Page 1


Volume 3 - Issue 1, January 2013

50 Years of the Élysée Treaty:

Its Impact on EU Foreign Policy and NATO The 50th Anniversary of the Élysée Treaty serves as a time to reflect upon Europe’s Common Security and Defence Policy and the struggle of establishing a secure and united European continent. Having represented a cornerstone moment in the history of European defence and international relations, the value of the Franco-German partnership and their engineering of a Common Security and Defence Policy cannot be understated. As Europe now faces a range of threats comprised of political, military and economic crises, the need to review and reform the

Fabius, Westerwelle, Le Drian and de Maiziere visiting the Franco-German Brigade. (Photo - Kazda-Bundeswehr)


framework established by the Élysée Treaty

Global Pulse: NATO and Turkey’s Syria Challenge: Time to Pair Up

has never been more vital.

Niklas Anzinger and Ludwig Jung analyze the on-going Syrian crisis and its effect on Turkey

The Élysée Treaty not only set in motion

and NATO. They examine the strategic obstacles in Turkey’s approach and argue that in

the solidarity and commitment of Europe’s

order to overcome the challenges posed by Syria, Russia and Iran, a rapprochement between

Transatlantic Partnership, but serves as a

Turkey and Israel and an increase in political and operational support from Europe is needed.

testament that historic rivalries can be overcome when pursuing a common goal of peace and security. Something that must be remembered when preparing for the kinds of challenges the Alliance will face in coming years. - Jason Wiseman Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

Dialogues, Doctrines, Disappointments: The Élysée Treaty in the Context of Transatlantic Partnership and European Common Security and Defence Policy Kai Peter Schönfeld examines the historical background and strategic value of the Élysée Treaty on its 50th anniversary. He argues that the Élysée Treaty is a cornerstone Europe’s progress towards a Common Defense and Security Policy (CSDP) and can be improved by industrial cooperation, deepened dialogue and better coordination of crisis management. 1

GLOBAL PULSE NATO and Turkey’s Syria Challenge:Time To Pair Up


before the Syrian crisis entailed power-balancing in the ur aim is to analyze the role of the NATO region in order to secure economic conduct with its neighactors involved in the missile defense opboring countries. As a result, trade with Northern Iraq, eration in Turkey and its long-term conseIran and especially Syria flourished for the benefit of develquences for NATO. We argue that the crucial mid- to long oping the Eastern Anatolian region in Turkey. However, -term threat for NATO is posed by Iran´s nuclear and balthe accompanied diplomatic rapprochement with Tehran listic missile program. The Syrian crisis has the potential to and Damascus along with the strategy of championing the bring NATO and Turkey closer together and install a roArab street in order to promote the "Turkish model" bust defense line along the Eastern rim of the Alliance. We proved to be strategically unsound and not as successful as believe that if Turkey takes its inevitable leadership role intended.1 Following the Flotilla seriously, it must pursue an optimization incident in 2010, the diplomatic strategy of pooling intelligence and techTurkey’s central geographic posi- relationship with Israel deteriorated nological upgrades. Essential for the suction makes it especially vulnerable and Turkish PM Erdoğan adopted cess of this strategy would be a reconcilistrong rhetoric against Israel in oration of its formerly strong security relader to appeal to the Arab and Muslim masses. As events tionship with Israel. unfolded during the Arab Spring, the illusionary percepAnalysis - Turkey´s Vulnerability and the Mistions of the Turkish "zero problems with our neighbors" sile Threat strategy were laid bare. Iran´s hegemonic ambitions in the In a volatile region, Turkey´s central geographic posiregion and fervent military support of Assad in Syria illution makes it especially vulnerable to the Eastern borders minated a deep geopolitical antagonism to Turkey. The of Iran, Iraq and Syria. As NATO plans a deployment to concerns of Turkey in terms of refugee influx, retreat basecure its alliance's Eastern rim, Turkey as the directly ses for the militant-Kurdish PKK/PYD and the alleged affected state plays a decisive role. The Turkish strategy obligation of protecting Sunni Muslims – not to mention the economic impact2 – made Erdoğan a Syria-hardliner in rhetoric, while failing to gain the support of a credible military power.3 Turkey had to reassess its lines of defense as the Syrian ballistic missile arsenal has become a serious threat to its own national interests and citizens. Turkey had to remember the lessons from 1991: in the wake of the unraveling Gulf War, Turkey found itself defenseless due Strategic map – the deployment of Patriots along the Syrian border to Turkey (Photo: Stimme Russlands) Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

to NATO´s slow delivery of 2

Patriots against Saddam Hussein´s Scud missiles. Ankara’s

importance - Ankara is once more proving that it aspires to

efforts to procure its own missile defense systems began in

a political leadership role apart from its economic power.

