Ronald D. Asmus and Richard C. Holbrooke
Riga, Latvia – November 27 – 29, 2006

© 2006 The German Marshall Fund of the United States. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Please direct enquiries to: The German Marshall Fund of the United States 1744 R Street, NW Washington DC 20009 T 1 202 745 3950 F 1 202 265 1662 E info@gmfus.org This publication can be downloaded for free at http://www.gmfus.org/publications/index.cfm. Limited print copies are also available. To request a copy, send an e-mail to info@gmfus.org The opinions expressed in this publication are those of individual authors and do no necessarily represent the views of the author’s affiliation.

Riga, Latvia November 27 – 29, 2006

Over the last decade it has become a tradition to gather the world’s leading thinkers on NATO in advance of a major Alliance summit. The German Marshall Fund of the United States, along with the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation (LATO) and the Commission of Strategic Analysis, are proud to host this conference on the eve of the November 2006 Riga NATO summit. This summit comes at a critical moment in NATO’s history. The Alliance is deeply engaged in a difficult mission in Afghanistan and is at a critical juncture in terms of transforming itself for a very different strategic era in the 21st century. Should NATO aspire to new, more global missions in the wider Middle East and elsewhere? If so, then does it need new arrangements with non-NATO global partners? When and where should NATO seek to act and with what kinds of coalitions? Should NATO continue to keep its door open to future enlargement to new democracies further East and South at a time when there are signs of enlargement fatigue in Europe? How should NATO transform itself to better be able to work together with the European Union around the world? And, what future should we envision for NATO-Russia relations in light of recent trends in Russia? Last but not least, does NATO have a role to play in new areas and on new issues ranging from energy security to homeland defense? These are just some of the difficult questions that the Alliance must confront. In the spirit of stimulating thinking and debate on both sides of the Atlantic, we have commissioned five Riga Papers to address these and other issues. In Re~reinventing NATO, Ronald D. Asmus and Richard C. Holbrooke provide a bold and ambitious American view on how to overhaul the Alliance so that it may assume more global responsibility and meet future global threats from two individuals deeply involved in NATO reform in the 1990s. In NATO’s Only Future: The West Abroad, Christoph Bertram offers a European perspective on the Alliance’s future from one of the foremost thinkers and writers on NATO affairs on the continent. He warns that the Alliance is losing the support of its members and that it must do a much better job in addressing their real security needs by broadening its ambitions and horizons, if it is ever to regain its former centrality. In NATO in the Age of Populism, Ivan Krastev analyzes the dangers of the rise in populism in Europe and the challenge this presents for maintaining public support for the Alliance as well as effective decisionmaking as NATO tries to respond to new global threats. He argues that the only way NATO can go global without falling victim to a populist backlash is to transform itself into a two-pillar Alliance. In Transforming NATO: The View from Latvia, Žaneta Ozoliņa provides the perspective of a smaller, Northern European country on these issues and debates. This essay highlights the complexity of the challenge that NATO’s transformation poses for smaller NATO members as well as ongoing priority and commitment to keeping NATO’s door open for additional new members. The fifth and final Riga Paper is entitled NATO and Global Partners: Views from the Outside. Edited by Ronald D. Asmus, it consists of four essays by authors from Israel, the Persian Gulf, Australia and Japan. These authors explore what their countries might expect from the Alliance in the future, as NATO seeks to develop a new concept of global partnership. GMF is delighted to offer these papers as part of the intellectual legacy of this Riga conference and summit. We consider them a key contribution to the spirit of transatlantic debate and partnership that it is our mission to support.

Craig Kennedy President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States 

