HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2002 Annual SessionAV 183 DSC/TC(02)2 - Report of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Defence and Security Co-operation. 'The transatlantic Defence Relationship after September 11, 2001'
Report of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Defence and Security Co-operation. 'The transatlantic Defence Relationship after September 11, 2001'
Rapporteur : Wim van EEKELEN (Netherlands - Pays-Bas)
I. INTRODUCTION 1
II. NATO AND THE TRANSATLANTIC DEFENCE RELATIONSHIP 2
A. WHAT IS NATO FOR? 2
B. ARTICLE 5 AND THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM 3
C. NATO COMMAND AND FORCE RESTRUCTURING 5
D. NON-ARTICLE 5 MISSIONS 8
III. EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY 9
A. ESDP INSTITUTIONS 9
B. EU DEFENCE CAPABILITIES 10
C. NATO-EU RELATIONS 14
D. PARLIAMENTARY OVERSIGHT 15
IV. NATO OPERATIONS IN EUROPE 16
A. OVERVIEW 16
B. THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA 16
C. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 18
D. KOSOVO 19
V. CONCLUSION 20
1. It has become a cliché to say that September 11, 2001, changed the world beyond recognition, but there can be no denying that the terrible events of that morning have dramatically redefined the transatlantic defence relationship and changed the terms of reference for the debate. When Article 5 of the Washington Treaty was invoked by the Alliance a day later, it became clear that NATO at its core was what it had always been, yet at the same time destined to become something very different. NATO was founded as a collective-defence organisation to protect the territories of its member states from outside attack, and September 11 showed that there are still outside threats to our security. But the nature of the attacks and of the foe who perpetrated them demonstrated that NATO as it is currently constituted is not prepared to respond quickly and effectively to this new threat.
2. It is now clear that, in addition to its role in crisis management and peace support, NATO must remain a collective defence organisation, a military alliance that can bring together forces of 19 nations to respond to an attack on one as if it were an attack on them all. For a few optimistic moments in the 1990s, there were some who saw this primary mission disappearing as NATO became a "more political" organisation, devoted to nurturing democracy in the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The threats to Euro-Atlantic security, it appeared to some, would be limited to small conflicts on the periphery of the Alliance. The task of defending against an attack on the Alliance would give way to crisis management - the prompt intervention in small conflicts that threatened to grow into large conflicts if left untended. A new kind of force was needed, one prepared to impose peace if necessary but geared toward keeping the peace and enabling democracy to take root.
3. September 11 showed that NATO countries still face threats to their territory and their citizens, though of a more shadowy, more sinister nature. The military campaign in Afghanistan shows that well-trained, well-equipped armed forces are still necessary to destroy the infrastructure and organisation of those who attack us and to replace regimes that shelter and support these groups. But at the same time, instability on the periphery of the Alliance persists. We now see that it is less of a threat to our security than international terrorism or the prospect that terrorists might gain weapons of mass destruction. But the challenge to European stability posed by ethnic conflict in Southeastern Europe has not disappeared.
4. It is now evident to all that the security challenges facing the Alliance have multiplied, and NATO must adapt. While the Alliance for the first time has invoked Article 5, NATO itself as an organisation has played a very small role in the conduct of its first Article 5 operation. Some of this is due to the command structure of the United States, the country directly attacked on September 11 and the largest military power in the Alliance. But it is also due in part to a NATO structure that does not lend itself to conducting this new kind of warfare. NATO as an alliance will remain relevant because its democracies find it in their interest to ensure one another's security through its collective-defence guarantee. But NATO as an institution must adapt if it is to facilitate the cooperation needed to act together effectively.
5. At the same time, Southeastern Europe remains a fragile, unstable region. As the situation improves, NATO is implementing a gradual reduction of its forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo, but those missions seem likely to continue for some time. Meanwhile, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(, a NATO contingent is protecting civilian monitors who are overseeing implementation of the peace agreement that ended a rebellion in 2001, but this mission might be taken over by the European Union (EU) later this year. The success of free and fair elections in September and the victory of moderates increased hopes for lasting stabilisation.
6. As a reaction to the failure of first the European countries then the United Nations to respond effectively to the crises of the 1990s, particularly their reliance on the United States in the 1999 Kosovo campaign, the European Union has moved to establish its own defence capability, known as the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The EU member states are working to establish a corps-sized rapid reaction force that would allow the EU to undertake crisis-management operations without North American assistance. The events of September 11, 2001, have not changed either the need for ESDP nor the nature of the crises that it would seek to manage. ESDP remains a developing tool for carrying out various peace missions, but it is important to remember that the EU is not seeking a war-fighting capability along the lines of NATO. While overshadowed by the war on terrorism, ESDP remains an important EU initiative that can strengthen European defence capabilities if it is implemented properly.
7. This report will attempt to provide members with an overview of these various parts of the transatlantic defence relationship. It will begin by examining the role of NATO in the wake of September 11 and the need to transform the Alliance's institutions to respond to future threats to the security of its member states. This chapter is designed to complement the work of the General Rapporteur, Pierre Lellouche, who is examining the threats to the Alliance today and the capabilities it needs. It will also complement the Special Report by John Shimkus, which covers the war on terrorism and the contributions of the NATO Allies.
8. This report will also update the development of ESDP, particularly the efforts to improve European defence capabilities and the progress of efforts to build ties between NATO and the EU. Finally, the report will examine the status of the three NATO missions in Southeastern Europe, particularly Operation Amber Fox in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a mission that could be taken over by the EU as the first operation for ESDP.
II. NATO AND THE TRANSATLANTIC DEFENCE RELATIONSHIP
A. WHAT IS NATO FOR?
9. On September 12, 2001, at the suggestion of Secretary General George Robertson, the 19 permanent representatives of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time in the Alliance's history. "The Council agreed that if it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an armed attack against one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all," the statement read. It went on to note that while the circumstances were different from those envisioned when the Alliance was founded, Article 5 "remains no less valid and no less essential today, in a world subject to the scourge of international terrorism." In early October 2001, the NAC concluded that the attacks were directed from abroad and affirmed that Article 5 was applicable.
10. Combating terrorism requires more than military means. In fact, a military operation makes sense only if the source of terrorism can be linked with a state-actor. Even then, the fight will require a host of non-military measures, ranging from internal security to combating money-laundering, none of which NATO can fully address. So collective defence remains at the heart of NATO, but its substance is changing.
11. Some observers maintain that NATO is destined to become a more "political" organisation, a future role that has been described as "an OSCE with teeth." That should not be allowed to happen. But it is also true that NATO has fulfilled an increasing role as a collective security organisation, building trust and cooperation among its members. In the aftermath of World War II, it helped erstwhile foes in Western Europe cooperate militarily and economically, enabling the peaceful integration of the region. The security umbrella that NATO provided helped Germany develop into a flourishing democracy that no longer threatens its neighbours. Through NATO, the countries of Western Europe plan their defence jointly, removing any uncertainty about intentions and facilitating cooperation through joint operating procedures and rules of engagement that have been established in all out-of-area operations. And NATO has long played a role in mediating conflict among its members, notably Greece and Turkey.
12. With the collapse of communist regimes throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the community of liberal market democracies has grown. The integration of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic has helped nurture their cooperation with other European democracies, and the upcoming next round of enlargement will do the same for up to seven countries. The role that NATO plays in collective security - that is, mediating potential conflict among its members - is a side benefit that flows from the defence integration it has engendered.
13. NATO has also become active in the security of the Euro-Atlantic region outside of the territory of its member states. The creation of the Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a result of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords saw NATO move troops out-of-area for the first time. Since then, the Alliance has undertaken peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, further demonstrating its commitment to security on its periphery.
