudad Juarez and Monterrey, where crime dropped draelsewhere. This is especially true given that much of matically. A similar case occurred in Central American the cocaine plaguing Europe originates from South countries, such as El Salvador and Panama, where positive America while using smuggling routes across the Atlanresults were also obtained (FIP, 2012). tic Ocean to make its way into Western African naColombia and the United States have a long history tions, and is eventually carried over in Southwest Euof cooperation at a regional level. During the Clintonrope and the Balkans to reach the other European maradministration, the Plan Colombia, which served the purkets. This should be a major issue for the Alliance as it pose of dismantling the powerful Medellín and Cali cardirectly poses a security threat to the Euro-Atlantic tels and fighting army and police corruption, was a great societies while undermining regional stability and consuccess. In a similar way, the U.S. Drug Enforcement taminating the Atlantic Ocean with criminal activity. Administration (DEA) has an office located in Bogotá NATO could also benefit from collaboration which serves as a strategic tool to fight drug trafficking in with the Colombian anti-drug trafficking experts in the Andean region. According to Geopolitical Monitor, Afghanistan. Afghanistan has become one of the “the United States has also supported Colombia in its risk world’s main producers of heroin, a substance that management efforts, the transformation of its armed forceventually reaches European markets, creating a major es, and (…) have also signed an agreement to establish an addiction problem, especially in countries like the overall assistance and cooperation plan covering four United Kingdom and Italy, where “there are 100,000 countries [in Central America]” (Tase, 2014). or so heroin users in Milan, a city that the police now Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


calls the European heroin capital.� (McDonald, Similarly, the DEA has an extensive history of cooper2013; Simons 1989). The possibility of using the ation with the Mexican government. For example, experience that Colombia has obtained during its earlier in 2014, an operation led by the Mexican Maown drug trafficking crisis and putting it in the rines aided by DEA intelligence managed to capture context of Afghanistan could be a great way to Chapo Guzman, the world's most powerful drug lord alleviate the problem which originates from Cenand the second richest man in Mexico. Although there tral Asia. has been a considerable degree of cooperation with There is no doubt that Colombia could Mexico, especially from the United States, that has make a great contribution to NATO's Global not been the case with NATO or EU. NATO needs to Partnership Program. The current bilateral agreeunderstand the necessity of building stronger ties with ment between Colombia and NATO is a good this Latin American nation. start to spark same Dr. David G. Hagtrend in other Westlund has written about the ern-friendly countries hypothetical possibility of in the region. At the Mexico becoming a memsame time, these types ber of NATO. Although of agreements contribthis would be extremely ute to the overall secudifficult, if not impossible, rity of the Atlantic he does, however, manage Ocean as well as to get many interesting NATO's sphere of inpoints across. To name a fluence. few factors, Mexico lies Armed Forces Day in Mexico (Photo: Secretaria de Marina) Mexico closer to the area of influMexico is another country that NATO ence of NATO as it is part of North America, as opshould consider for establishing a security cooperposed to nations that have direct ties with the Alliation agreement that could eventually lead this ance, such as Armenia or Azerbaijan, that are geonation to become a part of NATO’s Global Partgraphically much further apart. Similarly, Mexico has nership Program. This Latin American country a longer Atlantic coast than most European NATO possesses the second largest economy in the remembers which would serve the purpose of keeping a gion, is the largest US trading partner in the demore secure Atlantic Ocean. It is unlikely that Mexiveloping world and already takes part in a trade co will join NATO in the near future, but it is imagreement with Canada and the United States. In portant to keep in mind that Mexico is a North Amerfact, economists predict that Mexico will surpass ican nation that has much to contribute to the overall Brazil as the largest economy in Latin America security in the region and beyond. (Rey Mallen, 2014). It is difficult to understand In spite of Mexico's isolationist military poswhy NATO has taken so long to promote cooperture, there is much that this nation could benefit from ation with Mexico as it is so deeply connected obtaining a security cooperation agreement with geographically, culturally and economically with NATO, especially with its ongoing drug war probthe United States and other nations in the Eurolem. The Armed Forces of Mexico could benefit from Atlantic area. training in specific fields in counter terrorism to fight Mexico has welcomed aid from the United drug cartels, as these criminal organizations use tactics States in the past decade to fight its war against that terrorist groups have also used, such as car bombs drug trafficking in the form of the Plan Merida, and grenade detonations in public, among other which has achieved somewhat positive results. methods (Durbin, 2013). Additionally, Mexico could Atlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