Ronald D. Asmus and Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke


fter the end of the Cold War, NATO faced a fundamental choice: reinvent itself or gradually wither away into meaninglessness. After a period of drift and indecision, NATO took two historic steps: it opened its door to enlarge and include new members; and it acted militarily beyond its borders in Bosnia and Kosovo. By so doing, NATO met the strategic imperatives of the initial post-Cold War era: to stop ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, anchoring new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe to the West and building a new relationship with our former Cold War adversary, Russia. A new era began after the terrible events of September 11, 2001. Today the Alliance must reinvent itself, yet again. Its new threats no longer come primarily from within Europe (although some of them have active cells in Europe). Plain and simple, NATO must become a more global Alliance, one that takes it to countries and regions beyond the European heartland and on missions beyond the imaginations of the founding fathers. Yet they are necessary if the Alliance is to fulfill a core mission that has not changed much since 1949: providing for the common defense and advancing the common interests of its members. Some tentative steps have already been taken, notably in Afghanistan, but a formal restatement of NATO’s purposes, agreed to by all its members, is necessary and, five years after 9/11, overdue. Afghanistan is the first, but certainly not the last, mission distant from Europe in which NATO is fighting an unconventional war along with non-NATO and non-European partners. This mission requires a coordinated civilian and military effort pursued together with institutions like the United Nations (UN) and the European Union, and perhaps the African Union. There is no lack of crises for NATO to contribute to resolving. The United States and Europe face a growing need to jointly project stability, conduct peacekeeping and stability operations beyond the continent in general, and in the wider Middle East, in particular. In addition to Afghanistan, the Alliance should be prepared to assist the UN mission in Lebanon, should the situation there deteriorate. Even as the West seeks to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, NATO should be preparing plans on how to contain and deal with the consequences of a nuclear-armed Tehran if currently pursued diplomacy fails. For reasons detailed below, there is still an important potential role for NATO in Iraq as we struggle to prevent that country from fragmenting and destabilizing the broader region. And, if the shock of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in the early 1990s provided an important impetus for reinventing NATO a decade ago, then the need to halt the horror taking place today in Darfur should be an equally powerful incentive to rethink how this Alliance can be used to meet the moral and humanitarian challenges of today. A centerpiece of the Alliance’s reinvention in the 1990s was its enlargement to include new members. NATO’s enlargement to new democracies from the Baltic Sea region


Ronald D. Asmus and Ambassador Richard c. Holbrooke
to the Black Sea is now recognized as an historic accomplishment, but it was much criticized at the time by some liberal commentators, as well as many in NATO’s old guard (including Paul Nitze, George F. Kennan, Brent Scowcroft and General Andrew Goodpasture). But, the fears of its critics were unfounded, and NATO enlargement paved the way for EU enlargement and the creation of a peaceful stability that Central Europe had not seen in centuries. It is crucial that NATO’s door remains open and that the prospect of future enlargement into Eurasia and across the wider Black Sea region be kept alive. This is especially true if, as seems likely, the doors of the EU are closing. NATO can play a critical role in stabilizing the Southern flank of the Euroatlantic community and in the wider Black Sea and the Southern Caucasus vis‑à‑vis an unstable Middle East. There are other challenges and opportunities for NATO. Questions abound. Should the Alliance assume a role in homeland security, given the fact that neither the EU nor individual nations are in a position by themselves to respond to the consequences of a catastrophic terrorist attack? Should NATO play a role in the realm of energy security, not only vis‑à‑vis Russia, but also in terms of coming to the aide of threatened Middle Eastern countries whose energy infrastructure is critical for the West’s economic health? Last and certainly not least, how should NATO respond to Russia’s attempts to roll back democratic developments on its borders? To be sure, the Alliance has taken rhetorical steps towards a more global role. A visit to NATO’s headquarters reveals that the Alliance is engaged in a wide range of new activities, much of it in the form of contingency plans. But, one should not confuse busyness with strategic relevance or actual operations. Today, the Alliance is probably less central in Western thinking and policies than at any time since its creation. Compared to the long list of strategic challenges the West needs to address, what is most striking is how modest and minimalist NATO’s current agenda is. Most of the issues mentioned above are not on the agenda or even part of the important conversations taking place in Brussels and Mons, and even less so at leadership levels.

Reinventing the Alliance (Again)
This is not the first time NATO has had to reinvent itself for a new era. When the Alliance was founded in 1949 there were many, including in the United States, who thought the idea of establishing and managing an Alliance that would have to bridge so many different national perspectives on how to confront the then Soviet threat was fanciful and could never work. NATO worked better than critics anticipated during the Cold War because a generic consensus emerged on the nature of the Soviet threat and how to deal with it. That consensus did not emerge automatically but came to fruition through leadership and consultation across the Atlantic. And, when NATO had to shift strategy in response to changing trends within the communist world, they inevitably produced major debates and tensions within the Alliance as well, often including predictions of NATO’s imminent

