HomeDOCUMENTSMediterranean and Middle East Special Group200319 AND 20 JUNE 2003 - VISIT TO AFSOUTH, NAPLES by the MEDITERRANEAN SPECIAL GROUP
19 AND 20 JUNE 2003 - VISIT TO AFSOUTH, NAPLES by the MEDITERRANEAN SPECIAL GROUP
1. Sixteen members of the Mediterranean Special Group (GSM) of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) and six representatives from Mediterranean partner countries (Algeria, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) visited NATO's Regional Headquarters Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH), Naples, on 19 and 20 June 2003. A courtesy visit to the Mayor of Naples, Mrs Rosa Russo-Iervolino, a guided tour of the city and an excursion to the Vesuvius were also kindly set up by the Italian Delegation to the NATO PA.
2. Led by Chairman Jean-Michel Boucheron (France), the GSM Delegation was welcomed at AFSOUTH by Lieutenant General Jorge Ortega, Deputy Chief of Staff. It was briefed under the auspices of Ambassador Alphonse La Porta, Political Advisor to Commander-in-Chief Gregory Johnson; of Admiral Ferdinando Sanfelice di Monteforte, Commander, NAVSOUTH; and of Lieutenant General Ciro Cocozza, Chief of Staff.
3. Seven briefings were held, which the International Secretariat will present under the following three main headlines: 1) Framework for Security and Co-operation (Ambassador La Porta), including the New NATO Command Structure (Brigadier General Tayyar Elmas) and the Mediterranean Dialogue Military Programme (Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Stevenson, Military Co-operation Branch); 2) Operations in the Southern Region (Colonel Philippe Hetroy, Chief, Regional Operations Centre), including Operation Active Endeavour and Enhanced Co-operation (Commander Amadeo de Napoli, NAVSOUTH, Military Co-operation Branch) and Operation Display Deterrence in support of the defence of Turkey (Lieutenant General Edward Ellis, Assistant Chief of Staff); and 3) The Case For and Against Preemption as a Foreign Policy Tool (thought exercise by Colonel Peter Faber, US Air Force Representative and Research Associate, NATO Defense College). Two roundtable discussions were also organised on the Mediterranean Dialogue, as well as on Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East, both of which gave rise to numerous comments by the members of the Group.
FRAMEWORK FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION
A. PRESENTATIONS BY AMBASSADOR LA PORTA, BRIGADIER GENERAL ELMAS AND LIEUTENANT COLONEL STEVENSON
4. Referring, in his opening briefing "Framework for Security and Co-operation", to the new threats facing the Mediterranean (illegal immigration, organised crime, WMD proliferation, terrorism, etc.), Ambassador La Porta pointed to the "possible new directions" that NATO could take to improve the quality of its Mediterranean Dialogue and Southern relations with Russia and Ukraine. He described military to military contacts in the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins as "unprecedented", albeit recognising that the Alliance has "a lot of re-gearing to do" in the region and that "aggressive and mature" outreach programmes ought to be developed (visits, partnership work programmes, information sharing). Indicating that AFSOUTH restructuring will be completed by 2004-05 - its land command will be re-established in Madrid, while its air command will be put in Izmir, both of which could also be used to provide support to the EU -, he qualified the Black Sea, the Caucasus and Iraq as AFSOUTH priorities, before adding that "it is not inconceivable that NATO takes over in Transdniestria".
5. Responding to Messrs. Cherif Ahmed Ould Mohamed Moussa (Mauritania), Roberto Soravilla (Spain), Hugh Bayley (United Kingdom) and Jean-Michel Boucheron, Ambassador La Porta said that the Middle East did not yet bear directly on AFSOUTH. Iran is under review at the political level, while preparation for civil missile defence is being made at the operational level; as to Libya, it is a concern in terms of illegal immigration. He specified that NATO had to be prepared to lead the new International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and that the Alliance "must look at future missions in Africa". Referring to Operation Active Endeavour in the Strait of Gibraltar, Admiral Sanfelice di Monteforte indicated that it would operate as long as needed. To Messrs. Uwe Karl Beckmeyer (Germany) and Vahit Erdem (Turkey), both Ambassador La Porta and Admiral Sanfelice di Monteforte specified that there was no common understanding at the political level on the range of new challenges to be faced, and that more connectivity with Headquarters in Brussels and more interoperability with Mediterranean partner countries were needed. "NATO has to have the political will to follow up", they insisted.
