Vox Collegii Vol XII


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NDC Magazine Vol XII (12) February 2016

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Editorial The Commandant’s Corner CONTENTS 2 3 A Deep Insight: The Readiness Action Plan: NATO shapes its future strategic posture by Diana De Vivo Turkey’s importance in the current crisis in the Middle East by Flavio Grazian NATO & Gender: The role of women and gender policies in addressing the military conflict in Ukraine by Irene Fellin Life at the College: The Middle East Faculty: a seven-year success story for the NDC by Ledia Benyamein Highlights: Our Courses Our Guests Our Publications 4 8 16 22 23 27 29 Editor-in-Chief: LtCol Alberto Alletto (ITA A) Editor: Jana Dekanovska (CZE C) Assistant Editors: Giselle Fernandez Garcia (ITA C) Mirko Lo Storto (ITA C) Francisco J. Marin-Barrena (ESP C) Proof-reading: Caroline Curta (FRA C) Peter G. Mead (GBR C) Photography: NATO - NDC Reproductions Section Graphic Design & Printing: Grafich Communication S.r.l. (Fondi -LT-)


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Editorial Vox Collegii NATO Defense College plays a key role in this respect, continuously readjusting its curricula according to current global trends and developments. Vox Collegii strives to reflect the College’s commitment in the articles selected for publication. The present issue is largely focused on the new challenges and realities that the Alliance is facing. Diana De Vivo writes about the Readiness Action Plan (RAP), examining adaptation measures and how they will affect NATO’s new strategic posture. As recognized at the Wales Summit in 2014, NATO today has to face simultaneous challenges on both its Eastern and Southern flanks. This issue of Vox Collegii presents a rigorous, in-depth analysis of the latter, looking at how they affect Turkey in particular. In doing so, we are fortunate to have a contribution from Flavio Grazian on Turkey’s geopolitics, international strategy and stance within NATO. Finally, NATO has long been committed to the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. In this issue of our journal, Irene Fellin presents NATO’s role in the implementation process with specific reference to the conflict in Ukraine. I trust you will find this issue of Vox Collegii insightful and enjoyable. Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Alletto Italian Army, Head Public Affairs Office Dear Reader, In 2016, large numbers of conflicts around the world still pose a range of different challenges to the Alliance. However, what changes is not so much the occurrence of these conflicts as their nature. New regional players are growing in power and becoming more assertive. Increasing numbers of non-state actors are emerging to jeopardize the established order. At the same time, there are many fragile states with internal tensions that can potentially threaten stability and peace around the world. All of this means that the number of actors with the capacity to use force on a large scale and engage in violence is greater than ever. The new security environment is further complicated by the changing nature of warfare. New, hybrid ways of fighting are emerging alongside - and even replacing – the traditional forms of warfare. Whether we like it or not, the new security environment is a politico-military fact that cannot be ignored. If NATO is to remain relevant and continue fulfilling its core function of safeguarding the freedom and security of its members, it has to adapt to this new environment. As the Alliance’s prime educational institution, the 2


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Volume XII The Commandant’s Corner ince its creation on 25 June 1951, the NATO Defense College has always been successful in adapting and re-inventing itself according to the constant changes in the international system, ensuring that its curricula and activities reflect the most recent developments in the fields of security and defence. The NDC’s commitment to stay abreast of recent developments, strive for excellence and deliver the best possible results is reflected in the ongoing work of the experts who have agreed to be part of the NDC Review Working Group. A holistic and in-depth analysis of all the College’s academic activities, the Review was carried out in 2014 to ensure that they support the objectives established by NATO and are fully aligned with the NDC’s mission, mandate and vision. The NDC Review Working Group has conducted a thorough assessment of the various courses of action recommended in the Review. Options are currently being developed S in relation to each of these recommendations, in a targeted effort involving contributions from every part of the College and extensive consultations with several NATO bodies as well as with leading academic authorities. I will be presenting the status of work on the courses of action to the Military Committee in March, just two months away at the time of going to press. In October 2016, the annual Anciens’ Conference and Seminar will coincide with celebrations to mark the sixty-fifth anniversary of the NDC’s foundation and the fiftieth anniversary of its relocation from Paris to Rome. Italy has been a generous Host Nation to the College ever since 1966, when France decided to disengage from NATO’s integrated military structure and the NDC had to vacate its original premises within the École Militaire in Paris. Our team is at present working hard to ensure that the history of that period will be fittingly preserved at the College’s current home on the outskirts of Rome. An important part of the NDC’s mission is to convey up-to-date knowledge and information in a timely and accurate manner to a worldwide audience, whether in Washington or London, Brussels or Abu Dhabi, Paris or Auckland. As our global partnership network grows, we can reap the full benefits of the increasingly interconnected world within which we live. The NDC continues to play a leading role in the rapidly evolving security environment, as more Course Members than ever before benefit from its educational, research and outreach activities. The Eternal City will soon have been home to the College for half a century, providing an ideal setting in which to draw on the participation of more than 50 countries across the Alliance and beyond. Major General Janusz Bojarski Polish Air Force, NDC Commandant 3


