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Volume 1-Number 2, October2011


NATO and North Africa: Operations and Opportunities 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. This issue, examines NATO’s role in North Africa in the wake of the “Arab

Libyans celebrating the end of the Gaddafi regime at Martyrs Square in Tripoli

Spring”, what operations NATO has un-


dertaken, what can be learned from these, and what opportunities lie ahead in the future for NATO’s engagement with North Africa and the new governments of the region.

NATO After Libya: Lessons and prospects Examining Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR in light of NATO’s “New Strategic Concept” , Mikko Patokallio examines whether NATO operations over the North African state vindicate the concept or not. In the final assessment the overall effects of NATO operations and successes in Libya are determined, and the impact on the future of the Alliance considered.

We hope you find the following pages both informative and thought provoking, As part of our goal in promoting and informing the public debate upon these topics, Atlantic Voices is happy to accept responses to the issue and articles we have selected.

In Quest for a Renewed Partnership: What role for NATO, EU and OSCE after the Tunisian elections Hana Missaouui and Andrea Fronti explore the recent elections in Tunisia and what the lasting effects of the results may be. Can Democracy be achieved? What are the consequences of an “Islamist” victory? How can NATO respond and engage with post election Tunisia? Are all important questions examined by this piece.

ATA Special Report: 57th General Assembly in Tirana A Special Report outlining the success of the 57th General Assembly of the Atlantic Treaty Association.

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


ATA Activities and Events The Altantic Commission of the Netherlands Presents their New Publication : Russia, our Distant Neighbour: The burden of conventional beliefs

In Russia, our Distant Neighbour Hugo Klijn sets out to examine some Western conventional beliefs about the world’s biggest country, one which has had such a profound impact on European history ever since Peter the Great supervised its rise to prominence. For more information and order forms: visit their website Author: Hugo Klijn Pages: 132 Published: 2011 ISBN: 978-90-73329-00-3 Price: € 15,00 + (P&P)

ATA Ministerial Debriefings The Atlantic Treaty Association is proud to bring to you our Ministerial Debriefing sessions. Bringing together NATO officials and key national representatives the debriefings aim to give you an insight into the Policy decisions and directions at the heart of NATO. Organised after each NATO Ministerial Meeting, the Debriefings offer a unique opportunity to understand and question officials and representatives after their key discussions. The Debriefing sessions will run throughout 2011 and 2012, for more information, or to find out how you can attend the next session, please contact the ATA secretariat More information on each debriefing will be made available through the ATA Website

About the Authors Mikko Patokallio

Hana K Missaoui & Andrea Frontini

Mikko Patokallio is independent analyst specializing Middle East foreign and security policy. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. Mikko Patokallio has lived and travelled extensively throughout the Middle East region.

Hana K. Missaoui holds both a B.A. in Law and Public Administration and an M.A. in Public International and European Law at the University Paul Cézanne of Aix-enProvence, France. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Public Law at the same University. Andrea Frontini holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in International Affairs and Diplomacy at the University of Trieste, Italy, and a Postgraduate Degree in International Relations and International Protection of Human Rights at the Italian Society for the International Organization (SIOI) of Rome, Italy.

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


NATO After Libya: Lessons and Prospects by Mikko Patokallio

what a post-Gaddafi Libya will look like. Now, with

Editors Note: This article was written in September 2011, before

NATO's military role winding down, it is proper that

the final collapse of the Gaddafi Regime.

NATO follows up with this ”comprehensive approach” and


hands over responsibility for the post-conflict situation to fter the capture of Tripoli, the successful

those better equipped in dealing with them, namely the

conclusion of the war in Libya seems

United Nations.


