HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2002 Annual SessionAV 193 PC(02)8 - General Report. 'Security policy challenges after the Attacks of September 11, 2001 and the future role of NATO'
General Report. 'Security policy challenges after the Attacks of September 11, 2001 and the future role of NATO'
General Rapporteur - Rapporteur général : Markus MECKEL (Germany - Allemagne)
TABLE OF CONTENTS (Page)
I. THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11 AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES 1
II. NEW SECURITY-POLICY CHALLENGES 2
III. THE THREAT POSED BY TERRORISM 3
IV. FIGHT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM 5
A. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN POPULATION 5
B. EXCHANGE OF INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION 6
C. COOPERATION OF POLICE AND JUSTICE SYSTEM 7
D. MILITARY OPERATIONS 7
E. FIGHTING THE CAUSES 8
F. PRINCIPLES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM 9
V. INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS 10
VI. DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIONS WITH THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION 13
VII. THE FUTURE ROLE OF NATO 14
VIII. THE DEBATE ON DEALING WITH IRAQ 18
IX. CONCLUSIONS - LOOKING AHEAD TO THE PRAGUE SUMMIT 20
I. THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11 AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES
1. The horrible terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not only strikes against New York and Washington, they were also acts that shook the entire free world. We continue to feel a profound sense of shock. Unscrupulous assassins murdered more than 3,000 innocent civilians. People from more than 80 nations died in the ruins of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York. At the same time these attacks were directed against symbols of US global power as well as the liberal international economic and social order.
2. The response of the international community was loud and clear. On September 12 the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the attacks in New York and Washington in Resolution 1368, i.e. with Chinese and Russian support. For the first time it determined that terrorist attacks constitute a threat to world peace and international security. As such, the UN Security Council took a step forward in the development of international law and paved the way for resolute action, including military action, against terrorism, based on the right to individual and collective self-defence.
3. The same day the North Atlantic Council signalled to the United States its willingness to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time. On October 4, 2001 the North Atlantic Council determined that the attacks originated abroad and, as such, the conditions were met for invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. For more than 50 years the United States had guaranteed security in Europe, and everyone had assumed that in case of need the United States would come to the assistance of its European or Canadian Allies. Now it was shown that transatlantic solidarity applies in both directions.
4. On this basis the US administration succeeded in the weeks following the attacks in forging a global coalition against terrorism, which was joined by more than 100 countries, including Russia, China, and almost all Muslim countries. The condemnation of the attacks by Muslim countries was particularly important, since it undermined the argument put forward by the attackers that they were acting in the interests of Islam.
5. As soon as evidence had been found against those who were behind the attacks, the United States imposed financial sanctions against terrorist organisations and their supporters. The UN Security Council authorised this approach with its adoption of Resolution 1373 on September 27. The EU partners were among the first to implement these sanctions. A UN report published a year after the attacks came to the conclusion that there are deficits in the implementation of sanctions and criticised EU practices in this regard.
6. On October 7, after the Taliban regime had let several deadlines go by for handing over the instigator of the attacks, Osama Bin Laden, and for destroying the terrorist infrastructure in the country, the United States launched a military campaign, Operation Enduring Freedom. Initially US forces acted mostly on their own. They were supported by British units; a number of other countries who did not want to be named publicly for domestic reasons were also involved in preliminary operations with special forces units before the actual military campaign began. The contributions made by most allies and partners were limited initially to logistical support, the provision of military bases, and overflight rights. Later selected capabilities were requested from other allies.
7. The effective combination of US air attacks and ground operations on the part of the opposition "Northern Alliance", which had been supported for years by Russia, led with unexpected rapidity to the collapse of the Taliban regime. This denied Bin Laden's terrorist network its most important base of operations. The rejoicing of the population in Afghanistan showed that the majority saw the end of the tyrannical regime as a liberation.
8. The military operations paved the way for a political new beginning in Afghanistan after 22 years of civil war. An initial step in this direction was the Bonn Agreement concluded on December 5, 2001 with UN mediation and German support. The major political groups agreed on a two-year transitional phase for the normalisation of political life and on the formation of a multiethnic, inter-party transitional government under the leadership of Hamid Karzai. In view of the numerous warlords and remaining Taliban supporters, the transitional government is being protected by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the capital, Kabul. ISAF was formed on the basis of a UN mandate and was under British command until June 20, 2002. Since then Turkey has led the operation. Germany took over tactical command of the multinational brigade operating in Kabul in March and formed an integrated multinational staff for this command. Germany provides around 1,200 of the 5,000 soldiers in ISAF. After speaking with his Dutch counterpart at the meeting of defence ministers held in Warsaw in September Mr Struck, the defence minister, signalled Germany's willingness to assume joint command of ISAF with the Netherlands as of December 21, or possibly one or two months later if more time is needed. The purpose of the peacekeeping force is to stabilise the situation and create the prerequisites for beginning the process of reconstruction. An international donors' conference in Tokyo pledged $5 billion in support of Afghanistan over the next five years.
9. An initial balance sheet of the actions undertaken by the United States and its allies is largely positive. The international coalition against terrorism continued to hold up when the bombing was continued during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. The military action against the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban regime showed rapid success, even though strong pockets of resistance still continue to be found.
10. Now the question is being posed as to how the fight against terrorism is to be continued. What will the next steps look like? How should a comprehensive strategy against terrorism be shaped and who should shape it? And how does this relate to the security-policy challenges with which the transatlantic community is confronted in general?
II. NEW SECURITY-POLICY CHALLENGES
11. Many people refer to September 11 as a "turning-point" in security policy. It is true that the new threat posed by international terrorism existed prior to this date, as shown by the attacks carried out on the World Trade Center in 1993 and on the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. However, in the mind of the public this threat has only begun to play a central role since September 11 and, as such, to exert an influence on priorities in security policy. In the United States, the only remaining superpower, the myth of "invulnerability" was shattered (cf. relevant comments in the Draft General Report of the Political Committee in the spring of 2001 on the missile defence debate). The attacks also signalled to the Allies that armed conflicts are not only being carried out in South-East Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, but that this violence can also strike them at home in Europe and North America.
12. The attacks are an example of "asymmetric warfare". The appearance of non-governmental players is characteristic of the numerous domestic and regional conflicts in the 1990s, e.g. ethnic groups, guerrilla movements, and local warlords. These non-governmental players do not feel bound by the rules of international law. This also applies to their obligation under international law applicable in armed conflicts to avoid harm to civilians or non-combatants. Terrorists have shown how it was possible to attack even the US superpower at relatively low cost, whereas there would be little prospect of success in an open confrontation with US or NATO military forces. This operation could also have shown hostile countries how they can attack or pressure militarily superior NATO countries.
13. The threat has its origin "abroad". But the attackers resided legally in the United States and in a number of European countries for a longer period of time, which they used to plan and prepare the attacks. How should one categorise an operation that was probably thought up in Afghanistan, planned in Hamburg, and carried out in New York? This is a frightening example of the globalisation of terror! The dividing lines between inside and outside or between internal and external security have been blurred. It is no longer enough to rely on the strength of one's military. Without effective police, intelligence, justice, border, customs, immigration, and finance authorities a country will have almost no chance of protecting itself. Stricter controls and stronger authority for domestic security agencies also have their price - both literally and figuratively. In addition to the financial costs involved, measures of this kind have an effect on relations between groups in society, the exercise of individual freedoms, but also on openness towards other countries, towards other peoples and cultures.