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demise or irrelevance. Nevertheless, this generic consensus was the strategic glue that held the Alliance together for its first forty years, and which ultimately helped the West win the Cold War without firing a single shot. Following the collapse of communism, NATO had to come up with new strategic glue. An alliance whose original enemy had disappeared faced the question of quo vadis. The answer that gradually emerged after significant debate was that NATO’s job should be to defend the peace not only in Western Europe, but in Europe as whole. Speaking in June 1993, Senator Richard G. Lugar coined the following memorable and pithy phrase: “NATO would either go ‘out-of-area or out-of-business’”. It fell to President Bill Clinton to lead the drive to reinvent NATO in the 1990s. He pushed through the Alliance’s decision to open NATO’s door to new members through enlargement in order to consolidate democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, along with the intervention beyond NATO’s borders in Bosnia and subsequently in Kosovo. Over the course of the decade, NATO consolidated a new consensus on the need to extend the security that had been established in Western Europe eastward and across the continent as a whole stretching from the Baltic Sea in the North to the Black Sea in the South. With the benefit of hindsight, this strategic leap looks inevitable and self-evident. But, as veterans of the battles surrounding these decisions, we can attest to the fact that they were anything but easy. Some of the fiercest foreign policy fights of the 1990s took place over these issues. Interventions in the Balkans, NATO enlargement and the decision to establish a NATO-Russia relationship were opposed by a majority of the strategic community in Europe and the United States. But, they were the right thing to do. And, they succeeded. By the late 1990s, the Alliance started to debate whether it should also be prepared in principle to act beyond Europe and assume a more global role. In spite of American support, that effort remained stillborn. A majority of European allies at the time wanted to limit NATO’s scope to issues and areas in and around Europe. We can now look back at the 1990s as the interwar period, as a time between 11/9 and 9/11, between the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the war on terror. Since then, NATO has faced the question of whether it should invent itself for a new and very different strategic era for the third time in its history and, if so, what such a reinvention would entail. The consensus to re-forge NATO to face these threats appeared to materialize in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when the Alliance invoked Article five for the first time in its history and NATO allies offered to join the United States in Afghanistan, an offer that the Bush Administration inexplicably, and inexcusably, rejected. This appalling decision was eventually rectified when the United States, stretched thin in Iraq, finally called on NATO in 2006 to take over most of the Afghanistan mission. But the Administration’s failure to capitalize on that historical moment to pull NATO into a new strategic era was a mistake. One cannot go back and recreate opportunities lost, and the war in Iraq has made the building of a consensus for a new more global NATO more difficult.  

Ronald D. Asmus and Ambassador Richard c. Holbrooke

Beyond Europe
The point of departure for NATO’s re~reinvention must be the recognition of the nature of the strategic challenge being faced today. The United States and Europe face a set of common threats geographically concentrated in an arc of crisis that stretches from Northern Africa through the wider Middle East to Afghanistan and Pakistan into Central Asia. The threats posed in this region are not abstract, but current and real. In addition to NATO’s war in Afghanistan, Iraq is in danger of disintegrating. Turkey talks ominously about invading Northern Iraq. NATO in Northern Iraq would help Turkey deal with this complicated issue together with its allies. While hostilities in Lebanon have been halted, they could resume at any moment. Syria could still be pulled into such a conflict. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are under pressure from jihadists to support Hezbollah, even though both governments hate that organization. The West looks to Central Asia as a major source for its future energy needs, but there are signs of Russian encroachment as well as growing Islamic resistance in that region. Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of giving shelter to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Uzbekistan, controlled by a repressive Soviet-era boss, could become the next Islamic Republic. India talks of taking action against Pakistan for allegedly being behind recent terrorist bombings on its territory. And, above all this looms the prospect of Iran going nuclear. The list could be continued. Indeed, a local or individual crisis in one of many potential hotspots across this region could start a chain reaction that could spread quickly almost anywhere between Tbilisi and Tashkent or Cairo and Bombay. The instability across this region arguably poses the greatest threat to global stability since the early 1960s and the Cuban missile crisis. Yet that crisis, while immensely dangerous, was relatively simple, essentially only involving two states and two national leaders. Here the dangers and risks are spread across a much larger, highly combustible, region with the West’s ability to manage, control or even influence developments in these individual countries far more limited and open to question. Where is NATO in all of this? The honest answer is at the margins. This highlights the central issue NATO today must face. Does the Alliance want to focus on maintaining security on an increasingly secure Europe or will it make the leap to become a key instrument in addressing these new, more global, threats beyond the continent? Are NATO members prepared to reinvent it to address the central strategic issues of our day? For an alliance that claims that its job is to address the primary security challenges and threats to the democracies of North America and Europe, the next logical step for NATO is to transform itself to address this global range of problems and potential threats. What would and should such transformation entail? NATO’s biggest test is taking place right now in Afghanistan, where it has belatedly taken over the command of ISAF. Afghanistan is a central theme for this Riga Summit. But, the war there is not going well and success is by no means assured. Indeed, what is striking about this mission is how difficult it has been for NATO to generate the political will and military forces required to meet its agreed objectives. There is a real danger that more ground will be lost in this war and that the Alliance will fail if on both sides of the Atlantic there is no political will for stepping up commitment. We cannot avoid this challenge: Afghanistan will be with us far longer than Iraq and a defeat there