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A Deep Insight The Readiness Action Plan: NATO shapes its future strategic posture Diana De Vivo Vox Collegii Today NATO is confronted with the most complex and unpredictable security environment of its 65-year-old history. Conflicts at the Alliance’s Southern and Eastern peripheries are testing NATO’s ability to re-imagine its commitment to Euro-Atlantic security. While in the past the Alliance had to perform one task at a time, whether it was collective defence in Europe or out-of-area expeditionary operations, today’s security challenges are forcing NATO to constantly juggle in performing its three core tasks simultaneously: collective defence, cooperative security and crisis management. A revanchist Russia, the growing turmoil in both the Middle East and North Africa, and the unrestrained proliferation of jihadist movements set the scene of the 2014 Wales Summit as a make-or-break moment for the Alliance. During the Cold War, where mutual assured destruction (MAD) stifled any incentive to initiate a conflict with a clear risk of escalation to nuclear war, NATO’s deterrence doctrine rested on three main pillars1: a manifest determination to act jointly to defend the North Atlantic Treaty area; a recognizable capability to respond effectively to any aggression, based on massive conventional forces and tactical nuclear weapons; and a high degree of flexibility which prevented a potential aggressor from predicting, with confidence, NATO’s specific response. In a bipolar world, the Game Theory represented the essence of NATO’s deterrence doctrine so that the threat of escalation would lead the aggressor to conclude that the risks involved in a potential first strike were not commensurate with his objectives. The ambiguity and uncertainty of NATO’s response, bolstered by the clear political will of all Allies to act together as one, undermined any perceived asymmetry in capabilities, hence making any calculation significantly more complex. Through all diplomatic channels, military exercises and demonstrations of force posture, NATO communicated a clear and consistent message of readiness, willingness and ability to protect the Alliance. The deterrence doctrine evolved during the mid-60s, embracing the notion of “flexible response” and “forward defence” to include large forward-based conventional forces, reinforced by a substantial defence infrastructure and a robust exercise programme. This ensured that NATO had a solid degree of flexibility with nuclear weapons, boots on the ground, equipment and routine exercises, to choose the most appropriate and most effective response, which would increase in severity, if required by circumstances. Despite the constant paralyzing fear of escalation to nuclear war, the bipolar Cold War world was more stable, rational and predictable. The end of the Cold War determined a significant shift in NATO’s deterrence doctrine along two parallel tracks. First, it emphasized the need to protect the Alliance’s interests further afield, deploying forces beyond NATO’s borders in crisis Diana De Vivo holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and Politics and is currently working for the NATO Communications and Information Agency at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Her focus is on security and defence issues, counter-terrorism, cyber security, CBRN, non-proliferation of WMD, and missile defence. The opinions expressed in this article are her own and must not be attributed to the NATO Defense College, the NATO Communications and Information Agency or to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 1 MC 14/3 – Overall Strategic Concept for the Defence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Area 4