14. Even when one is willing to bear these burdens, one cannot do it alone. Authorities and people in other countries have to be equally vigilant to be able to detect and break up conspiracies and networks early on. Comprehensive international cooperation is an indispensable prerequisite for success. But even then we need to admit to ourselves that absolute security is not (or no longer) possible.
15. Our way of doing business and our entire lifestyle is based on global interdependence and integration. We are linked with the rest of the world through the integration of financial markets, the broadcast media, and communications technologies as well as through global environmental trends (e.g. climate change). Globalisation is penetrating all areas of life, also in a positive sense. A return to "splendid isolation" is not possible, at least not without giving up our way of life. What is needed, instead, is for us to work together to regulate the process of globalisation as much as possible with a view to controlling negative trends.
16. This includes formulating a comprehensive strategy for the fight against terrorism. It is aimed at denying terrorists the means and the breeding grounds for recruitment. This strategy is aimed at crisis prevention, and must be based on political, economic and cultural cooperation as well as on cooperation in security matters.
17. The United Nations provides a comprehensive framework for global action and has played an important role in creating standards of international law in the past. There is little it can do to carry out investigations against the perpetrators of these crimes or to uncover plans to carry out future attacks. What other international players are called upon to take action in the fight against terrorism?
III. THE THREAT POSED BY TERRORISM
18. Since 1968 Western industrial societies have been confronted with the problem of terrorism. What is the same and what is different about terror then and terror now and why is the threat seen as being more comprehensive today?
19. The differences begin with the underlying rationales. While in the 1970s it was primarily revolutionary leftist movements (the RAF in Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy) or ethnic and nationalist groups such as the PLO, ETA, IRA, or PKK who were active, today religious ideologies predominate. Although they had international links and support, the earlier generation of terrorists pursued specific objectives with their operations, such as the attainment of political recognition of their interests or the liberation of fellow members of their movements, the attacks were restricted in geographical area and scope. In order not to alienate potential sympathisers they attempted to maintain a kind of proportionality by concentrating their attacks on representatives of the political or economic system or the security forces. In every case the terrorist actions had their specific national causes and forms. In Spain, the Basque Provinces were granted extensive rights of devolution; those standards are among the highest in the whole of Europe. Today ETA is largely isolated in the population as a result of its policy of violence. In Northern Ireland the British government included Sinn Fein and the parties that represent the loyalist paramilitaries in all-party talks. In 1997, after several failed attempts, a cease-fire between the IRA and the main loyalist paramilitary organisations led to a cessation of terrorist attacks. These talks led to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 on the future structure of government in Northern Ireland. The agreement was accepted by the people of Northern Ireland in a referendum held the same year. While the IRA and the most important loyalist paramilitary organisations respect the cease-fire for the most part, republican and loyalist splinter groups have continued to carry out terrorist attacks. Turkey, on the other hand, has not yet recognised the Kurdish ethnic minority as a group with its own culture and rights. Massive repression of the Kurdish civilian population, particularly in South-Eastern Turkey in the early 1990s, has contributed towards the radicalisation of significant parts of the Kurdish population. Terrorist violence has declined in Turkey as a result of the arrest of PKK leader Öcalan and the latter's subsequent change of course. Over the past year Turkey has made progress in its recognition of the cultural rights of the ethnic Kurdish population on an individual basis. The reforms of August 3, 2002 point in the right direction. Capital punishment has been abolished and the rights of freedom of opinion and freedom of association have been strengthened. Use of the Kurdish language is now possible, not just in private circles and in the media; private schools can now teach in Kurdish. This is an important step forward on the path to European integration and will doubtless help to resolve the underlying conflict.
20. In contrast to this, religiously inspired fanaticism is aimed at destroying the enemy and, in the case of Osama Bin Laden's terrorist network, at conducting a global struggle against the liberal Western world. As a consequence, all earlier limitations no longer apply. The attackers want to bring about maximum destruction and create the greatest possible amount of fear. They are willing to carry out suicide attacks, whereas earlier terrorists devoted a great deal of effort to organising their escape. The classic instruments of deterrence do not apply to this type of terrorist. There is no longer latitude for negotiation to protect the lives of innocent civilians such as in the case of hostage taking. The security authorities need to develop new strategies so that terrorist plans can be detected early on and attacks prevented.
21. The attacks over the past few years have shown that terrorists tend to be conservative in their choice of methods. They want to complete their operation successfully. This explains the preference shown thus far for time-tested and easy-to-handle methods such as bombs, guns, or aircraft hijackings. The attacks of September 11, on the other hand, involved the simultaneous hijacking of four planes, revealing previously unknown logistical complexity and organisational precision. At the same time, the scope of the attacks was close to an attack with weapons of mass destruction. There is a great deal of evidence to indicate that terrorists in the future will also try to use chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction. The know-how and the materials needed to produce these weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have become easier to obtain since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and are available on the Internet in some cases. The sarin attack carried out by the Aum sect on the Tokyo subway in 1995, and resulting in twelve deaths, could have had much worse consequences if the attackers had not wanted to survive themselves and had not left the packages with the chemical agent behind. This attack marked the beginning of a new threat by non-governmental actors. Documents and materials found in Afghanistan demonstrate efforts by al-Qaeda to obtain weapon systems of this kind. It is doubtless only a question of time before they master these, in part, difficult technologies and are able to use such weapons in a controlled manner.
22. The attacks in the United States suddenly demonstrated the vulnerability of our societies as a result of globalisation. Computer networks control traffic flows, electricity grids and water supplies, as well as telecommunications and oil and gas pipelines. In their operations the terrorists take advantage not only of the vulnerability of our civilisation, but also make use of the conditions of globalisation: civil aviation, international financial markets, and the Internet. Increased efforts to protect critical infrastructure of this kind need to be put on the agenda. In addition to practical defensive measures there is also the question as to whether a decentralisation of structures would help to decrease vulnerability.
23. The formation of international networks constitutes a completely new dimension. Osama Bin Laden is, as it were, a "private-sector terrorist". He began by financing Afghan resistance against the Soviet Union. With his logistical skills and charismatic leadership he succeeded in bridging the differences between various extremist groups and in this way built up a widespread network. The Shiite Hizbollah and the Palestinian Hamas are thought to have similarly widespread networks. What is characteristic of these structures? There are small and independently operating al-Qaeda cells in more than 60 countries. They have contacts with local and/or national terror groups whose help they can fall back on in making preparations for attacks. As a consequence of global migration there are large diaspora communities in Western Europe and North America which can serve as environments that they can blend into and use to recruit supporters and activists. al-Qaeda also has good contacts to organised crime, due to the common interest in drugs, weapons, and the smuggling of human beings. These contacts help to finance attacks and also constitute a potential for logistical support.
24. These widespread networks confront the law enforcement authorities and intelligence agencies with particular challenges. The individual cells are hard to identify. There do not seem to be any fixed structures involved. The attackers often meet only ad hoc for a specific attack and then disappear again in different directions if they survive. The question remains as to whether these decentralised structures are dependent on an order from higher up to act. In other words, even if we succeed in destroying the command centres in Afghanistan and in arresting Osama Bin Laden, could the machinery of death continue to work on its own?
IV. FIGHT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
25. Shortly after the attacks of September 11, President Bush declared that there is a need to be patient in the fight against international terrorism and that these efforts will not be without risks. At the same time he emphasised that there is a need for a comprehensive strategy to put a stop to international terrorism. Key elements of a strategy of this kind are discussed below.
A. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN POPULATION
26. Immediately after the attacks, efforts were focused on measures aimed at increasing the security of the general public and key government institutions. The primary focus was on security at airports, in public buildings, and at US facilities abroad. Roadblocks were erected and other measures taken for the passive protection of institutions, access points were limited, and strict identity checks were carried out. Visible measures of this kind are necessary to restore public confidence in the ability of the government to guarantee their protection.
27. After the end of the Cold War, protective measures for the civilian population were neglected in the NATO countries. The anthrax attacks on members of the US Congress in October 2001 and copy-cat activities in other NATO countries showed how poorly prepared we are to protect the civilian population against the use of biological and chemical weapons. There are insufficiencies with regard to contingency planning, early warning capabilities, ability to identify toxic substances, supplies of vaccines and antidotes, as well as general medical care capacities.
28. At the domestic level, effective protection of the public requires the cooperation of federal, regional, and local authorities ranging from organisations in public health or disaster relief to police and armed forces, as well as water supplies and public transportation systems. A reordering of jurisdictions is needed. In the United States a new Department of Homeland Defence is being constituted for this purpose, which is to include numerous agencies and have more than 170,000 employees. In other countries, such as Germany, the creation of a "federal security office" has been contemplated. Regardless of whether we make use of existing institutions or create new ones, the effective co-ordination of the large number of different players constitutes a major challenge.
B. EXCHANGE OF INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION
29. The secret services play a key role in detecting the structure, members, whereabouts, and plans of terrorist organisations - and this both domestically as well as internationally. The central objective in the fight against terrorism is to prevent future attacks and to ensure that perpetrators of terrorist attacks are brought to justice. Since there is no defence against suicide attacks, what is needed here is specific information on planned attacks, contact persons, and the current whereabouts of terrorists.
30. Exchanges of data and information between secret services, police forces, and other government agencies traditionally involve overcoming high barriers, even in the domestic context. On the one hand, the institutions in question tend to seal themselves off from one another and use any information advantages they may have to compete with one another. On the other hand, there are specific barriers to the exchange of information between police and security organisations in order to guarantee the right to privacy. After September 11 there were legislative amendments in the United States and a number of allied European countries which make it possible for organisations responsible for foreign intelligence to work in the domestic context. Measures of this kind were introduced temporarily in a number of countries to test them and determine whether, after the passage of a certain period of time, the results obtained on the basis of expanded authority justify any losses of personal freedom. After September 11 the intelligence agencies of the EU countries met for the first time in a multilateral framework to discuss a joint strategy.
31. Cooperation between intelligence services constitutes an even greater challenge at the international level. After September 11, intelligence agency meetings were held for the first time in the EU framework, at which efforts were made to co-ordinate their activities. There are enormous reservations with regard to comprehensive disclosures of information. It is part of the nature of these institutions not to want even allied intelligence services to be aware of what they know. At best, information is exchanged on a bilateral basis in a quid pro quo situation. Today we can no longer afford this kind of mistrust. Greater transparency is needed, so that all available information can be put together like pieces in a puzzle. Often it is only after this has been done that it is possible to draw conclusions about the intentions and ongoing operations of terrorist organisations. Initial efforts to achieve stronger cooperation of this kind, undertaken since the fall of 2001, have led to a number of arrests, some of them spectacular, as well as to the prevention of planned terrorist attacks. One of the highlights was the arrest of a key al-Qaeda organiser, Ramzi Binalshibh, on September 11, 2002. The arrest was carried out by Pakistani security forces only two days after the Arab-language television news channel Al Jazeera broadcast an interview that had been conducted with him in Karachi in June. In the interview Binalshibh and another leading al-Qaeda operative said the September 11 attacks had been their work and reported in detail on the planning. This was the first time a high-level figure in the al-Qaeda network had been arrested.
C. COOPERATION BY THE POLICE AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
32. In the fight against terrorism, the police and the justice system play a key role in the credibility of government institutions and the preservation of law and order. One of the fundamental tasks of government is to guarantee the security of its citizens. When the fulfilment of this government function no longer seems to be guaranteed there is the threat of a crisis of government authority. This public expectation can no longer be fulfilled nationally, only by international cooperation. This insight has led to the EU making considerable progress in recent months with regard to cooperation in the third pillar, particularly with regard to the development of Europol and Eurojust.
33. Effective criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of terrorist acts and the people behind them strengthens public confidence in the rule of law. The police and the justice system can contribute significantly towards the prevention of future attacks. It is their duty to see to it that terrorists are cut off from financing provided by extremist Islamic cultural or welfare organisations, shady private companies, or organised crime. Together with customs and fiscal authorities, they can reveal international financial flows and block transfers. For many years now the fight against organised crime has been high on the agenda. There are numerous indications of links between terrorist networks and organised crime in connection with the financing of operations through money laundering, trade in Afghan opium and other drugs, as well as in connection with arms supplies. If a co-ordinated effort is directed against both threats the chances of success will increase.
34. To the extent that there is concrete evidence that preparations are being made for an attack and that certain people, members of terrorist networks, are involved in this, it is the duty of the police and the justice system to prevent the attack from happening by arresting the persons in question. The extent to which the police can profit from information provided by secret intelligence agencies in this connection or the extent to which such information is held back for the purpose of protecting the sources is an important question.
D. MILITARY OPERATIONS
35. The military action taken against al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, a regime which al-Qaeda supported in many areas and which was intertwined in many areas with the al-Qaeda network, was the main focus of international cooperation in the initial phase. The immediate objectives of the operations carried out in Afghanistan were the destruction of terrorist training camps and other infrastructures as well as the elimination and arrest of the largest possible number of terrorists.
36. The military fulfils a key function in the fight against terrorism. Where it can be proved that governments support international terrorism, they, like the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, will have to reckon with military attack. Training camps, terrorist infrastructure, and terrorists who are prepared to fight can only be dealt with by military means. Not just air power, but also specially trained and equipped ground forces, are needed for this purpose. In addition, the military has special competence in defending itself against attacks with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. In connection with attacks of this kind it will be able to help civilian authorities guarantee public security and medical care. All in all it can be said that the military is making an important, indeed indispensable, although relatively limited contribution towards dealing with this problem.
E. FIGHTING THE CAUSES
37. Experience of political repression, ethnic persecution, religious discrimination, underdevelopment, a lack of social and economic prospects for the future, as well as a feeling of hostility towards the West, create a mental environment which drives new recruits and helpers into the arms of terrorists. It is true that there is no direct connection between these experiences and specific terrorist acts, but it cannot be denied that the people behind the attacks exploited anti-Western feelings and experiences of this kind.
38. The debate that has taken place since September 11 makes clear the dangers involved in identifying Islam with international terrorism. The creation of a conflict between the Islamic and Christian worlds would have a devastating long-term effect on the fight against terrorism. Fundamentalism is found in all religions and has recurrently led to acts of violence and terror. Radical anti-abortionists who committed acts of violence against doctors and clinics based their actions on their Christian beliefs. The terrorist responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Timothy McVeigh, was closely linked to the Branch Davidians, a radical Christian sect. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish religious extremist. In India violence is perpetrated not only by Muslim "separatists", but also by radical Hindus, who have been responsible, among other things, for the destruction of mosques. What these fundamentalists have in common is their habit of thinking in black-and-white categories. They seek to conjure up a battle between the forces of good and evil.