1997 in a call of military cooperation with Israel but the

For NATO countries, it is the cheapest way of demonstrat-

economic turmoil of the early 2000s impeded the install-

ing action.6

ment plans. While Turkey has obtained significant up-

Collective Defence: Turkey’s Inevitable Leadership

grades in counter-proliferation and air-defense capability, NATO's most Eastern member still remains vulnerable

In Germany the voters are highly averse to anything that could be seen as a bellicose act or imply military acAs a result of the escalating situation on the Turkishtion. Additionally, Germany has little interest in risking a Syrian border, the NATO Council of Foreign Ministries confrontation with Russia. If the presumptions are true that Turkey might push for some decided in early December 2012 sort of NATO-led intervention in "to augment Turkey’s air defense No NATO state other than Turkey has concert with the U.S. and the Nethcapabilities in order to defend the population and territory of shown willingness to take responsibil- erlands, Germany will most likely block or tame any pro-active atity towards Syria Turkey and contribute to the detempts. While the U.S. would have escalation of the crisis along the the military means, the Obama adAlliance’s border.5” The U.S., Germany and the Netherministration is unlikely to let itself be distracted from its lands will deploy air-defense squadrons operating on six pivot-to-Asia strategy in order to engage in yet another Patriots in a triangular position based in the Turkish cities military adventure in a Muslim country. of Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş and Adana. Each of these

against ballistic missiles.4

Turkish cities has a high number of inhabitants allegedly protected against ballistic missiles from Syria.

No NATO state other than Turkey has shown will-


ingness to take responsibility towards Syria, certainly moti-

members employ the most technically advanced Patriot

vated by the fact that Ankara's own national interest is en-

systems with PAC-2 and PAC-3 anti-ballistic missiles. Pa-

dangered by the collapsing order in the neighboring state.

triot missiles provide protection against incoming missiles in the range of 50 to 100 kilometers. The military implications of the Patriots are tightly circumscribed and make them unsuitable for establishing a no-fly zone or other measures culminating in direct intervention in Syria. First, their range operability-circle from the point of their deployment along the Southern border of Turkey hardly reaches into Syrian territory by distance. Second, the alleged interception of Syrian airspace in order to create safe zones for rebel forces is ruled out by the mandates of NATO and the participating countries. It is therefore unlikely that the purpose of "self-defense" will be violated unless the situation changes dramatically. Yet, the advanced Syrian ballistic missile arsenal and potential chemical weapon capabilities pose a severe threat as long as they are not secured - while unlikely, an “irrational endgame” including the use of those weapons by Assad remains a possibility. Nevertheless the deployment of the Patriots may have strategic implications. For Turkey, it signals the power of the Alliance and Turkey’s regional Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

Pat-3 radar system in deployment (Photo: Armed International Forces) 3

Turkey provided retreat and weapons for the Free Syrian Army and repeatedly called on the international community and NATO for proactive measures. The Patriot deployment – although militarily limited – does represent a diplomatic signal that may not be meaningless: the US, Germany and the Netherlands now share concerns for their soldiers´ lives and are committed to the defense of their Alliance partner. Shared interests can motivate actors to develop ideas and strategies not previously thought of in the costbenefit calculation. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen listens to Turkey’s Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz during a NATO defense ministers´ meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels (Photo: Reuters)

In the middle run the commitment of NATO can and has to go beyond Syria because the threat of the Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile program is imminent to Turkey. The handling of Syria will challenge NATO's crisis management.7 With Tehran aggressively working towards a nuclear weapon, Turkey will no longer be able to play its mediator role for Iran. As time runs out, Turkey will have to upgrade its place in the Western defense alliance-structure. At its border, Turkey has to lead and put all possible assets for a successful operation and prospectively longer lasting missile defenses in place. The lack of a clear commitment and decisive action during the Patriots´ deployment by both Turkey and the other allies would not only put NATO personnel in danger, but would endanger the overall success of this undertaking. Optimization Strategy - A Turkish-Israeli Pillar The key factors for an optimization of all assets are intelligence pooling and technological upgrades for the Turkish military. For Turkey, the necessity arises to restore the relationship with a natural ally Erdoğan negligently sacrificed for questionable motives. Israel has proven its advanced military and intelligence capabilities on several occasions, e.g. during Operation Cloud Pillar in Gaza. Israel has radar systems which were intended to cowork with Turkish radars in the phase of their deployment. Moreover, Turkey and Israel had contracts for the purchase of military equipment8 and joint military exercises, which deteriorated during the diplomatic stand-off - these can and should all be brought back to the table. Israel might be able to afford to work without Turkey for now. Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