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Volume XII A Deep Insight management contingency operations (Balkans, Afghanistan). Second, the enlargement process granted membership to 12 new Allies from Central and Eastern post-Soviet Europe and enabled the Alliance to expand its influence in cooperative security partnerships with more than 40 countries, including Russia. The NATO-Russia Founding Act (NRFA), signed in 1997, laid out the foundation of political and military cooperation through multiple channels. The ability to export and project stability on NATO’s periphery, by building resilience without deploying large-scale combat forces, implied a de-escalation of the notion of deterrence as it was conceived during the Cold War. Today’s security environment has dramatically and fundamentally changed. Beyond its illegal and illegitimate actions in the so-called “Near Abroad”, Russia continues to pose a serious challenge to the Alliance, refining its destabilization activities with an integrated set of coercive measures along the full spectrum of power: diplomatic/political, information, military, economic, financial, intelligence and legal (DEFMIL). Russia’s military doctrine of deception, a more articulated version of the already formulated Maskirovka, aims at targeting an adversary’s internal and relational vulnerabilities, delaying decision-making processes and undermining their success. On the South-East flank of the Alliance, non-state actors and terrorist organizations threaten the instability of already failed or weak states with the spread of violent extremism, so defying the conservative notion of deterrence. Confronted with the unconventional and asymmetric threats of a multipolar world, at the NATO Wales Summit the Allies codified the fundamental shift in NATO’s deterrence doctrine: either to opt for a constant massive presence or a rapid reinforcement. Faced with the more hybrid nature of the potential threats from any aggressor, the Alliance responded with enhanced readiness, responsiveness and scalability, implementing the “biggest reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence since the Cold-War”. The adoption of the NATO Readiness Action Plan (RAP) reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to collective defence, reshaping the notion of deterrence for the multidimensional Due to the changed security environment on NATO’s borders, the RAP includes ‘assurance measures’ for NATO member countries in Central and Eastern Europe to reassure their populations, reinforce their defence and deter potential aggression. A Hungarian Gripen jet escorts a Lithuanian C-27 plane back to Siauliai air base in Lithuania, during the Baltic Region Training Event 22 on 29 and 30 September 2015. continued ... 5


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A Deep Insight Vox Collegii NATO Defence Ministers took further steps on 8 October 2015 to make the Alliance’s collective defence stronger. The Ministers reviewed the implementation of the Alliance’s Readiness Action Plan. The Plan, agreed by NATO leaders at their 2014 Summit in Wales, ensures NATO’s readiness to confront challenges in an evolving and fast-moving security environment. challenges of the 21st century. The nature of NATO’s RAP is twofold: assurance measures along the Alliance’s Eastern flank contribute to ensuring a persistent air, land and maritime presence on a rotational basis and a sustained exercise regime to demonstrate resolve and preparedness. This provides the fundamental requirements for reassurance and contributes to display a credible deterrence. In 2014, over 200 NATO and national exercises were conducted in Europe. Adaptation measures are forward-looking and aim at enhancing NATO’s strategic posture and readiness level, to respond to the unstable geo-strategic scenario over the long term, with a key set of enablers. As a deliverable for the 2016 Warsaw Summit, the new spearhead force, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), will be a highly flexible and more responsive contribution to the 40,000 strong pool of NATO Response Forces (NRF) and their flagship element. The VJTF will comprise a multinational brigade supported by air, maritime and special forces and will be held ready to deploy within two/three days. To facilitate the rapid deployment of NATO forces into the crisis region and support collective defence planning, and exercises and training coordination in the East, Allied Defence Ministers decided, at their meeting in February 2015, to establish the first six multinational command and control elements – the NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs). Initially, the NFIUs will be established on the territories of Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Defence Ministers agreed at their October 2015 meeting that two additional NFIUs will be set up in Hungary and Slovakia. In addition to this, the two headquarters in Poland (HQ MNC-NE) and Romania (HQ MNDSE) will contribute to reshaping the new NATO deterrence posture in the East. To meet its overall level of ambition and the demanding high standard of readiness in short periods of time, all RAP elements will have to be delivered on a sustainable basis. A repeatable process of training, testing, certifying and evaluating these elements will ensure, over time, that NATO forces can be at the right time and in the right place to produce the required strategic effect against the ever evolving nature of today’s threats. Through the implementation of the RAP and its key 6


