Center for Strategic Decision Research


Overview: Perspectives on Global Security

Dr. Roger Weissinger-Baylon
Workshop Chairman
Director, Center for Strategic Decision Research

"If the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, in Sarajevo in June 1914 was the immediate cause of World War I and the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941 precipitated the entry of the United States into World War II, the terrorist attack at the Twin Towers on the 11th of September 2001 in New York could be considered as the beginning of the Global War against Terrorism."
Professor Dr. Ing. Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, former President of Indonesia 

September 11Like Sarajevo in 1914? September 11 has had such profound political effects that the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon have been likened to Pearl Harbor. Perhaps the more apt comparison, however, might be Sarajevo in 1914 (Binnendijk). Like Sarajevo, the September 11 attacks have set in motion a chain of unpredictable, powerful forces which have already sparked two wars: Afghanistan and Iraq. Since September 11, serious terrorist attacks have struck Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Russia-Chechnya, India-Pakistan, and Indonesia, while the security situation is deteriorating in the Philippines and other areas. Western Europe is by no means a safe haven, since the Madrid train bombing went “way beyond what European countries have experienced in contemporary times short of total war” (Gen. Kujat, Hertrich). Southern European countries, in particular, feel especially exposed (Adm. Di Paola). If the Iraq War or other conflicts continue to polarize Arab and Islamic societies against the West, the violence could get worse (Amb. Fasslabend). 

A potential threat to civilization. Compared to the fires sparked by Sarajevo, however, those of September 11 may be spreading in deceptively slow motions, so the danger will continue for many years. We know neither where nor when terrorists will strike or if there will be another attack like September 11 (or a worse one). And compared to 1914, the current danger could be graver: Al-Qaeda is a threat, the menace of a clandestine nuclear attack is “serious and present now” (Klein), and a large-scale terrorist attack, somewhere on the globe, is virtually inevitable (Chandra, George). Given this nuclear risk and other serious dangers, former SACEUR General George Joulwan warns that hyper-terrorism potentially threatens our civilization. 

A call for a joint response. Addressing these threats requires a joint response by the U.S., Europe, and the rest of the globe. Yet, developing the vitally needed international support and resources is an ongoing challenge as there is a serious and “growing gap between member-nations' stated political ambitions and their willingness to provide proper resources for the operations” (SACEUR Gen. Jones). President Bush's recent decision to withdraw 70,000 to 100,000 troops from Europe and Asia will serve perhaps as a helpful “wake-up call” and encouragement to these regions to assume greater responsibility for their own security. 


Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda. It would be a grave mistake to forget that the tragic attacks of September 11 were planned and executed by Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda. The Al-Qaeda menace continues to be a threat. In recent decades, moreover, much of the Islamic society has been awakened by (a) the Iranian revolution (b) oil wealth in Middle East Arab states, c) the success of Islamic fighters including the Taliban in forcing Russia out of Afghanistan, (d) and the perception of grossly unfair behavior toward Palestine. In such an environment, Al-Qaeda's vision “to coordinate, control and command the world Islamic society through a Global Caliphate and, maybe later, through the Western-inspired system of nation-states” continues its appeal (Pres. Habibie). 

WMDs, religious or ethnic hatred, rogue states, asymmetric threats. Al-Qaeda is by no means the only threat, however. We are facing a very broad range of serious global dangers of a new kind. Of these, the gravest appears to be weapons of mass destruction especially at the hand of terrorists living in environments of religious or ethnic hatred, or their possible use by rogue states (Min. Bezhuashvili, Amb. Burns, Chandra, Adm. Di Paola, George, Gergorin, Gen. Joulwan, Klein, Min. Linkevicius, Min. Struck). 

Asymmetric threats are no longer limited to terrorists or rogue states. In the post-September 11 world, asymmetric threats could become the norm. In fact, both the “proliferation of WMDs and the growing capabilities gap between actors are causing a shift toward asymmetric threats” (Gen. Kujat). Since WMDs are so effective a means for small countries to project power and achieve influence, General Kujat argues that “no developing nation will want to compete militarily with developed countries in the traditional way when WMDs are inexpensive force equalizers.” The Iraq War, for example, is a striking demonstration of the effectiveness of asymmetric attack (Gen. Wolsztynski). And even areas such as the Black Sea are vulnerable to asymmetric threats with cargo or passenger vessels as possible targets (Amb. Khandogiy). 