14. The launch of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in 1994 added a new dimension to NATO. PfP was a response to the former Warsaw Pact countries that were seeking to join NATO, and it has played an admirable role in helping them reform their societies and their defence structures so as to be ready for Alliance membership. But today, most PfP members are not candidates to join the Alliance. For them, PfP is a way to learn to work with NATO. Some have been active in the Balkans operations and PfP is a mechanism to facilitate cooperation. For others, mostly to the East, PfP provides practical advice and assistance as they seek to restructure their militaries while remaining outside of the Alliance structure.
15. A deeper question for NATO will be how much the war on terrorism defines its future. Some experts have suggested that NATO prepare to act collectively against out-of-area threats to the security of the Alliance. Most notably, US Sen. Richard Lugar has called NATO "the natural defence arm of the transatlantic community and the institution we should turn to for help in meeting new challenges such as terrorism and weapons of mass destruction." The NATO Allies must confront the question of whether they want to adapt the Alliance to tackle these new threats.
B. ARTICLE 5 AND THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM
16. When NATO revised its Strategic Concept in 1999, the Allies specifically noted the threat that terrorism posed to their territories and their people. That document reads in part: "Any armed attack on the territory of the Allies, from whatever direction, would be covered by Articles 5 and 6 of the Washington Treaty. However, Alliance security must also take account of the global context. Alliance security interests can be affected by other risks of a wider nature, including acts of terrorism ...". Article 6 defines the area in Europe and North America where Article 5 applies, and the 12 September declaration underscored that the treaty is intended for the defence of both North America and Europe.
17. The September 2001 declaration by the NAC went beyond the language in the Strategic Concept that indicated only that terrorist attacks would be covered by Article 4 of the treaty, which provides for consultations in case a member state believes itself to be threatened. However, the NAC declaration should not be construed as a precedent by which any act of terrorism would be considered an armed attack covered by Article 5. The unique nature and international character of the terrorist attacks against the United States made this a special situation. But it is clear that Article 5 applies to more than a Soviet invasion of West Germany. The collective defence guarantee remains the heart of NATO, and no expansion of the Alliance's mission or membership should be permitted to change that. The freedom-loving democracies of the Euro-Atlantic region face new enemies and new threats, and NATO Alliesmust continue to pledge themselves to defend one another. None of us would wish to face these threats alone.
18. The NAC declaration noted that "Article 5 of the Washington Treaty stipulates that in the event of attacks falling within its purview, each Ally will assist the Party that has been attacked by taking such action as it deems necessary. Accordingly, the United States' NATO Allies stand ready to provide the assistance that may be required as a consequence of these acts of barbarism." It was not an armed attack in the traditional sense of the word, as civilian airliners with full fuel tanks were turned into bombs, but the Allies have delivered on this promise.
19. Of the 17 US Allies in NATO that have armed forces, 15 have taken part in Operation Enduring Freedom, the military campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. British, Canadian, Danish, German, and Norwegian troops have fought on the ground with some 1,000 special forces, pilots from several NATO nations have flown combat missions, and a multinational fleet has been stationed in the Indian Ocean to support the operation. In addition, several European allies have contributed forces to the Turkish-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a 4,500-strong peace support operation that is providing internal security in and around Kabul and may be expanded elsewhere in Afghanistan. The military assistance rendered by the NATO Allies undermines the argument of any who claim this is a unilateral American operation, and it underscores the concrete nature of the Washington Treaty and its Article 5 guarantee.
20. While the NATO Allies have contributed significantly to Operation Enduring Freedom, one cannot ignore that NATO itself has played a very small role. The NATO contribution was limited to sending five of its Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to the United States to free American AWACS for the Afghan campaign; sending a task force to the eastern Mediterranean to relieve American ships there; granting basing and over-flight rights to forces involved in the operation; intelligence cooperation; and pledges to replace any American troops in Southeastern Europe that might need to be removed to undertake combat missions for the war on terrorism.
21. Part of this minimal contribution by NATO as an institution is due to the nature of the US command structure. The Pentagon has divided the world into several territorial commands. Most relevant for NATO are European Command - whose commander-in-chief also serves as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) - and Joint Forces Command (formerly Atlantic Command), whose commander-in-chief also serves as Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT). The campaign in Afghanistan falls in the area of responsibility of US Central Command, which is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, and has no relationship with NATO. As a result, the international contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom is being coordinated with liaison officers based next to Central Command headquarters in Tampa, rather than in Mons or Norfolk.
22. Neither NATO nor the Europeans had ever prepared for an operation in Afghanistan, nor for a type of combat requiring only special forces and air-delivered precision-guided munitions. Another factor in sidelining NATO institutionally is the broad nature of the coalition. There are at least 30 coalition partners participating in the operation. In addition to 15 NATO Allies, there are other American Allieslike Australia and Japan and other friendly countries with no treaty obligation to defend the United States. Because the coalition is larger than NATO itself, it would be more difficult to run the operation out of a NATO headquarters, though not impossible. The Combined Joint Task Force concept and the broad nature of the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and the Kosovo Force (KFOR) show that NATO can accommodate non-NATO partners in an operation.
23. It would be naïve to pretend that lines on a map entirely explain the US decision to bypass the NATO structure in running the campaign. The experience of the Kosovo campaign, where all 19 members of the Alliance had to approve targeting lists, left some in the United States convinced that NATO is too unwieldy a body to run a war. Gen. Wesley Clark, SACEUR during that campaign, described how even NATO lawyers imposed operational restrictions on forces. Citing the lessons that Kosovo held about the risks of delaying battlefield decisions in order to hold allied consultations, former French Defence Minister Alain Richard noted, "There were overwhelming arguments for the United States to handle that action [in Afghanistan] by itself, with little involvement by Allies."
24. Article 5, of course, does not stipulate that NATO as an organisation must run a collective-defence operation. The very wording of the paragraph, specifically stating that each ally will assist by taking "individually, and in concert with the other parties, such action as it deems necessary," indicates that those who founded NATO anticipated that not all collective-defence operations must be run out of NATO headquarters. It is an exaggeration to claim that the Afghan campaign represents the death of NATO.
25. While it makes sense for the United States to run Operation Enduring Freedom as it has, the fact remains that the NATO structure did not offer a very good alternative. One must ask how the Alliance would have responded if another ally had been the victim of the al-Qaeda attacks, not an unreasonable assumption given the terrorist group's large presence in Europe. If, for example, the next attacks were to come in Brussels, it is unlikely that the Belgian military would be capable of planning and commanding a similar operation without relying on NATO. If NATO is to provide for the defence of all 19 Allies, it must adapt its structure to be relevant.
C. NATO COMMAND AND FORCE RESTRUCTURING
26. Faced with the need to move away from an outdated territorial command structure, NATO and its member countries are examining ways to transform the command structure in keeping with the missions the Alliance is likely to undertake. The current command structure was approved in 1997, before the adoption of the NATO Strategic Concept in 1999, so a review is due.
27. The current system features layers of regional commands and sub-regional commands structured, it seems, so that each country can have its own NATO headquarters. When NATO defence ministers met in Brussels in June 2002, they ordered a review of the Alliance's command structure, including the Combined Joint Task Force headquarters and the headquarters of the NATO force structure. Interim discussions on the command structure review were held at the informal defence ministerial in Warsaw in late September. At the Prague Summit in November, heads of state and government are to "establish clear guidance" on the new Alliance command structure so that the Alliance can take decisions in Summer 2003.
28. Currently, NATO has two strategic commands: Allied Command Europe, headed by SACEUR in Mons, Belgium, and Allied Command Atlantic, headed by SACLANT in Norfolk, Virginia. The current SACLANT, US Army Gen. William Kernan, is to be relieved of his NATO responsibilities in October, and the position left unfilled until the review is completed next summer. In Mons, US Marine Corps Gen. James Jones is to take over as SACEUR from US Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston "at a date to be determined."
29. In one plan being discussed in the corridors of NATO headquarters, the current structure of two operational strategic commands would be replaced by making Allied Command Europe the only operational strategic command and creating a functional command that would be devoted to transformation issues. Such a change would reflect developments in the US command structure, where the old US Atlantic Command has become US Joint Forces Command, devoted to force transformation and development of new doctrines. The commander-in-chief of US Joint Forces Command would likely become the commander of this new NATO transformation command.