6. Brigadier General Elmas made a brief account of the New NATO Command Structure. Presenting the Mediterranean Dialogue Military Programme (MDMP), Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson explained for his part that it aimed to contribute to security and stability in the region through practical co-operation between NATO and MD partners (see mobile training teams, exercises, workshops, seminars and visits, including port visits). To Messrs. Wim van Eekelen (Netherlands), Hugh Bayley and Loïc Bouvard (France), Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson confirmed that Israel participated in MDMP, that countries were solicited to provide information on what they wanted (e.g. involvement in the Balkans, improvement of interoperability, etc.), and that a number of MDMP activities had been cancelled and/or postponed following the outbreak of the war in Iraq.
B. ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS
7. Introducing the roundtable discussion on the Mediterranean Dialogue (19 June), Ambassador La Porta declared that the Alliance was still in transition from the 1990s and that military forces were now too old, too static and too many. Reiterating that NATO had to do more as regards new challenges and flexible military response to terrorism, he pointed to the development of co-operation with the EU in the former Yugoslav Republic of Yugoslavia* (see Operation Concordia), with Russia in the Balkans, as well as with China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Admiral Sanfelice di Monteforte indicated for his part that the main problem was burden sharing, Europe - with an army twice the size of the United States' - spending half what the US does. "That is why, for the first time, NATO has started to think little", he said.
8. Mr Moussa stated that the war in Iraq had shown a Europe "weak and divided", and wondered how the Alliance could help tackle the water problem in the Mediterranean. Mr Beckmeyer asked whether NATO spent enough on technical equipment. Mr Benhalima Boutouiga (Algeria) declared that Europe should "abandon its neutrality" in the Middle East and that dialogue ought to be pursued on the Mediterranean "as a region", while Mr Giovanni Lorenzo Forcieri (Italy) was of the opinion that all levers be used to put an end to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. Mr van Eekelen commented that international organisations like the World Bank were more equipped than the Alliance to deal with the water issue, that spending depended on "what you want to do" and that the problem with the EU in the Middle East is that Israel does not trust it. He asked in turn whether NATO's Response Force would be a fighting force, to be managed multi-nationally, and whether the Mediterranean partner countries would be prepared to intervene under certain scenarios. Arguing that the new threats could not be defeated without Mediterranean partner countries's co-operation, Mr Bayley wondered whether "we should not modify our trade policies vis-à-vis [them]" and asked whether NATO had contacts with international development organisations. Mr Abdelwahad Radi (Morocco) considered that dialogue with the Alliance and the EU was a whole, that "another form of unification" ought to be sought for, and that Europe should extend "from Ankara to Cairo through Rabat". Mr Erdem asked whether the Mediterranean Dialogue actually reduced NATO's burden, while Mr Bouvard commented that what had happened in the 1990s found its consequences in today's transformation. After pointing out that "sick man" Africa lied behind the Maghreb, that NATO's analysis thereof was "totally insufficient" and that the war in Iraq bore the risk of stretching relations with Muslim countries, he asked whether the Alliance developed contacts with China, Indonesia and the Philippines. As to Mr Afif Chiboub (Tunisia), he said that the lack of a common vision precluded real NATO-Mediterranean partnership, before wondering whether a network existed to synchronise all Mediterranean co-operation programmes.
9. Admiral Sanfelice di Monteforte responded that, from a military standpoint, unanimity was paramount, that "whenever an operation [went] beyond the initial terms of reference, NATO [was] not prepared to carry out expeditions", and that capabilities had to be built up. He insisted that the Balkans had an influence on NATO's thinking, before adding that the burden would increase without the Mediterranean Dialogue. He specified that the Response Force was very small "because military instruments [had to] be deeply restructured", and that "we must be expeditionary" so as to be able to reach Africa. Ambassador La Porta indicated for his part that the Alliance had to "narrow focus" on what made its forces more capable, that allies were needed in order to "improve the tool box", that common approaches had to be created (including with international organisations on the civil side), and that NATO had to reach out to Djibouti, Mali, Senegal for peacekeeping and humanitarian missions on the African continent.