39. However, wherever the world is divided up into "good" and "evil" there is a danger of falling into a pattern of fundamentalist thinking. As such, it is important to demonstrate that the fight against terrorism is not a conflict between different cultures ("clash of civilisations"). If we were to allow the extremists to push us into a confrontation between Judeo-Christian and Islamic societies, then the extremists would have already won half the battle. No religion can justify the horrible murders and crimes against humanity that have been committed. Osama Bin Laden's attempt to base his actions on Islam constitutes an abuse of the religion and this led to a condemnation of the attacks by nearly all Muslim countries and religious leaders. It is only by working together that representatives of all cultures and religions can defend the achievements of tolerance and democracy against violent barbarism. This presupposes an intensification of dialogue between religions and cultures. Over the past 50 years Islam has also become part of the Western world. Millions of faithful Muslims live in our societies. Despite this fact there is still not enough mutual contact, knowledge, and understanding in the West between the various religions and denominations. More needs to be done in this regard. Similarly, the process of dialogue and understanding between different cultures and religions needs to be strengthened. In this regard the proposal made in last October by both Spain and Iran to hold a world conference on the issue is a promising first step.
40. The Middle East conflict is of key importance in determining the relationship between the Western and the Muslim worlds. New initiatives aimed at settling the Middle East conflict are more urgent than ever before. The escalation of violence that began in the year 2000, as well as the rise in the number of people feeling hopeless must be stopped, a cease-fire reached, and peace negotiations resumed. It is only after a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Arab conflict that it will be possible, over time, to reduce the sense of mistrust that exists towards the West. We need to work together to achieve the objective President Bush has set of having two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine, living side by side as neighbours within secure and recognised borders by 2005. The initiative undertaken by Saudi Arabia contains the assurance that the Arab world would then be willing to normalise its relations with Israel. Holding a Middle East conference could be helpful. A resolution of security issues would seem to be possible only in connection with a resumption of final status talks.
41. Afghanistan played a special role with regard to international terrorism. The Taliban regime gave the terrorists free rein in their spacious, mountainous, and uncharted country and assisted them in making preparations for international operations. Now that the Taliban regime has been destroyed it is necessary to give the country political and economic prospects for the future. Afghanistan is a test case for the credibility of the coalition against terror. As many as 5,000 al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters are still putting up resistance. They must be eliminated. It is only then that the process of reconstructing the country can be a lasting success and terrorism can be uprooted. Some progress is being made. The recent Loya Jirga provided a mandate for an Afghan government on a broad democratic basis for the first time in many years. Thus far the influence of the interim government has been limited mainly to the area in and around Kabul, where the government is protected by the ISAF. In the other regions of the country there have been increased occurrences of clashes in recent months between different ethnic groups and local leaders competing for dominance. There have been recurrent attempts to assassinate members of the transitional government. There have also been a growing number of incidents involving ISAF troops. Since an extension of the ISAF mandate beyond Kabul is not an option, due to the fact that this would make it necessary to increase the size of ISAF considerably, it is important to support the transitional government in building up a national army. Another factor of key importance in stabilising the transitional government under Hamid Karzai will be the rapid payment of pledged financial assistance. This is a test case for the credibility of the international coalition against terrorism. This will provide concrete evidence to the Afghan people that cooperation with the international community will change their life for the better.
42. In addition to these immediate challenges, there is a need to strengthen the global fight against poverty and underdevelopment. Social inequality and discrimination create breeding grounds for terrorism just as political repression and unresolved conflicts do. Increased spending for development assistance to overcome hunger, disease, and poverty can also contribute towards prevention. Fair access to the global market is particularly important for the development of the very poor countries. There are considerable deficits in the EU and the United States in this regard, e.g. in the agricultural sector. Environmental crises such as water shortages and desertification have different effects on different social groups. As such, they will contribute toward a sharpening of social conflicts in the Third World and will probably also be the cause of international conflicts. For this reason, preventive action on the part of the international community is required in this area as well.
F. PRINCIPLES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
43. The attacks of September 11 were aimed in essence at destroying open and pluralistic forms of society based on the principles of human rights, democracy, the rule of law, freedom and transparency. As such, it must be the main focus of our fight against terrorism to respect and protect these values and to promote them in all societies.
44. Measures that limit the latitude for action available to terrorists may also restrict the rights of ordinary citizens. The attacks are forcing us to reconsider the relationship between the principles of "openness" and "control". However, this does not mean that the principles of an "open society" are simply up for revision. There is a need to ensure protection of the right to freedom of opinion, privacy, freedom of movement, and due process. It goes without saying that the prohibition of torture also applies to alleged terrorists. Otherwise we would be placing ourselves on the same moral level as the unscrupulous attackers.
45. The question as to the status of the captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters confronts the United States with a dilemma. Under the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war cannot be interrogated. They are required only to identify themselves and their military unit. Their classification as prisoners of war would make it impossible to ask them for information about operational plans, structures, and members of the Organization that could help to prevent future attacks. There would be an obligation to return the former combatants to their country of origin once hostilities have ceased. The fact that only two (or four) countries officially recognised the Taliban regime is also an argument against granting them this status. For these reasons the United States is against classifying them as prisoners of war. The type of military conflict involved seems to warrant this classification, particularly as regards the Taliban fighters. Given the new situation, it will be necessary to give some thought to the question of whether or not international law needs to be developed further in this matter. Independent of the question regarding their status, all the prisoners must be treated humanely, and in the case of criminal prosecutions they have a right to a fair trial in an independent court.
V. INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS
46. International terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda constitute a challenge for the international community. Since intelligence agencies have reported the existence of al-Qaeda cells in more than 60 countries around the world, no one country alone will be able to provide effective and lasting protection for itself. The countries of the world will need to act together at the global level to keep terrorists from spreading to other countries. As such, the United Nations will play a key role in the fight against terrorism. In the course of the past 30 years the United Nations has adopted twelve conventions against terrorism, the last in 1999 with regard to the financing of terrorism, but many UN member states have not ratified them. Since the spring of 2001, efforts have been made to adopt a framework convention that would close existing loopholes and create a uniform legal framework for joint action aimed at preventing and suppressing terrorism. Issues on which it has not yet been possible to reach an agreement are indicative of the difficulties that still need to be overcome in the process of developing a joint strategy. Application of the convention to operations involving regular armed forces is to be ruled out. Agreement on a common definition of what constitutes terrorism will also depend on this. The same acts of violence, whether bomb attacks, plane hijackings, or hostage taking, may be classified, on the one hand, as "terrorism" or, on the other, as a contribution to a guerrilla war or a "liberation struggle", depending on how the political motives are assessed by the country making the judgement. If an objective and neutral definition is chosen, which refers only to specific actions and their political motivation, then this could easily lead to a situation in which internationally respected opponents to criminal regimes, such as the situation that existed with Nelson Mandela in South Africa, would be classified as "terrorists" by the international community.
47. In addition to developing international law, the United Nations can play a role in criminal prosecutions. Experience with the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague and for Rwanda in Arusha have shown how important international courts can be when national courts are unable or unwilling to call to account those responsible for massive human rights violations. The International Criminal Court (ICC), whose Statute entered into force on July 1 this year, could prosecute international terrorists as a subsidiary to national justice. If terrorists are sentenced on an unobjectionable rule-of-law basis, this will strengthen awareness of the law and of justice throughout the world and help to isolate terrorists. The ICC could make an important contribution towards achieving this goal. This makes the controversy that exists among the allies with regard to the ICC all the more regrettable. This matter will be discussed in greater detail later in the report.