The Libyan rebels, and the

Yet all is not perfect. Militarily, although NATO's air

National Transitional Council (NTC), are, of course, those

campaign was successful it leaves much to be desired in the

with the greatest cause to rejoice, but similar joy must be

future. Despite earlier doubts, in retrospect it is clear that

felt in the hallways at the North Atlantic Treaty

the air campaign was the right tool for the occasion: it

Organization (NATO). After the prolonged, divisive and

proved sufficient to tip the balance of arms in favor of the

inconclusive war in Afghanistan, the relatively quick and

rebel forces, while avoiding the significant negative

painless victory in Libya is just the kind of confidence-

externalities of ground involvement. Fortunately, damage

boosting operation the Alliance needed.


to infrastructure and civilian casualties were quite limited.

although there are many reasons to celebrate there are also

Yet this brief campaign exposed the limits of NATO's

many reasons to be concerned over NATO's military and

expeditionary capabilities. Simply put, European military

political performance in Libya.

The conflict in Libya

capabilities failed to meet the demands of even such a

carries important lessons for the Alliance. These lessons

limited campaign. The United States was essential in

are all the more important as Libya is the first instance of

ensuring the initial conditions for a no-fly zone, and in

the new Strategic Concept being applied and the first

providing logistical support for European countries to

tentative steps towards a post-Afghanistan NATO.

maintain it. Libya underscores the lesson that European

Above all, NATO's intervention in Libya has vindicated the merits of a limited approach set out by NATO's New Strategic

expeditionary capabilities.


namely, that NATO focus

militaries need to do a great deal more to develop their





flexible ”expeditionary

Although the military shortcomings are serious, it is

Above all, NATO's intervention in Libya has vindicated the merits of a limited approach ...

forces,” and work in

the political ones which are the most dangerous. The steps leading up to the NATO intervention, especially the process of garnering support, were far from ideal. Even within the Alliance, debate over Libya was rancorous, with noted German and

partnership with international organizations and local and

Turkish abstentions balancing Anglo-French enthusiasm for

regional parties. By and large, NATO has followed this


line in Libya.

In Libya, NATO assumed a clearly

members, only 14 committed military assets alongside a

delineated military role. Importantly, the legitimacy to

motley set of allies ranging from Sweden to Qatar. If Af-

intervene was secured through a United Nations Security

ghanistan and Iraq are viewed as cases of America 'going

Council mandate with Arab League support, and very

solo' at the expense of NATO, then Libya is a dangerous

limited Arab participation.

NATO largely avoided

French counterpart to this. By recognizing the NTC as

involvement in the political aspects of Libya's conflict,

Libya's legitimate government well before any other

leaving that to the Libya Contact Group (albeit whose

NATO member, and providing arms and training to the

membership significantly overlaps NATO's) – especially in

rebels France forced NATO's own position on the conflict.

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2

It is concerning that of 28 Alliance


While having leading nations and abstentions in operations

legitimacy of intervention has been questioned before –

is by no means a bad thing, this kind of unilateralism

Kosovo being a pointed example. Similarly, the disparities

provokes conflict within the Alliance. Ranks closed once

in military performance between NATO members are

victory seemed secure but this is not the sort of unity that

present in Afghanistan. Unfortunately in this regard, Libya

NATO should aspire for.

is disappointingly similar to previous Alliance operations.

Undeniably, the ultimate form of NATO involvement long



NATO was right to intervene in prevent mass


In many ways it is significant that NATO – rather


original rationale of protecting

Nonetheless, there is reason for cautious optimism.

...the Middle East is an area that is more likely to unify Alliance interests than an Afghanistan-like ”out-of-area” operation.


than the European Union, the United Nations, or an ad hoc force - v (The Arab League or the African Union were non-starters in this case). On one level it reflects the considered inability of these other organizations to perform in the same space, but it

Libya, and in this respect siding with the National

also reflects a conscious elevation of NATO's role in the

Transitional Council was not the wrong choice, but doing

Middle East.

so certainly stretched NATO's mandate to the extreme.