In the long run it will certainly welcome the military assertiveness of NATO and the regional power projection of a strong Turkey - given clear shared interests on major issues such as the Iranian nuclear and missile program and the concerns of chemical weapons from the Syrian stockpile falling into the hands of Islamists (for this reason, Israel recently deployed Iron Dome missile defense batteries along its Northern border).9 Intelligence and military technology from Israel has the advantage of being readily available, highly advanced and effective. Turkey cannot afford to leave this option unexplored. Ankara has to reconsider the options it temporarily lost due to alienating Israel. If Turkey wanted to be a balancing power and a credible proponent of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, the approach of engaging Hamas and trying to isolate Israel failed. Compared to Qatar's ability to influence politics in the Gaza Strip through the checkbook10 and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological bond with Hamas and geographical proximity to the Gaza strip, Turkey could neither influence Hamas nor Israel in any significant way. Israeli PM Netanyahu reiterated prior to the elections that Turkish-Israeli relations would be “mutually beneficial” and emphasized “the necessity of acting against Iranian nuclear ambitions” in 2013.13 NATO, the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands should insist on the reconciliation and explain its benefits to Turkey. The first signs of this are becoming apparent: while Turkey actively blocked Israeli


NATO participation, it now seems to ease its reservations.14 The Turkish administration might, however, insist on low-publicity steps or discrete intelligence cooperation in order to conceal its miscalculation to the public and to feed the narrative of a strong Muslim democracy that stands up to Israel. Nevertheless, it should be clearly demanded that Ankara works towards an honest and publicly acknowledged reconciliation with Jerusalem. In terms of meeting the geostrategic goal of deterring a nuclear Iran, a strong and publicly visible collective defense alliance built on a Turkish-Israeli security pillar appears to be a robust strategy. Nationalist pride or loosing face can be no excuse for either side. Iranian and Russian Reservations Iran will continue its support for Assad by all means. In the course of the Syrian crisis, Iran lost a tangible strategic asset, making weapons deliveries to radical-Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon more difficult. As the Iranian regime is under heavy pressure due to Western sanctions, which are leading to a massively deteriorating economic situation, it might consider drastic options or moderate its tone to focus on inner stability. Iranian officials panicked at the deployment of the Patriots. General Hassan Firouzabadi, the Iranian armed forces chief, said "Each one of these Patriots is a black mark on the world map, and is meant to cause a world war.15" Russia subsequently problematized its support for Assad and shares Western concerns about chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands. Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview that the Russians "never said that our goal was to preserve the current political regime, or making sure that President Assad stays in power.16" Germany will not play an active political role in regard to Syria, nor will the U.S. But both will not block a NATO strategy that is well thought out and led by Turkey. Germany and the Netherlands could participate in helping Turkey deal with the problem of Syrian refugees – which recently topped the mark of more than 700.000 - by providing refuge to fleeing Syrians to ease the burden on Turkey. Engaging and being led by the most important Muslim ally would furthermore benefit the legitimacy of the alliance in the region. In the end, Turkey could become the regional power hub it seeks to be - but only if Ankara is in organic concert with Jerusalem. This optimization strategy and the grouping of all actors in the course Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

of the Patriot deployment would not overstretch any of the passive members of the alliance. A lot rests on Ankara´s willingness and courage to correct a strategic mistake, get things back together with Israel and lead the line of defense as a pillar of NATO on the Eastern rim.