30. It appears likely that the two regional commands under Allied Command Europe --- Allied Forces North Europe (AFNORTH), in Brunssum, Netherlands, and Allied Forces South Europe (AFSOUTH), in Naples, Italy --- would become known as Joint Force Commands, with no geographic limits. It is planned to have a third "Joint Command," whose location is yet to be determined. Allied Command Atlantic currently has three regional commands (in Northwood, United Kingdom; Lisbon, and Norfolk), one of which could become the third Joint Command.
31. The future of the third-tier commands is more uncertain. Currently, AFNORTH and AFSOUTH each have two component commands, responsible for the air and naval forces in the region, and three or four joint sub-regional commands, responsible for a geographic region. One plan calls for eliminating the joint sub-regional commands, which cannot be deployed, and creating a single, deployable component command, responsible for all land forces in the region; in effect, a land counterpart for the air and naval component commands already in place.
32. Currently, AFNORTH's component commands are Allied Air Forces North (Ramstein, Germany) and Allied Naval Forces North (Northwood, United Kingdom). Its joint sub-regional commands are Joint Command Centre (Heidelberg, Germany), Joint Command Northeast (Karup, Denmark), and Joint Command North (Stavanger, Norway). AFSOUTH's component commands are Allied Air Forces South and Allied Naval Forces South, both in Naples. Its joint sub-regional commands are Joint Command South (Verona, Italy), Joint Command Southcentre (Larissa, Greece), Joint Command Southeast (Izmir, Turkey), and Joint Command Southwest (Madrid).
33. Under the restructuring plan being discussed, each regional command would have the ability to conduct an operation consisting of several corps, and each regional command would have an element that could be deployed to the theatre of operations to oversee the joint operation. Its land component command would coordinate the several land corps in the operation, with the naval and air counterparts fulfilling similar roles. High readiness headquarters (discussed below) would oversee the operations of each corps. Deployable joint commands would not be limited to a geographical region - it could be that AFNORTH would have to deploy a joint headquarters to the Balkans or AFSOUTH to Afghanistan, if required by the Alliance.
34. The biggest obstacle to reform of the NATO command structure is national interest. Many allied nations want an Alliance headquarters on their territory for prestige and as a tangible sign of Alliance commitment. To a certain extent, having headquarters in many member countries helps NATO as well, by creating a constituency within member nations for the Alliance and its requirements. But if every country seeks to retain all of the NATO headquarters on its territory, urgently needed reforms will be stymied.
35. In addition to the command structure review, which concerns the strategic level, NATO is undertaking a force structure review, addressing operational structures. The Alliance already is developing a set of High Readiness Force (Land) headquarters that would be able to command out-of-area missions. This requirement is driven by the Alliance's intention to be able to conduct three simultaneous corps-level operations, such as the initial missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo. The initial force structure plan called for three high-readiness headquarters capable of rapid deployment, plus six lower-readiness headquarters that could prepare to rotate into missions every six months, creating a need for a total of nine corps headquarters. However, NATO nations have offered six high-readiness headquarters and two lower-readiness headquarters, with an unfilled need for one additional corps headquarters.
36. The six high-readiness headquarters are to be evaluated this year. The Alliance has set tough criteria for the high-readiness headquarters. In particular, the headquarters must have adequate support arrangements so that they can operate far from their home bases.
37. Already, the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), based in Rheindalen, Germany, has been certified as reaching full operational capability. The 1st German-Netherlands Corps (Münster, Germany), the five-nation Eurocorps (Strasbourg, France), Spanish Corps (Valencia), 3rd Turkish Corps (Istanbul), and Italian Rapid Reaction Corps (Milan) have reached initial operating capability and are expected to reach full capability by the end of this year. The other two headquarters - the German-Danish-Polish Multinational Corps Northeast (Szeczcin, Poland) and Greek Corps C - are to be evaluated initially in 2003. The Greek corps aims to reach full operational capability in 2004, and the German-Danish-Polish unit in 2005.
38. A similar requirement has been identified for three High Readiness Force (Maritime) headquarters to serve as deployable maritime combat component headquarters. The United Kingdom, Italy and Spain have each offered an aircraft carrier to fulfil this need. No such requirement has been put forth for air headquarters because it is believed that command and control of air forces can be provided under the NATO command structure.
39. In a related development, NATO in July disbanded its 40 year-old rapid reaction force, the ACE Mobile Force Land, based in Heidelberg, Germany. A NATO statement said that the units from 14 nations that make up the force would remain available for other NATO missions, while the headquarters would be supplanted by the new force structure's high-readiness headquarters.
40. NATO has also downgraded its requirement for Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) headquarters, which would coordinate land, sea and air headquarters. Currently, the USS Mount Whitney is prepared to lead a sea-based CJTF; by 2004, the Alliance intends to have the ability to deploy one CJTF, either sea-based or land-based. The previous requirement for 2004 had been the capability to deploy two CJTFs. This raises questions about the utility of the CJTF concept for situations in which the United States chooses not to participate directly.
41. The focus on deployable headquarters does not address NATO's need for deployable forces, however. Just as there are too many headquarters in the Alliance today, there are too few deployable combat units. If NATO plans to be able to carry out three simultaneous corps-sized missions, it will need a total of 27 deployable divisions. Nine of those divisions would be assigned to the three corps being deployed, while 18 would be needed to rotate into missions. (Such an operational tempo envisions one unit deployed, a second unit training for deployment, and a third unit recovering from deployment.)
42. While NATO countries would have no problem generating that many divisions, the problem arises from the fact that most units cannot be deployed outside of the national territory. Support units like engineering and transport battalions, needed to sustain combat units in the field, are in short supply. A similar problem arises with naval and air forces, which lack the tanker ships and refuelling aircraft needed to sustain ships and airplanes far from their home bases.
43. To help NATO rectify this situation, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, during the September defence ministers meeting in Warsaw, proposed the creation of a NATO Reaction Force (NRF), able to deploy within five to 30 days wherever the Alliance might need to send it, and able to fight alone for up to 30 days. The proposed force would operate as a NATO Combined Joint Task Force under a NATO CJTF headquarters. It could consist of up to 21,000 personnel, with a brigade-sized land force; air assets capable of flying up to 200 combat sorties per day; and maritime forces up to the size of NATO standing naval forces, which can range from eight to 15 frigates and destroyers. Among the possible missions for the NRF could be crisis response, such as non-combatant evacuation; to deter aggression as a "proactive force package," designed to accept reinforcements; or as an initial entry force for large-scale operations that would secure ports and lines of communication and prepare a theatre for forces, such as NATO operations in Kosovo. The NRF is analysed in greater detail in Mr Shimkus's report; in this report, reference is made to it only with regards to the EU Headline Goal.
44. The NATO Reaction Force would be much smaller than the EU Rapid Reaction Force. The US proposal envisions a land force of only one brigade, compared to the 15 brigades the EU hopes to deploy. The suggested 21,000 personnel of the NRF would comprise land, maritime and air components; the EU envisions a corps of up to 60,000 ground troops, plus additional maritime and air contributions. In addition, while the EU force would be prepared for a range of missions from civilian evacuations to peace enforcement operations, the NATO force would need those capabilities plus the ability to fight in collective-defence missions under Article 5.
45. The war on terrorism also shows that NATO also must streamline its decision-making to cope with the operational demands of a campaign like Operation Enduring Freedom. This may necessitate delegating more authority to operational commanders after broad political objectives are defined. After NATO enlarges again, this may involve moving away from requiring consensus for all Alliance decisions. In an operation where pilots loitering over Afghanistan have minutes to attack a terrorist target after it has been identified, it would be unreasonable to expect all NATO Allies to sign off before the attack is carried out. While consensus is essential for the political decisions of NATO, it could be unnecessarily cumbersome for operational decisions and for routine personnel and administrative decisions at NATO headquarters.