10. Introducing the roundtable discussion on Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East (20 June), Ambassador La Porta said that NATO would lead ISAF "without any deadline". Wondering whether the Assistance Force should extend beyond Kabul, he explained that provincial reconstruction teams would be set up to work with Afghan authorities at all levels. It was his own personal view that similar teams could perhaps be established in Iraq, where the Alliance will work "in support of" Polish-led divisions as of September 2003 (target date). With regard to the Middle East, he asked whether NATO could be brought in "in a direct way" or whether a series of bilateral understandings could be devised whereby a "coalition of observer countries" could be created.
11. Mr Moussa wondered why NATO would intervene in Iraq now, while Mr Boutouiga asked when the Alliance would take over in Kabul and what sort of support it could bring to the country. Recognising the need for increased co-operation in the Mediterranean, Mr van Eekelen wondered whether "there [were] situations where our North African partners may participate" so as to give a "more concrete" turn to the Dialogue. Mr Boucheron insisted that NATO should not intervene anywhere without a UN mandate. Mr Erdem referred to the Balkans, Middle East and Caucasus, while Mr Chiboub indicated that the Allies could "always count on Tunisia" despite the fact that "[it] does not identify itself with the solutions brought". Mr Radi said that the best way to live together was through democracy, that the UN should be the "arbiter" and that one should tackle the root causes of crises. However, "here again, we do not agree on the root causes to be tackled", he concluded.
12. In his response, Ambassador La Porta referred to the Balkans, where "NATO was given the job of providing stability and a secure environment" and where all responsibilities will be gradually transferred to civilian authorities "so that the indigenous system can progress towards the creation of a responsible nation". "This is basically what we are looking for in Afghanistan and Iraq", he said. Mr Frans Potuyt (AFSOUTH) specified for his part that peacekeeping was a young phenomenon, and that sending NATO peacekeepers to the Middle East was a very sensitive issue.
OPERATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN REGION
13. Colonel Hetroy's presentation "Operations in the Southern Region" focused on SFOR (Bosnia and Herzegovina), KFOR (Kosovo), Operation Concordia (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*), and NATO HQ in Tirana, where theatre totals currently amount to 37,500 - including from 20 non-NATO nations. Among the military "hot topics" identified by Colonel Hetroy for the next six months, were anti-terrorism and refugee returns (Bosnia and Herzegovina); inter-ethnic violence (Kosovo); and the EU's assumption of the mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
14. To Messrs. Bouvard, Moussa, Beckmeyer and Francisco Ricoma de Castellarnau (Spain), he indicated that not enough was done in the region to fight human organs trafficking, that police forces were being created and that NATO was looking at significantly curtailing its SFOR and KFOR troops to concentrate on border security and advisory tasks. Colonel Hetroy deemed Operation Concordia "positive", and was of the opinion that people in the Balkans would feel more confident once employment has improved.
15. Commander de Napoli made an assessment of maritime Operation Active Endeavour and Enhanced Co-operation, focusing on counter-terrorism in the East Mediterranean (presence and deterrence, surveillance and compliant boardings), on mine warfare (preparatory route surveys in key ports) and on protection of transits in the Straight of Gibraltar. He stated that more co-operation was needed on information sharing and that the Alliance had to "find ways to interoperate".
16. In response to Messrs. Boucheron, Moussa, Chiboub, Beckmeyer, Bouvard and Forcieri, Admiral Sanfelice di Monteforte recalled that 80% of the Mediterranean rim belonged to NATO, PfP and MD countries, which in itself contributed to the prevention of maritime disputes. He said that a comprehensive anti-terrorism policy was being followed by the Alliance since the November 2002 Prague Summit (see increased intelligence sharing with Russia and MD partners; training and exercises), and that the Black Sea was the largest mine dump in the world (see Black Sea-East Mediterranean route). He further indicated that seven submarines were used by AFSOUTH to monitor reported illegal activities. "AFSOUTH is using mostly standing naval forces, as it is lacking expeditionary forces", he concluded.