About the authors Niklas Anzinger works as a research assistant for the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin and as an editorial assistant for Turkish Policy Quarterly in the course of an exchange semester at the Marmara University in Istanbul. Ludwig Jung holds a B.A. degree in Philosophy & Economics from the University of Bayreuth. He is currently pursuing a M.Sc. degree in Foreign Service at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, sponsored by the Fulbright Program. 1. Soner Cagaptay and David Pollock. Whatever Happened to “The Turkish Model”?. January 7, 2013. 2. Soner Cagaptay. Syria's War Affecting Turkey in Unexpected Ways. January 29, 2013. 3. Aaron Stein and Dov Friedman. Could Turkey Beat Syria?. October 10, 2012. 4. Aaron Stein. Turkey Marches toward Missile Defense. August 23, 2012. 5. North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO Foreign Ministers’ statement on Patriot deployment to Turkey. December 4, 2012. en/SID-6BD09A4E-BF227793/natolive/news_92476.htm 6. Aaron Stein and Shashank Joshi. Missile Creep – Was giving Patriots a step toward war in Syria?. December 10, 2012. articles/2012/12/10/missile_creep?page=0,0 7. Philipp C. Bleek and Aaron Stein. Turkey and America Face Iran. Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, vol. 54, no. 2, April–May 2012, pp. 27–38. 8. Isabel Kershner. Israel Cancels Military Contract With Turkey to Supply Aerial System. December 23, 2011. world/middleeast/israel-cancels-military-contract-with-turkey.html?_r=1& 9. Jodi Rudoren and Anne Barnard. Israel Girds for Attacks as Syria Falls Apart. January 27, 2013. refugee-crisis-grows-as-violence-flares-across-syria.html?_r=0 10. Jodi Rudoren. Qatar’s Emir Visits Gaza, Pledging $400 Million to Hamas. October 23, 2012. middleeast/pledging-400-million-qatari-emir-makes-historic-visit-to-gazastrip.html?_r=0 11.Today´s Zaman. Israeli PM: Positive ties between Israel and Turkey would benefit both sides. December 11, 2012. 12. Hilary Leila Krieger. Israel to join NATO activities amidst Turkey tension. December 23, 2012. Article.aspx?id=297004 13. Reuters. Iran warns Turkey not to deploy Patriot missiles. December 15, 2012. 14. Matt Smith. Al-Assad's grip on power "slipping away," Medvedev says. January 28, 2013. 15. Reuters. Syrian refugees top 700,000 as exodus swells: U.N. January 29, 2013. 16. Washington Post Editorial. Consequences of U.S. inaction in Syria are clear. January 29, 2013. -us-inaction-in-syria-are-clear/2013/01/28/a03dad0e-6978-11e2-95b3272d604a10a3_story.html


Dialogues, Doctrines, Disappointments The Élysée Treaty in the Context of Transatlantic Partnership and European Common Security and Defence Policy


ermany and France, who have been age-old

harmonization of their strategic and tactical doctrines in order

fierce enemies and waged wars against one

to arrive someday at mutual defence concepts. From this per-

another for centuries, are now each other’s

spective, the Élysée Treaty contained highly ambitious tar-

closest and most important bilateral partners in terms of

gets. The most significant steps towards this aim were prede-

political, economic, social and cultural cooperation. Hence,

fined in the creation of French-German institutes for opera-

the partnership between Germany and France has been de-

tional research, binational exchange programs, intercultural


clared as the main engine of European integration. The

and language instructions amongst the troops, joint armament

Élysée Treaty, signed on January 22nd, 1963 by French Pres-

and research projects based on common financing and regular

ident Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad

meetings of the responsible political and military authorities.2

Adenauer, is in the collective memory and identity on ei-

In fact, the Élysée Treaty as such was nothing new. It was

ther side of the river Rhine. It continues to stand as the

rather the product of a ten-year-old French-German military

most important and frequently commemorated cornerstone

rapprochement process which had already passed through

of French-German cooperation along the road to a united

several stations. These include, for example, the collapsed

Europe. The main objective of the treaty

project of European Defence Community

was to implement a long-term consoli-

elaborated by Pleven and Monnet, coop-

dation and sustainable French-German solidarity with respect to economic and

The Élysée Treaty began with a near catastrophic start

eration in the European Union and NATO, arms deals, first approaches to-

cultural development, but also with re-

wards nuclear cooperation and the agree-

spect to the security of the two peoples.

ments of Colomb-Béchard 1956 and

Unfortunately, the aspect of security, of bilateral strategic

Strauß-Messmer 1960.3 The majority of strategists of that

doctrines, military cooperation and common defence policy

period aimed at a French-German military cooperation within


has been neglected for quite some time. The 50 anniver-

the existing frames of NATO and the WEU. However, in the

sary of the Élysée Treaty this year is an opportune moment

1950s and early 1960s one major aspect of European security

to recall this key element of Europe’s defence strategy and

policy was good relations with the US. Germany and France

to analyze its historical genesis. Especially today, under the

competed at the same time for the best position within the

impression of contemporary crises, we ought to elucidate

US-European defence strategy against the Soviet Union. That

the chances and risks of an enhanced pragmatic French-

situation would change fundamentally during the early 1960s.