48. After the attacks of September 11, the UN Security Council laid down relatively clear provisions for sanctions in Resolutions 1368 and 1373. The practical implementation of these measures is up to the member countries, but a number of international organisations can make important contributions in individual matters. The G8 Financial Action Task Force, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as groups of non-governmental players such as multinational banks, are playing an important role in connection with the freezing of financial assets. A number of regional organisations, such as the Council of Europe and the Organization of American States, have undertaken efforts for a long time now to engage in cooperation with regard to the criminal prosecution of terrorists. When the fight against chronic causes, e.g. poverty, economic underdevelopment, and social inequality is involved, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are also called for. But who will be able to get these different players to engage in a co-ordinated joint effort? This would be more than the United Nations could deal with at the present time.
49. In view of the objectives pursued by the terrorists, their attacks strike against "Western civilisation" and its influence in the world. Three players linked by shared values are predestined to move international efforts forward and co-ordinate them: North America (i.e. the United States and Canada), the EU, and NATO. As the party directly affected by the attacks, the United States took the initiative and was supported by Canada. On the basis of a unique combination of diplomatic, military, and economic potentials the United States took the lead, and within a few weeks had created a large international coalition against terrorism. The United States also assumed the role of co-ordinating activities in the various international fora.
50. For all its members the EU has been the central institution for the co-ordination of their measures in the area of internal security and for the implementation of financial sanctions. In the EU there is movement in the offing with regard to a deepening of cooperation of police and justice authorities in response to the attacks. A department for fighting terrorism is being established at Europol in The Hague . The entry into force of EUROJUST, enabling European cooperation in connection with cross-border prosecution of criminal offenders, has been moved up to 2002. At the same time an agreement was reached on a common EU arrest warrant that is intended to simplify the extradition of criminal offenders quite significantly. It is to be introduced in 2004. A number of EU member countries want to introduce the procedure earlier on a voluntary basis.
51. The EU has engaged in considerable internal activity, but did not take action as a single body externally. Bilateral activity, not joint action, characterised the relationship with the United States after the attacks. The Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and Defence Policy are still in the initial stages of development. The institutional structures have been created, but the EU has only limited military capabilities. There are also deficits with regard to harmonisation of foreign policy action. With this in mind, the question arises as to the extent to which the EU will develop the political will to take global action in the case of similar threats in the future.
52. NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time. In doing so the Allies showed that they saw the attacks as attacks on all of them and were willing to respond in collective defence. The United States, however, chose not to use NATO as an instrument. Since the United States, in contrast to many other NATO partners, is able to carry out virtually all the functions covered by NATO structures by itself, the US Administration requested only specific military capabilities from NATO, such as AWACS reconnaissance planes to carry out air surveillance duties in the United States, and from individual member countries. The objective of forging a broad coalition against terrorism, including Asian, African, and Latin American countries, may have played a role in this US strategy. It may also be connected with experience gathered in the Kosovo conflict. Many see the book written by General Wesley Clark (Wesley K. Clark, Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat, New York: Public Affairs, 2001), former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, as evidence that the North Atlantic Council (NAC) regularly involved itself in target planning and, in doing so, hampered the effectiveness of military operations. General Clark has contradicted the view that there was a "war by committee" in a narrow sense of the term, and pointed out that success would not have been possible without the political and economic pressure made possible by the consensus that existed among the NATO partners. However, there are many who continue to adhere to their scepticism with regard to NATO, even though NATO has proved its ability to act on more than one occasion in SFOR and KFOR peacekeeping operations in South-East Europe. Task Force "Fox" formed the basis for the peaceful elections held in the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia* and holds out a chance of achieving a peaceful settlement between the majority and minority groups. NATO is a driving force behind the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement, together with the European Union. Without the international peacekeeping force, fighting could easily break out again in the near future. The European Union wants to take over military security this year. In the absence of long-term agreements between NATO and the European Union, the conclusion of which continues to be hampered by differing views on the part of Greece and Turkey, the take-over could be delayed. In that case the NATO mission should definitely be extended.
53. Neither did the European members make use of the multilateral structures of NATO where this would have been possible. The European countries and New Zealand alone account for the 4,700 persons who make up the ISAF. An integrated command, as is customary in the case of NATO missions, was not established. The responsibility for the mission remained with the national contingents. Attempts were made to form integrated commands in the framework of the multinational brigade in Kabul. In connection with a possible assumption of the leadership role by the German-Dutch Corps, consideration is currently being given to the possibility of drawing more strongly on SHAPE and other NATO capabilities as of the beginning of next year. A major role in an operation outside of Europe would be something fundamentally new for NATO, and could signal that it will be involved more strongly and globally in the resolution of regional conflicts in the future. This task is described as a key challenge in the new national security strategy presented by the Bush administration in September.
54. International terrorism poses a particular threat to the community of Western nations. It constitutes a new security-policy challenge for the allies in North America and Europe that will require very close cooperation. While a firm framework for joint action exists in the area of military cooperation with NATO, cooperation mechanisms of this kind do not yet exist in the area of internal security. The fight against terrorism makes it clear that there are security issues in the transatlantic relationship that go beyond NATO. There is a need to create a forum between the EU, the United States, and Canada to deal with these new security challenges.
55. The broadest possible cooperation is needed in the fight against international terrorism. Not all countries in the coalition share the values of freedom and democracy. The choice of partners is based on functional criteria. There is a need to cooperate pragmatically with countries that can play a significant role in resolving conflicts in a specific region, such as the case of Pakistan in Afghanistan. The principle for choosing partners that was proclaimed by Mr Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence, i.e. "the mission defines the coalition", is thoroughly appropriate to the matter at hand. However, the role played by NATO is not described sufficiently well. It may be the case that little importance is attached to NATO in the fight against terrorism, but this does not detract from the importance of the tasks it carries out in guaranteeing security in the Euro-Atlantic area. There will be a need to distinguish more clearly in the future between the broader coalition and the alliance based on shared values. In the broader coalition, based on a specific shared interest, the judgement of countries in the light of alliance values must not be given up totally. When repression of opposition groups is strengthened under the pretext of fighting terrorism, as is the case in China against the Tibetans, we cannot simply accept it without criticism.
VI. DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIONS WITH THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
56. September 11 was a turning point for Russia's relationship with NATO and the United States. Although still a major power militarily, Russia lacks political and economic weight. Putin's aim is to restore Russia to its former greatness and importance in world politics. This will require modernisation of its political and economic structures. Putin has come to realise that this can only be achieved by pursuing a policy aimed at expanding cooperation with the United States and the EU. Putin saw September 11 as an "opportunity" to redefine Russia's relationship with the United States and NATO, and to bring about a radical change in the direction of Russian foreign and security policy. This change is a subject of considerable controversy on the Russian domestic scene. As such, Putin needs to be able to derive practical advantage from this new relationship with the West in order to justify his pragmatic decision.
57. Russia was one of the first countries to express its solidarity with the United States immediately after the attacks of September 11. For quite some time now Russia has seen the spread of Islamic fundamentalism as a danger. As such, there was no major barrier that had to be overcome in order to offer the United States support in the fight against terrorism. This offer made it possible for Russia to underscore its importance to the United States and, at the same time, to make use of US military strength to help fight the fundamentalist threat that exists in southern Russia.