Broader views of the global threats. German Defense Minister Peter Struck, for his part, describes a far broader menace that may arise “whenever religious hatred, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorist- related fanaticism blend with poverty, ethnic antagonism, and faults in social structures.” Other experts and leaders also describe an extremely wide range of threats: 

  • “smuggling of drugs and weapons; human trafficking; illegal migration” (Min. Bezhuashvili); 
  • “failed states; small but fanatical terrorist groups; weapons of mass destruction; the huge increase in international crime; narcotics flows; trafficking in human beings; global climate change; AIDS” (Amb. Burns); 
  • “terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction fostered by rogue states or failed states; religious fanaticism and organized criminal groups; illegal trafficking of weapons, drugs, and human beings; uncontrolled movements of peoples which, in some cases, become mass migrations; ethnic and religious conflicts; fights for natural resources control” (Adm. Di Paola); 
  • “terrorism and the proliferation of WMD; ethnic bloodshed; rogue regimes; failing states; religious hatred; frozen conflicts; economic deprivation; water and food shortages; organized crime; corruption of state bureaucracies” (Min. Linkevicius); 
  • “global confrontations of religious fundamentalism with the ongoing progress and modernization-processes of the world” (Pres. Habibie). 

The broad concerns expressed by these government, diplomatic, and military leaders, emphasize poverty, economic inequality, global warming and other climatic changes, spread of diseases including Avian Flu (Chandra); natural disasters, scarcity of water, food, and natural resources (Gen. Sedivy); organized crime, human and drug trafficking (Gen. Kujat); cyber attacks on infrastructures and other targets (Lentz, Wells); conflict between religious fundamentalism and progress, and the perception of injustice toward Palestine (President Habibie). Some of these dangers such as those arising recently from religious or ethnic conflicts in Kosovo can be exacerbated by shortages of intelligence on the emerging threats (SACEUR Gen. Jones). 


Confronting the global security paradox. Facing these broad and grave dangers leads to the global security paradox: an increasingly interdependent world must come together to address a common security threat, when “differences and inequalities between our societies are growing rather than diminishing” (Amb. de Ruyt), and national views on how to address security are actually diverging. 

Fortunately, most countries do agree on the need for a joint response. In the words of Minister Struck, “joint risks require joint responses” and General Joulwan emphasizes that it is “equally important that we meet today's threats not alone but together.” There is also agreement on the need for broad and effective cooperation at all levels, regionally (Gen. Wolsztynski) and with each of the principal international organizations: the UN, NATO, the EU (Min. Linkevicius, Amb. Burns), the OSCE and G-8. 

Why the U.S. tends to prefer military force. Since September 11, the U.S., the U.K., and other allies have preferred to fight terrorism with military power (including complementary approaches such as cutting the flow of funds to terrorist groups, or tightening controls on the movements of people and goods). When crises arise on short notice, military force is often the most effective option available or even the only one (Perrin de Brichambaut, Amb. de Ruyt). Moreover, since the “ability to engage in armed conflict is the ultimate instrument of state power” (Gen. Kujat), it should be no surprise that the U.S., as the sole superpower, might have a bias in favor of military force. 

Since high-technology is expensive, however, the U.S high-tech forces are less-suitable for long-term stabilization and sustained peacekeeping efforts (Adm. Betermier). In an ideal scenario, U.S. forces would take the lead in high-intensity warfare and allies would back them up with peacekeeping and stabilization forces (Wynne). In order for the U.S. to be fully effective, therefore, it needs Allies to play the necessary complementary roles which may imply long-term peacekeeping commitments in countries such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq. 

The Marshall Plan or Harmel Report as models—why some countries prefer them. Germany, France, possibly Italy, and some other European nations strongly believe in combating terrorism with a broad combination of political, economic, and military means. They cite the success of this approach by the United States at the end of WWII: As a military response to the Soviet threat, the U.S. worked with its Allies to establish NATO; as a political and economic means of reducing support for Communism in Western Europe, the U.S. established the Marshall Plan (Gergorin). Admiral Di Paola suggests a somewhat similar model, the Harmel Report, which inspired NATO to develop a strong defense against the Soviet bloc while seeking cooperation and dialogue. General Naumann advocates a variant on Harmel: “conflict prevention through dialogue and cooperation and security…[and] through, if unavoidable, armed intervention and post conflict stabilization operations” in order to promote and develop “human rights, civil liberties, and market reforms.” European countries, including some of the larger ones, also prefer non-military solutions for the practical reason that their military capabilities are limited (Maulny). 