German military cooperation from a bilateral, European

French and German Reactions to McNamara’s Flexi-

and transatlantic point of view.

ble Response

First Steps Toward a Franco-German Military Cooperation in the 1950s-60s

De Gaulle and Adenauer, filled with a spirit of distrust towards the new American president John F. Kennedy and

The core issues and principles of the Élysée Treaty in

general McNamara’s revolutionizing concept of flexible re-

the domain of defence and security policy can only be un-

sponse, feared that European security might lose value within

derstood adequately in the historical context of the 1950s

US strategy.4 Was there a more independent, European alter-

and 1960s. Both governments pursued an assimilation and

native? De Gaulle, convinced of the military strength of his

Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1


armed forces within the force de

Although the French-German

frappe and encouraged by French

dialogue never came to a com-

military nuclear capability, con-

plete end, it has never been able

sidered a classical alliance system

to match the high expectations

instead of the former European

of the Élysée Treaty in the do-

and transatlantic integration. He

main of bilateral strategy and

attempted several times to con-

defence policy.

vince Germany of an alternative


Franco-German strategic, mili-



stead of Common Doctrines

tary and nuclear partnership. However, one shall not

Bonn, for its part, sought to find

deny some specific successes of

a balance between Paris and

French-German military cooper-

Washington and wanted to disappoint neither the European

Adenauer & de Gaulle (Photo-Die Welt)

neighbour nor the transatlantic ally. In this context, the Élysée Treaty must be seen as an approach to find a French-German common answer to the American concept of flexible response, which was in that time interpreted by de Gaulle and Adenauer as insufficient and dangerous. They wanted to set new trends for the European and transatlantic alliance but did not succeed. In this regard the Élysée Treaty began with a near catastrophic start and was regarded critically across the Atlantic Ocean and even among many German and French experts.5

ation that may open up new opportunities for future devel-

opment. The request for military interoperability between German and French troops has experienced several spontaneous revitalisations since the 1980s. On the initiative of Helmut Schmidt and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, continued later by Helmut Kohl and François Mitterand, a new kind of rapprochement led to the creation of the Franco-German Brigade in 1986 and the Franco-German Defence and Security Council in 1988. Furthermore the joint commitment in Eurocorps, where Germany and France are the most im-

From that moment on, French and German security policy started to drift apart from each other. Due to different strategic orientations and mentalities, the noble objectives of mutual defence concepts embedded in the Élysée Treaty experienced a significant slowdown, if not to say a prolonged stagnation.6 Was the desired partnership visionary or unrealistic? Germany had to choose between Paris or Washington. The German government and military elite considered justifiably and realistically that France could never be a proper alternative or substitute for the US as the protecting power against the Soviet threat. While the Federal Republic of Germany reinforced its transatlantic integration, de Gaulle launched a unique national strategy in France beyond the structures of NATO. After the affair about the preamble to the Élysée Treaty, de Gaulle became increasingly disillusioned and decided in 1966 to withdraw the French military from NATO and to shelve the ideas of a close strategic partnership with Bonn.7 Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

portant framework nations has yielded a variety of results that include: several approaches to naval cooperation since 1992, the German and French refusal to participate in the war against Iraq, cooperation in NATO and EU missions, combined joint task forces and also various armament projects like the foundation of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS or programs like Transall, Roland, Tiger, A-400 etc. Each of these shows that joint projects are still possible and capable of consensus despite certain problems.8 The Maastricht and Lisbon Treaty opened the door for a common security and defence policy in Europe – an opportunity for Germany and France to further solidify their strategic partnership. Moreover, after the reintegration of France into NATO structures and the latest announcement of the US to concentrate more on the geopolitical situation in Asia-Pacific, France and Germany might be motivators for the reorganization and reinvention 7

of NATO, especially in today’s situation of squeezed national defence budgets leading to pooling, sharing and Smart Defence. Although the Élysée Treaty was so far not yet able to

tion of Smart Defence or pooling and sharing projects. The successes on the tactical level and the established

contribute in any way to the desired formulation and conduct

routines of military cooperation are an important expres-

of mutual Franco-German doctrines or strategies, it showed

sion of the reconciliation between the German and the

initial signs of success below the abstract level of strategy.

French people. They are witness to the successful healing of

Interoperability and Cooperation Underneath the Strategic Level

ancient rivalries and for pragmatic bilateral forms of European integration along the road to a common security and defence policy. But they do not necessarily give legitimacy

Ulrich de Maizière, former Chief of Federal Armed Forces Staff, diagnosed that a further substantial deepening of the Franco-German military cooperation required an overcome of persisting basic disagreements in the context of security policy

to further steps towards an enhanced mutual bilateral strategy. That is why an open and honest debate on the chances and risks, on common interests and strategic necessities

and strategy. Nevertheless, scope is still left underneath the

must be held not only bilaterally in France and Germany,

strategic level. A further extension of personal relations, mu-

but also in the frameworks of the EU and NATO. Is there

tual tactic doctrines and an improvement of interoperability

enough political will for such projects? The question must

with regard to logistics and armament were, according to de

be asked whether an enhanced Franco-German strategic

Maizière, still imaginable. That is exactly the appropriate basis

partnership would be profitable or

and groundwork upon which

even necessary and in which de-

German and French military and political authorities may give new impetus towards the