D. NON-ARTICLE 5 MISSIONS
46. In addition to the Article 5 operation in Afghanistan, the Allies currently have troops devoted to three non-Article 5 operations in Southeastern Europe. As noted earlier, in addition to the SFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the KFOR mission in Kosovo, NATO last September began Operation Amber Fox, a mission to protect civilian monitors in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Those monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the EU are overseeing implementation of the August 2001 peace accords that ended an armed uprising by ethnic Albanian rebels. Details of these three missions are in Chapter IV.
47. Despite the progress that has been made in all three entities, it is clear that there will be a need for peacekeeping and crisis management in the region for many years to come. While NATO has done an admirable job in these missions, there is no overriding requirement for the Alliance to conduct every non-Article 5 mission.
48. The European Union has recognised that there are times when the Alliance as a whole may not wish to be engaged in a particular operation, and it has developed ESDP as a way for European countries to undertake such missions. Already, the EU is moving toward taking over Operation Amber Fox, and this is discussed in more detail below.
49. It is important to maintain a clear understanding of the different roles played by NATO, which has an Article 5 component, and the EU, whose ESDP is limited to the Petersberg tasks, which include humanitarian and rescue operations, peacekeeping, and tasks of combat forces in crisis management including peace enforcement. Some observers have expressed surprise that the EU has played a limited military role in the war on terrorism. For example, Martin Walker, a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York, wrote, "One remarkable feature of the international response to the September 11 attacks, given the controversy aroused by the EU's plan to create its own 60,000-strong rapid reaction force that would be separate from NATO, was how little role the EU played as a military or even diplomatic institution." This observation does not hold water, as it was precisely the invocation of collective defence that made the EU abstain from discussing the operation.
50. Other observers have claimed that the rise of ESDP means the inevitable demise of NATO, as European nations increasingly look to the EU and away from the transatlantic relationship. Peter van Ham, an analyst at the Netherlands Institute for International Relations in The Hague, claims that ESDP shows that "the EU is outgrowing its US pacifier" and "the Alliance is bound to come to a halt and fall over" in part because its "practical relevance will have diminished."
51. Such declarations of surprise and alarm ignore the different objectives and capabilities of ESDP and NATO. ESDP is meant to give European countries a military capability to enhance the credibility of their foreign policy objectives and, if necessary, to manage crises without needing to rely on the North American Allies. The single corps that is to make up its rapid reaction force would be sufficient only to carry out an operation like IFOR (the initial deployment to Bosnia) or KFOR. NATO, by contrast, is a collective-defence organisation responsible for defending its members against outside threats, drawing on the overall military strength of both Europe and North America.
52. A very important part of the EU's Headline Goal is the addition of a civilian police component of 5,000. Civil-military cooperation is of the essence, and the restoration of civil society depends more on the functioning of police, judges and jails than on military activities. The EU will be well-placed to respond to this new security environment because it favours the combined use of all the instruments at its disposal. This does not mean that traditional military skills are becoming less important. On the contrary, events have proven the possibility of rapid escalation from peacekeeping to self-defence and the need for offensive action. European forces need to be prepared for those contingencies.
53. If done properly, ESDP can augment NATO capabilities, run peace operations, and enable European nations to act alone to manage crises if the North American Allies choose not to become involved. If, as proposed by Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the EU would include a military assistance commitment, it should not aim at becoming a collective-defence organisation, but - as was the case in the Western European Union - should implement this expression of solidarity through NATO. The two organisations must complement each other, not compete with each other.
III. EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY
A. ESDP INSTITUTIONS
54. ESDP is an outgrowth of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the intergovernmental second pillar of the EU framework. The overall responsibility for the ESDP ultimately lies with the General Affairs Council (GAC), which normally consists of the foreign ministers of the 15 EU countries. The Political and Security Committee (COPS) has specific responsibility for CFSP and ESDP. It replaces the WEU Permanent Council, but has wider responsibilities and includes all 15 EU members. The primary duty of COPS is to help formulate, coordinate and implement CFSP but also to oversee new political-military arrangements in cooperation with senior officials who prepare foreign policies at a national level. The High Representative for CFSP, Javier Solana, is to assist EU institutions in formulating, preparing and implementing the ESDP decisions.
55. The High Representative has a Policy Unit, which contains a Situation Centre, to advise him on security issues. The EU Military Committee (EUMC) is composed of military representatives of the chiefs of defence. Finnish Gen. Gustav Hägglund is chairman of the military committee. The 135 officers of the EU Military Staff (EUMS) make up the only permanent military body of the EU. With German Lt. Gen. Rainer Schuwirth as its director general, the EUMS informs and prepares the deliberations of the Military Committee and the COPS on defence issues. The Military Staff is to perform early warning, situation assessment and strategic planning for Petersberg tasks as well as identifying the relevant forces from the forces catalogue.
56. With the creation of a military staff and a military committee, the EU has mirrored the NATO structure. One might question the wisdom of parallel structures at a time when political and military elements have become more intertwined than ever before. The architecture might work, however, if the European Council, after deciding to start an operation, allows the Political and Security Committee to act on its behalf in the day-to-day work of crisis management, and if the COPS works with the field commander to develop a clear link and a sufficiently flexible mandate.
57. Military cooperation in the EU has suffered from a lack of strategic vision regarding European interests and from the difference between the traditional legislative process and the much more time-sensitive requirements of crisis management. So far, the strategies of the EU have been insufficiently precise to serve as guidelines for military cooperation. The time-urgency of crisis management requires new procedures, such as having the High Representative for CFSP chair the Council when it needs to discuss CFSP or ESDP matters, as well as chairing the COPS during an actual crisis. This is no role for a presidency that rotates every six months. Double-hatting the High Representative with the Commission for External Relations has the attraction of bringing the military and civilian aspects of crisis management closer together, but it will be difficult to achieve because of the collegiate character of the European Commission.
58. The dispatch of forces into an actual operation is likely to remain subject to the agreement of national governments and, in many cases, national parliaments. This does not mean, however, that the entire process of decision-making has to remain intergovernmental and dependent on unanimity. A distinction needs to be made between the start of an operation and its conduct in the field. While consensus is desirable for the decision to start an operation, insistence on unanimity for the follow-up would be a recipe for inaction. Therefore, the possibility of "constructive abstention" should be envisaged, which does not bind the abstaining country to implement the decision. The conduct of the operation probably will not involve all members of the EU; therefore, a special role for the contributors must be provided. The notion of a coalition of the willing can also apply within the EU and is not limited to an ad hoc crisis management operation outside institutional structures.
59. The European Convention - a forum to propose new frameworks and structures for the EU that is comprised of representatives of governments, national parliaments, the European Parliament and the European Commission - is discussing the future of ESDP in its working group on defence. As a member of the Convention and that working group, your Rapporteur has submitted his own paper on the future of European defence, which is incorporated into this report.
60. The working group on defence has a mandate from the Convention to examine six key issues for ESDP: 1. Which tasks the EU could assume in addition to the Petersberg tasks; 2. How to ensure that member states have sufficient military capabilities to guarantee the credibility of ESDP, including the possibility of admission criteria like those for the European Monetary Union; 3. Should the EU concept of "reinforced cooperation" apply to defence; 4. How to ensure rapid decision-making; 5. How to bring about coherence between civilian and military assets in planning crisis-management operations; and 6. How to achieve greater efficiency and economies of scale in research and development and in procurement of defence equipment, including the possible need for a European armaments agency.
B. EU DEFENCE CAPABILITIES
61. At the EU's 1999 Helsinki Summit, the 15 member states set a Headline Goal that called for creation by 2003 of a Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) of up to 60,000 troops deployable within 60 days and sustainable for at least one year, with appropriate air and naval support. Such a force, roughly the size of the initial NATO deployments to Bosnia and Kosovo, was to give the EU a "capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military force." The new force is to carry out the Petersberg tasks, which comprise humanitarian and rescue tasks; peacekeeping; and crisis management operations, including peacemaking. It was stressed that the initiative was to be intergovernmental, capability-oriented, and not detrimental to NATO.