58. Russia's and the Alliance's interests in the fight against terrorism are contiguous. In its cooperation with the West, Russia hopes to be able to justify its own actions in Chechnya as part of the fight against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, and in this connection to elicit a greater measure of understanding on the part of the Alliance. Whereas it is justified in fighting terrorism in Chechnya, it must be said that Russia's policy of dealing with the Chechen population at large has not only been ineffective, it has also been neither legitimate nor proportionate. Necessary cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorist fundamentalism must not lead to tolerance of human rights violations committed by Russia in Chechnya.
59. Putin's support of the Northern Alliance and acceptance of American military bases in Central Asian countries are clear signs of a rapprochement between Russia and the United States. The Russian interest in strategic cooperation with the West led to a situation in which unilateral termination of the ABM Treaty by Bush and development of a missile defence system did not produce a major crisis. Instead, the two presidents pledged to reduce the numbers of their strategic nuclear weapons over the next ten years by about 6,000 to somewhere between 1,700 and 2,200. In keeping with American wishes, the agreement signed on May 23, 2002 has less in the way of detailed provisions for implementing these disarmament commitments than is traditionally the case in arms control agreements. No provision is made, for instance, for the irreversibility of reductions. Warheads can be kept in interim storage without being counted towards the ceiling figures. They will only be taken into account, if they are operationally/operatively deployed on delivery systems.
60. Parallel to this there has also been an rapprochement between Russia and NATO. In 1990 NATO declared that it no longer sees Russia as an adversary. Russia, for its part, has tended to view this statement with scepticism. It came as a genuine surprise to many critics in Russia when NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty after September 11 that it was not against Russia but rather against a terrorist network. This experience triggered a broad process of rethinking the country's relationship with NATO.
61. In this context Russia sees NATO enlargement as being less problematic. This change in the Russian perception of NATO constitutes a major opportunity for the Alliance and for the expansion of cooperation. In a speech given in the German Bundestag on September 25, 2001 Putin criticised the fact that NATO decides everything alone and seeks Russia's support only as a second step. Mr Blair, the British prime minister, responded to this with an extensive offer to share in decision-making in the future. In December 2001 NATO proposed to Russia a body of "20" to replace the "Permanent Joint Council" of "19+1", in which consultations with Russia took place, after the 19 NATO members had agreed on a position. The declaration on NATO-Russian relations signed in Rome by heads of state and government on 28 May 2002 says the two sides "will work as equal partners in areas of common interest" as well as identify and pursue "opportunities for joint action at 20". Each member of the NATO-Russia Council may raise issues and submit them for the agenda. Since the Council will operate on the principle of consensus any member can block any decision. However, if individual members were to prevent the emergence of a consensus frequently, it would erode confidence in the new institution. As such, it makes sense to have started with a small agenda, e.g. the fight against terrorism, crisis management and peacekeeping measures, non-proliferation, arms control, nuclear, biological, chemical weapon defence, civil defence, joint military exercises, airspace surveillance, and scientific cooperation. Working together in practical situations will promote confidence in the willingness and ability to engage in further cooperation. The range of areas could be expanded as time goes on.
62. Economic cooperation is gaining in importance alongside growth in security-policy cooperation. For Putin this is a key objective, since it is important for the modernisation of Russia and it will create the basis needed for a Russian security policy commitment. Putin needs an expansion of economic cooperation with the United States and the EU as well as membership in the WTO to be able to continue successfully on his course of market economy and political reforms. An initial positive signal was provided by the G8 decision to admit Russia as a full member in 2006. It is assumed that Russia will be a member of the WTO by then.
VII. THE FUTURE ROLE OF NATO
63. After the end of the East-West conflict there were many who predicted that NATO's days were numbered. In the 1990s, however, it proved its importance and ability to take effective action in new areas, particularly crisis management and peace missions. The NATO operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* are success stories, despite all the problems encountered there. The most recent instance was NATO's rapid and resolute response to the terrorist attacks. Since the United States did not make use of offers of assistance from the allies, a debate arose about an impending loss of importance for NATO. What is the basis for this debate and how seriously do these fears need to be taken?
64. For Americans, the attacks on New York and Washington constitute a significant turning point in history. They mark the end of a myth of "invulnerability". It was painfully demonstrated to them that they are no longer protected by two oceans and immune to events in other parts of the world. An active foreign policy commitment not only serves the purpose of promoting peace, freedom, democracy, and economic prosperity, it is also coming to be seen more and more as an essential prerequisite for security at home. At the same time, the attacks have unified the country. Americans are more determined than ever to defend themselves against international terrorism and to promote the ideals of freedom and democracy. Where a multilateral effort is possible, they are happy to take advantage of the opportunity. Where this is apparently not possible, they are determined to take the measures considered necessary, alone if need be. This includes military operations. In his state-of-the-union message on January 29, 2002, President Bush made it clear that the threat posed by international terrorism and by rogue states with WMD currently has absolute priority for the United States. It is on this basis that the United States determines the importance it attributes to security policy instruments and institutions such as NATO.
65. From the standpoint of the European Allies, the fight against terrorism is an important security policy task, but it is still far from being the most important. After the end of the Cold War and the Gulf War (1990-1991), security and stability in Europe continued to be the main focus of attention for them. They automatically viewed any security questions as NATO matters. This has changed since September 11. Instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or regional conflicts such as in Kashmir or the Middle East conflict, have had noticeable effects on the community of Western nations. For the Europeans the question arises as to whether they are willing to assume global responsibility and to make use of NATO in this context.
66. Like a number of other NATO members, the United States has recurrently intervened in conflicts in other regions of the world in the past. To the extent that it became involved militarily, it did so outside the NATO framework (e.g. in Grenada in 1983, in Libya in 1986, in Panama in 1989, in the Gulf War in 1990-1991, and in Haiti in 1994). While not using NATO to carry out the current military operation in Afghanistan seems to signal a loss of importance for NATO, i.e. from a European point of view, one could also argue that there is continuity in the US practice.
67. As a result of the strong focus on the threat posed by terrorism in the current debate on the future of NATO, there is a danger of losing sight of the organisation's other security policy tasks. First of all, its integrated force structure prevents a renationalisation of defence policy. That was important in Western Europe. Today this factor plays an important role for the Eastern and South-East European countries who are candidates for NATO membership. Integration helps to stabilise their domestic situation as well as relations with neighbouring countries. Secondly, NATO has developed relationships based on partnership with Russia, Ukraine, and other countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Their integration has contributed significantly towards maintaining stability in Europe. It was only against this backdrop that the extensive support provided for the fight against terrorism by Russia and the members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council was possible on short notice. Thirdly, over the past few years NATO has become one of the most important players in the area of international crisis management and the implementation of peace missions. NATO is the only security policy player, in addition to the United States, that is capable of taking action worldwide to enforce international law and to safeguard peace. Whether and where this happens is decided in each case by the members. Even though the focus has continued to be on Europe, operations of this kind can also be undertaken "out of area", such as in Afghanistan, in the future. The prerequisites for this were created with the NATO Strategic Concept of 1999, which provides for joint action, when and where this serves the "security of the Euro-Atlantic area". Furthermore, it addressed the threats of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and consequently up to the present the NAC has agreed that a revision of the Strategic Concept is not necessary.
68. What functions can NATO assume above and beyond this in the fight against terrorism? It can play only a limited role, since the primary challenges are not in the military sector. NATO provides capabilities and structures which can be used in the military fight against terrorism. The precondition for a mission is the political will and consensus of the members. NATO can carry out a number of specific functions.