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would be catastrophic for the United States and NATO. Yet, not all NATO members share this view. NATO is barely present in other key hotspots along this new arc of crisis, although there are ample issues and areas where the Alliance could make a real difference and play a significant role. One of them is Iraq, which obviously poses the greatest threat to regional stability. While we should do everything possible to maintain Iraq’s unity, we must all recognize the possibility that the country could fragment or fall into full-scale sectarian fighting. This will directly affect NATO and its members, above all Turkey. Already today in Turkey there are voices openly calling for an invasion of Northern Iraq to deal with the constant raids into Southeastern Turkey by the terrorist organization known as the PKK. The best way to reduce that risk would be for NATO to deploy troops to Northern Iraq. Such a deployment would serve several other purposes. First, as part of a deal with the Kurdish leadership that would rein in the PKK, it would be the best way to prevent Turkish military intervention. Second, NATO troops could help contain the spillover of an Iraqi civil war and its spread to the part of Iraq that is still peaceful, stable and quasi-democratic. Third, they could serve as an over-the-horizon force should it become necessary to reintroduce troops into the broader Iraqi theater, something that will be much more difficult from neighboring Kuwait. Finally, it would provide the Bush Administration with at least some political cover to demonstrate that it had not abandoned Iraq completely. Then there is Lebanon. NATO passed when it came to the question of what kind of international force should be deployed in Southern Lebanon under the auspices of the United Nations. For an Alliance that has spent a decade cultivating relations around the Mediterranean in anticipation of the Alliance assuming more responsibility at some point, it is striking just how quickly the NATO option was dismissed. In many ways, the Alliance’s newly created NATO Reaction Force (NRF) would have been a logical resource to call on to support such a mission. Instead, the EU took the lead in assembling a European force that constitutes the core of this deployment under the UN. One can obviously envision scenarios down the road where such a force could be challenged on the ground and find itself in the kind of trouble that would confront European countries with the choice of calling for more muscular reinforcements or withdrawing. If such a situation emerges, NATO may be needed, and it should be ready. The parallels with Bosnia are all too obvious. NATO today is largely moribund in its political dialogue in the Middle East (both the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative). To be sure, some Arab countries in the region are reticent and even hostile to any expanded NATO role in the region. Yet, there are also counties who are interested in moving further and faster to deepen their cooperation and where it is NATO that is moving slowly. There is potential for deeper ties not only with Israel but with a number of other countries around the Mediterranean as well as several of the smaller Gulf States in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Here NATO’s own timidity and ambivalence is holding back such cooperation. Looming over all this is the danger of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. This would not only force European allies to reexamine their own needs for theater missile defense, but could lead many Middle Eastern countries to search for ways to strengthen their own security, including through closer ties to NATO if such an option exists. Israel is at the top of that list, but several members of the Gulf Cooperation Council may also 


Ronald D. Asmus and Ambassador Richard c. Holbrooke
seek closer security ties with the West. Rather than wait for such a scenario to become reality, it makes sense for NATO to expand its political and military cooperation with these countries now, so that these relationships are in place should such dangers materialize. In listing these scenarios, we do not believe that the Alliance needs to go everywhere or be involved in every future conflict. NATO does not need to become globo-cop. Our list is designed to highlight how bold and innovative leaders could use the Alliance’s potential to address some of the very real security problems being struggled with today. The reality is that we need an Alliance that is more flexible, more active and more engaged in building coalitions to deal with possible contingencies in places beyond Europe. We need to think more creatively about what models of NATO involvement make the most sense. There are several viable models. One is NATO-led operations à la Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Ideally, such operations would have a UN mandate. Such scenarios are likely to be on the periphery of Europe and involve crisis where a major NATO role is natural. As in Afghanistan, they are likely to include non-NATO and nonEuropean forces. A second model is a situation like the one in East Timor in 1999, where the UN Security Council voted for a mandate for a Multinational Force (MNF) operation with a lead country in charge. This is not a UN peace-keeping force, although it can evolve into one over time. Australia played this role successfully in East Timor in 1999 and in 2000 the MNF became a UN peace-keeping force. The United States kept a small, but symbolically important, contingent of troops in East Timor, under separate national command. In a third model, NATO actually offers no forces but provides limited, but critical, assets to help it succeed. An obvious example of where this might work is Darfur, where many experts believe that if allied countries provide airlift, logistical support and modern communications (and enforce a no-fly zone), UN or African Union forces could be helped significantly to halt the genocide that is taking place. The primary constraint on NATO actions remains the lack of agreement among its members. Philosophically, NATO should not limit its future scope of operations. In reality, however, we will be fortunate if the Alliance can successfully operate in the wider Black Sea region, Central Asia, parts of the Middle East and perhaps contribute to international missions in parts of Africa. This will also require the United States and Europe to reach a common position on how the Alliance can maintain its legitimacy. In the late 1990s, NATO countries were close to bridging their different views on whether the Alliance needed the blessing of the UN Security Council to act beyond its immediate area. The compromise was that it was highly desirable for NATO have a UN mandate, but that the Alliance also had to keep open the door of acting without such a mandate if necessary. The debate was primarily over how wide the crack in that door should be and how explicit that fallback clause should be articulated. With its aversion to the UN, Washington wanted the clause that NATO could act on its own to be explicit and clear, while most European allies wanted the commitment to get a UN mandate to be explicit and clear. In spite of all the Sturm und Drang, a simple compromise was available. As one French official put it at the time, the American and French were like feuding Protestants and Catholics. Washington wanted the right to

