Preparing for the NATO Summit: From Allies to Partners

Sven Biscop

(De ingenomen standpunten zijn niet die van Vrede vzw.)

At NATO’s 60th anniversary Summit in April the tasking will be given to draft a new strategic concept, which will undoubtedly provoke an intense and none too easy debate about the future of the Alliance. When undertaking this exercise, it is important to realize that the context in which NATO operates has changed fundamentally. Accordingly, rather than just improving NATO-EU relations and streamlining the NATO apparatus, more fundamental changes in the organization of transatlantic relations overall are required.

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Last Alliance Standing? NATO after 9/11

John R. Schmidt

(De ingenomen standpunten zijn niet die van Vrede vzw.)

When NATO leaders meet at the Riga summit in late November 2006, they will confront a far different security landscape than the one faced by the founding fathers of the alliance. Those leaders established NATO in 1949 to defend Western Europe against the clear and present danger posed by Soviet military power. The United States, as the most powerful member of the alliance by far, came to dominate the transatlantic relationship, both politically and militarily. Despite some bumps along the road, notable among them French withdrawal from the integrated military structure and the U.S.-Soviet Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty controversy, NATO managed to maintain its cohesion and solidarity through the darkest days of the Cold War. Yet, when the Soviet Union unexpectedly collapsed, NATO did not follow its old nemesis into the ash heap of history. The instability generated in central and eastern Europe by the Soviet collapse reminded European allies of the importance of maintaining the transatlantic alliance as a hedge against an uncertain future. The United States, for its part, had no desire to abandon the primary instrument through which it exercised influence in Europe, which remained vital to its long-term security interests.

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Wat zegt Vrede vzw over de NAVO?

Vrede vzw

Vrede vzw gelooft niet dat de NAVO een instrument is om tot vrede en stabiliteit te komen in de wereld. De NAVO is een militair orgaan, met vooral militaristische antwoorden op grote veiligheidsuitdagingen. In essentie is de Atlantische Alliantie een bondgenootschap van een beperkt aantal westerse landen dat zich defacto heeft ontwikkeld tot militaire arm van een economisch blok. Een efficiënt veiligheidsbeleid verdient een brede benadering, namelijk een die inwerkt op de grondoorzaken van conflicten die sociaal-economische of ecologisch van aard zijn. Daarbinnen is er voor de NAVO geen plaats.

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