The Middle East is – for geographical necessity if noth-

The deficiencies of NATO's legitimacy in intervening on

ing else – an area of growing importance for NATO. Since

should not lightly be brushed aside. It is deeply concerning

the 1990s, NATO has had a role in the Middle East, largely

how easily the initial UN-mandated no-fly zone mutated

conducted through the mostly dormant talk shops of the

into NATO becoming the ”insurgent's air arm.” This has

Mediterranean Partnership and the Istanbul Cooperation

serious implications for the legitimacy of NATO

Council. More ambitious peacekeeping roles have been

involvement in future missions, regionally and globally.

repeatedly proposed for NATO in Lebanon and the Israeli-

Regionally, it risks casting the Alliance as a partisan

Palestinian conflict. These cases aside, Libya is the first

intervener on behalf of certain regional interests.

'proper' operation in the Middle East – the limited NATO

Globally, it makes veto-wielding countries like Russia and

Training Mission in Iraq excepted.

China less likely to support interventions in the future.

To some extent, the Middle East is an area that is more

To some extent, these military and political

likely to unify Alliance interests than an Afghanistan-like

shortcomings are not particularly new. Alliance unity has

”out-of-area” operation. Western countries have a long, if

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


not entirely harmonious, history of cooperating on foreign


policy issues in the Middle East. Especially during the past

Ultimately, what does Libya herald for NATO? Cau-

decade Western foreign policy in the region has been

tious optimism, perhaps. NATO's new Strategic Concept

tremendously active and involved various fora – EUPOL

sought to point towards a post-Afghanistan NATO – Libya

COPPS, EUBAM, UNIFIL. The decision to adopt NATO

represents the first tentative steps in that direction.

as the institutional framework for Western foreign policy

reinforces the notion that NATO should adopt a more

towards Libya is all the more significant given this

limited approach to intervention in the future. NATO's


success in Libya lies in being a selective, but necessary mis-

While potential clearly exists, caution is in order, as illconsidered





sion. Given NATO's chronic military and political


shortcomings, Libya is just the kind of combination of 'high

consequences. Those urging NATO to adopt similar ro-

reward/low risk' type of mission where NATO can make a

bust roles in, for instance, peacekeeping in the Middle

difference. However, in future operations, NATO's artic-

East, should beware the risks of entanglement. Libya was

ulation for its necessity and its political objectives must be

mercifully short – the history of Western peacekeeping in


Lebanon is instructive of a case that isn't.

Talk of

intervening á la Libya in Syria blatantly neglects the significant differences between the two cases, in particular the absence of those factors that allowed NATO to successfully intervene in Libya: legitimacy and capability. To play a successful and useful role in the Middle East, NATO must be careful to distance itself both from the West's colonial past and the dictatorial regimes of the present; any NATO role in the Middle East must be based on international norms and partnership. Democracy and human rights are the core values of NATO. It is not for NATO to advance these values, but these values should be shared partners.


NATO's Similarly,

other organizations – such as the EU and the UN – are undoubtedly

...NATO's articulation for its necessity and its political objectives must be clearer.

better suited for civilian crisis management, and post-civil war reconciliation and reconstruction: nation-building is something NATO should steer clear of.

However, NATO can play

productive roles in other small-scale activities.


example, one potential area where NATO might play a positive role is in improving civilian-military relations. Following the end of the Cold War, NATO helped former communist states restructure their militaries; now in post-

The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author. They

revolutionary Middle Eastern countries a similar ”low-key”

do not necessarily represent the views of the Atlantic Treaty Association,

approach with tangible impact and importance are more

it’s members, affiliates or staff.

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


In Quest for a Renewed Partnership: What role for NATO, EU and OSCE after the Tunisian elections? by Hana K Missaoui and Andrea Frontini


n October 23rd 2011, for the first time in their history, Tunisians went to the polls to elect an assembly in charge of drafting

a new Constitution and wielding full legislative powers. This is undoubtedly a milestone in Tunisia’s history, which has been accelerated since January 14th, by the ousting of Ben Ali and his clan. It is indeed a momentum Tunisians seem willing to keep for further shaping their own democracy. The elections for the National Constituent Assembly were originally scheduled for last July1. The High Commission for the Protection of the Objectives of the Revolu-

Source: United Nations Development Programme/Noeman Al Sayyad

tion, Political Reform and Democratic Transition, the ad

Islamic Republic of Iran and an outspoken critic of its cur-

hoc legislative assembly in charge of defining the legal

rent regime, warned Tunisians not to make “the same mis-

framework for the elections, eventually decided to post-

takes as we did,” and encouraged Mr. Gannoushi “not to

pone them, as the numerous parties taking part in the elec-

replace a dictatorship with another”2.

tions did not have enough time to prepare and reach voters.

