Page 1

ISSN 2294-1274


Volume 2 - Issue 11, November 2012

CONNECTED FORCES INITIATIVE NATO’S COMMITMENTS TO SMART DEFENSE Since the Lisbon Summit in 2010, NATO has pledged to adhere to a new Strategic Concept for the next 10 years that will prepare the Alliance for tackling the new security challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, terrorism, energy security, cyber attacks, and nuclear and missile proliferation. Critical to this strategic reorientation is the need for a full range of new capabilities to deter and defend against threats before they fully materialize. To effectively maintain transatlantic security, greater cooperation and interoperability is needed to ensure that NATO maintains the highest levels of motivation and operational capability for years to come.

A Croatian and US soldier training together at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center.

Contents: Global Pulse: Defining Terrorism

With the Chicago Summit echoing the im-

Joshua Samac examines different definitions of ’terrorism’ and explores the evolution

portance of this goal, the Connected Forces

of the ‘War on Terror’. He concludes that the U.S. counter-terrorism strategy has

Initiative (CFI) represents a critical component

evolved to become more precise through methods such as drone strikes, while the

of Smart Defense and a symbolic political will

critical problem remains the lack of an internationally accepted definition of terror-

on behalf of NATO members. With greater


cooperation at the heart of this initiative, the CFI ensures steps to achieve more than enhanced military capability, but also greater fiscal transparency, shared investment strategies, and most importantly, the alignment of individual members’ priorities with NATO

NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative: A Critical Appraisal Adérito R. Vicente examines the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) to highlight the importance of greater military cooperation and cohesion within the Alliance. He analyzes how NATO can use existing initiatives to increase cooperation and interdependence without sacrificing sovereignty or operational capability.

priorities. - Jason Wiseman Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11


GLOBAL PULSE Defining Terrorism By Joshua Samac


Like the League itself, this convention failed to have much impact on the world stage. The problem with crafting a holistic

here is a stunning lack of consensus in international

definition of terrorism was and still is the inherently subjective

policy circles and academia on a universally accepta-

nature of the act itself. Hence, the UN’s proposed Comprehen-

ble and comprehensive definition of terrorism. Alt-

sive Convention on International Terrorism has been deadlocked

hough mixed statements out of Washington concerning the on-

since 2002 over a stark difference in opinion as to what the con-

going state of the international War on Terror leaves one rather

vention should and should not include. The draft convention

un-stunned, even baffled Washington bureaucrats are themselves

identifies “any person that intentionally causes death and/or public damage that may or may not result in

unsure. What is terrorism, and is the infamous War on Terror still being waged? Facing a fast-approaching American election and a precariously balanced Middle East, the

Who is to say that a national liberation movement is not also a terrorist organization?

ror is headed.

ing and/or compelling people, governments, or institutions to act or not act a certain way.”

world looks on, following debates and unpacking sound bites to try to understand where the War on Ter-

economic loss, for the purposes of intimidat-

Perhaps the biggest impediment to achieving consensus on this definition lies with the Organization of the Islamic Con-

Terrorism is not a new form of violence. In the after-

ference (OIC). While accepting the above definition, the OIC

math of the First World War, the League of Nations (1930)

adamantly insists on it being qualified to exclude armed struggles

identified terrorism as a “criminal act directed against a state and

against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemo-

intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of

ny aimed at liberation and self-determination. The current im-

particular persons, or a group of persons, or the general public.”

passe in Syria tellingly illustrates the tension at play here. While the Assad regime insists on the terroristic nature of Syrian rebels, the Western majority fails to accept this characterization. In this stalemate, definitive action effectively grinds to a halt. Who is to say that a national liberation movement is not also a terrorist organization? There is a common adage that mentions terrorists and freedom-fighters that seems almost too cliché to quote in full here. As




demonstrates, defining terrorism is hardly a matter of semantics for The Free Syrian Army: Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? (Photo:

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11

reasons of both tact and principle,


Legally, appending a definition to terrorism is a matter although understanding terrorism in the benignly semantic sense

of necessity insofar as placing it in the international legal dis-

does offer some interesting insight. Grammatically speaking,

course is concerned. There is always a measure of exactitude

terror and terrorism are two different things. Whereas terror is

required by codified law in defining any proscribed act, including

a state of mind and terrorism an ideologically charged battle

terrorism. Criminalizing terrorist acts requires a concerted ac-

tactic, neither of the two can technically be considered a tangible

ceptance by international legal institutions of a definition as well

enemy. For the United States, the emotively charged War on

as the subsequent adoption by national legislative bodies. The

Terror represents a commitment to protecting Americans and

purpose of criminalizing terrorism is three fold: to declare that the conduct is forbidden, to prevent it,

perhaps even Westerners at large from the fear, trauma, and sense of insecurity that was collectively felt following 9/11.