62. The EU's capability catalogue sets out what is needed to deploy 50,000 to 60,000 troops, some 400 combat aircraft and 100 naval vessels. At a Capabilities Commitment Conference in November 2000, the EU members pledged forces to fulfil the Headline Goal. A Capability Improvement Conference followed in November 2001, where up-to-date efforts and shortcomings were assessed. The final document of the conference confirmed the efforts and the additional national contributions made in order to have the force operational as soon as possible and listed deficiencies and related risks.
63. Experts maintain that the optimal combat deployment of RRF's 60,000 troops (approximately 15 brigades) should include air and naval assets. In addition, a pool of reserves is essential for the functioning of the rotation system envisioned by EU military planners, intended to allow units to deploy, train and rest adequately (one unit would be deployed while the second unit trains and the third unit rests). Since it was assumed by military planners at the time of the creation of the RRF that the force might be required for expeditionary missions up to 4,000 km from home, it follows that force projection capability is an essential element in building a credible EU RRF. Such a force projection capability depends directly on strategic transport. Among the basic strategic lift capabilities needed for such a force, at a minimum, are air- and sealift capabilities to move soldiers and equipment rapidly to the area of operations for the sake of swift crisis management.
64. According to Helsinki Headline Goal planners, during an RRF operation, 80% of the cargo will be carried by sea. It follows that the RRF would require a large number of transport ships, container ships, conventional cargo ships, tankers, and "roll-on/roll-off" (rapid entry and exit) ships with access ramps for vehicles and continuous decks. The acquisition of a sea-lift capability by the EU requires firm orders for roll-on/roll-off ships, only three of which currently exist in the British navy. Should a RRF need to meet its maximum Headline Goal now, it would have to rely on ships chartered from civilian companies. France and the Netherlands have proposed the creation of an EU maritime lift force of 70 ships, and a coordination cell to optimise chartering, as well as ensure the best possible management of the existing fleet.
65. With respect to airlift, there is a dearth in transport aircraft in European strategic airlift fleets, apart from the UK's four C-17 Globemasters, while most medium-size airlifters are obsolete (older C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transalls). Still, under the Headline Goal, at least 20 C-17s would be needed. The EU tried to rectify this shortfall by the common procurement of A400M large aircraft by nine European countries. However, these procurement plans have been delayed, largely due to German concerns over the unit price of €81.6 million ($80 million), and due to the Italian withdrawal, which appeared to compromise the entire deal. At present, the RRF would be dependent on subcontracting aircraft from non-EU countries, especially Russia and Ukraine.
66. A rapid reaction force also requires flexible command and control (C2): a deployable communications suite, preferably digital and secure, that allows forces in the field to communicate with headquarters, as well as with different units regardless of nationality. In terms of force projection, standoff weapons systems, like cruise missiles, and aircraft-delivered precision guided munitions (PGMs) allow friendly forces to project significant firepower over relatively long distances, helping to neutralize potentially hostile forces before ground troops take action. The other part of the equation in power projection is the capability to support the forces in the field. To undertake this efficiently, logistic and support assets must be forward-based or capable of deployment almost alongside the forces and to match the forces' tempo in the theatre of operations. For the time being, the EU lacks these basic capabilities needed for power projection.
67. Important capability shortfalls remain in areas like surveillance and target acquisition, special operations forces, early-warning systems, unmanned air vehicles (UAV), attack helicopters, air-to-air refuelling, PGMs, command and control, interoperable secure communications, suppression of enemy defence, and strategic air- and sealift.
68. While Europe possesses reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities, they are low in number and unable to provide adequate coverage in the area of operations. Although the SOSTAR-X system (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain) and the UK's ASTOR/RISTA system are under development, few believe the RRF will enjoy a true European battlefield surveillance capacity before the end of the decade. Moreover, guided, all-weather, and standoff weapons are currently being acquired in greater numbers, but it is unlikely that there will be adequate stock by 2003. Also, as Kosovo demonstrated, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are beginning to play a larger role in operational surveillance and targeting.
69. The disparity between the number of air-to-air refuelling tankers currently in European inventories and what is needed to carry out a combat operation might hamper power-projection capabilities. It follows that the European Allies would be hard-pressed to meet the requirements of a Kosovo-type operation by themselves. Europeans have noted this deficiency and are taking steps to increase their refueling capabilities. Current force planning goals look to increase airborne refueling capacity by approximately 40% on the European level, bringing total tanker levels to roughly 100.
70. Shortfalls that have been filled include armoured infantry and electronic warfare. The EU nations have partly remedied capability shortfalls in fields such as carrier-based air power, and nuclear-biological-chemical defences. Most of these shortfalls have also been identified in NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative, which is discussed in more detail in the General Report by Pierre Lellouche.
71. Eleven working groups have been set up to address the shortfalls identified at the Capability Improvement Conference. A European Capability Action Plan (ECAP) was established to speed preparations to have the rapid reaction force fully operational by mid-2003 by proposing arrangements like leasing of needed capabilities. Although certain EU officials have claimed that member states have fulfilled about two-thirds of the 144 capability requirements identified, the EU will most likely need to rely on NATO to provide a number of important assets, such as strategic intelligence collection and assessment, theater reconnaissance, secure communications, airlift, PGMs, and logistics to sustain deployed forces.
72. Provision of such resources may prove, however, very difficult for two main reasons: First, these capabilities are expensive and scarce even in NATO forces, including the United States. Without the US contribution, EU forces would face considerable shortfalls, especially for high-end Petersberg tasks. Second, there may be times when the EU will be unable to rely on assets that NATO also needs for fighting wars and managing crises globally. One way out would be to appoint the Deputy SACEUR, always a European officer, as commander of ESDP, ensuring force allocation is optimal for both organisations. In his capacity as a force-distributor, the DSACEUR would ensure that forces committed to a specific task by one organisation will only be reassigned to a more essential operation; for example, moving forces from an ESDP peacekeeping mission to a NATO Article 5 mission.
73. Financing is perhaps the most important obstacle for procuring new military assets for the EU. The inadequacies of the initiatives to redress the growing gap in military capabilities were stressed in a February 2002 British House of Lords report, which concluded that the EU's rapid reaction force is far from being able to undertake serious missions and will only be able to do so if there is an increase in defence spending. The report states that the EU countries need to radically restructure defence budgets in order to meet the extra expenditure attached to the Headline Goal, estimated at €25.4 billion ($25 billion) over the next 10 to 15 years. Although some countries will have to spend more to make a credible contribution, it will be of greater importance to spend differently and to introduce a system of common evaluation in order to assess the quality, readiness and relevance of national commitments. In addition, a common research-and-development budget and standardisation of equipment would help promote armaments cooperation.
74. So far, with the exception of Greece, whose defence spending is around 5% of its GDP, EU states spend less than 3% of their GDP on defence, with seven of them spending less than 2%. Until a short while ago, only Greece, Germany and the Netherlands had shown substantial increases in their defence spending, but the United Kingdom recently declared an increase of £3.5 billion (€5.5 billion, or $5.4 billion) between now and 2005-06, providing annual average real growth of 1.2% in the defence budget - the largest planned boost in defence spending in the UK in 20 years. French President Chirac immediately followed with a call for a €1 billion ($980 million) rise in French defence spending.
75. In the midst of disagreements on defence spending within the EU (with France pressing for an overall increase, and Germany resisting it), squabbling may soon begin on unequal division of labour between European partners with respect to the correction of ESDP shortfalls. Out of the 50 functional shortfall areas identified by EU military planners in November 2000, France contributes to 43, whereas Netherlands to only 18, and Sweden to nine. In addition, lack of definitional coordination may impede timely policy convergence between EU partners: France counts expenditure for its gendarmerie in its defence budget, while Germany does not. Within the EU, the debate on the shortcomings of European defence spending and military capabilities is leading to some practical action.