A reform process for a common European geostrategic approach is long overdue

gree it might help to find adequate answers to contemporary security challenges. Where does consent or

goals of the Élysée Treaty. As French troops stayed in Germany until 1994 and as Germany

dissent dominate? Furthermore it

played a major role as mediator between France and NATO

is important to determine why the Franco-German partner-

before the reintegration of the French armed forces into

ship currently remains dissatisfactory and stagnating. Where

NATO structures, a regular bilateral contact between Ger-

are the problems and what possible solutions do exist? Fi-

man and French soldiers on all levels of military hierarchy

nally it is appropriate to analyze some imaginable scenarios

provided a solid basis of interoperability and intercultural

and concrete spheres of an enhanced cooperation between

understanding of each other’s military traditions and mentalities. Cooperation in armament projects first led to developments towards a higher degree of tactical interoperability. It will be particularly important to work on further cooperation

Germany and France. What lessons were already learned and what suggestions and advice can be given for the future development?

projects of that kind, first and foremost in the framework of

Germany and France as Peacemakers and Motiva-

NATO and the EU. These chances have not yet been suffi-

tors for CSDP?

ciently exhausted. Differences in military mentality, historical tradition and tactical procedures will undoubtedly continue to

In a recent plenary sitting of the German Bundestag

exist between the German and French armed forces. Like

on the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, Andreas

Ludwig Erhard said back in 1965, if there were no disagree-

Schockenhoff, deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parlia-

ments at all, the Friendship Treaty would have never been

mentary group for foreign affairs, affairs of the European

necessary for mutual approximations. But in the spirit of a

Union and defence policy, illustrated that European Com-

concept of productive opposites, each side could fertilize the

mon Security and Defence Policy will not progress if Ger-

other and try to exchange tactical and technical know-how.

many and France did not act in concert. What does that

The gained experience could be helpful in the future realizaAtlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

mean? A reform process for a common European geostrategic approach is long overdue. A common position concern8

ing geopolitics and strategy would ensure that the European

How Far is Germany Able and Willing to Go in

continent remains a competitive actor in today’s increasingly

Questions of Defence?

uncertain geopolitical environment. As Europe is still dependent on the military force of the USA, defence policy within the EU must be complementary to NATO. And it must react to America’s shift towards the Asia-Pacific. In this context America’s pivot to Asia will not only weaken the West. Positively speaking, it creates more space for European creativity accompanied by growing obligations and responsibilities. But instead of searching for a common ground, we experience a resurgence of national grand strategies, of geopolitical diversification and uncoordinated diplomatic multipolarity outside the structures of CSDP and even NATO. France’s strategic priorities lie in the European neighborhood, in the Mediterranean, in North Africa, Sahel-zone, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Levant – regions that are crucial for European security but alarmingly insecure and labile. On the other hand, Germany has great difficulty in finding clearly stated strategic interests. Both countries have to meet each other halfway, resume their bilateral dialogue and coordinate their strategic agenda. In a similar manner, success was al-

Germany’s hesitance and procrastination in security and defence questions, such as the controversy about the deployment of Tornado airplanes with reconnaissance equipment in Afghanistan 2007 or the German rejection of the military intervention in Libya 2011, entailed a certain degree of distrust among the members of NATO. Some may even sneer at Germany’s pacifistic stance in international relations leading to a certain degree of isolation. From the French perspective, the chances and risks of an enhanced military and strategic partnership simply depend on the question, how far is Germany really able and willing to go in questions of defence? Due to the political culture, but also with regard to manpower, equipment and expenditures, the military capability of the Bundeswehr – and even more so of the German Navy – is regarded as rather limited and below comparable countries of the European Union such as France or the United Kingdom. As a consequence France started to query whether Germany shall really be the predestinated partner for defence coopera-

ready achieved in the

tion. Alternatives do exist. France and

economic spheres during

the United Kingdom, for instance,

the euro crisis. Germany

took the decision in 2011 and 2012 to

and France acted as ac-

raise their defence and security coop-

cepted pacemakers and role






eration to unprecedented levels. They aim at expanding their cooperation in military capabilities, industry, opera-

ideas upon the other

tions, intelligence and nuclear weap-

European partners. Thus

ons. Analysts fear that France and the

Germany has to take

United Kingdom might turn away

more initiative and re-

completely from CSDP, although they

sponsibility in the do-

both signified as well that they desired

main of European strate-

a closer cooperation with Germany. A

gic necessities and invest

triangle Berlin-Paris-London, or a

the military capabilities of


reinforcement of the Weimar Trian-


gle, whether these are utopian endeav-

while France has to avoid

ours or not, they are adequate per-

playing a lone hand in military and diplomatic campaigns. Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