Conversely, the

War on Terrorism represents an attack against an ideological system

The international legal principle of nullum crimen sine lege (no crime without law) requires that a society define the prohibited act before anyone can be prosecuted for committing the act.

that supports terror as a means to

and to express society’s moral condemnation of such acts. In so doing, the immediate implications are found in the reduced cost of prosecuting international terrorists with the long term objective of hopefully deterring terrorism.

achieving a given religiopolitical end. In this regard, the War on

However, the international legal principle of nullum

Terrorism represents a war of ideologies. This war is character-

crimen sine lege (no crime without law) requires that a society

ized by the tension between fanatically close-minded regimes

define the prohibited act before anyone can be prosecuted for

that just so happen to be concentrated throughout the Middle

committing the act. Thus, the international legal community – as

East and the free and democratic governments of the West. This

an amalgam of many national legal jurisdictions – requires a pre-

is a war of regime versus government. Dictator versus elected

cise definition of terrorism so that national bodies may adopt and

representative. Good versus evil.

employ the definition while prosecuting and possibly serving to

Tactically, this war is as most analysts observe, unwinna-

extradite perpetrators to their home nation.

ble in a traditional militaristic sense. A standing military force can hit neither terror nor terrorism and surely there is no V.T. Day (as there was once a V.E. Day) on the foreseeable horizon. The end of the Cold-War system saw the disappearance of a definable and personified ‘Other’, which Americans and the democratic West might collectively identify and stand against. The ominous Soviet was indeed a tangible enemy and Communists were certainly found everywhere – even rumoured to be dwelling in Hollywood. In this case, however, Communism had an ideological, political, and social center located in the Soviet Union. The USSR was the geophysical embodiment of Communism whereas the current War on Terror tends to lack such qualities. If there ever was a tangible enemy in the War on Terror, it was Osama bin Laden, but I do believe that it would be naive at best to think that killing bin Laden signals the end of the War on Terror. This war, winnable or not, rather represents a fundamental shift in Western strategic thought and a greater evolution in the nature of modern warfare. As mentioned above, this is a war of systemic proportions and will thus carry on – in one form or another – into the prolonged future.

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11

It would be naive to think that killing Bin Laden signals the end of the war on terror (Photo: Irish Examiner)


since failed to maintain By most accounts, Presi-

this commitment. Guan-

dent Bush’s War on Ter-

tanamo Bay still operates

ror stands as the second

and holds detainees out-

of such wars in a succes-

side the transparent in-

sion that began with the

ternational legal and hu-

Reagan administration’s

man rights frameworks.



Furthermore, the mission


in Iraq has been dialed

reaction to the 1983

down as American mili-

Beirut Barracks Bomb-

tary efforts have been

ing. Under both the

refocused on what most

Reagan and Bush admin-

in the White House view




as a greater threat to na-

istrations, the argument could be made that ter-

Unmanned drones represent the new face of the War on Terror

rorist cells were loosely organized as appendages of rogue

tional security - the inse-

curity of Afghanistan.

state-apparatuses. In both cases, Washington had an identi-

That being so, the nature by which the Afghanistan

fiable target and a Clausewitzian “centre of gravity” to-

mission is being carried out under the Obama administra-

wards which it could take aim and fire. In the immediate

tion highlights an issue of central importance here. The use

post-2001 environment tactical centers of gravity were

of unmanned drones and targeted killings represents the

located in Kandahar and (to some extent) Baghdad. How-

direction that the War on Terror is heading, regardless of

ever, over the past half-decade there has been a qualitative

the outcome of November's presidential election. Un-

shift in the tone and texture of this ongoing war, leading

manned drone killings are quick, decisive, and occur on

many to wonder whether it is even still ongoing at all.

what seems to be the murky underbelly of international

Despite the drastic difference in approach to com-

diplomacy. The Obama administration has indeed mas-

bating the War on Terror, President Obama has neverthe-

tered the art of striking a balance between maintaining a

less maintained America’s commitment to defending

minimal public awareness of American counterterrorism

against an ever-present and looming threat to the Ameri-

and recognizing the pressing need for decisive and effective

can way of life. The past four years of the Obama admin-

action in this war of systemic proportions. Given the out-

istration have arguably witnessed the subsumption of the

come of the recent US election, the Obama Administration

Bush Administration’s counter-terror foreign policy frame-

is likely to continue with this formula that will frame

work to a supposedly more morally upright foreign policy.