The victory of Ennahdha did not come without consequences for Tunisia’s internal debate as well. As a matter

The Islamic party Ennahdha (“Reborn”) and its previously



Mr. Rashed

Ghannoushi, obtained 41.47% of the 217 seats (i.e. 91 seats out

of fact, the past few days have seen Tunisian professors and students demonstrating against the social unrest

Many Tunisian secularists and Westerners do not see this victory as a good sign...

of 217) in the National

generated by the victory of an Islamist party, and demanding the respect of their rights. Cases of violence and intimidations against Western-like dressed women were reported as well. Such events seem to remind Tunisians of a famous statement

Constituent Assembly. This victory is seen with a lot of

made several years ago by the founder of modern Tunisia,

circumspection in the vast majority of both media and gov-

Habib Bourguiba,: “it will be only and solely the children

ernments in Europe and North America. In fact, while the

of Tunisia who will destroy it”. Whether Tunisians will

United Stated welcomed the process of the elections and

have to expect such an aftermath for the mother country of

its winner, France eventually commented the results by

the Arab Spring still remains to be seen3.

stating that they it will be extremely attentive to the re-

Meanwhile, what seems noteworthy is the undeniable

spect of human rights by Ennahdha. Many Tunisian secu-

and often unconfessed anxiety of the West vis-à-vis the

larists and Westerners do not see this victory as a good

recent political developments in Tunisia. Such a reaction is

sign, neither for their people, nor for the peace in the re-

partially explainable in the light of the West’s secular tra-

gion. Others, like Ebrahim Yazdi, a former founder of the

dition and the political sensitivity Islam has gained during

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


the last decade. However, such an attitude perilously tends

Islamist party has been able to deploy a remarkable amount

to occult the specificities of Tunisia’s history as well as the

of human and financial resources, pushing relevant societal

long-standing frustrations experienced by its society during

figures such as imams, civil servants and teachers to play an

the past regime4, possibly leading to misinterpretations of

important role in spreading its presence amongst Tunisi-

societal dynamics and, consequently, to erroneous analysis

ans. However, some observers highlighted unfair practices,

and predictions.

such as the financing of weddings or the purchase of ani-

However, in the specific case of Tunisia, some legitimate concerns remain that, despite Ennahdha’s repeated statement of adherence to the principles of democracy, pluralism and human rights, the leading Islamist party will actually take advantage of this victory in order to push forward a

mals for religious cele-

Such an attitude could indeed endanger Tunisia’s peaceful transition to a fully democratic regime...

political agenda based on a radical interpretation of Islam. Such an attitude could indeed endanger Tunisia’s

brations as well as influencing the vote of illiterates in the country. Such behaviours might indeed result in a potential political vulnerabil-

ity for Enhahda in the next months to come.

peaceful transition to a fully democratic regime, while

Fourthly, the party gained sympathies amongst wide

exacerbating relations with regional and extra-regional

fringes of the Tunisian population, as it has been persecut-

partners. Nonetheless, some elements at the very basis of

ed, first during the regime of Bourguiba, then by the one

Ennadha’s victory need to be highlighted for a more realis-

of Ben Ali. Members of the party were even executed,

tic perspective on its actual power in the country .

while others, like Mr. Gannoushi, were forced to exile.


