Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Strategic Concepts (I) (NATO Summit)

Strategic Concepts (I)
(Own report) - The debate about NATO's future intervention strategy is gaining intensity just a few weeks before the war alliance celebrates its 60th Anniversary at its Summit in the beginning of April, where, in light of tensions developing between the principal western powers, a new "strategic concept" is to be initiated. The Secretary General of NATO insists that this concept stipulate when NATO states will intervene in alliance and when they can intervene independently. The relationship to Russia should also be more precisely defined. These demands are particularly directed at Germany, which, over the years, has been seeking to enhance its independence from the USA, to also become a world power. This is the objective behind its cooperating with Moscow. Transatlantic forces in Germany are warning that one should not base ones future on a declining power and plead for Berlin rapprochement with Washington. A northern expansion of NATO is included in their proposals. In light of the rivalry over natural resource deposits at the North Pole, the war alliance should reinforce its position in the Arctic - against Russia.

At its upcoming Jubilee Summit at the beginning of April, the NATO war alliance is set to determine its basic political principles for the foreseeable future, as was demanded by its Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. "The time is right for a new strategic concept" Scheffer wrote in an exclusive article for the journal "Loyal" published by the association of German Bundeswehr reservists.[1] Years of dissention between the leading western powers over the extent of NATO cooperation and what member states should undertake independently, have led to this demand. Whereas transatlantic oriented forces in Europe and North America are demanding a broad-based graduated cooperation, demands are particularly growing in Germany for a clear limitation of the cooperation. Scheffer is demanding that these disputes finally be solved and pleads for comprehensive discussion - an "intra-alliance debate" is "the indispensable prerequisite for a new consensus."[2]

With Russian Help
The structuring of NATO's future relationship to Russia is playing a central role in this debate. Berlin has repeatedly used Moscow to broaden its autonomy in relationship to the USA. One example is the development of the SAR-Lupe espionage satellite system that provides Germany with the capacity of worldwide military intelligence, with which Germans can now wage war without reliance on US satellites. Germany was able to establish this system with Russian assistance. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3]) Because of this and other examples,[4] influential forces in Berlin insist upon making concessions to Moscow, to strengthen their position with Russian support also in the future - and become a world power in their own right. These forces often find backing in Paris.

Various tendencies in the transatlantic milieu are opposing this political trend, not only in Great Britain and the USA, but in Germany as well. The worldwide resistance to the expansion of the West can "be met solely in close cooperation with our partners" wrote Andreas Schockenhoff, vice-chairman of the conservative parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. Schockenhoff is an expert in foreign and security policy.[5] According to the conservative CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation, this is not possible in cooperation with Moscow. "Russia's power" is "shaky" writes a recent study of the foundation, which diagnoses that though Russia is experiencing an "imperial phantom limb pain," it will have "no prosperous and peaceful future."[6] The paper forecasts that "intermediately, Russia will more than likely be growing weaker rather than stronger", and sees every concession to the Russian government as superfluous.

Authoritative Office
Instead, according to the paper, NATO has to "protect" the West's global expansion "through combating the inevitable backlash (such as international terrorism)."[7] The war in Afghanistan is of particular importance. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation warns that a defeat at the Hindu Kush, would expose NATO's vulnerability and would be "an irreparable loss of credibility for the role of the alliance as a provider of global security". The occupation measures proposed give an idea of the character of future NATO interventions. According to its proposals, not only more soldiers and more non-state occupation forces (non-government organizations - NGOs) should be dispatched, but also new occupation structures must be established. To link the "locally active NGOs" to the military, it will necessitate "at least the establishment of a central office with the necessary authority" (...) "ideally within NATO structures in Afghanistan."

In addition the Konrad Adenauer Foundation is considering the replacement of the Karzai regime. The author of the study, who, in his text, just a few sentences earlier, ennobled himself with the call for democratization, proposes that "the ex-finance minister of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani or the current interior minister, Mohammad Hanif Atmar would be available as the West's competent and reliable partners."[8]

Northern Expansion
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is considering a new expansion of NATO in the future. The paper contends that one is confronted with a "growing strategic significance of the 'High North'."[9] This refers to nascent rivalry for Arctic deposits of raw materials, which, with the melting polar cap, will become accessible for mining. Strong rivalry is to be expected. (german-foreign-policy.com will report tomorrow Thursday.)[10] According to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, this is a case for NATO. Finland and Schweden have already been "more insistently signaling their interest in becoming NATO members." The growing dissention in the "High North" makes "this a welcome development."[11]

[1], [2] "Zeit für ein neues Konzept"; loyal 03/2009
[3] see also World's Spy Champion
[4] see also Richtige Richtung, Militärkooperation and Unheilvoller Schatten
[5] Was uns künftig bedroht; loyal 02/2009[6], [7], [8],
[9] Patrick Keller: Der NATO-Gipfel 2009. Zum 60. Geburtstag ein neues Strategisches Konzept? Analysen und Argumente der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Ausgabe 62, März 2009[10] see also Ice Cold War[11] Patrick Keller: Der NATO-Gipfel 2009. Zum 60. Geburtstag ein neues Strategisches Konzept? Analysen und Argumente der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Ausgabe 62, März 2009
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