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Volume XII A Deep Insight components, the Alliance is designing the foundations of its future deterrence posture by embracing the full spectrum of capabilities with a 360-degree view to becoming more agile, less fixed, lighter and more adaptable. Adapting NATO’s overall strategic posture in the long term will imply that NATO’s early warning, JISR, cyber, STRATCOM, ballistic missile defence and AGS capabilities form part of an integrated whole of essential readiness enablers. Along the same lines, the institutional element of RAP, namely the Alliance decision-making process, will have to serve as a complementary overarching framework where the readiness and response capacity is empowered by timely and leaner political processes. As the Alliance transitions to a posture of enhanced readiness and responsiveness, the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) and its associated capability development will have to shape and guide the long-term investments of Allies, increasing the readiness level of their forces to meet the overall RAP level of ambition. The Political Guidance document for future defence planning cycles will have to reflect this objective, setting national and collective capability targets to be more ambitious but, at the same time, proportionate and achievable. The 2015 Political Guidance clearly sets the requirements for NATO to be capable of conducting two MJOs (Major Joint Operations) and six SJOs (Smaller Joint Operations) concurrently. NATO, nowadays, has to possess the necessary tactical mobility with adequate combat and logistic support to deploy forces quickly across the borders of Alliance territory and this is how the overall RAP operational concept will be tested. Russia has the ability, at the present time, to move a massive number of forces quickly along its borders. Russian anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles range out over a large portion of NATO’s territory. Moreover, sophisticated Russian Anti-Access and AreaDenial (A2AD) capabilities can restrict an adversary’s ability to project substantial military capability over considerable strategic and operational distances. The effectiveness of RAP measures will depend on Allies’ commitment to reverse the trends of declining defence budgets to bring them into line with the 2% Defence Investment Pledge. As stated in the Wales Summit Declaration, increased investments should be directed towards meeting our capability priorities, and Allies also need to demonstrate the political will to provide required capabilities and deploy forces when they are needed. The sophisticated nature of the challenges the Alliance is facing has evolved and NATO is adapting its deterrence doctrine to the new geopolitical environment. The adoption of the Readiness Action Plan reaffirms Allies’ commitment to NATO core values, but the effectiveness of the response to new threats will require renewed and vigorous expression of political will among the 28 NATO member states. Hence the RAP’s viability, sustainability and success will be determined by one key intangible and indispensable factor: the degree of cohesion within the Alliance. NATO troops train during the 20th Baltic Regional Training Event in Baltic airspace 7


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A Deep Insight Vox Collegii Turkey’s importance in the current crisis in the Middle East Flavio Grazian This article seeks to analyse Turkey’s role within NATO in the current crisis in the Middle East, focusing on the evolution of its position and its importance for the Alliance in the fight against the new security challenges that NATO is facing. The article will also assess Turkey’s contribution to the development of the Alliance over the past two decades and its part in transforming the Alliance after the end of the Cold War. The importance of Turkey’s participation within NATO cannot be questioned. Additionally, it is interesting to look at the impact of Turkish support and cooperation in addressing the current threats to regional and world security. Owing to its geographical position and its political stance, the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011 and the resulting deterioration in security in the area exposed Turkey to an increasingly complex environment, making its role more and more delicate. The rise of ISIS/DAESH as a global threat in 2014 and its persistent challenge to Euro-Atlantic prosperity and world peace made NATO countries aware of the need for a response. In the past two years, dramatic events have touched and changed the lives of millions of people worldwide and NATO members and partners are intensifying their efforts to fight back by participating in one way or another in the coalition against ISIS/DAESH. ‘Islamic State’ has evolved into a threat for the whole world, making its terrorist attacks and presence felt far from Syria and Iraq where it originated. However, the global challenge represented by ISIS/DAESH has its roots in the Middle East and Turkey’s response will be crucial to its defeat. By referring to the most relevant events of the past months, the article will highlight how Turkey, as a long-established member of the Alliance, is rising to the challenge in this complex international context. Flavio Grazian is a former VERO from the Middle East Faculty of the NATO Defense College. He holds a BA degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Roma 3 and an MSc in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His interests include international security, the Middle East, transatlantic relations and international history. NATO and Turkey: the role of Turkey in the Alliance and its strategic dimension Since Turkey joined the Alliance in 1952, its role has been crucial. If at the time it was a vital country for NATO due to its proximity to the Soviet Union, Turkey remains a vital ally in maintaining security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area1. The simultaneous entrance of Turkey and Greece into the Alliance marked the first NATO enlargement and was very successful. Turkey’s participation in the Alliance has been very productive over the past decades and has become increasingly effective. The relevance of Turkey’s strategic position was fundamental at the time – boosting NATO’s leverage against the USSR – and it remains so now. The vital connection that Turkey has with the Middle East provides the Alliance with a further platform to strengthen the ties with NATO’s partners in the region. The benefits from this partnership have always been mutual and, if Turkey stands as a key Ally, NATO has always been central to the Turkish foreign policy agenda. In commemorating the 60th anniversary of Turkey’s membership of the Alliance in 2012, Ambassador Haydar Berk affirmed: “NATO is one of the essential dimensions of 1 “Turkey’s relations with NATO”, from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, http://www.mfa.gov.tr/nato.en.mfa 8