First and foremost, the huge majority of Tunisians are

This has thus made possible for Enhahda to present itself as

part of a rural population and live far from the biggest

a truly combatant and libertarian force, which undoubtedly

urban areas. These relevant components of the country’s

presents some similarities with the history of the Iranian

society always felt deeply neglected by Ben Ali’s regime,

Islamic movement under the Pahlavi regime. Nonetheless,

which was considered by many as an evilly “pro-Western”

such a narrative seems also instrumental in hiding some

and debauched one. Therefore, for some Tunisians, the

gloomy aspects of the Islamist resistance in Tunisia, such as

choice of Ennahdha is a symbol of radical opposition.

the vitriol burning of women and former members of secu-

Secondly, the majority of Tunisians who live abroad voted Ennahdha, too. This result struck many Tunisians in

rity forces as well as the recent discovery of terrorist plans against the former regime.

their home country, as they could not understand why

Fifthly and finally, the defeat of secularist parties such

secularized Tunisians gave their favour to a religious move-

as the Parti Démocratique Progressiste (PDP), a political

ment. Actually, if one takes a closer look at the quality of

force that was initially considered by some as the main

the Tunisian diaspora, an important part of them belong to

expression of the revolutionary movement in the country,

the working class. Some observers thus argue that, in

has been a real surprise for many observers. However,

countries such as France or Belgium, most Tunisians voted

such a débacle seems to be mostly explained as a conse-

for Ennahdha because of a growing Islamophobia taking

quence of some strategic errors made by the PDP leader-

place in Europe. As a matter of fact, choosing Ennadhda

ship. In fact, not only did the head of the party, Mr.

was a way for Tunisians abroad to affirm their identity,

Chebbi, take part in an ad interim government made up of

and, eventually, to prove that conjugating Islam and de-

former members of Ben Ali’s party right after the fall of

mocracy is not oxymora’s statement.

the regime (thus affecting the trust of many Tunisians), but

Thirdly, Ennahdha has proved to be the most devel-

he and his party fellows also behaved in a way that made

oped and well-organized political force in Tunisia. As a

PDP perceived as an elitist and “over-Westernized” politi-

matter of fact, as soon as it entered the competition, the

cal force by large sectors of the population. Moreover, the

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


fact that Mr. Chebbi himself remained in Tunisia during

other domains7. Firstly, the country was indirectly in-

the regime of Ben Ali was largely considered as a sign of

volved in the political and military crisis in neighboring

disguised condescension (though allegations of political

Libya. Though such developments might indeed make Tu-

cowardice were also addressed to Mr. Gannoushi for his

nisia an essential hub for managing the post-war recon-

past exile in Europe). Others leaders of non-Islamist

struction of that country, they also have posed crucial chal-

movements, such as Mr. Marzouki (CPR) or Mr. Ben

lenges for its own stability, in particular the sporadic at-

Jafaar (Ettakatol) were criticized. As a consequence, the triumph of the Enhahda movement can also be considered

tacks from Kaddafi’s former loyalist forces on the

...the challenges facing the emerging Tunisian leadership are not merely political...

borders and a deep humanitarian emergency due to thousands of refugees fleeing Libya. The end of the Libyan crisis has paved the way to a progressive normalization, but such events revealed a striking

as a major result of the

unpreparedness by the Tunisian ad interim authori-

tactical errors made by

ties which will demand a prompt updating in their

the secularist parties. Moreover, the current situation of-

emergency response capabilities.

fers wide scope for the non-Islamic parties to gather in a

Secondly, the pre-electoral period has also been charac-

large coalition aimed at counter Ennahdha’s influence

terized by occasional acts of violence throughout the coun-

within the National Constituent Assembly. This seems

try, including clashes between rival political factions, re-

even more relevant if one considers that Tunisia’s new

venges against former members of the fallen regime as well

constitutional charter will have to deal with many reli-

as social sanctions of allegedly immoral customs, especially

giously sensitive issues, starting from the possible defini-

against women. Such developments actually highlight the

tion of Islam as the country’s official religion to the reform

risk of an underneath social unrest which, if politically

of its European-styled code civil.

charged, might turn into a major destabilizing factor.