enjoy better access to new military technology. Mexico has been lagging behind in the use of drones which could serve very well in inspecting and keeping mountainous regions, jungles and deserts under surveillance in order to locate illegal crops or the hiding places of cartel members. As a matter of fact, Mexican drug cartels have started to use drone technology to smuggle drugs into the United States (Lopez, 2014). The need for a cooperation agreement with NATO is evident as both Mexico and the Alliance need to increase their security. Additionally, the United States and Canada benefit enormously from having a stable and secure southern neighbor. Their economies and nations are very well connected and Mexico could contribute to the overall security in North America (Sands, 2012). Surprisingly, neither of the two North American NATO members has been actively pursuing such cooperation whereas Spain has led the effort in the past by requesting Mexico obtain an observer status in NATO exercises. Conclusion Despite the great benefits of NATO having closer ties with Latin America, the Alliance has been hesitant to pursue global partnerships in the region. Recently, NATO has signed a cooperation agreement with Colombia which can set the pace for future negotiations with other nations in Latin America. The advantages for both Latin American countries and NATO in helping each other are ample. The gains for both parties range from anti-drug trafficking expertise, information sharing, military training, and providing a larger area of influence to secure the Atlantic Ocean. It is an indisputable advantage for NATO to have closer ties with Latin American countries that have a lot in common with Europe and North America and also share coasts with the Atlantic Ocean. Establishing strong partnerships and cooperation with Colombia and Mexico should be taken into serious consideration in the near future.

national Migration from the University of Kent - Brussels School of International Studies. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Arkansas where he focused his research on the Middle East and Latin America. He is currently an intern at the Atlantic Treaty Association in Brussels.

Bibliography Cox, Joseph. "New Cocaine Routes Are Wreaking Havoc in West Africa." Vice News 1 July (2013). Daalder, I & Goldgeier, J "Global NATO"Foreign Affairs (2006). Durbin, Kirk J. "International Narco-Terrorism and Non-State Actors : The Drug Cartel Global Threat." Global Security Studies 4.1 (2013). FIP, Staff. "Primera Conferencia Colombiana Sobre Política de Drogas."Fundacion Ideas Para La Paz (2012) Haglund., David G. "Pensando Lo Imposible: Why Mexico Should Be the Next New Member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization." Latin American Policy 1.2 (2010) Hurrel, Andrew. "Security in Latin America." International Affairs - Royal Institute of International Affairs 74.3 (1998) Ing, David. "Mexico and Spain Seek Closer Ties, NATO Obs erver Status for Mexico." IHS Jane's Defence Weekly (2014). Lopez, Oscar. "Mexican Drug War News: DEA Reveals Cartels Use Drones To Transport Drugs From Mexico Into US." Latin Times (2014). McDonald, Danny. "WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF BRITISH HEROIN ADDICTION?" VICE News 25 Apr. (2013) Olivas, J., and B. Gaytan. "‘Importa’ Juárez Estrategia Colom biana Contra El Narco." El Diario De Juarez 3 Mar. (2014). Preble, Edward, and John J. Casey. "Taking Care of Business— The Heroin User's Life on the Street." The International Journal of Addictions 4.1 (1969). Rey Mallen, Patricia. "Will Mexico Surpass Brazil As Latin America’s Largest Economy? Intl. Business Times (2014). Sands, Cristopher. "Why NATO Should Accept Mexico." Huff Post Canada 18 May (2012). Sanchez, Alex. "Geopolitical Considerations of the NATOColombia Cooperation Agreement." E-International Rela tions (2014). Sanchez, Julian. "Mexico, Colombia Y Centro America Se Unen Contra El Narco." El Universal 21 June (2013), Nacion Simons, Marlise. "Rising Heroin Use and Addict Deaths Alarm Italy, Where Drug Is Legal." New York Times (1989). Staff, AVN "Maduro Denounces NATO Warmongering Plans in Latin America." AVN 4 Jan. (2014). Tase, Peter. "Colombia Looks to NATO and Beyond in Region al Defense." Geopolitical Monitor (2014).

About the author Genaro Aguilera-Reza is a native of El Paso-Ciudad Juarez in the US-Mexico border area. He is a candidate for a MA in InterAtlantic Voices, Volume 4, Issue 8


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Atlantic Voices Vol. 4, No. 8 (August 2014)  

The three authors of this Atlantic Voices issue look into NATO Partnerships and Open Door Policy. Lavinia Lupu offers an interesting insight...

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