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Volume XII A Deep Insight NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish foreign and defense policy. Turkey has been an important member of the Alliance and a reliable Ally for 60 years.”2 On the same occasion the Alliance stated: “Turkey [and Greece] have greatly contributed to Alliance security during six decades, guarding NATO’s southern flank during the Cold War and, today, addressing new challenges such as violent extremism, or contributing to missile defense and stabilizing Afghanistan”.3 Along with the rest of the Allies Turkey shares the founding principles of NATO, such as the indivisibility of Alliance security, solidarity among the Allies and the consensus rule, and it strongly believes that these rules constitute and will remain a key factor for NATO’s success.4 Over the past two decades the importance of Turkish membership has continued to be paramount. It was pivotal in terms of helping NATO deal with political instability in Eastern Europe, the Balkan wars during 2 North Atlantic Treaty Organization website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/80056.htm 3 http://www.ibtimes.com/why-turkey-nato-704333 4 the 1990s, and post-9/11 activities focused on the Middle East. The growing instability in the Middle East and the progressive development of a critical situation in the region in the last few years have made Turkey’s position increasingly important. Turkey shares borders with Iraq and Syria, and the country is very much exposed to the new threats coming from the area. The 2014 Wales Summit stated clearly that NATO and its partners have to deal simultaneously with security challenges from the East and from the South. Again, the strategic importance of Turkey’s position is evident. Turkey is of major importance in two of the main current critical situations affecting the world: the war against ISIS and the tragedy of refugees. As a NATO country, Turkey shares the belief that the security of Europe and the Middle East is indissolubly linked and the rise of ISIS/DAESH as a main common threat needs to be addressed. “Turkey’s relations with NATO”, from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, http://www. mfa.gov.tr/nato.en.mfa continued ... 9


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A Deep Insight Vox Collegii A partnership for change The active role of Turkey inside the Alliance has been growing over the past two decades. Turkey is a strong advocate for NATO’s transformation efforts that started after the end of the Cold War5. The new global threats that arose in the past few decades made NATO aware of the importance of the need of several adjustments in the Alliance’s political and military actions, in order to better perform its new role worldwide. Turkey’s contribution has been paramount in several changes that occurred both at political and military levels in the Alliance. Turkey successfully worked with the rest of the Alliance in these efforts and shares the will and the ability to adapt to the new challenges of the changing security environment. One of the major decisions taken by the Alliance to enhance NATO military capabilities in the past decade was the creation of the NATO Response Force (NRF)6. This force was created in 2002 and consists of a “highly capable multinational force able to react in a very short time to the full range of security challenges from crisis management to collective defense”7. At the last NATO Summit in Wales in 2014, the Alliance decided to further enhance the NRF, taking into consideration the new security challenges. Turkey played a pivotal role in the establishment of the new force, and a Force Command in a state of high readiness is based in Istanbul8. Because of its multinational component, one of NATO’s key goals has always been to improve the interoperability of its military forces. Turkey successfully participated in several programmes in order to achieve this, and in this regard the “Partnership for Peace Training Centre” was created in 1998 within the Turkish General Staff9. The Centre “provides strategic and tactical level training to military and civilian personnel from partner countries”10 and constitutes one of the most remarkable contributions to the training and interoperability efforts of NATO partner countries.11 Furthermore, the military importance of the Turkish army in the Alliance cannot be ignored. Turkey’s army is the second biggest among NATO countries and its impact cannot be underestimated. In his remarks on 8th October, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – while reaffirming NATO’s solidarity with Ankara, after a Russian airspace violation – defined Turkey as “a strong ally, our second strongest army”12. Furthermore, Sixty years ago, on 18 February 1952, Turkey became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during the first round of enlargement for the Alliance, only three years after its creation. If at the time Turkey was a vital country for NATO due to its proximity to the Soviet Union, nowadays the country remains an essential ally in maintaining security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. 8 5 Turkey’s relations with NATO”, from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, http://www. mfa.gov.tr/nato.en.mfa 6 NATO response Force, NATO Website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49755.htm# 7 Ibid. Turkey’s relations with NATO”, from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, http://www. mfa.gov.tr/nato.en.mfa 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 Ibid. 12 For a brief account, see http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense-news/2015/10/08/natosecretary-general-ready-send-troops-turkey/73572460/ 10