Future evolutions in Tunisian politics are likely to be

Thirdly, the economic outlook, though rather promis-

characterized by an intense debate within the wide spec-

ing in terms of unexploited productivity and openness to

trum of political forces composing the National Constitu-

foreign investments, remains hampered by a series of con-

ent Assembly. Whatever the result may be, there is now

crete obstacles including widespread corruption, unbal-

an important mandate to fulfill. The Assembly has one year

anced regional development, overdependence on tourism

or so to draft a constitution for the new democratic Tuni-

and deep infrastructural gaps. In a transitional phase such

sia. The functioning of the Assembly immediately appeared

as the one taking place in Tunisia, a well functioning mar-

complex, as Ettakatol, one of the first three winners of the

ket economy, though accompanied by the introduction of

elections, initially refused to enter into a governing coali-

some social safety valves, can create more opportunities

tion with Ennahdha. Other worrisome disagreements

for the society, especially for the young generation who

started to emerge about the duration of the mandate of the

gave a crucial contribution to the outbreak of the Arab

Assembly itself, which had still remained unquestioned

Spring. In this view, removing the obstacles to develop-

during the electoral campaign. Should the current mandate

ment-oriented economic reforms would be essential to

be extended to the unusual length of two or three years, it

ensure long-term social and political stability.

is questionable whether this will actually reflect Tunisians’ quest for democracy6. If not, a new season of political and

Tunisia and the Euro-Atlantic Community: To-

social unrest is not to be excluded a priori.

wards Truly Interlocking Institutions?

In addition to this, it is also noteworthy that the challenges facing the emerging Tunisian leadership are not

As we have tried to highlight briefly in this paper, the

merely political, but they rather involve a wide range of

ongoing transition in Tunisia poses a significant challenge

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


to the international community and, more specifically, to

tion in Europe (OSCE) seems crucial and must be devel-

the role of the Euro-Atlantic institutions in the region.

oped on the basis of the underlying principle of interlock-

More generally, the so-called “Arab Spring” represents

ing institutions. As a matter of fact, the three organizations

an unparalleled opportunity for the entire Mediterranean

represent the main regional actors which have proved able

region, which has long been characterized by authoritarian

to develop a series of structured partnership initiatives in

regimes, underdevelopment and conflicts. Nonetheless, its

the Mediterranean, thus witnessing, though with very dif-

mid-term perspectives remain uncertain and might still

ferent results, the traditional interest of their member

result in a serious threat to the stability of the political and

countries in enhancing stability and development in an area

security landscape of the area. As a matter of fact, on the

which remains affected by a wide range of threats and chal-

one hand, the “domino effect” that some have been pre-


dicting from the very beginning of the Jasmine Revolution

In this view, the three organizations might offer Tunisia

has not yet taken place: on the contrary, the region still

a package of assistance measures which should be imple-

seems beset by the prevailing of largely undemocratic sys-

mented by an ad hoc inter-institutional agreement aimed at

tems and methods . On the other hand, both Tunisia and

coordinating existing capabilities and avoiding dangerous

Egypt are now marked by a delicate transitional phase in

duplications. Such an agreement should task the EU with

which ad interim governments have to face growing expec-

the management of ad hoc humanitarian and development

tations and requests from the heterogeneous political and

aids, in cooperation with on-site NGOs and UN bodies as

social movements which have taken part in the upheavals.

well as of financing instruments in the economic and infra-

In such a complex transition, the way remains open for

structural fields, on the basis of the existing thematic volets

either populist or radical leaders to gain consensus, both

of the Union for the Mediterranean.


weakening an already fragile statehood and exposing the

The same agreement should also give NATO the op-

regional landscape to the risks of fragmentation and politi-

portunity to contribute to the enhancement of Tunisia’s

cal rivalry .