69. First of all, there will be a focus on providing military security in resolving regional conflicts that could constitute a breeding ground for terrorism. The military has a considerable advantage over civilian authorities in terms of expertise in the area of defence against attacks with NBC weapons. Secondly, NATO plays a role in co-ordinating efforts with regard to non-proliferation and theatre missile defence (TMD). Thirdly, NATO would be a good instrument for cooperation in the areas of civil defence and disaster relief. Fourthly, NATO could serve as a forum for strengthening cooperation between intelligence agencies.
70. The European Allies need to ask themselves whether they have sufficient and appropriate capabilities to take action in the Alliance in these matters if their security is threatened from outside Europe.
71. The military operation being carried out in Afghanistan has further strengthened the leading role of the United States in the Alliance, precisely because the operation is not taking place within the NATO framework. The rapid military successes achieved have given yet another impressive demonstration of the superior military potential of the United States. This shows how little the United States is dependent on prac, tical support from its allies. An increase in the US defence budget by US$48 billion to a total of US$379 billion for the year 2003 will doubtless ensure that the "technology gap" will not be closed in the foreseeable future. Indeed, it could be widened. This imbalance constitutes a burden for the transatlantic relationship and for NATO.
72. In January 2002, Senator Richard Lugar, a traditional NATO supporter, warned that the United States could lose interest in the organisation if it were not directed more strongly towards the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of WMD, and if it did not assume a globally active role. More and more voices are being heard in the United States calling for a change of course of this kind. A significant redirection of the Alliance towards tasks such as fighting terrorism presupposes more than just the creation of new instruments. It also raises fundamental policy questions. For example the question arises as to whether we should take action against a terrorist group on the territory of a country against the latter's declared will. Thus far NATO has limited itself to defence against attacks and (reactive) crisis management. Actions of this kind are based on international law. It will doubtless not be very easy to bring about a consensus in the Alliance on taking pre-emptive action.
73. Similarly, with regard to the subject of WMD, the question arises as to how we should deal with countries that show a lack of willingness to cooperate? Should we try to get them to change their mind by providing incentives or by threatening to impose political or economic sanctions, or is a "pre-emptive strike" by NATO also an option? The United States has not ruled out this kind of action in the past. It reserves the right of first use of nuclear weapons also in the case of attacks with biological and chemical weapons. However, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) forbids the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. For reasons of deterrence it may make sense to leave a potential adversary in uncertainty about the response that would follow. But would it make sense to raise the threat of pre-emptive strikes against biological or chemical weapon states to the status of a NATO doctrine?
74. The debate to be conducted this year on new tasks of the Alliance will entail a number of difficult issues. They have pushed another issue into the background: the enlargement of NATO. Thus far this lower priority on the agenda of the Alliance has not been to the disadvantage of the aspiring candidates. As a result of the rapprochement of Russia in the context of the anti-terror coalition, membership of the Baltic States is no longer controversial. A major enlargement round appears probable now. Interest in stabilising the situation in South-East Europe, as well as interest in having the largest possible number of solid allies in the fight against international terrorism, speak in favour of this.
74. The allies wanted to avoid conflicts between Europeans and Americans such as happened at the Madrid summit in July 1997. For this reason, the larger NATO members agreed to reach a consensus among themselves before speaking publicly about the admission of specific candidates. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly followed this strategy in adopting a declaration on NATO enlargement at its spring session in Sofia on May 28, 2002. The NATO PA praised the progress towards NATO membership made by Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Romania and also had words of recognition for what has been achieved in Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, and Albania. Even though no specific commitment was made to invite these countries to accede to the Washington Treaty, a broad majority of NATO parliamentarians would apparently welcome it if, in the end, all seven countries were to receive an invitation in Prague.
75. At the present time the chances of our moving towards a consensus are good. At the end of August, the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate issued a report recommending the invitation of seven candidates if they continue to pursue reforms and carry out planned modernisation efforts. In a column published in the Los Angeles Times on September 1, the chairman of the committee, Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware), advocated following this recommendation, although he conceded that he had had initial doubts as to the state of preparedness of Bulgaria and Romania.
76. Since the spring session, prospects have improved that there will not be major reservations with regard to any of these candidates. In a general election on September 20 and 21, the people of Slovakia confirmed the reform course being pursued by the coalition government under the prime minister, Mr Dzurinda, and the SDKU and clearly expressed their support for membership in the EU and NATO. Mr Meciar, the former Prime minister, and his party, the HZDS, will no longer play a role in Slovakian government. In his case the member states did not have the necessary confidence in the reliability of their partner, something that is absolutely necessary in NATO's consensus-based decision-making procedures.
77. I hasten to point out that Slovakia was not the only country in question to be viewed with concern this year. Slovenia, considered one of the few sure candidates a year and a half ago, came in for some criticism at the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Rejkjavik. This was because it had felt too sure of itself, and the pace of armed forces reform had slowed down in the recent past, but also because the government and parliament have not been doing enough to gain public support for the objective of achieving NATO membership. Public support for NATO membership has declined steadily, and was recently at a level of just under 40%. This constitutes a risk. What would it look like for NATO to invite a country to join only to have that country turn the invitation down in a referendum?
78. The invitation of seven countries to become new members once again raises the question of NATO's ability to act effectively. Enlargement will increase the distance between the capabilities of the individual members. As such, there are many who fear that enlargement will reduce the ability of the alliance to take military action and that it could strengthen the trend towards transforming NATO into a political institution that would no longer be much different from the OSCE. With a view to counteracting this trend, efforts are being discussed to create a small number of central military capabilities as well as to streamline structures and decision-making procedures. This would include such things as reducing the number of co-ordination committees and military commands, changing the way ministerial council meetings are held, on down to delegating management tasks to the Secretary-General. The consensus principle should not be questioned but the mechanisms for reaching consensus should be improved.
79. Some of the planned changes have raised serious questions with far-reaching consequences. The first uniform command for the United States (NORTHCOM) was created in October 2002 and regional responsibilities have been redistributed in the process of restructuring US territorial defences. In this context the President of the United States asked the NATO Secretary General to relieve SACLANT of his duties so that he can concentrate on his mission as Joint Forces Commander. From the standpoint of the Pentagon, ACLANT no longer seems necessary and EUCOM should take over most of his responsibilities. However, from the standpoint of the European Allies this is not just any command. It is the most important NATO command next to SACEUR. It would have grave consequences for NATO if ACLANT were to be dissolved or greatly reduced in importance. SACLANT's singular responsibility for the Atlantic embodies the link between the defence of Europe and the defence of the United States. Dissolving it would raise the question as to whether or not the reasoning behind "homeland defence" in the United States is based on a desire for self-sufficiency, i.e. a desire on the part the United States to be responsible for the defence of its own territory without the help of NATO. A contemplated NATO authority for the planning of joint operations and force structures would not fully replace an operative command. British and American nuclear submarines, for instance, have been under ACLANT command whenever they have been assigned to NATO in times of crisis. Not just the considerable symbolic importance involved but also the valuable experience of working together in integrated commands, something which promotes practical cooperation in multinational units, speaks for preserving ACLANT or a comparable operative NATO command on US territory.