American counterterrorist policy for years to come.

Elected on the commitment to dial down the War on Terror, President Obama promised the American electorate a war that was morally acceptable and overall more effective – smatter, better, nimbler, stronger. Whereas under the Bush Administration, the manifestations of the War on Terror were plainly visible (IEDs

About the author

and body bags, torture hearings, and bin Laden’s no.1

Joshua achieved his Masters in International Relations from the

placeholder on the FBI most wanted list) they have become

University of Windsor. He has written extensively on modern

less so since 2008. Among other things, Obama promised

political theory and his areas of expertise include international

the closure of Guantanamo Bay, the withdrawal from Iraq,

law and Canadian foreign policy. Joshua is the editor of the

and the capture of bin Laden. Signing the executive order

Emerging Security Program at the Atlantic Council. In Septem-

to close Guantanamo was paramount on his list of things to

ber 2013, he plans to attend law school to earn his JD.

do upon receiving office although President Obama has Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11


NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative: A Critical Appraisal by Adérito R. Vicente


emerged at the forefront of many Allies’ concerns, and

ince its birth, the North Atlantic Treaty Organi-

was, indeed, the most problematic and complex one. Al-

zation (NATO) has been a collective defense

lies need to find ways to maintain and modernize their

organization, as well as a community of demo-

defense capabilities, as promised at Lisbon, which is neces-

cratic values. But since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact

sary to ensure that NATO can operate as effectively in the

and the Soviet Union itself, NATO has struggled to seek a

future as it has in the past. At the same time, the European

new raison d'être. The absence of a traditional enemy to

defense cuts, the end of NATO combat operations in Af-

serve as a centripetal force has placed a focus on the inter-

ghanistan by 2014, the reduction of the U.S. military pres-

nal troubles of the Alliance that have been obscured in the

ence in Europe, and the Obama administration’s realign-

past by the presence of a common enemy.

ment of diplomatic and military assets to East Asia and the

At the Lisbon 2010 Summit, the adoption of a new Strategic Concept for the next 10 years offered the oppor-

Pacific4 could leave the transatlantic Alliance to fend for itself in future crises.

tunity to associate institutional reform with a renewed

In his valedictory speech last year in Brussels, the for-

sense of purpose. According to NATO’s Strategic Concept

mer U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned of a

in November 2010, “instability or conflict beyond NATO

“dim, if not dismal future for the transatlantic alliance,”

borders can directly threaten Alliance security, including

and argued that the partnership between North America

by fostering extremism, terrorism and trans-national ille-

and Europe needs a new stimulus.5 The current transition

gal activities.”1 Therefore, NATO Allies are deeply devot-

phase, therefore, urges creative responses on both sides of


ed to tackling the security challenges of the 21 century

the Atlantic to find ways to make collective defense spend-

facing the Euro-Atlantic region, such as climate change,

ing smarter and more efficient.

terrorism, energy security, cyber attacks, and nuclear and

At this year’s Munich Security Conference plenary ses-

missile proliferation. Allies pledged to ensure that NATO

sion on “Building Euro-Atlantic Security,” NATO’s Secre-

has the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and de-

tary General Anders Rasmussen proposed the Connected

fend against any threat to the safety and security of Allied

Forces Initiative (CFI) as a complement to the Smart De-

forces, territory, and populations.2 And, Article 5 contin-

fence.6 Rasmussen has argued that “Allies need to work

ues to be the cornerstone of the Alliance.

together more effectively in a truly connected way” to en-


In an ‘Age of Austerity,’ however, the question of

sure that NATO preserves the lessons learned from the

how to manage the pressure on the defense budgets

Alliance’s engagement in Afghanistan.7 Given the constraints of an increasingly austere economic environment, this political initiative arises to prevent deterioration in NATO’s collective capability in the face of the twin realities of fewer forces and scarcer resources for training and ongoing operational challenges. At the 2012 Chicago Summit, the Alliance was expected to agree on a political declaration providing the conceptual basis for CFI, and to “adopt a series of measures in the fields of education and training, exercises and technology,” to make sure that NATO forces maintain the strong connections achieved in

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen presents the new NATO Strategic Concept at the Lisbon Summit.