17. Presenting Operation Display Deterrence (February-April 2003), Lieutenant General Ellis explained that NATO had only made Turkish defence "more robust", so as to respond to possible Iraqi attacks in Southern Turkey (see the deployment of AWACS, quick Reaction Aircraft and PATRIOT batteries for Ground Based Air Defence). To Messrs. van Eekelen, Erdem and Moussa, he conceded that more needed to be done on NRBC protection, and declared that Turkey had done well to ask for increased NATO deployment.
PREEMPTION AS A FOREIGN POLICY TOOL (thought exercise)
18. Colonel Faber started his thought exercise by pointing out that opponents of preemption preferred to "feel" about the concept rather than rationally analyse it, much of the debate being a pretext for a broader discussion of current power relationships between states. He indicated that the discussion was being complicated by shifting definitions, the latest American National Security Strategy (NSS) "hav[ing] blurred the traditional definition of preemption, thereby mak[ing] it seem more sinister than it actually is". He explained that classic preemption was the anticipatory use of force in the face of an imminent attack, while prevention was an attempt to ensure a serious threat does not gather/grow over time. "The NSS borrows from the old definition of prevention and applies it to a new definition of preemption", which stresses past behaviour, existing capabilities that may be used against the US, etc. The question is therefore 'how much risk should you accept', he said in substance.
19. After referring to the "hot button" issues that spill over and entangle themselves with discussions of preemption (including, notably, "Europe for Europeans"; "What is Europe?"; the 11 September terrorist attacks; the realist revival in US foreign policy; the "Unholy Trinity" radical problem States-transnational terror-WMD; etc.), Colonel Faber made an account of anti-preemption and pro-preemption arguments. Were identified as basic anti-preemption assumptions, inter alia: preemption as a "tool of empire" designed to prevent future near-competitors; American "unilateralism"; the fact that preemption is an offensive strategy leading to instability and uncertainty; that it may be misused; could set a destabilising precedent; deteriorates co-operation on other security-related issues; and, most important of all, that it substitutes a stringent standard (evidence of an imminent attack) with a speculative "with doubts" standard. Were put forward as pro-preemtion rebuttals, inter alia: preemption as a response to "cognitive anarchy" and internal contradictions in the international system; preemption as an option, not a doctrine; and as a gap filler for when the UN is unwilling or unable to act.
20. Highlighting that, thus far, the issue had only been risen in the US's hierarchy of options, Colonel Faber pointed to NATO's possible requirements about preemption (to conduct a serious and dispassionate discussion on the topic; to develop commonly understood and accepted risk criteria for planning purposes; to develop "when" and "where" preemption criteria for stateless organisations and groups; and to develop "when" and "where" criteria for nation-states). By way of conclusion, he said that the Allies needed clear-headed definitions and asked whether preemption should be a possible option for NATO.
21. Mr Boucheron wondered whether the war in Iraq had not been an attempt to release the Middle East from years-old status quo, while Mr Moussa asked whether all means had been used prior to launching the campaign. Mr Boutouiga wondered who was the wolf and who the sheep. Mr Forcieri worried about who would define the threat(s) and legitimise preemption, two points which were taken up by Mr Beckmeyer. Mr Manuel Correia de Jesus (Portugal) stated that terrorism had organised a network characterised by unexpectedness, while Mr Bayley was of the opinion that prevention ought to be tried first. Mr Van Eekelen specified that even during the Cold War there had been discussions on preemption, that genocide was rarely a case of prevention and that "actions sometimes have to be taken earlier, hence the dilemma". He asked in turn to what extent the threat of preemption could serve as a deterrent. As to Mr Aristotelis Pavlidis (Greece), he declared that it was "very difficult to explain [the preemption concept] to the population" and that ESDP "could be developed in co-operation with NATO".
22. To them all, Colonel Faber reiterated that his presentation was a thought experiment, that precise criteria for both networks and states were needed, and that "if you formalise preemption, you lose strategic surprise". He concluded by asking who could enforce preemption and whether NATO's Response Force could serve as a proxy for UN mandates and capabilities.
