NATO Towards the Challenges of a Contemporary World

„NATO Towards the Challenges of a Contemporary World”
Robert Czulda, Robert Łoś (ed.)
Warsaw – Łódź 2013 (International Relations Research Institute)


“In a world where strategic surprise is the rule, NATO must be prepared for all contingencies. No two operations are alike (…) To be effective, NATO must remain capable of dealing with multiple tasks and multiple crises, ranging from conflict prevention to cyber-defense”.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (2013)

We hereby pass this publication into the hands of our Dear Readers. It repre-sents the result of the collective effort of more than twenty academics and its subject matter involves issues concerning NATO’s activities in the 21st century. Although the basic reason for the establishment of the transatlantic alliance in 1949, namely, the threat from the Soviet Union, has disappeared, nobody in the contemporary world seriously talks of the dissolution of NATO. There has been no agreement on attempting such a thing and nor should there be. Despite its faults and problems, NATO constitutes a value in of itself.

NATO found a new goal in the 1990s, when decision-makers bravely and not without doubts decided to (successfully) undertake military interventions during the war in the Balkans. These relatively successful operations outside NATO borders, including Deny Flight and Deliberate Force, meant that the Alliance started to perceive itself not as a form of collective defence, but rather as a key international player with the justify – or even obligation – to intervene regardless of the location of a threat. Going beyond the framework of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty required courage, but it was a necessary action since it enabled NATO to be itself again in a new international situation, to redefine its aims. By leaving its borders, set by the Washington Treaty of 1949, NATO found a new sense of purpose. Thus, if NATO wants to play a correspondingly important role in the years to come, it must show courage and a visionary ability once again, equal to that demonstrated by Secretary General of NATO Manfred Wörner (1988 – 1994) or U.S. politician Richard Lugar, who used the famous phrase “out of area or out
of business”.

The constant evolution of the structure of international security has required and still requires NATO to adapt its methods of operation within the Alliance and the methods of co-operation with the wider international community. Contemporary security issues involve a vast number of complex and evolving threats and challenges, such as international terrorism, WMD proliferation, failed states, smouldering conflicts, organized crime, cyber threats, the degradation of the natural environment and the related threat to security, competition for energy resources (including water), natural disasters, and many others. Unlike in the pre-vious era, it is obvious that the effect of contemporary challenges does not impact all member states in the same way. Asymmetric threats may arouse a common concern, but they do not need to be automatically treated as an armed attack against the whole Alliance. In contrast to the situation during the Cold War period, modern challenges may not necessarily be deemed as being of sufficient significance to trigger such a reaction. This includes, for example, cyber attacks or energy blackmail (the threat of gas and oil supplies being cut off as a method of applying political pressure). Consequently, NATO members must redefine how they express solidarity within the Alliance, which has currently suffered from weakness or even erosion, taking into account the weakening of the American – European partnership. However, at the same time, NATO must be committed to responding to traditional Article 5 threats, such as conventional warfare.

A wide range of contemporary challenges and threats, and their volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity make it necessary to develop a new, flexible and integrated holistic approach. The modern world requires NATO to build institutional partnerships with a range of actors. This applies not only to the other major international organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union, but also to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the private sector, for example the energy and IT sectors. All these players must become partners in the attempt to cope with multi-dimensional security-related problems. Given the vast differences in their goals, mandates, methods and philosophy of action, building trusting and effective relationships between them will be an arduous process. Nevertheless, as the biggest political and military organization in the world, NATO cannot avoid contemporary challenges if it does not want to “go out of business”.

Warsaw – Lodz 2013

NATO Summits
NATO’s Member Countries
NATO Operations and Missions

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Future of NATO – Secretary General’s Perspective
Longin Pastusiak, What Kind of NATO?
Robert Czulda, The Widening Gap – Europe is Still a Military Pygmy

Chapter I: NATO at the Crossroads – Choosing the Future Path
Marek Madej, NATO After the Chicago Summit – the Condition and Prospects for Development
Karolina Libront, Evolution of NATO’s Identity in the 21st Century
Andrzej Makowski, Is a New Identity for NATO Possible?

Chapter II: NATO – the Polish Perspective
Jerzy M. Nowak, Evolution of NATO and Poland’s Security
Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski, The Military Aspect of the National Security Strategy of the Republic of Poland of 2007 and the Programme of Professionalization of the Polish Armed Forces of 2008 in the Context of NATO
Marek K. Ojrzanowski, NATO Strategic Assumptions. Implications for the Polish Armed Forces

Chapter III: The Past, the Present, and the Future of the Operational Involvement of NATO and its Members
Waldemar Zubrzycki, NATO – Russian RENEGADE Aircraft Joint Initiative
Bogdan Grenda, Cyber Security of NATO Air Operations
Magdalena Rekść, The Image of NATO in Serbian Collective Representations
Robert Czulda, Russia – NATO: Towards a Partnership or a New Cold War?
Rafał Ciastoń, The European Phased Adaptive Approach – The U.S. Contribution to NATO Missile Defence

Chapter IV: NATO Towards the Contemporary Challenges, Opportunities and Threats
Michał Łuszczuk, The Formation of NATO’s Approach to the Arctic in the First Decade of the 21st Century
Paweł Godlewski, NATO and Energy Security
Tadeusz Zieliński, The Smart Defence Initiative – a Chance to Increase NATO’s Defence Capabilities?
Adrian Szumowski, The Idea of “Smart Power” in the Concept of NATO Security
Mariusz Ruszel, NATO’s Role in Ensuring Energy Security in Europe
Jacek Reginia-Zacharski, The Present and Future of NATO: Cohesion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Light of Elements of the Alliance Theory

The North Atlantic Treaty (1949)
Active Engagement, Modern Defence. Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon
The Secretary General’s Annual Report 2012