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11

combat actions, i.e. Operation Unified Protector in Libya.8 The three components of CFI are education and train5

ing (maximizing the value of NATO facilities and Centers of Excellence, with the participation of Partners, like the

tice through a package of multinational projects addressing

European Union), increased exercises (especially with the

key capability areas. But this needs to be reinforced, and

NATO Response Force), and better use of technology

complemented, with other elements. First…the Connect-

(including increased use of adapters, which will facilitate

ed Forces Initiative mobilizes all of NATO’s resources to

interoperability and plug-and-play capabilities among allied

strengthen the Allies’ ability to work together in a truly

systems). Implementation would thus rely on active mem-

connected way. This is particularly important as we wind

ber state engagement. Yet, despite a lot of activity and high

down our combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of

-level political commitment from the Secretary-General,


NATO Heads of State and Government, and other NATO

At the Secretary General's monthly press briefing on 5

officials, it is still unclear whether governments will suc-

March 2012, he distinguishes Smart Defense from CFI, and

ceed in defining and implementing a coherent approach to

adds its components, stating that:

CFI. Many questions are still unanswered: given the lim-

“Smart Defense is about building capabilities together.

ited tangible results achieved by past attempts to promote

But we also need to be able to operate them together.

pooling and sharing, why should CFI be considered a credi-

That is why I have launched the Connected Forces Initia-

ble political initiative? How can NATO and its Partners

tive. It puts a premium on training and education, exercis-

better integrate and share education and training pro-

es, and better use of technology.”10

grams? How can Partners be involved in NATO’s future

Such is the conceptual basis for the institutional perspec-

exercises? Finally, can sovereignty concerns and better use

tive on CFI. In particular, CFI is defined by five interrelated

of resources be reconciled?


Moreover, CFI itself remains a rather vague concept. Without a truly official definition, it has so far been

First, it is a political initiative that em- the core business of CFI strategy.

presented by NATO officials as a politi-

phasizes the importance of interoperability among Allies and Partners as a result of NATO’s recent operations, as well as the

cal initiative that emphasizes the importance of interopera-

ability for them to work effectively together in a connected

bility, often in a rather critical manner, and without a com-


prehensive analysis. But then again, for over sixty years

Second, CFI should be considered an element of

what was NATO doing if not promoting the ability of

Smart Defense. The initiative also incorporates the contin-

States to work together? Thus, before dissecting the afore-

ued adaptation of Alliance structures (NATO Command

mentioned questions, we have to ask ourselves: what is the

Structure and NATO Agencies Reform) and procedures; a

Connected Forces Initiative all about?

closer cooperation between NATO and industry; the opportunity to assess progress on the Lisbon Package of Critical

Definition: The Connectivity Revolution? CFI remains largely a NATO concept. In recent times,

Capabilities and reinforce them with the Capabilities for

it has become a persistent topic of political and technical

ered; and, most importantly, sets the scene for enhancing

debate – almost a buzzword – within the Alliance. NATO

the NATO Defense Planning Process (NDPP) to carry all of

Secretary- General Rasmussen publicly started to use the

these elements into the future.11

term “Connected Forces Initiative” at the beginning of 2012, giving a number of speeches and press conferences in which he endorsed the increase of efficiency and in-

NATO 2020, to ensure all these key capabilities are deliv-

Third, the connectivity feature: the ability to connect all Allied forces. This is also the core business of CFI strategy. Without the development of this feature, it is reasonable to argue that CFI will not work, for a variety of reasons.