WEDNESDAY 18 JUNE, EVENING
Note: Please bring comfortable walking shoes for the excursion to Vesuvius
Arrival of participants at hotel
Address: Hotel delle Terme di Agnano Tel: +39 081 570 1733
80125 Napoli Fax: +39 081 762 6441
THURSDAY 19 JUNE
Meeting location: AFSOUTH, Naples, Italy
08.20 Departure from Hotel
09:00 Opening remarks by Jean-Michel BOUCHERON, Chairman of the Special Mediterranean Group
Opening remarks by Lt. Gen. ORTEGA, AFSOUTH Deputy Chief of Staff
09:15 Briefing on "Framework for Security and Cooperation" by POLAD (Political Advisor) followed by a question and answer period
10:20 Presentation on Operations in the Southern Region followed by a question and answer period
11:15 Briefing on Operation Active Endeavour and Enhanced Cooperation
12:30 Lunch hosted by the Italian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
14:00 Presentation on Mediterranean Dialogue (MILCOOP)
14:45 Round Table Discussion on the Mediterranean Dialogue led by POLAD (Political Advisor)
+/-17:30 End of briefings for the day
20:30 Dinner hosted by the Italian delegation to the NATO PA (Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, Banchina S. Lucia, 13, Naples - jacket and tie required)
FRIDAY 20 JUNE
08:40 Departure from Hotel to Naples City Hall
09:30 Reception by Mrs Rosa Russo-Iervolino, Mayor of Naples
10:00 Departure to AFSOUTH (transportation organised by the Italian delegation)
10:30 Presentation on the New Role for NATO Defense College (NATO and Pre-emption Strategy)
11:30 Presentation on NATO Support to the Defense of Turkey (AIRSOUTH)
12:30 Lunch hosted by the Italian delegation to the NATO PA
13:45 Round Table Discussion on these issues with special focus on Iraq contingency operations and their impact on NATO and the Middle East (led by POLAD)
15:00 Closing remarks by Lt. Gen. COCOZZA
Closing Remarks by Jean-Michel BOUCHERON, Chairman of the Special Mediterranean Group
15:30 End of briefings
16:30 Bus leaves from Hotel Terme di Agnano for guided tour of Naples
20:30 Return to Hotel Terme di Agnano
SATURDAY 21 JUNE
08:30 Departure to Vesuvius - excursion hosted by the Italian delegation to the NATO PA
(comfortable shoes advised)
13:00 Return to Hotel - End of programme - transportation provided back to airport
Chairman of the Mediterranean Special Group and Member of the French Delegation
Jean-Michel BOUCHERON (Socialiste) Ille-et-Vilaine
Rapporteur of the Mediterranean Special Group and Member of the Greek Delegation
Aristotelis PAVLIDIS (New Democracy) Dodecanese Islands
Loïc BOUVARD (UMP) Morbihan
Uwe Karl BECKMEYER (SPD) Bremen
Chamber of Deputies
Deputy Head of the Delegation
Ilias PAPAILIAS (Socialist) Attica
Lorenzo FORCIERI (Democratic Left, Olive Tree) Liguria
Secrétaire de la délégation italienne du sénat
Italian Interpreters / Interprètes italiens
Wim van EEKELEN (Liberal) Former Vice-President of NATO PA
Gunnar HALVORSEN (Labour) Aust-Agder
Marian PILKA (Law and Justice)
Manuel CORREIA DE JESUS (Social Democratic Party) Madeira
Ramon ALEU (Groupe catalan progressiste) Tarragona
Roberto SORAVILLA (Parti populaire) Madrid
Francisco RICOMA DE CASTELLARNAU (Parti populaire) Tarragona
Head of the Delegation
Vahit ERDEM (Justice and Development Party) Kirikkale
Erol Aslan CEBECI (Justice and Development Party) Sakarya
Hugh BAYLEY (Labour) York
Benhalima BOUTOUIGA (Rassemblement National Démocratique)
Cherif Ahmed OULD MOHAMED MOUSSA
President of the Chamber of Representatives
Head of Protocol
Mohamed EL HASNAOUI
First Vice-President of the Chamber of deputies
Deputy for Policy Coordination to the Secretary General
Director, Mediterranean Special Group
* Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.