76. The EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, made it clear at the informal meeting of defence ministers in Zaragoza, Spain, in March 2002 that he wants the EU to take on a military role as soon as possible. The EU is already planning to add a security dimension by taking over the United Nations civilian police mission in Bosnia by the end of this year, and EU members have agreed in principle to take over Operation Amber Fox in late October, as the operation already consists of only European units. The mission of that 700-strong force is to provide security for civilian monitors in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but it also enhances security through its presence.
77. It remains uncertain whether the EU will be able to fully meet its own Headline Goal by 2003, leaving the question unanswered as to what sort of Petersberg tasks the EU will be able to undertake in the foreseeable future. At the December 2001 Laeken Summit, EU heads of government acknowledged that the ESDP will only be able to undertake missions at the "lowest end" of the Petersberg scale. In real terms this means humanitarian operations, disaster relief, search and rescue, non-combatant evacuation operations, military support to civilian authorities, and enforcement of sanctions.
78. The statement that the Headline Goal should be able to carry out even the most demanding of the Petersberg tasks has led to criticism of the existing gaps in European capabilities. It seems important to redress this feeling of European inadequacy by progressively defining what the EU would be able to do, rather than focusing on what it is and will be unable to do. Clearly, with the Headline Goal comprising only 50,000 to 60,000 ground troops, the EU will be able to call on far less military capability than the combined military forces of all 19 NATO member countries.
79. A practical step-by-step approach would be to develop possible scenarios, beginning at the periphery of Europe, and ask member countries what contribution they would in principle - for planning purposes - be prepared to make. Then it would be possible to plan force packages, command arrangements, transport, logistics, communication, and exercises. That would also be the best way to discover deficiencies in the force packages. Up until now, however, the scenario approach has met with political problems, notably in Germany, because of a reluctance to consider hypothetical situations. Nevertheless, a rapid reaction capability will only be effective if some degree of advance planning is allowed.
C. NATO-EU RELATIONS
80. Among the most difficult issues to resolve in ESDP is that of EU access to NATO's military planning capabilities and assets. This involves mainly operational planning, but also force planning. The difficulties in achieving this stem in part from the differing agendas of EU member states but also in the only partial overlap in the makeup of NATO and the EU. The debate has focused on what is meant by the concepts of EU "capacity for autonomous action" as well as "assured access to NATO assets." Even if fulfilling the Headline Goal, the EU will have limited operational planning capabilities of its own and no force planning mechanisms. NATO has endorsed the establishment of ESDP with the understanding that the EU would use NATO planning mechanisms, specifically operational planning at SHAPE and the NATO force planning process. The parties agreed to avoid unnecessary duplication and to enable the EU to take advantage of NATO's expertise.
81. NATO has been deadlocked in discussions over EU access to NATO's operational military planning capabilities. The EU has stated it requires guaranteed permanent access (legally binding automatic access) to these capabilities, specifically to SHAPE, when conducting EU-led operations. With around 100 officers, the EU Military Staff is small, and will possess no structure like SHAPE, which has the expertise of around 2,500 trained staff officers at its disposal. Some states, most notably Turkey, have voiced concern about an arrangement that would give the EU assured access to NATO capabilities without giving non-EU NATO members the right to participate fully in political and military decision-making for EU missions. The EU for its part has expressed unwillingness to grant non-EU members a veto on EU policies.
82. The progress of ESDP has been marked by Turkish concerns over participation and Greek concerns about equal status for all EU candidate countries. In the beginning, Turkey had objections about the creation of the RRF because it wanted to be involved in operations close to its borders. Britain managed to soften Ankara's position before the Laeken Summit in what is known as the Ankara document, which guarantees that the RRF would not infringe Turkish interests. Soon afterwards the EU had to overcome a new barrier, this time from Athens. In April 2002, Greece vetoed a deal to consult Turkey on the deployment of the RRF, claiming that the Ankara document gave Turkey a unique status within NATO, different from that of other non-EU countries. Athens also maintained that the Ankara document gave the Turks a say in the EU force's operations in crucial areas for Greek interests, such as the Aegean Sea and Cyprus. In response, Greece convinced Spain, then-holder of the rotating EU presidency, to redraft the text of the Ankara document in the Seville summit in June 2002 to give Greece the same special guarantees as Turkey.
83. The Turks received the document's amendment with indignation. Then-Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem made it clear that "Turkey will not deviate from the Ankara Agreement." Another Turkish official stated "the Ankara text is a big change from what we had in the EU. ... We have accepted this compromise. That is our last word." Faced with the deadlock, EU leaders decided to make the RRF operational on an ad hoc basis, thus sidestepping formal cooperation with NATO.
84. Greece has been running EU defence and security matters since July 1, because Denmark, which assumed the Union's rotating presidency on that date, has opted out of ESDP. A Greek official has suggested that the RRF will be able to take over Operation Amber Fox by the end of October, without NATO help, through what he called a "coalition of the willing" scenario. Some analysts assert, however, that this might be wishful thinking by Greek officials, wishing to break the deadlock with Turkey unilaterally.
85. Additionally, negotiations with Ankara have been stalled by the political crisis currently facing Turkey. Defections from Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit's cabinet (Foreign Minister Cem's being the most prominent one) have frozen negotiations with the EU on ESDP and RRF just as the deadline to take over Operation Amber Fox from NATO is drawing near. "The problem is right now we almost have no government to negotiate with," stated an aide to Mr. Solana.
86. Failure to secure a Greek-Turkish agreement promptly may mean that the EU will not be able to take over NATO peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in late October, and that ESDP will have to operate henceforth without legally binding, automatic access to NATO assets. Although some EU officials, most notably General Schuwirth, director of the military staff, have contended that ESDP can work without recourse to NATO assets, this might prove, in practice, very difficult: the EU lacks the technological infrastructure and is reluctant to devote the funds needed to undertake ambitious military operations wholly by itself.
D. PARLIAMENTARY OVERSIGHT
87. The issue of parliamentary oversight of ESDP has developed into a three-way debate among the Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU), the European Parliament (EP) and national parliaments. While all three sides have proposals on what legislative oversight should look like, most of those involved in the debate understand whatever they might decide would be only an interim step. All sides agree that the final decision will be taken at the 2004 EU Intergovernmental Conference, based on discussions in the European Convention over the next 2 years.
88. In June 2002 in Paris, the WEU Assembly called for increased transparency in the ESDP and for its close monitoring by national parliaments. WEU rapporteurs pointed to the existence of a "parliamentary deficit" in the ESDP and the need to create an interparliamentary body that can engage in debate and monitor cooperation among EU members in the field of military crisis management. It was noted that it is now up to the European Convention to agree on a solution that will give the European Union the democratic legitimacy it lacks, particularly in areas as sensitive as the ESDP. It was proposed that the European Parliament's right of oversight of the CFSP and ESDP be increased and that an appropriate machinery be set up to ensure that the member states' parliamentary interests are duly represented in the EU institutional system, particularly with respect to CFSP and ESDP.
89. Chairmen of national defence and foreign affairs committees have held several conferences in the past 18 months to discuss parliamentary oversight, most recently in Spain in February. Most of their proposals revolve around the creation of a parliamentary conference to oversee ESDP, comprised of members of national defence and foreign affairs committees, the WEU Assembly, and the EP. The next conference is scheduled for November 4 in Copenhagen.
90. Members of the European Parliament have acknowledged that ESDP is intergovernmental, but they assert that the EP has a role in ESDP because of its oversight of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). EP officials have indicated they are favourable to the idea of a semi-annual conference as the basis for interaction between national parliaments and the EP, though the EP is to issue its own proposal during 2002. Elmar Brok, chairman of the EP's foreign affairs committee, has asserted that the EP's budgetary role in the EU should extend to procurement decisions related to ESDP, a position antithetical to the interests of national governments, parliaments, and taxpayers.