teroperability of Allied forces and capabilities. In a speech

One of which is that this is the most important factor distin-

at the Allied Command Transformation Seminar in Wash-

guishing Smart Defense from CFI. If Smart Defense “is

ington, D.C., on 28 February 2012, Rasmussen said that:

about acquiring the necessary capabilities,” CFI, and connec-

“I expect us to put Smart Defense firmly into pracAtlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11

tivity for that matter, “is about making these capabilities 6

work together most effec-

builds on the valuable



gains of interoperability

portant distinction is to

among Allies and Part-



ners as a result of the

“connectivity” – a renewed

lessons learned from



NATO’s recent opera-

“interoperability” – goes

tions. Indeed, the main

beyond a material “plug-

focus of CFI is on the

and-play” angle, and to-

Allied creative respons-

wards a human-centered

es on both sides of the

approach, which will ena-

Atlantic to make col-

ble Allies to maintain and

lective defense spend-


ing smarter and more

enhance NATO’s combat effectiveness.13 In fact, CFI

Troops from 13 countries participating in Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center. (Photo: NATO)

efficient, by encouraging greater coordina-

demonstrates the ability to connect all NATO forces and capabilities; i.e. by using a

tion when sharing capabilities.

common strategic understanding and language, joint command and control arrangements, shared doctrine, common standards and procedures. This is also one of the major challenges of the CFI initiative, and it will be analyzed below.

The Chicago Plan: Implementing NATO’s Forces 2020 Along with the Smart Defense initiative, the CFI is one

Fourth, the practical measures designed to help Allied and

of Chicago’s most significant outcomes. It is aimed at en-

Partner states, requires a more efficient means of maintaining

suring that NATO retains and builds on the valuable gains

and developing required capabilities. This means a greater

of a renewed interoperability among Allies and Partners as

cohesion of the three CFI components: training and educa-

a result of NATO’s recent operations.

tion, increased exercises, and better use of technology.

At the 2012 Munich Security Conference on 4 Febru-

Finally, the lessons learned from Allies’ and Partners’

ary 2012, U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta called for a

operations. Ultimately, these lessons would lead the transat-

long term plan to achieve the forces that the Alliance

lantic organization to update their doctrines and concepts in

should have by the end of the decade: NATO Forces 2020.

order to make the Alliance fit for the whole spectrum of mis-

The Obama administration encouraged allies to integrate

sions outlined by the 2010 Strategic Concept. Consequently,

the reforms agreed to at Lisbon, the Smart Defense initia-

the doctrine should reflect and highlight NATO’s education,

tive, proposed improvements in training and exercises

training and exercises. For instance, the ongoing regrouping

(CFI), and enhancements to the NDPP – to include greater

of individual and collective training under the responsibility

transparency in national defence budget decisions, and

of Allied Command Transformation (ACT) provides a unique

investments in critical capabilities.15

opportunity to have a holistic, coherent view of the current training landscape together with the future trends.


On 18 April, NATO Defense Ministers started to discuss the best way to make sure that NATO has the best

Based on these official statements and documents, CFI can

modern capabilities, including a Defense Package for Chi-

be defined as a political initiative by NATO to reinforce and

cago and the proposal for a Summit Declaration on De-

support Smart Defense, encouraged by a new strategic frame-

fense Capabilities, entitled “Toward NATO Forces 2020,”

work and a more effective institutional coordination that mo-

which outlines the critical elements to build and maintain

bilizes all of NATO’s resources to strengthen the Allies’ abil-

NATO Forces over the next decade. While the Strategic

ity to work together in a truly connected way. This is facili-

Concept focuses on what NATO will do in the next dec-

tated by three main components: expanded education and

ade, this is an enabling goal to help define what NATO

training, increased exercises, and better use of technology.

should look like from a capabilities perspective. The two

Moreover, it is an effort to ensure that NATO retains and

key elements of this new Defense Package embraces two

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11


innovative conceptions: Smart Defense and the CFI. At its core lies a unique capacity for Allies to work together. At the May 2012 Chicago Summit, the Heads of State

In the context of post-summit implementation, two proposals developed by the National Defense University (NDU) – related to two key summit initiatives: CFI, as a complement to the Smart Defense, and NATO Forces 2020

and Government agreed that: “At a time of complex security challenges and finan-

– are worthy of further examination: Mission Focus Groups

cial difficulties, it is more important than ever to make

(MFGs) and the role of United States European Command

the best use of our resources and to continue to adapt our

(USEUCOM) in long-term transatlantic interoperability.19

forces and structures. We remain committed to our

On the one hand, the MFG concept is a tool to optimize

common values, and are determined to ensure NATO’s

the planning, training, resources, and capabilities of a core

ability to meet any challenges to our shared security.”16

group of likeminded Allies and Partners about particular

NATO forcefully addressed the widening capabilities

NATO missions. The aim is to provide NATO with reliable

gap at the Chicago Summit when NATO leaders under-

mission capabilities as well as expertise that can be promul-

scored key defense priorities and emphasized the need for

gated across the Alliance as required. Eventually, working

cooperation in defense through multinational solutions.