Merkel and Hollande in France (Photo- Epoch Times)

spectives for a further stage in the development from a Franco-German 9

defense partnership towards CDSP. For this objective

and reduced defence expenditures among the European

there must be more than political will, but rather creative

states on the other, coherence and cooperation is more

initiatives, concrete challenges and joint projects.

necessary than ever. The rather irregular retreat of west-

Initiatives and Specific Needs for the


Agenda of Franco-German Cooperation

ern forces from Afghanistan and the German attitude towards operation Unified Protector in Libya are two examples of inadequate cooperation. In the elaboration of Smart

For the foreseeable future, the Franco-German declarations on European defence and security policy signed in February 2012 and on armament cooperation from June 2012, can be useful approaches. Progress has to be generated in the framework of three key areas:

Defence, Germany and France could work closer together. In the actual crisis of Mali, Germany could set an example, take more responsibility and support the French campaign to a greater extent. Similarly to the spontaneous revitalizations of the Élysée Treaty in the 1980s, the Franco-

1) Industrial cooperation, armament and tactical interoper-

German partnership must be adapted to actual necessities

ability: As described in the latest armament declaration,

of strategy and defence policy. Thus it will maintain its

Germany and France may work together to carry on re-

high value for Germany and France, for Europe and for the

search in the areas of main ground combat systems, artil-

Transatlantic Partnership.

lery, aviation and helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, naval systems, communication, satellite technologies and aerospace. Furthermore a mutually satisfactory future for EADS as a leading defence and military contractor must be found. The cooperation amongst the France-Germany Brigade and Eurocorps needs to be continued or even extended and further developed. 2) Deepened dialogues among political, diplomatic and military authorities: Besides the dominating topic of

Kai Peter Schönfeld is a German Navy officer and student of history and sociology doing his Masters at Helmut Schmidt University - University of the Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg. Since 2012 he is blogging on “Sicherheit vernetzt” about European foreign and defence policy, transatlantic partnership and maritime security. In 2012 he spent six months in Montpellier, France as part of an interuniversity exchange program.

There must be more than political will, but rather creative initiatives

the euro and financial crisis, the dialogue on foreign affairs, geopolitics and strategy has to come back to mind. The upgrading of the Franco-German Defence and Security Council may provide an appropriate framework for that, prior to the committees and institutions of NATO and the EU. Notably Berlin has to react more strikingly to approaches and proposals of defence and security cooperation. The cooperation among the composition of the new French defence white paper should be further supported and encouraged. 3) Coherent political and military reactions to current crises: In times of political deconstruction and geopolitical uncertainty in the European neighborhood on the one hand Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1

About the author

1. DEMESMAY, Claire: Hat der deutschfranzösische Bilateralismus Zukunft?, APuZ 13 2013, p. 37. 2. Text of the Franco-German Treaty signed in Paris, 22nd January 1963, in: WESTERN EUROPEAN UNION ASSEMBLY, GENERAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (ed.): A Retrospective View of the Political Year in Europe 1963,

March 1964, p. 29f. 3. GAUZY, Florence: Die Verteidigung. Von der Anpassung der Doktrinen zu gemeinsamen Konzepten?, in: DEFRANCE, Corine; PFEIL, Ulrich (ed.): Der Élysée-Vertrag und die deutsch-französischen Beziehungen 1945 – 1963 – 2003, München 2005, p. 130-134. 4. SOUTOU, Georges-Henri: L’arrière-plan stratégique du traité de l’Elysée, in: C2SD; CEHD (ed.): Bilan et perspectives de la coopération militaire franco-allemande de 1963 à nos jours, Paris 1999, p. 108f. 5. PFEIL, Ulrich: Zur Bedeutung des Élysée-Vertrags, APuZ 1-3 2013, p. 3f. 6. SOUTOU, Georges-Henri: L'alliance incertaine. Les rapports politicostratégiques franco-allemands 1954 – 1996, Paris 1996, p. 45ff. 7. CONZE, Eckart: Die gaullistische Herausforderung. Die deutschfranzösischen Beziehungen in der amerikanischen Europapolitik 19581963, München 1995, p. 276ff.; REYN, Sebastian: Atlantis lost. The American experience with De Gaulle 1958-1969, Amsterdam 2010, p. 249ff. 8. BOYER, Yves; LE GLOANNEC, Anne-Marie: La coopération francoallemande en matière de défense. Jusqu’où l’Allemagne peut-elle aller?, Note de la FRS, 14 juin 2007, p. 1f.