How countries actually make decisions: an organizational decision-making perspective. According to theoretical views developed by some observers of government decision making (Cohen, March and Olsen), leaders facing “conditions of ambiguity” similar to those that arose unexpectedly after Sept 11 will not always search for, develop, and implement a so-called optimal strategy. More typically, government decision makers would respond to such a major terrorist threat by matching the new “problem” to a set of already existing “solutions” that were previously developed for unrelated situations but continued to be advocated within the bureaucracy (March and Weissinger-Baylon). Under such conditions of ambiguity, the decision process is sometimes highly non-optimal and matches of “problems and solutions” can be extremely imperfect. Thus, the Iraq War, which was strongly advocated by neo-conservatives for many years, was matched as the “solution” to the hyper-terrorist problem even though there was no obvious connection between September 11 and Saddam Hussein. Once the Iraq War was matched as a “solution” to the September 11 problem, most countries only had the limited choice of either (a) supporting the war or (b) not supporting it.

Given the recent dramatic changes in the international security situation, it is not surprising that decision-making reform, at strategic and tactical levels, is one of the Alliance's challenges. According to SACEUR General James Jones, it may be especially useful “to re-examine the way [the Alliance] makes decisions in light of the NATO Response Force’s (NRF) expeditionary capability.” 

Creating new capabilities: A NATO Stabilization and Reconstruction Force. While the NRF can help to win wars, the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have made clear that new capabilities are needed to “win the peace.” Consequently, NATO should establish stabilization and reconstruction units that train together in advance so that they can be prepared to deploy on relatively short notice (Binnendijk). 


Since joint approaches will become increasingly vital in responding to the vast range of threats, it is important to learn from the experiences of the U.S. and its allies in the most recent conflicts: Kosovo, Afghanistan, and above all Iraq. After initial efforts to seek political solutions in each of these countries, the U.S. and its allies intervened with force, and achieved quick military successes. Subsequent stabilization and peacekeeping efforts, however, have proven to be a considerable challenge, while adequate funds for rebuilding the countries have been hard to come by. 

Kosovo and Afghanistan

Kosovo: The Need to Block Organized Crime. At some considerable cost in lives and suffering (and relations with Russia), military efforts by the U.S. and its NATO Allies successfully blocked Slobodan Milosevic on his violent path, eventually brought him and other war criminals to trial at The Hague, and ended the atrocious ethnic cleansing in the region. Once again, borders in the Balkan region are stable and Serbia no longer threatens its neighbors. Yet recent bloody demonstrations in Kosovo suggest that the situation is still not under control there or in any of the Balkan countries in which NATO or the UN intervened militarily. With the possible exception of Macedonia, all of these countries are experiencing pervasive political and economic corruption (Amb. Novotny). In Kosovo, for example, the situation is so severe that “organized crime is taking over the country and people family by family” (Adm. Kouts). 

To avoid a repeat of the Kosovo demonstrations, SACEUR General Jones has called attention for greatly improved operational intelligence in the country as well as a reduction in national “caveats” that limit the effective employment of NATO forces there. It is vital that his requests be heeded. 

Afghanistan: The Need for Stabilization and Assistance in Rebuilding. In Afghanistan, the initial operations by the U.S. and its allies in response to September 11 quickly defeated the Taliban as a significant military force and enjoyed broad international support. Al-Qaeda training camps no longer export terrorism with impunity. These initial successes were impressive. A considerable challenge remains, however, since armed resistance continues outside of Kabul, and large parts of the country lie in the hands of warlords. The country needs to be made safer so that NGOs can operate there (Doctors Without Borders was recently forced to leave). And international assistance for rebuilding Afghanistan must be increased. 

