NATO & Globalization

The revolutions of 1989-1991 created a fundamentally new security situation in EU. One answer of the Atlantic Alliance to these developments was to open NATO for new members from the bygone Warsaw Pact. In April 1999, the NATO heads of state and governments agreed at the Allisnc’s Fiftieth Anniversary Summit “no longer than 2002”. Nine countries were more or less “officially” acknowledged as membership aspirants in the Washington Summit communique: Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia. The 12 September 2001 invocation of Article Five of the Washington Treaty was a strong statement that the security guarantee at the heart of the alliance applied not just to Europe but to the entirety of its members’ territory and to threats from beyond Europe and from non-state actors as well as states. At their Prague summit in 2002 alliance leaders committed themselves to ‘further strengthen NATO to meet the grave new threats and profound security challenges of the 21st century’. They also agreed to establish a NATO Response Force for rapid deployment in crisis situations, a Prague Capabilities Commitment designed to strengthen member states’ capacity to project military power beyond their borders and a NATO Missile Defence feasibility study.26 In August 2003 NATO took over command of the 5,500-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) stabilization mission in Afghanistan – the alliance’s first military operation outside Europe. At NATO’s June 2004 Istanbul summit the alliance’s members re-affirmed their commitment to collective defence but noted that the nature and geographical scope of the challenge had changed:

The threats that NATO faces have changed substantially. We remain committed to address vigorously the threats facing our Alliance, taking into account that they emanate from a far wider area than in the past. They include terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction….We are determined to address effectively the threats our territory, forces and populations face from wherever they may come.

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