within the NDPP, all important missions would benefit

They endorsed new initiatives to preserve the capabilities

from a focus group in this way. MFGs would adhere to the

most needed to meet the two core tasks of collective de-

logic of CFI guided by NATO’s political and military au-

fense: crisis management and cooperative security. In that

thorities. In due course, MFGs would lower the risk of gaps

regard, a vision for the future of NATO forces was articu-

in capabilities by highlighting Allies who have prioritized

lated by NATO Allies and referred to as ‘NATO Forces

specific capabilities. Ultimately, the NATO Response Force (NRF) could also be the basis for creating

2020,’ with transformation and reform as key concepts. Additionally, there will be further effort at NATO and EU cooperation in procurement “to avoid

At the Chicago Summit, NATO leaders emphasized the need for multinational solutions.

unnecessary duplication and maximize

resilient, capable MFGs. For instance, strengthening the NRF role by building on the U.S. commitment to rotate elements of a U.S.-based Brigade Combat Team to

cost-effectiveness.” The ‘Summit Declaration on Defense

Europe. However, the MFG concept would “build out”

Capabilities: Toward NATO Forces 2020’ states that:

over time, and not all mission areas would need to have a

“We have confidently set ourselves the goal of NATO

corresponding focus group.20

Forces 2020: modern, tightly connected forces equipped,

On the other hand, the role of USEUCOM could bring a

trained, exercised, and commanded so that they can op-

long-term challenge to transatlantic interoperability. As

erate together and with partners in any environment.”17

previously mentioned, taking steps to change the course of

Moreover, the Chicago Summit formally approved the

Allied defense capabilities requires a new cooperative mind-

Secretary General’s Connected Forces Initiative as a key

set on the west side of the Atlantic as much as, or more so,

part of Smart Defense and NATO Forces 2020. The Allies

than within Europe. The NDU proposal highlights that the

agreed that this framework will rely on a coherent set of

main instrument for this connection should be a revitalized

deployable, interoperable and sustainable forces equipped,

and more adaptive USEUCOM. It is the most critical agent

trained, exercised, and directed so as to meet NATO’s

for ensuring U.S. forces can operate in concert with any

Level of Ambition (LoA). In other words, the ability to

Ally or formal Partner, a staggering 69 nations in all that

conduct operations, including two Major Joint Operations

already adhere to some or all NATO practices as a result of

(MJO) and six Smaller Joint Operations (SJO) concurrent-

operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans over the past 17

ly, outside the area of responsibility.


years. USEUCOM should put the U.S. commitment to the

Over the next several months, NATO staffs and mili-

NRF to maximum advantage in terms of mission planning,

tary leaders must elaborate how summit goals will be

multinational training, and participation in NRF exercises.

achieved. Therefore, there is need for ‘a new mind-set’

The U.S. commitment of a battalion (usually 3,000 to

within the Alliance to actively support the NATO Forces

5,000 soldiers) to each annual NRF rotation beginning in

2020 objectives and, consequently, CFI.

2014 should translate into a deployment of no less than a

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11


a battalion for 3 months annually to Europe for multinational

Capabilities Concept (OCC) to all Partners – and building


upon existing partnership frameworks, as well as developing new global partnerships (Partners across the Globe).24

Challenges and Obstacles to Be Overcome

Additionally, in order to increase multinational

For CFI to work, Allies must be willing to give up certain

cooperation across the Alliance over the mid to long-term,

capabilities so that the Alliance can collectively fund and

the two biggest obstacles that must be overcome are: the

maintain them. However, this creates the risk that a shared

deep roots of traditional national defence (protectionism)

capability will not be available or authorized for use when

and the cultural dominance of national sovereignty.