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Volume XII A Deep Insight NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu. Turkey is also one of the few countries in the Alliance to meet the expected criterion of a military expenditure level equivalent to 2% of GDP. At political level, Turkey has played a significant role in the implementation of two important programmes that NATO established to strengthen its ties with several partners: the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD). Furthermore, Turkey believes that these platforms should be enhanced in order to extend the relationship between NATO and the partners, thus enabling NATO to better address regional and global challenges13. Turkey, like the rest of the Alliance, strongly supports political dialogue with partners as a fundamental element to bring stability and peace worldwide. The Alliance’s mission – hitherto very successful – has always been marked by NATO’s firm ability 13 to adapt to the changing political and security scenario in which the Alliance operates, and Turkey is a strong advocate of this. Turkey, because of its position and its close ties with several Middle Eastern and North African countries, provides the Alliance with a useful bridge toward its partners in order to enhance NATO’s political message. NATO and Turkey’s importance in the political scenario in the Middle East Since the start of the Syrian crisis, Turkey’s role has been crucial. The outbreak of the Syrian civil war and the progressive deterioration in regional stability have deeply affected Turkey and highlighted the nation’s fundamental position. From the beginning, Turkey joined other NATO countries in condemning the Assad regime’s violations of international law. NATO countries have always stood beside their Ally and shown their concern for the security threats emerging close to its borders. Turkey’s relations with NATO”, from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, http://www. mfa.gov.tr/nato.en.mfa continued ... 11


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A Deep Insight Vox Collegii The rise of ISIS/DAESH in the area and the dramatic escalation of the crisis have made the international community increasingly aware of the need for a response. The complexity of the political dynamics in the area and the enlargement of the scale of the war brought NATO countries together to address the issue. Before moving to the analysis of the events of the past five months, it is important to consider a number of factors. The first of these, which seems to be widely ignored or at least not properly highlighted, is the increasing complexity of the crisis as it developed on the ground. Both politically and militarily, a great number of actors are involved and contribute to this complexity. All of them are driven by a range of different interests and the development of the situation has been heavily influenced by a failure to understand the complexity of the phenomenon, even at an early stage. Another important factor is the humanitarian emergency that this conflict has created. Because of its position Turkey is taking the burden of the war off Syria, by hosting a great number of refugees – almost two million – and being exposed to terrorist attacks on its own soil. NATO has officially condemned these attacks and the Secretary General issued a statement supporting Turkey after the most recent attack in Ankara in October14. The scale of the humanitarian disaster has been growing, together with the threat posed by ISIS to the entire world. This security challenge has produced a series of consequences of an unprecedented scale in the region, which have rapidly escalated and spread globally. The Allies at the NATO Summit in Wales agreed to form a coalition to end the threat, in order to restore stability in the area so as to bring peace back to the region. Turkey joined the coalition from the very beginning, and has shown its determination to fight against ISIS/DAESH. Prior to this, the intensified attacks of the PKK terrorist organization had obliged Turkey to put even greater effort into combating the PKK and its affiliates. However, this has not prevented Turkey from engaging with NATO in the fight against ISIS/DAESH and making a significant contribution. From July 2015, it started to have a more active role in this fight. The events in the last week of July were emblematic in this respect. After several attacks against Turkish troops on the Syrian border and terrorist attacks against Turkish civilians, Ankara called an emergency meeting of NATO in Brussels15. Referring to Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, the Turkish government asked for Allies’ support in the light of the threat posed by ISIS/DAESH. The emergency meeting was only the fifth of this kind in NATO’s history. NATO reaffirmed its solidarity with Turkey against terrorism. The wording of the official statement remarked that: “The security of the Alliance is indivisible, and we stand in strong solidarity with Turkey. We will continue to follow the developments on the South-Eastern border of NATO very closely.”16 The importance of the July Summit is, therefore, clear. The meeting followed, by a couple of days, the decision taken by the Turkish government to allow the United States use of the Turkish base at Incirlik in the air campaign against ISIS/DAESH. Again, this was another step to maximize the impact of the The NATO Secretary General visiting the US Patriot Unit deployed at the Turkish military base in Gaziantep 15 For a detailed account of the meeting: http://uk.businessinsider.com/nato-to-hold-an-incredibly14 Press Release of the NATO website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_123760. htm?selectedLocale=en rare-emergency-meeting-2015-7?r=US&IR=T 16 Statement by the North Atlantic Council following meeting under Article 4 of the Washington treaty, NATO website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_121926.htm?selectedLocale=en 12