Start Your World Career At the

In numbers, MoNYS 2012 meant 220 participants,

Model NATO Youth Summit

77 universities involved, 5 continents and 37 countries

Do you know everything about NATO, or do you wish to

represented, 22 guests and speakers, 6 NATO Committees

know more? Do you want to prove you have the skills and

simulated, 12 major topics debated; 6 days at the highest

the knowledge to become a senior diplomat? Do you

diplomatic level. But for its participants, MoNYS meant so

strongly believe you have the power to change the world?

much more: it was a week full of life changing events.

If your answer is “Yes!” to all of the questions above, your place is at Model NATO Youth Summit 2013!

Join MoNYS 2013!

Why Model NATO Youth Summit?

The second edition of MoNYS will be held between th

the 8 and 13th of July 2013. This time the Summit will Model NATO Youth Summit (MoNYS) is the larg-

focus on the importance of NATO’s close relations with its

est international simulation of NATO’s decision-making

Member States and Partners and the necessity of them

process in the world and the only one in Europe. The pro-

joining their efforts in achieving the main transatlantic ob-

ject aims to raise awareness on the mission and main activi-

jectives. All the debates during MoNYS 2013 will evolve

ties of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while cre-

around next year’s central theme: “Defining NATO capabili-

ating a platform for the young generation to debate on the

ties towards 2020 - Meeting Future Global Security Challenges

major social and political issues that our society faces to-

through Cooperation, Collaboration and Crisis Management.”

day. MoNYS gives its young participants the means, the time and the space to practice their skills and develop the

If you have always envisioned yourself as a future

knowledge they acquired in universities, with the ultimate

world leader and opinion maker, now is the time to apply!

goal of shaping them into future world leaders.

MoNYS is looking for students aged between 18 and 28, with experience and demonstrated interest in such simula-

The First Big Success: MoNYS 2012

tions, having a deep understanding of how the international political scene functions and how world changing deci-

The first edition of MoNYS took place in July 2012.

sions are taken.

Students from all over the world arrived in Brussels keen to discover what it means to work for one of the most

You can register as an individual delegate, as a

powerful international institutions. For one week, they

member of a delegation, or as a journalist. A delega-

debated on topics of great significance for the evolution of

tion must be formed of 6 people (5 delegates and one am-

the global society and received valuable information from

bassador), all enrolled in the same university. For further

the keynote speakers and guests of MoNYS; among them,

information, complete eligibility criteria and application

the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen,

forms, please refer to The

whom the participants had the privilege to meet during

final deadline for receiving the applications is January

their visit to NATO Headquarters.

31st, 2013.

Atlantic Voices, Volume 3, Issue 1


ATA Programs As part of its on-going Public Lecture Series, on January 23rd, the Atlantic Council of Albania is hosting a public lecture on civil-

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.

military relations at the state University of Tirana.

The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an international nongovernmental organization based in Brussels working to facilitate global

On January 25th the Slovak Atlantic Commission will present

networks and the sharing of knowledge on transatlantic cooperation and

its fifth study from the series of the Transatlantic Policy Briefs that

security. By convening political, diplomatic and military leaders with

will center on the debate regarding the contribution of Central

academics, media representatives and young professionals, the ATA promotes

European countries to glob-

the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty: Democracy, Freedom,

al security. The piece will

Liberty, Peace, Security and Rule of Law. The ATA membership extends to 37

be read by Tomas A. Nagy

countries from North America to the Caucasus throughout Europe. In 1996,

and Peter Wagner, and will

the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) was created to specifially

focus on the Visegrad coun-

include to the successor generation in our work.




NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.

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

On December 14th the Atlantic Council of Finland hosted its

European Security Forum, the Ukraine Dialogue and its Educational Platform.

Annual Autumn Meeting in Helsinki. The event featured a speech

In 2011, the ATA adopted a new set of strategic goals that reflects the

from Heli Santala, Secretary General of the Advisory Board for

constantly evolving dynamics of international cooperation. These goals include:

Defence Information from the Finnish Ministry of Defence.

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

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 Images should not be reproduced without permission from sources listed, and remain the sole property of those sources. Unless otherwise stated, all images are the property of NATO.

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.

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

Atlantic Voices Vol 3. no. 1  

Niklas Anzinger and Ludwig Jung analyze the on-going Syrian crisis and its effect on Turkey and NATO. They examine the strategic obstacles i...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you