80. At an informal meeting of NATO defence ministers held in Warsaw on September 24-25 Mr Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defense, proposed creating a new NATO rapid reaction force. In contrast to the existing Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) the new force of 20.-21,000 soldiers would be able to deploy more rapidly and would be more lightly armed. While the ARRC needs about 90 days to get to the deployment area with its with heavy weapon systems, the new contingent would be able to deploy in 7 to 30 days and be capable of engaging in combat for a period of a month without reinforcements. The US proposal was welcomed by many as a way of strengthening NATO's practical capabilities by the year 2006. The question remained unanswered as to the relationship this force would have with the rapid reaction force to be created by the European Union in the framework of the Helsinki Headline Goals, due to be achieved by 2003. For the European Allies it is of utmost importance that the "NATO Response Force" is designed in a way to make it compatible with the EU Rapid Reaction Force. Requirements for military capabilities should be thoroughly co-ordinated in order to meet this goal, allowing members of both organisations - NATO and EU - to draw on a single set of forces to the greatest extent possible.
VIII. THE DEBATE ON DEALING WITH IRAQ
81. The debate on Iraq has evoked a great deal of controversy in the transatlantic relationship over the past few months. As such, the situation merits renewed attention here. In assessing Iraq there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a detestable dictatorship. Under his government, Iraq has attacked its neighbours, Iran and Kuwait, fired missiles at Israel, and used chemical weapons against Iran as well as against Iraq's own Kurdish population. The regime is a nightmare for the Iraqi people and a threat to the neighbours in the region. If Iraq succeeds in acquiring long-range WMD, or if it provides biological and chemical weapons to terrorist groups, it could also threaten the security of people in Europe and the United States.
82. For this reason an effective containment policy, military control of no-fly zones, and strict sanctions have been imposed on Iraq since the Gulf War. The regime in Baghdad is not allowed to possess or produce WMD and systems to deliver them. Despite binding obligations under Security Council resolutions, Saddam Hussein refuses to answer in a credible and verifiable manner questions posed urgently by the international community with regard to his possession of WMD. As such, UN pressure on the Iraqi regime must be maintained.
83. Since the beginning of this year the UN Secretary General has engaged in intensive talks in an effort to get Iraq to resume weapons inspections. Russia has urged Iraq to cooperate with the UN, and recently made a major trade agreement dependent on Baghdad's good behaviour. The Arab League has warned Iraq against isolating itself - also in the regional context - and demanded access for UNMOVIC. The strongest pressure was exerted by President Bush, who threatened military sanctions in a speech given before the UN General Assembly on September 12, 2002. In response to these efforts, Iraq agreed on September 18 to resume unconditional cooperation with UN weapons inspectors and to implement the relevant UN resolutions. However, it is by no means certain that inspections for WMD will be successful and Iraq's disarmament verified. There is a need for continued pressure to ensure that UN weapons inspectors will have free access to all relevant sites and documents and will be able to move about freely and to destroy any weapons they find.
84. Opinions differ as to how much time remains for political and diplomatic efforts of this kind, and how the potential threats posed by Iraq should be addressed. It is a subject of controversy as to whether Saddam Hussein's regime should be overthrown militarily in order to pre-empt a military challenge, or whether we should continue to concentrate on containment and the enforcement of disarmament obligations. There are a number of different viewpoints on this within NATO.
85. During the hearings held in the US Senate in late July and early August 2002 questions were asked that have also occupied the minds of the Allies of the United States. Is there new and conclusive evidence with regard to the threat posed by Iraq that would justify assuming such a high risk? Have all the options been exhausted for putting Iraq under economic and political pressure? What would be the consequences of a military intervention? Would Iraq attack Israel in order to provoke a nuclear response and escalate the conflict? What effect would this have on the Middle East? Would it lead to the disintegration of Iraq with uncertain consequences for the entire region? Would Iraq become an area of chronic civil war in which terrorist organisations could operate and acquire WMD? Would military intervention provoke a wave of unrest in the Islamic world which would be directed against the countries of the "West" and governments that are friendly to them? Would we have to reckon with a growth of membership in terrorist groups, as well as a break-up of the international anti-terror coalition? How could cohesion and democratic development of the country be ensured after the departure of Saddam? Would the international community be willing to take on responsibility for safeguarding peace and stability by stationing troops in the region for years, or even decades, to come and by financing reconstruction?
86. For NATO the debate on military action against Iraq raises significant problems. On the one hand, NATO sees itself as a community based on shared values and views the rule of law, democracy, and free markets as basic principles. On the other hand, NATO was created as an alliance for collective territorial defence against aggression. In particular, Articles 5 and 7 of the Washington Treaty tie NATO action to the principles of the UN Charter. For several weeks an American-British proposal for a new Resolution of the UN Security Council (UNSC) has been controversially debated. The US and the United Kingdom call for a new inspection regime and the threatening of the use of military force, in case Iraq would not disclose its stock of WMD fully, obstruct the work of the inspectors again, or would refuse to disarm. This draft resolution has faced opposition from France, Russia and China. They do not want to give any UN member an automatic right to use military force, when it perceives an Iraqi violation of UN requirements. France has proposed a two-step approach. A first resolution shall lay out new instructions for the conduct of the weapons inspections. If Iraq does not meet these requirements, the UNSC shall decide on a second resolution dealing with the consequences of Iraqi non-compliance, including military sanctions.
IX. CONCLUSIONS - LOOKING AHEAD TO THE PRAGUE SUMMIT
87. At the NATO summit in Prague on November 21-22, 2002, a number of key decisions will be on the agenda, similar to the situation that existed at the Washington summit in 1999 in the midst of the Kosovo conflict. At the top of the agenda will be the question as to the future tasks of the Alliance, and how it can contribute to the fight against terrorism and how to deal with the proliferation of WMD. First of all, NATO will have to determine that only part of the numerous objectives formulated in the Defence Capabilities Initiative of Washington have been achieved. In Prague the Allies will agree on a new "NATO Capabilities Initiative" focussing on a smaller number of capability objectives which all members must attain within a certain time-frame in order to be able to undertake joint action in the future. Heads of state and government are likely to decide on the formation of a "NATO Response Force", which would be a concrete expression of the attempts at reaching the ability to act at short notice.
88. A key issue from the standpoint of the Czech hosts will be the further opening of the Alliance for new members. The summit will decide on the second round of NATO enlargement. During the informal meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Warsaw it was rumoured that a consensus has been reached to invite seven candidates in Prague. The Standing Committee of NATO PA moved beyond the position adopted at its spring meeting in Sofia, when it adopted a "Declaration on NATO Enlargement" recommending the accession Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Thus, it is almost certain that we will see an enlargement round in November involving a high number of countries that would not have been imaginable in mid-2001. With a view to preserving our ability to act in the larger group, we will also be taking decisions on internal structural reforms at the summit.
89. The extraordinary summit meeting 28 May 2002 has provided us with a new structure for cooperation with Russia. The new NATO-Russia Council at 20 has started to function and talks have proceeded - i.e. in the field of Theatre Missile Defence - at an unexpectedly rapid pace. The common threat posed by terrorism has brought the partners closer together. What is needed now is to strengthen confidence through practical cooperation and joint operations by NATO and Russia. It is only together with Russia that security can be guaranteed in Europe and beyond. Cooperation with other partners is to be promoted as well. The partnership with Ukraine is to be strengthened, as is cooperation in the framework of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and in the preparation of future candidates under the Membership Action Program (MAP).
( This report was compiled and prepared in September 2002. Therefore, some recent developments, including the passage of Resolution 1441 by the United Nations Security Council, could not be included in the text.
* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name
* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name
* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name