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act without a UN mandate to be explicit. France, he said, had a more Catholic view, in that it wanted to affirm the need for a UN mandate even though it knew there would be occasions when the Alliance would act without one, as they had (with French support) in Kosovo. Asked why Paris would affirm a rule it knew it would break, he responded that it was like affirming your belief in the Ten Commandments, even though you knew sin lay in your future. Hence, Kosovo. Despite the Bush Administration’s ambivalence toward the UN, NATO will face an even greater need to acquire legitimacy for action in the future, if the Alliance is to make global missions a central part of its work. This is in part because of the dramatic fall in America’s global standing, and the fact that we are talking about the Alliance acting in parts of the world where anti-Americanism is often widespread. Thus, it is imperative that we make clear it is not American policy to circumvent the UN, but rather, to work with it while recognizing its limits. Making sure such misconceptions are not abused or used against the United States will also be important.


The future of Enlargement
Today NATO enlargement is recognized as a key part of the successful consolidation of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and the building a new post-Cold War Europe that is free and at peace. NATO must continue to play a key role in the Alliance’s future and expanding the sphere of security of the Western world. NATO enlargement also had a broader strategic purpose, however. It was not only about helping the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, as important as that was. It was also about helping Europe heal the age-old conflicts in the Eastern half of the continent so that a Europe at peace with itself could broaden its geopolitical horizons, look further afield and assume more global responsibility. In that sense, the issue of new members in Europe and new missions beyond it were, and still are, linked. With accession of a second wave of new NATO members from the Baltic Sea in the North to Romania and Bulgaria on the Black Sea in the South in 2002, many observers viewed the vision of a bigger and better NATO as essentially complete, with the important exception of the countries of the former Yugoslavia. But, the real shift in thinking occurred with the Rose and Orange Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, respectively. They opened the vista of a new wave of enlargement extending deeper into Eurasia and across the wider Black Sea region. Kyiv and Tbilisi appeared on the screen, for the first time, to get on a new trajectory that could make them credible candidates for NATO membership. The potential emergence of a liberal democracy in Ukraine, the first in Eurasia, and the creation of a liberal democratic order in Georgia, also the first of its kind in the Southern Caucasus, contain the potential to redraw the geopolitical map of Europe and Eurasia. A successful democratic experiment in Ukraine is important in its own right and could have echoes in a dictatorial Belarus, and perhaps even in Russia, despite its current slide back into authoritarianism and intimidation. The greater our 