security landscape, starting from the assistance to the


In such a rapidly changing context, transition in Tunisia

country’s defense and security forces in the priority areas

nonetheless represents a promising case study on a twofold

of border security and the fight against transnational ter-

level. From an internal point of view, the country is char-

rorism. Moreover, a further contribution could come from

acterized by a vibrant political setting, with a rising civil society and a cultural tradition of modernism and tolerance, despite the many uncertainties of this post-elections period. From an international point of view, a fully democratic Tunisia would

NATO to the operation-

...mid-term perspectives remain uncertain and might still result in a serious threat ...

certainly be a reliable partner for the stabilization

al, structural and doctrinal modernization of Tunisia’s defense and security forces, while reinforcing


of the area, especially in the light of the relevant ongoing

Tunisia political relations within the wider framework of

shifts in the geopolitical regional balance, which deeply

the Mediterranean Dialogue.

affect both the interests and the values of the Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Finally, a key contribution could come from OSCE in the field of good governance (notably in corruption

To this end, the international community should in-

fighting), gender equality and education. Such an initiative

clude the enhancement of Tunisia’s security, stability and

could be in fact developed on the basis of the existing

development among the objectives of its political agenda.

OSCE Mediterranean partnership programs and take ad-

In this view, the role which could be played by the North

vantage of the expertise gained by the organization else-

Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Un-

where in the world. Moreover, such an involvement might

ion (EU) and the Organization for Security and Coopera-

represent a crucial opportunity for OSCE to gain a new

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2



momentum after the rather deluding outcome of the Astana Summit in late 2010. Such a process would finally allow the re-launching of the international role of Tunisia by making it a factor of stabilization and dialogue for the whole region. Moreover, not only would national democratic and transparent institutions represent a further guarantee of internal stability and a viable model for neighboring countries,



Mahjoub, A., « Les Défis de la Transition Démocratique en Tunisie », EUISS, June 2011, http:// ISS_Reports/Les_d%C3%A9fis_de_la_transition_d% C3%A9mocratique_en_Tunisie.pdf; 1

Bessis, S., « Tunisie, Une Transition Tumultueuse », Politique Internationale, Spring 2011;


...a culturally sensitive and longlasting engagement ... in the country remains vital ...

Labidi, K., « La Longue Descente aux Enfers de la Tunisie », Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2006, LABIDI/13253; 3

Tunisia with other regional and extra-regional players.

Gantin, K. and Seddik,O ., «Révolte du « Peuple des Mines en Tunisie », Le Monde Diplomatique , July 2008,;

Finally, this cooperation could even provide NATO, EU


would also secure the peaceful interaction of

and OSCE with a relevant pattern for future assistance and reconstruction initiatives outside the Mediterranean region, due to the growing need to combine common security concerns and fiscal restraint in major Western coun-


Ferjani, M.-C., « Bilan Préliminaire des Elections Tunisiennes du 23 Octobre », Kapitalis, November 2011,;

on the future decisions taken by the Tunisian ad interim

Guellali, A., « Pathways and Pitfalls for Tunisia’s New Constituent Assembly», Human Rights Watch, October 2011, pathways-and-pitfalls-tunisia-s-new-constituent-assembly;

government in the foreign policy domain. In this regard, it


tries. Such a promising perspective will nonetheless depend

is noteworthy that virtually no room was devoted to these issues during the electoral campaign. Moreover, the influence of Ennahdha within the new governmental coalition will surely have an impact on the way Tunisia will behave on the international scene, especially in its relations with the West.


Frontini, A. and Missaoui, H.K., « NATO and EU Partnerships in the Mediterranean. The Case of Tunisia», Italia n A tla ntic C ommittee, Summ er 2011,; Caracciolo, L., “La Primavera Finita”, La Repubblica, July 2011,; 8

gagement of the three Organizations in the country re-

Aliboni, R., « Ipoteca Islamista su Egitto e Tunisia », Affari Internazionali, October 2011, http://;

mains vital and should be developed through a progressive


Nonetheless, a culturally sensitive and long-lasting en-

and flexible approach, possibly starting with renewed public diplomacy initiatives as well as enhanced parliamentary exchanges within the relevant bodies of each Organization.