another Ally needs it. Therefore, the major challenge of CFI

To begin with, nations turn to national sources of sup-

is to help align nations’ priorities with NATO’s collective

ply whenever such means are manufactured within their

priorities as they develop during NATO operations.

territory, regardless of cost. Allies subsidize domestic de-

According to Julian Lindley-French, Eisenhower Profes-

fense industries in order to preserve sovereignty over the

sor of Defense Strategy at the Netherlands Defense Academy,

means of national defense, nurture national pride, and pro-

for NATO forces to be properly connected armed forces,

tect jobs. And, ultimately, Allies prefer national versus

there needs to be a radical, unified concept of how best to:

collective capabilities to assure access to them should they

Exploit the five dimensions of twenty-first century military effects - air, land, sea, cyber and space; Recognize that a new inner-relationship must be sought with the U.S.; and Inject some real meaning into the woeful nonrelationship with the EU.22

be needed for national purposes. Dramatic changes in atti-

That will require a NATO which reconceives itself as a

protest and contributed numerous changes in political lead-

critical strategic hub at the core of a web of real strategic

ership in a number of European powers. For instance, the

partnerships around the world, with NATO Standards that

European aerospace industry model, well advanced yet still

promote effective ways of working, acting as the Alliance’s

incomplete, shows the way for other defense industry’s to

core ‘product’.23 Therefore, NATO must recognize the oper-

consolidate their operations through multinational projects

1. 2. 3.

tudes about protectionism or sovereignty should not be expected. Nonetheless, the severity of the defense resource situation cannot be dismissed. The depth of the current financial crisis provides an opportunity to break down these obstacles. Austerity measures have already triggered public

ational, financial and po-

and joint ven-

litical contributions of its



Moreover, since


The issue




another big challenge that

Europeans, pro-

NATO has on its hands,


and was one of the major

their sovereign-

themes at the Chicago

ty, they carefully

Summit. However, the so

choose to com-

-called ‘connectivity rev-

mit to collective

olution’ must start within

efforts in ways


they regard as



reversible. The

quently, ‘a new mind-set’ will need to be integrated


NATO Members Participating in Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT).

price of reversi-

in the interior of the Alliance. So far, NATO has been

bility can be very high, as members of the EU and Euro-

streamlining the partnership tools – Partnership Cooperation

zone are finding at present. However, it is a cherished na-

Menu (PCM), Individual Partnership Co-operation Program

tional prerogative exercised regularly and visibly in the

(IPCP) – and mechanisms – opening up of Partnership for

North Atlantic Council decision-making process. The crea-

Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP) and Operational

tive concept of “reversible pooling of sovereignty” suggests

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11


optimism for CFI and Smart Defense in terms of cooperation that can be guided toward priorities of sharing capabilities and commonly agreed specialization. The 2012 NATO Summit launched those initiatives in a way designed to sustain momentum long after Chicago, creating a new mindset of confidence and assurance in the merging of national and multinational defense. Eventually, that will lead to increased cooperation and connected armed forces, and that is the goal.26 In conclusion, the Chicago Summit was an opportunity for the Alliance to define a focused, coherent, and comprehensive vision for developing new strategies and capabilities. Based on decisions taken at the Summit, the Alliance will further develop its political and practical cooperation with Partners. The Alliance may well support Partners in the capability development field to acquire and retain key capabilities. The Alliance should continue identifying the proper methods for integrating Partners in CFI when and where applicable. The CFI presents an opportunity, building on NATO experiences, to ensure that Allies develop and retain the ability to work effectively together, allowing partners to also seek capability development opportunities with NATO. Joint training and exercises will be another essential enabler in





‘interconnectivity’ with Partner forces. In the end, the success of CFI implementation will depend on the ability of NATO Allies and Partners to overcome the stated challenges and obstacles. If not, the CFI will always be a Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet “undanceable” ballet, or initiative.