91. Your Rapporteur believes that discussion on parliamentary oversight of ESDP should concentrate on the long-term arrangements to be decided at the IGC in 2004, it being too late now to establish some kind of interim conference. To this end, national parliaments should submit proposals on parliamentary oversight to the European Convention. The IGC should establish some mechanism for parliamentary oversight of ESDP, which should largely consist of members of national parliaments. The EP will play some role in this process, but given the intergovernmental nature of ESDP, the EP should not become the primary body for oversight of European defence policy. Your Rapporteur and this Sub-committee will continue to monitor this issue and formulate a view on what parliamentary oversight of ESDP should look like after the 2004 IGC.
92. In the meantime, the WEU Assembly should serve as the interim arrangement for parliamentary oversight. The WEU Assembly has tremendous institutional experience in overseeing European defence, and its inclusive format makes it an excellent body for involving all concerned, countries, including the non-EU NATO Alliesand the EU candidate countries. In addition, this Sub-committee has a role to play in the oversight of ESDP, as it is the only interparliamentary body examining ESDP that brings together the European and North American members of NATO. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly should support the WEU Assembly in its role as the "interim" European Security and Defence Assembly, but the WEU Assembly should be abolished after the 2004 IGC.
IV. NATO OPERATIONS IN EUROPE
93. While still unstable, Southeastern Europe has been relatively calm since the Ohrid peace agreement was signed in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in August 2001. Implementation of the agreement has occurred at a steady pace, and the election of a new government in Skopje led by the Social Democratic Union has encouraged hopes that the country might be able to put its ethnic strife behind it. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, minority returns are occurring in both entities amid modest reforms, though the country continues to rely on the international civilian and military presence to preserve stability and prevent a return to violence. In Kosovo, KFOR has been able to turn its focus to humanitarian endeavours and fighting corruption, though there remains tension in some regions, particularly in the divided city of Mitrovica.
94. With the situation having stabilised somewhat, some Allied countries have looked at reducing their military commitments in the region in order to redeploy forces for other critical missions, such as in and around Afghanistan and possibly in the Persian Gulf region. As a result, NATO defence ministers in June approved the reduction of forces recommended in the Balkans Joint Operations Area Review. Plans call for SFOR to be reduced from 18,000 troops at the beginning of this year to 12,000 by year-end. KFOR is to be cut from 37,000 troops to 29,000 by June 2003. While NATO will maintain a headquarters in Skopje, there is no commitment to extend NATO's Operation Amber Fox when the mandate for the Dutch-led force expires October 26. In addition to the reduction in troop levels, NATO already had moved to consolidate its three Balkans operations under the command of AFSOUTH in Naples.
B. THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
95. This Sub-committee visited Skopje and Tetovo in mid-April to gain a first-hand understanding of the political and security situation in the country and of the role that NATO forces are playing. After three days in the country, it became clear that while a return to full-scale fighting was unlikely, deep mistrust remains between the ethnic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian communities. Some international presence is likely for the foreseeable future, and it is also likely that the EU will take on a greater role, particularly in commanding the security force that is protecting international civilian monitors.
96. NATO forces were first deployed to the country in August 2001 to disarm ethnic Albanian rebel groups in the aftermath of the Ohrid peace agreement and their mission was transformed in September 2001 to provide security for international monitors from the EU and the OSCE, who are overseeing implementation of the agreement. The current mandate for Operation Amber Fox is set to expire on October 26, 2002. Task Force Fox, under the command of the Netherlands, numbers about 700 troops.
97. The September 15, 2002, parliamentary election was judged free and fair by OSCE monitors, and it resulted in the defeat of the ruling nationalist government, led by the VMRO party of Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski. Western observers are hopeful that the new government to be formed by the Social Democratic Union, led by former Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, will be less confrontational than the Georgievski government, but, as noted, distrust persists between the ethnic Macedonian and Albanian communities. The Social Democrats are expected to need the support of an ethnic Albanian party in order to form a stable coalition, but the leading vote-getter in the Albanian community was the Democratic Union for Integration, led by Ali Ahmeti, a former rebel leader now advocating national reconciliation. Mr. Ahmeti is still distrusted by the ethnic Macedonian community, but with almost two-thirds of the Albanian vote, it would be difficult for the Social Democrats to ignore his party.
98. In April, President Boris Trajkovski stated that "the entire political structure of Macedonia is committed to the Ohrid agreement," a statement that found broad resonance during the three-day Sub-committee meeting. The president in particular pointed to an amnesty law as a critical element in facilitating the re-entry of police into all communities, which many in the ethnic Macedonian community indicated as the most important unresolved issue. On the other hand, ethnic Albanian officials were critical of what they see as the government's lack of commitment to implement the agreement. In particular, they said that the law on local government does not go far enough in allowing local communities to finance their own activities, leaving them at the mercy of central government ministries. Alain LeRoy, the special representative of the European Union in Skopje, said that corruption is one of the most pressing problems facing the country, and the European Commission has called for "a big anti-corruption campaign."
99. As regards Operation Amber Fox, NATO and EU officials in Skopje concluded that the EU was capable of taking over the mission by the end of this year. The opinion of those Western officials was that the mission could be structured so that a future EU force would work closely enough with NATO to ensure force protection, while relieving the burden on NATO of conducting three peace missions in Southeastern Europe. Any EU mission would probably continue until Summer 2003, the earliest that the 70 to 100 international monitors could be removed, Mr. Leroy said. That is the time when ethnic Albanian police officers are to complete their training to join the national police, possibly signalling the final implementation of the Ohrid agreement. He noted that the EU Military Committee in Brussels would be responsible for deciding how the force would operate, to whom the commander would report, and how to structure liaison with the Macedonian authorities. "I think the EU will stay as close as possible to the NATO mandate," he said.
100. Any EU force is likely to depend on NATO as a backup in case the situation should deteriorate; nevertheless, a lead nation for an EU force should be able to provide the necessary headquarters. Appropriate command arrangements, such as having the commander of the EU force report directly to the Deputy SACEUR, could ensure a smooth relationship between the EU and NATO and the success of an EU-led mission. However, the necessary arrangements between the EU and NATO remain unresolved, as discussed above.
101. At this writing, it was unclear whether the EU-NATO question would be resolved in time for the EU to take over the mission on October 26. In September, Greece called for an ad hoc arrangement to enable the EU to take over Amber Fox without a final agreement on EU access to NATO assets. If an international force is requested and the EU is unable to command it, an extension of the current NATO mandate until the end of the year is possible, but NATO countries would prefer to reduce their commitments in the region. In addition, any international force would need an invitation from the new Macedonian government. While international officials say that this is likely to be forthcoming, a decision will have to await the formation of the new government. The size and intensity of Operation Amber Fox would make it the perfect first mission for the EU, and if the EU is unable to take over, it would raise larger questions about the viability of ESDP.
C. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
102. As part of NATO's Joint Operations Area Review, SFOR force levels are to be reduced to 12,000 by the end of 2002, down from 18,000 at the beginning of the year and an 80% reduction from the 60,000 in the initial IFOR mission in 1996. SFOR will move from a corps-level structure with three multinational divisions to a division-level structure with three multinational brigades. The United States will continue to command the brigade centred on Tuzla; France will continue to command the brigade headquartered in Mostar, and the command of the brigade centred on Banja Luka will continue to rotate among three nations, currently the Netherlands. All 19 NATO nations and 17 non-NATO nations contribute to SFOR.
103. The SFOR commander, US Lt. Gen. John Sylvester, told an Assembly delegation in Sarajevo during the Annual Tour in September that his review of SFOR led him to suggest a force requirement of 13,700 troops. He said that a level of 12,000 would force him to forego patrols of certain areas more often than he would like, given intelligence analyses about the security situation in particular regions. "I don't know what we can get away with," General Sylvester said, adding that he wants to ensure that the force is strong enough that none of the parties to the Bosnian conflict considers challenging it.