Ronald D. Asmus and Ambassador Richard c. Holbrooke
concerns over the future course of politics in Moscow become, the more we should be investing in a democratic Ukraine. Success in Tbilisi could be equally important. A sustained democratic order in the Southern Caucasus would have implications well beyond Georgian borders. It could positively impact pro-Western but autocratic countries like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. It will echo in neighboring Armenia where signs of a strategic orientation toward the West are becoming more evident. The wider Black Sea region is a key to any meaningful Western strategy for energy security based on a diversity of suppliers as it is the critical transit route for Central Asian energy to the European market. Consolidating Western values and stability along the Southern rim of the Euroatlantic community at a time when we face rising extremism and instability to the immediate South in the wider Middle East is critical. So the stakes are high. It is especially important to keep the Alliance’s door open at a time when enlargement fatigue in Europe seems to be on the rise and the EU door may be in danger of closing. One reason why the United States embraced NATO enlargement in the early 1990s was the judgment that the EU was unable to carry the burden of securing democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. We may be entering another period where the EU is unable to play the lead role of projecting stability to these struggling new democracies. As a result, NATO could again become a key instrument in trying to anchor these countries to the West, as it has been in the past. Both of us were early and strong proponents of NATO enlargement. As supporters of both Georgia and Ukraine, we recognize the far-reaching benefits their successful Euroatlantic integration can produce. One must nevertheless be realistic about the steep path that lies ahead. These countries have further to go than previous candidates in terms of reform. In the face of intense Russian pressure, the new government in Kyiv has already officially downgraded its Euroatlantic aspirations. NATO continues to be a divisive issue inside Ukraine and the prospect of the kind of meaningful reform needed to bring Ukraine into the West in the years ahead is becoming less rather than more clear. Whereas a year ago, Kyiv seemed likely to be offered a place in NATO’s Membership Action Plan at the Istanbul Summit, the topsy-turvy course of Ukrainian politics over the last year has taken that off the table. Ukraine may still move in a Westward direction, albeit at a slower pace and with more ups and downs than expected and it is in American and European interests to support and maximize such steps. But, the reality is that the country is now on a different trajectory than one year ago and we are now, at best, looking at a different timetable. In the case of Georgia, the road ahead is especially tricky. While Tbilisi is making real and significant progress in domestic reforms at home, it is also difficult to imagine how a country can join the Alliance with frozen conflicts and foreign troops on its soil. The resolution of these conflicts cannot be a prerequisite for Alliance membership, though. That would give Russia a back door veto over Georgia’s aspirations and no incentive to help resolve these conflicts, but the political reality is that we need to put the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia on a clear path to resolution if Georgia is to become a member of NATO. Resolving these conflicts will require the right mix of hard work at home and diplomacy abroad. At home, Tbilisi must continue and accelerate the reform process that will make

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Georgia an increasingly attractive society. It must convince people in the separatist regions that their future is better secured in a decentralized democratic Georgian state than in non-democratic, and often criminalized, enclaves. The Russian presence on the ground in these conflicts has long ceased to be helpful or stabilizing. Moscow has long ceased to be a neutral arbiter and is increasingly part of the problem, as opposed to the solution. Tbilisi cannot manage Moscow by itself. The United States and Europe need to put more pressure on Moscow. And, the West needs to find the right way to use the perspective of closer ties with the Euroatlantic community as part of the package to soften and eventually overcome these conflicts. The time has also come for the West in general, including NATO, to reassess future relations with Moscow. In many ways, the assumptions guiding our current policy on Russia can be traced back to the mid-1990s. Western policy has long assumed that Moscow was moving, in a two-step-forwards-one-step-back fashion, in a Western and democratic direction and that Russia could gradually evolve into a partner of the EU and NATO on a growing number of issues. The current NATO-Russia relationship was established in the late 1990s as a key part of the overall Western effort to establish and institutionalize new patterns of defense and military cooperation with Moscow. But, Russia today is no longer on a democratic path. And, it is increasingly pursuing a set of neo-imperialistic policies aimed at de facto rolling back democratic developments in what it considers its near abroad. The degree to which Moscow is prepared to assist the West in containing the North Korean nuclear threat as well as Iran is also less clear than previously. Growing nationalism at home and high energy prices are whetting Moscow’s foreign policy ambitions, generating the enhanced wealth and clout for Moscow to pursue those goals in ways that run contrary to Western interests. Moscow seems ready to take advantage of U.S. weakness caused by Washington’s dependence on Russian support on Iraq and North Korea. To say that Moscow is becoming increasingly difficult does not mean we are returning to some kind of new Cold War. The reality is that the West’s relations with Russia are increasingly marked by a mix of cooperation and competition. We have an ongoing interest in working with Russia to clean up the legacy of the Cold War and deepen our cooperation in the area of non-proliferation and counter-terrorism. The same threats in the wider Middle East discussed above and which pose dangers to the United States and Europe also threaten Moscow. In the realm of energy, Russia will remain a major energy supplier. But, we will compete with Moscow over access to energy resources in Central Asia and elsewhere. The halcyon days of Clinton and Yeltsin, sitting together at FDR’s Hyde Park in 1995 to plan a joint military operation in Bosnia, are gone, perhaps forever. NATO-Russian relations will also have to be reassessed against this new backdrop and as part of an overall reassessment of Western strategy. They will in all likelihood reflect this new mixture of cooperation, competition and perhaps even confrontation on selected issues.