Luciolli, F. W., « Lybia and the Challenges of International Organizations », Longitude, March 2011, http:// lybia-and-the-future-of-international-organizations

The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Atlantic Treaty Association, it’s members, affiliates or staff.

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


ATA Special Report: 57th General Assembly in Tirana


he Atlantic Treaty Association successfully held its 57th General Assembly “Tackling new Security Challenges with Partners” in Tirana, Albania this November 14th to 16th. Experts and civil society representatives from 35 countries gathered for a three day seminar where the most pressing issues for transatlantic security and cooperation were discussed with political, diplomatic and military representatives. In attendance at the General Assembly was Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO. Ambassador Grabar-Kiratovic outlined the priorities for NATO’s public diplomacy efforts in anticipation of the upcoming Chicago Summit. Key to this was that: “NATO’s public diplomacy should emphasize the enduring relevance of the transatlantic link and illustrate that Europe and America are effective and steadfast partners in global security.” 57th General Assembly underway in Tirana, Albania.

The Albanian Prime Minister, Dr. Sali Berisha, also

addressed General Assembly. The main body of the Assembly saw five panels of experts assembled, each to discuss and debate a particular issue. These panels were titled: “Beyond Afghanistan - the future of the International Coalition”; “NATO and EU Strategic Dialogue”; “Modern Societies and Cyber Threats”; “The Future of Partnerships in the Mediterranean and Middle East”; “The Future of Atlanticism - NGO perspectives”. All of the panels spoke at length on their topics, some of the key points raised included: 

Underlining that the problems facing ISAF in Afghanistan cannot be resolved through purely military mechanisms, and in addition to this many of the civil problems, including corruption and narcotic production, require Afghan generated resolutions.

There needs to be greater collaboration than competition both within NATO, utilizing concepts like “smart defence”, and externally, particularly with partners such as the EU.

That the fight against Cyber Threats can work alongside better privacy protection for citizens.

That the democratic revolutions in the Arab world may not bring about “liberal” democracies as exist in the West, and that these governments will present new challenges.

NATO must determine a new “Master Text” which defines its beliefs and values, this text must be a unifying force that the whole Alliance can unite behind.

The newly elected YATA Executive Board address the 57th General Assembly of the ATA

The General Assembly also witnessed the election of a new Youth Atlantic Treaty Association Executive Board, tasked with shaping the activities of the YATA over the coming year.

Atlantic Voices Volume 1 Issue 2


Atlantic Voices is always seeking new material. If you are a

The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an international non-

young researcher, subject expert or professional and feel you have

governmental organization based in Brussels working to facilitate

a valuable contribution to make to the debate, then please get in

global networks and the sharing of knowledge on transatlantic


cooperation and security. By convening political, diplomatic and

We are looking for papers, essays, and book reviews on issues of importance to the NATO Alliance.

military leaders with academics, media representatives and young professionals, the ATA promotes the values set forth in the North

For details of how to submit your work please see our website.

Atlantic Treaty: Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, Peace, Security

Further enquiries can also be directed to the ATA Secretariat at the

and Rule of Law. The ATA membership extends to 39 countries

address listed below.

from North America to the Caucasus throughout Europe. In 1996 the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association 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 goal include: 

The establishment of new and competitive programs on international security issues.

The development of research initiatives and security releted events for its Members.

The expansion of ATA international network of experts to countries in Northern Africa and Asia. The ATA is realizing these goals through new programs, more

All Images published in this issue of Atlantic Voices are the property of

policy activism and greater emphasis on joint research initiatives.

NATO, reproduced with NATO’s permission, unless otherwise stated.

These programs will also aid in the establishment of a network

Images should not be reproduced without permission from sources listed,

of international policy experts and professionals engaged in a

and remain the sole property of those sources.

dialogue with NATO.

Atlantic Voices - Vol. 1no. 2  

The second issue of the Atlantic Treaty Association's publication Atlantic Voices. This issue examines NATO relationships with North-Africa...

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