About the author Adérito R. Vicente holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the New University of Lisbon. He served as international relations professional at the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, as well as research assistant at Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL) in Lisbon and at the European Parliament in Brussels. In 2012, he worked in the Defence Policy and Planning Division, at NATO HQ.

and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon”, 19-20 November 2010, 2These capabilities identi+ied at the Lisbon Summit, include Ballistic missile defence, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, maintenance of readiness, training and force preparation, effective engagement and force protection. 3The term was popularized by British Prime Minister David Cameron in his keynote speech to the Conservative party forum in Cheltenham on 26 April 2009, when he committed to put an end to years of excessive government spending. David Cameron, “The age of austerity,” 26 April 2009, The_age_of_austerity_speech_to_the_2009_Spring_Forum.aspx. 4 Hillary Clinton, “America’s Paci+ic Century”, Foreign Policy, November 2011; U.S. Department of Defence, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense”, January 2012, http:// 5Robert M. Gates, “The Security and Defense Agenda (Future of NATO)”, Brussels, 6 June 2011, Speech.aspx?SpeechID=1581. 6Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “Remarks by NATO Secretary General Anders F. Rasmussen at the Munich Security Conference plenary session on ‘Building Euro-Atlantic Security’, Munich, Germany”, February 4 2012, 7Anders Rasmussen, “Remarks by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Allied Command Transformation Seminar, Washington D.C.”, 28 February 2012, natolive/opinions_84689.htm. 8“NATO Defence Ministers plan for NATO Forces 2020”, 18 April 2012, news_86107.htm. 9Rasmussen, “Remarks at the Allied Command Transformation Seminar, Washington D.C.”. 10Rasmussen,“Secretary General's Monthly press brie+ing”, 5 March 2012, natolive/opinions_84865.htm. 11Colonel Franck Desit, “A New Alliance Goal – Capabilities for NATO 2020 and Beyond”, ACT, Norfolk, Virginia, 2012, http:// 12Rasmussen, “Remarks at the Allied Command Transformation Seminar, Washington D.C.”. 13“Strategic Military Partner Conference: ‘Current and future challenges’, Zagreb, Croatia”, 18-20 June 2012, useruploads/+iles/readahead_-_smpc_conference_2012.pdf. 14Ibid. 15Leon Panetta, “Remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the 48th Munich Security Conference, Bayerischer Hof, Munich, Germany”, 4 February 2012, http:// 16“Chicago Summit Declaration, issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Chicago”, 20 May 2012, article 3, mode=pressrelease. 17“Summit Declaration on Defence Capabilities: Toward NATO Forces 2020”, 20 May 2012, article 5, of+icial_texts_87594.htm?mode=pressrelease. 18Colonel Clayton Goya, “Connected Forces through Collective Training”, ACT, Norfolk, Virginia, 2012, -2012-01/article-11. 19Hans Binnendijk and Charles Barry, “Widening Gaps in U.S. and European Defense Capabilities and Cooperation”, Transatlantic Current 6 (July 2012): 8. 20Ibid. The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly to wherever it is needed. 21Ibid: 8-10. 22Julian Lindley–French, “NATO: Connected Forces, Connected Minds?“, New Atlanticist, 23 July 2012, nato-connected-forces-connected-minds. 23Ibid 24Those programmes and tools are focused on the priorities of building capabilities, interoperability, and supporting defence and security sector reforms. 25Until very recently, three of the top ten arms producers in the world are European aerospace +irms: BAE Systems, EADS, and Finmeccanica (the other seven are U.S. +irms). 26Binnendijk and Barry: 11.

1“Active Engagement, Modern Defence. Strategic Concept for the Defence

Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11


Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 11


ATA Programs On November 5 2012, the ATA participated in a Cafébabel event, speaking about the impact of the US election on transatlantic relations. On Nov. 14, the ATA participated in a panel discussion on “Syria: To Intervene or Not to Intervene” to discuss the role of NATO’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War, regional dialogues, the role of the United Nations and the Responsibility to Protect.

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

From December 14-15 the Turkish Atlantic Council will be organizing the 19th International Antalya Conference on Security and Cooperation to discuss the importance of Turkey’s role in NATO. 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 of how to submit your work please see our website. Further enquiries can also be directed to the ATA Secretariat at the address listed below.

Editor: Jason Wiseman

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:

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

the development of research initiatives and security-related events for its members.

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

activism and greater emphasis on joint research initiatives. These programs will also aid in the establishment of a network of international policy experts and professionals engaged in a dialogue with NATO.

Images should not be reproduced without permission from sources listed, and remain the sole The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the authors. They do not property of those sources. Unless otherwise stated, all images are the property of NATO. necessarily represent the views of the Atlantic Treaty Association, its members, affiliates or staff.

This publication is co co--sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Atlantic Voices Vol.2, no.11  

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