Ronald D. Asmus and Ambassador Richard c. Holbrooke

Reconciling NATO and the EU
If Europe is to assume a more global role and responsibility, it will need a greater sense of political cohesion and unity to act. If the United States wants Europe to make that strategic leap, Washington must recognize its interest in seeing Europe politically coalesce, in order to play that role. Generating that kind of European political will and leadership will not happen in NATO alone. If it is going to happen, it will increasingly have to occur in and through the European Union, only then being coordinated with Washington. The framework that NATO provides, while critical, is also increasingly too narrow for current strategic needs. A more global NATO and an EU that can work together are needed because of the nature of the operations they are likely to conduct in the future. They will require the pursuit of integrated approaches in which the civilian and military components of the strategy work together. As important as NATO is, it is by itself no longer enough. As we can see from the Balkans to Afghanistan, both EU and NATO capabilities are needed if we are to be successful. And, that means the United States needs to work more closely with a European Union that has or is acquiring those capabilities that NATO does not have and vice versa. The changing nature of America’s strategic needs and what this means for policy towards the EU can be illustrated by imagining the top ten American priorities in terms of strategic cooperation with Europe during the Cold War and today. The former would be dominated by military cooperation and tasks undertaken by NATO. The list today, however, looks very different. It is more global, less military and increasingly includes issues in the EU’s bailiwick such as homeland security, democracy promotion and other policies addressing the root causes of terrorism. It also includes a common strategy toward Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Kosovo, Lebanon, Darfur and other core issues as one looks across the wider Middle East. These are all areas where European legitimacy, resources and support are key to American success. Although NATO can and should play a supporting role in the war on terrorism, this is a war in which the EU is potentially as important as NATO for the United States. The challenges of the 21st Century are making the United States more dependent on the European Union’s success. If we want to win European support for re~reinventing a more global Alliance, we need to harmonize our efforts with those of the European Union. It is, therefore, time to end the counterproductive competition that has long existed between the EU and NATO and to recognize that each side of the Atlantic needs both. The United States needs to support and not fear the emergence of a coherent and outward-looking EU willing and able to act globally with Washington to address new threats. At the end of the day, it is the European project that is the number one priority for most Europeans. If we want to rekindle European interest in and support for NATO, we should not ask them to choose between the Alliance and the EU, a competition we will not win. Instead, we must pursue a strategy that removes the conflict from the issue and allows Europeans to wholeheartedly support both. Getting there will require change on both sides of the Atlantic, however. It is not only Washington that has to rethink. The EU must do so as well. Loose talk of building the

Re~reinventing NATO
EU as a counterweight may play well domestically in some countries. But, it is a pretty foolish policy if one wants Washington to take the EU more seriously and work with it more closely. It is also a luxury Europe can no longer afford. Fortunately, it also no longer corresponds to mainstream thinking in an enlarged European Union. The EU today is no longer the bastion of Gaullism and anti-Americanism it once was. Recent elite studies have shown that senior European Commission official and parliamentarians are much more pro-American and pro-NATO than European publics. In spite of Europe’s disenchantment with the Bush Administration and historical lows in American credibility in Europe, the simple fact remains that Europe needs America if it hopes to deal with the new strategic challenges of our era. The EU by itself is too weak to resolve many of the major problems it faces without the United States. It, too, will need a more global NATO to help provide the muscle to back up its own aspirations for a more global European foreign policy. And, the further afield Washington and Brussels need to act together, the more it will be necessary for these two institutions to find new ways to join forces. That will require us to build a closer and more strategic U.S.-EU relationship, in parallel with a more global NATO. 

Unfortunately, few if any of the issues raised here are likely to be discussed by Alliance leaders at the NATO Riga Summit. At a time when the dangers facing the United States and Europe are growing, the Alliance is focused on a minimalist reform agenda, which offers few if any answers to the pressing strategic questions of our time. Bureaucrats have set the agenda, in the absence of visionary leaders. It is time to stop pretending that everything is fine in Brussels and Mons. NATO will never generate the political impetus and leadership to reinvent itself unless we face that truth and openly debate what this Alliance can and should become. Can the United States and Europe come together to address the new threats to Western values and civilization? Can common ground once again be found on how best to respond collectively? Can the Alliance make another strategic leap, one that is in many ways bigger and bolder than the renaissances that took place a decade ago, to confront the new threats of this century? Those are the central questions that should be at the top of our agenda. NATO leaders have thus far demonstrated neither the vision nor the political will to reinvent the Alliance. Many doubt whether the Alliance can be put back together after the transatlantic strain over Iraq and other issues. Some will argue that the steps we call for are a bridge too far and should not even be attempted. Many are too ready to watch NATO issue grandiose paper communiqués, but then do little to back them up, thereby condemning the Alliance to a slow but certain descent into marginalization and irrelevance. Those who say NATO cannot succeed in transforming itself should remember the past. There were those who doubted the Alliance could be created in the late 1940s. Others questioned whether it could be reinvented in the early 1990s. Today many question whether NATO can be put back together after the strains caused by the Iraq war. 