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Volume XII A Deep Insight Turkey played a pivotal role in the establishment of the new NATO High Readiness Force. One of the High Readiness Headquarters – the Rapid Deployable Turkish Corps Headquarters – is near Istanbul. Rapid Deployable Corps can be quickly dispatched to lead NATO troops on missions within or beyond the territory of NATO member states. They can be deployed for a wide range of missions: from disaster management, humanitarian assistance and peace support to counter-terrorism and high-intensity war fighting. military campaign against the common enemy and boost the effectiveness of the bombing. This event has been regarded as a fundamental change in Ankara’s approach to the crisis. At the same time there were rumours about the United States and Turkey intending to create an ISIS-free zone in Syria, close to the border17, a plan that was later not implemented. Recent events and developments The events of October and November are very relevant to this argument. Following the start of direct Russian military intervention in the Syrian civil war and the launch of airstrikes against militia groups opposed to the Syrian government, Russian planes repeatedly violated Turkish airspace. On 5 October, NATO’s Secretary General defined as “unacceptable” the recent violations18 and condemned Russian actions, expressing 17 the Alliance’s solidarity with Turkey. Furthermore, the North Atlantic Council issued a statement expressing concern about Russian activities, calling on the Russian Federation to focus on the fight against ISIS/DAESH. The Council also protested against the violation of Turkish airspace and remarked on “the extreme danger of such irresponsible behavior”19. Three days later NATO Defence Ministers agreed to enhance the NRF by almost doubling its numbers and by increasing its effectiveness at the operational level. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that NATO would be prepared to send troops on the ground to Turkey to deter and defend against threats . These events can certainly be regarded as strong evidence of NATO’s solidarity with Ankara, Turkey’s importance as a key Ally, and the determination of the Alliance to stand by it in this hour of need. Despite NATO’s warning to Russia concerning the violation 19 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/world/middleeast/turkey-and-us-agree-on-plan-to-clearisis-from-strip-of-northern-syria.html?_r=0 18 NATO Secretary General expresses solidarity with Turkey following Russian air space violation, NATO website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_123395.htm?selectedLocale=en Statement by the North Atlantic Council on incursions into Turkey’s airspace by Russian aircraft, NATO website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_123392.htm?selectedLocale=en 20 A brief account can be find at http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense-news/2015/10/08/ nato-secretary-general-ready-send-troops-turkey/73572460/ continued ... 13


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A Deep Insight Vox Collegii The Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Ahmet Davutoğlu, visited NATO Headquarters on Monday, 30 November 2015. He met with the NATO Secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg. of Turkish airspace and its possible consequences, another violation occurred on 24 November when Turkish air patrols shot down a Russian SU-24. The dramatic decision escalated the level of the confrontation between Ankara and Moscow, and since then little progress has been made between the two governments in defusing the tension. If the downing of the warplane is just the latest episode in the deterioration of relations between Russia and Turkey that followed the Russian military intervention in Syria, NATO’s position in support of Turkey has never faltered. Although it is too early to try to forecast where these events may lead and what impact they may have, it is again clear that NATO stands firmly with Turkey. Immediately after the event Turkey called for an extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council in order to explain the reasons for its actions and inform the Allies about the situation. The Council did not hesitate to support Turkey and called for a general de-escalation of the crisis21. The Secretary General made it very clear that he had already expressed concern about the consequences of Russian military activity close to NATO borders and that the Allies stood by Turkey. On 30 November, 21 Jens Stoltenberg met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to discuss a range of international issues, urging for a political solution to the Syrian conflict and stressing NATO’s commitment “to fully support Turkey’s right to defend its territorial integrity and its airspace”22. The scale of the crisis should not be underestimated, given NATO’s firm response in support of Turkish actions. There have been very few moments in the past decades with such high levels of potential confrontation between a NATO country and Russia, and the fact that NATO did not show any hesitation in underlining its will to stand by Ankara has great significance. Over the past few months, NATO and Turkey have shown the strength of their commitment to each other. NATO’s support and capabilities were clearly placed on the side of Turkey for the prevention, management and resolution of the conflict with Russia. At the same time, increased Turkish efforts to focus on the fight against ISIS/ DAESH have been greatly appreciated in Brussels. Statement by the NATO Secretary General after the extraordinary NAC meeting, NATO website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_125052.htm?selectedLocale=en 22 “NATO Secretary General discusses key security challenges with Turkish Prime Minister”, NATO website, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_125208.htm 14



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