104. SFOR officials who briefed the delegation were positive about the stability of the current situation, but they emphasised that the stability is "fragile" and dependent on the SFOR presence. They note that there is a lack of a "Bosnian" identity, and people continue to identify themselves foremost along ethnic lines, which has led to weak state-level institutions. Civilian officials from the United Nations and OSCE noted that the nationalist parties that instigated the 1992-1995 conflict were losing support, but elected officials still lack the confidence and courage to take difficult political decisions, preferring to pass these decisions to the UN, which still holds the final say in administration of the country. While Bosnia is showing "progress as a nation-state," SFOR finds that the absence of the rule of law is a critical deficiency that "continues to threaten Bosnia each and every day." The UN has removed about 20 judges for corruption and incompetence, has overhauled the communist-era legal system, and is working to establish independent courts and prosecutors. The EU is sending 500 civilian police officers to Bosnia in January to replace the 1,500-strong International Police Task Force that currently helps provide law enforcement.
105. UN officials say that refugee returns are accelerating, and they expect that the process will be completed by the end of 2003. They expect that ultimately 80% of those driven from their homes will choose to return to reclaim their property. However, most of those who return will not remain in their homes to live as minorities among the neighbours who drove them out. Rather, most refugees are reclaiming their property, renovating it, and renting or selling it, using the proceeds to buy or rent homes in regions where they are in the majority and have lived for the past decade. Most of those who return to live in their homes are elderly; working-age people tend to keep the jobs they currently have (though official unemployment is 40%) and to keep their children in schools run by their ethnic group.
106. The Bosnian military still remains divided among the two entities: the Bosnian-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska. The Federation army is in effect divided between Bosniak and Croat units. The armies are far too large for the Bosnian economy to support, and they are still focused on the threat each poses to the other. SFOR has set a goal for a total military of 10,500 troops, with 7,000 in the Federation and 3,500 in Republika Srpska, with 9,300 first-level reserves and with heavy weapons in storage. Such a force would bring defence spending in line with the European norm of 2 to 3% of GDP, compared to more than 6% currently. At present, the Federation Army has 24,000 professional soldiers, with 9,000 in reserve, while the Republika Srpska army has 10,000 active soldiers and 6,000 reservists. Ultimately, the two armies must join together into a single Bosnian military.
107. During the war, foreign nationals from Islamic countries entered Bosnia to fight with the Bosniaks; the estimates range widely from 2,000 up to 11,000. Many of these soldiers, from Iran, Afghanistan and Chechnya were given passports, married Bosnian women and stayed after the war ended. Concentrated in Zenica and Zavidovici, some of these fighters have ties to terrorist organisations, including the al-Qaeda network. General Sylvester said that actions by Bosnian authorities and SFOR to crack down on the al-Qaeda cell in Bosnia, including the arrest of six Algerian nationals, "have dented their ability to operate." While there remain Islamic extremists in Bosnia, "they are not a major political or terrorist threat," the SFOR commander said.
108. As part of the Joint Operations Area Review, KFOR will be cut from 37,000 to 29,000 troops by June 2003. Plans call for reducing the number of brigades from five to four, with the combination of Italian and German brigades in the southern and western sectors of the province. The United States, United Kingdom and France will continue to command the other brigades. Currently, 18 NATO nations and 19 non-NATO nations provide troops for KFOR. Unofficially, KFOR officials have indicated that they have long-range plans to continue force reductions if the security situation continues to improve. The KFOR commander, French Lt. Gen. Marcel Valentin, told an Assembly delegation in September that KFOR will work to match the step-by-step withdrawal of forces with the security situation.
109. The province is generally stable, though this is due in part to ethnic self-segregation, and interethnic crime has decreased greatly. The main area of tension is the divided northern city of Mitrovica, where ethnic Albanians live south of the Ibar River, while most Serbs live on the northern side in several neighbourhoods. The French-led KFOR forces there have suppressed most violence, but the situation remains tense and interethnic mixing almost non-existent.
110. Over the next year, General Valentin said, KFOR will work to support the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in its effort to fight organised crime, which he called "the main illness of the Balkans." General Valentin and UN officials said that the revenue from organised crime helps support extremist politicians, while those politicians turn a blind eye to illegal activity. International officials say that major political figures operate through intimidation, with many rebel commanders from the ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army now providing much of the political leadership of the province. They also cited the need to arrest those on both sides who committed war crimes during the 1999 conflict and send them to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague; however, moving against ethnic-Albanian war criminals is difficult because they are viewed by much of the population as heroes.
111. The international community oversaw elections for Kosovo's 120-member assembly in November 2001. The election victory of Ibrahim Rugova (of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo) as president, the creation of a power-sharing government, and the participation of the province's ethnic Serb population were positive signs that progress is being made in the province. The new Kosovar government was formed in March 2002, but progress has been slow. In its first six months of existence, the parliament passed only one law.
112. In the longer term, the international community will have to resolve the question of the final status of Kosovo. The Albanian community, which comprises 90% of the population, strongly favours immediate independence, but the UN has made it clear that it is too soon. In the meantime, Michael Steiner, the head of UNMIK, has promised to devolve more power to the Kosovar government and parliament as they learn to work in accord with democratic standards. Mr. Steiner has also ruled out partitioning the province so its extreme northern zone, where most Serbs live, could join Serbia while the remainder becomes independent, saying that Kosovo must build a multi-ethnic society.
113. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, NATO is facing a crisis of identity as it attempts to assert its relevance in relation to new security challenges. The invocation of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty one day after the attacks and the ensuing contributions of military forces by the NATO Allieswas a brilliant demonstration of solidarity, but raised questions about the nature of collective defence. Fifty-three years ago, the Alliespledged to regard an attack on one of them as an attack on them all, and their response to the terrorist attacks demonstrates that commitment is every bit as relevant today. Yet, the threat is changing, and so must the response.
114. The terrorist attacks also showed that NATO itself must change. Its territorial command structure is ill-suited for conducting out-of-area combat operations like Operation Enduring Freedom. While it is understandable and desirable that the United States has taken the lead in that operation, NATO needs to be able to conduct similar operations in the future, particularly if the country attacked does not itself possess the capability to conduct such a high-intensity campaign. The focus on developing high-readiness headquarters is a welcome development, provided they will have ready forces under their command.
115. NATO must also reform its internal structures so that it can conduct operations at a rapid tempo. The conduct of the Kosovo campaign showed the weaknesses of war-by-committee. While the political objectives of military operations must be defined by governments in consultation with parliaments, military commanders must be given the ability to react quickly to battlefield developments in order to attain those goals successfully. In addition, the Alliance must consider whether it can continue to make all decisions on a consensus basis, particularly with the accession of new members in the next couple of years. While consensus will remain imperative for the most important decisions, there may be other areas where more flexibility is in order.
116. NATO has undertaken out-of-area, non-Article 5 missions in Southeastern Europe to end conflict and promote stability on its periphery. Managing them remains essential for European security. One can examine options for restructuring these missions or having some participating countries withdraw, as has been done already. Abandoning SFOR, KFOR and Operation Amber Fox, however, would be premature and would risk undermining the progress that has been made in the region.
117. The development of the European Security and Defence Policy is a positive development for Euro-Atlantic security and the Alliance. If the European Union can develop the ability to manage a peace support operation, it will allow the North American Allies to focus on other threats to their security. But the EU cannot simply build institutional structures and declare ESDP operational; its member countries must be willing to reorient and increase their defence budgets to pay for the capabilities needed for autonomous defence operations. The EU's plans to take over Operation Amber Fox would make a valuable contribution to European security and should be within the EU's capabilities, given that several EU member states on their own have the capability to oversee such a mission, as does the multinational Eurocorps.
118. At its heart, NATO remains a military alliance devoted to the common defence of its members. Article 5 of the Washington treaty will remain the core of NATO because none of the NATO nations want to face today's threats to our security alone. Now, NATO must evaluate these new threats, determine how they can be deterred or defeated, and transform itself so as to remain the bedrock of Euro-Atlantic security.
( Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name)