Ronald D. Asmus and Ambassador Richard c. Holbrooke
But, what passive or even bad policy has eroded, good policy can rebuild. And, while the leadership required for this task must emanate from both sides of the Atlantic, it must start in the United States. Even though there is little prospect that the Riga Summit will answer these questions, it could be the place where the debate about re~reinventing NATO begins. It can be the first step towards the kind of renaissance necessary if the United States and Europe are to remain safe and secure and a single community in the 21st Century. At stake is nothing less than our ability to recreate the West to meet the strategic challenges of our time. 

About the Authors
Ronald D. Asmus is Executive Director of the Transatlantic Center of the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Brussels, Belgium. He has written widely on U.S.-European relations and is the author of Opening NATO’s Door: How the Alliance Remade Itself for a New Era (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002). He served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs in the Clinton Administration from 1997 to 2000. He has previously worked as a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, Council on Foreign Relations, RAND and Radio Free Europe. Ronald D. Asmus has been awarded the U.S. State Department's Distinguished Honor Award; the Republic of Poland’s Commander’s Cross; the Kingdom of Sweden’s Royal Order of the Polar Star; the Republic of Lithuania’s Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas; and the Republic of Estonia’s Order of the Cross of St. Mary’s Land; and the Republic of Latvia’s Order of the Three Stars. Ronald D. Asmus holds a Ph.D. in European studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University. Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke is Vice Chairman of Perseus LLC, a leading private equity firm. His most recent government role was as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a capacity in which he was also a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet, from 1999 to 2001. As Assistant Secretary of State for Europe from 1994 to 1996, he was the chief architect of the Dayton peace agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia. Later, as a private citizen, he served as President Clinton’s Special Envoy to Bosnia and Kosovo and Special Envoy to Cyprus on a pro-bono basis. From 1993 to 1994, he was U.S. Ambassador to Germany. During the Carter administration, Ambassador Holbrooke served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and was in charge of U.S. relations with China when Sino-American relations were normalized in December 1978. He worked on Vietnam at the Johnson White House and was a member of the American delegation to the Vietnam Peace Talks in 

Paris, France. Ambassador Holbrooke has also served as Vice Chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston, Managing Director of Lehman Brothers, Managing Editor of Foreign Policy, and Director of the Peace Corps in Morocco. He has written numerous articles and two best selling books To End a War, a memoir of the Dayton negotiations, and, as co-author, Counsel to the President, Clark Clifford’s memoir. He is Chairman of the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, Chairman of the Asia Society and President and CEO of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. 

About the Organizers of the Riga conference
The German Marshall Fund of the United States
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a nonpartisan American public policy and grantmaking institution dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between the United States and Europe. GMF does this by supporting individuals and institutions working on transatlantic issues, by convening leaders to discuss the most pressing transatlantic themes, and by examining ways in which transatlantic cooperation can address a variety of global policy challenges. In addition, GMF supports a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies. Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has six offices in Europe: Berlin, Bratislava, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, and Ankara (www.gmfus.org).

The Latvian Transatlantic Organisation
The Latvian Transatlantic Organisation (LATO) is a non-governmental organization established in March 2000 to promote Latvia’s full and active membership in NATO and to work for international security and democracy in NATO and the EU near neighborhood region. It unites members from different social groups in terms of age and professional interests. LATO was established with the objective of facilitating Latvia’s membership in NATO. Education and information activities, aimed at increasing public support for NATO membership, have been carried out. These activities explained and built public awareness about the principles and values that unite NATO member states. Since Latvia achieved its main foreign policy goal of joining the EU and NATO, LATO has continued its work providing information on international defense and security issues and questions related to Latvia’s full participation in NATO. LATO has also 

6 become an active partner in the promotion of democratic values and the strengthening of civil society in the neighboring region, including Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. The scope of LATO activities is both local and international. Its activities include conferences, seminars, summer schools and work with partner organizations and mass media. The LATO Information Center ensures accessibility of information and facilitates understanding about security and defense policy questions, as well as encouraging interest in participation in LATO activities.

The Commission of Strategic Analysis
Latvia’s Commission of Strategic Analysis under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Latvia was established on April 2, 2004, at the initiative of the President of Latvia, Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. Its founding resolution was jointly signed by the President and the Prime Minister. The Commission’s main goal is to generate a long-term vision of Latvia’s development through interdisciplinary and future-oriented studies. The Commission of Strategic Analysis is a think tank that seeks to consolidate Latvia’s scholarly potential for the benefit of Latvia’s future development. It has undertaken research on Latvia’s opportunities as a member of the European Union and NATO, along with Latvia’s place in global development processes. The Commission also stimulates highquality dialogue with the country’s legislative and executive powers, as well as the general public, on matters that concern Latvia’s development and the consolidation of democracy.

The Riga Conference was organized by

With the support of

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