Operations by the U.S. and NATO. In this difficult context, U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom continues high-intensity fighting in the country, while searching for Osama Bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders. For NATO's ISAF, a major challenge is to help expand the “authority of the Afghan Central Government beyond the environs of Kabul alone, without which it is difficult to see how they will govern” (CINC AFNORTH Gen. Back). Initially, ISAF plans to move north and, at some point might wish to fuse with Operation Enduring Freedom. (Minister Linkevicius and others have praised efforts to combine security operations with reconstruction, but many NGOs strongly object to the concept which increases their risks by blending the difference between security and reconstruction.) In the near-term, a major task is to support the democratic process leading up to the October elections, which Gen. Kujat has called strategically vital. 

One telling example: Afghanistan's increasing opium production. The dangerous conditions in Afghanistan and the insufficient international support for rebuilding are leading to unfortunate side effects. For example, farmers are returning to opium poppy production, which is reaching record levels and is the source of nearly all U.K. heroin. Afghanistan's poppy cultivation provides financial support to both warlords and terrorist-like groups, contributing to a vicious cycle whereby it becomes still harder to make the country safe or bring in more international aid. According to General Kujat (and others as well), moreover, this drug smuggling is a major security threat in its own right. 

Iraq: Learning from the War

A crisis of confidence for the Alliance. Unlike the Afghanistan war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the Iraq war was not a direct response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In fact, the war “plunged the Alliance into a crisis of confidence and disunity” (Amb. Burns) and the U.S. found it hard to assemble a sufficiently broad international coalition for the Iraq invasion. Disputes over the Iraq War could even be a deciding factor in the U.S. Presidential election. 

An impressive tactical success. The initial phase of the Iraq war seems to have been a brilliant tactical success, since the U.S.-led coalition defeated Iraqi forces quickly and decisively with relatively limited casualties among its own soldiers. As the first network-centric war (Stafford), moreover, the Iraq conflict confirmed the potential of Global Hawk and other new Command and Control technologies. There were also useful lessons: the war showed that forces that have not yet been modernized and transformed also need connectivity and situational awareness (Gen. Joulwan, Wells). 

Some strategic implications. From a strategic point of view, the war cost the U.S. and its allies enormous international good will. The Iraq War may even have increased the danger of global terrorism by facilitating recruiting by Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups (Gen. Mehta, Gergorin). Since April 2004, reports of mistreatment of Iraqi war prisoners have added to the ill-will against the coalition. According to Dr. Werner Fasslabend, the international reaction to the mistreatment is so strong that the U.S. could eventually lose its global dominance if it does not address these issues effectively. 

Learning from the war. In Iraq, the coalition lost priceless opportunities for good will by being too slow in providing the much-promised democracy, restoring public services, re-establishing a functioning economy, and offering sufficient security to permit ordinary Iraqis to go about their daily lives without fear. Some of these opportunities were lost through overconfidence: the U.S.-led coalition expected an enthusiastic welcome by an Iraqi population overjoyed to see the end of Saddam Hussein's brutal dictatorship. The coalition also anticipated and planned on quick victory with a small, highly-equipped and well-trained force, but which was not large enough to provide stability and peacekeeping following Saddam Hussein's defeat. 

Opportunities for better relations with the Iraqi people. While some opportunities have been lost irretrievably (it is too late to guard already-plundered museums or protect weapons dumps), there are still many opportunities for improved relations with the Iraqi people: 

  • Coalition political and military leaders must show understanding and concern for the Iraqi people, language, culture, and religion as well as their lives, property, self-respect, and well-being. 
  • Iraq should be treated as a respected member (or future member) of the international community and not as a “semi-occupied” country. As Minister Struck notes, it would be hard “for a quasi-occupant to bring peace to the country and to conduct nation building successfully.” 
  • Iraq should receive adequate and timely financial support for rebuilding (as of June 2004, most contracts were awarded from Iraq's own petroleum income, often to U.S. firms and at much higher costs than those typically charged by Iraqi companies.) 
  • Precious mosques, museums, historic sites, artifacts, and documents must be protected; 
  • The rebuilding of the Iraqi army must continue. (Its earlier disbanding led to the unemployment of large numbers of militarily-trained young men with access to weapons.) 
  • Former Baath party members should have access to positions of influence since their professional skills may be helpful (or even vital). 
  • The UN, NGOs, and key international organizations need a secure environment so they can safely return to Iraq. 

Overstretched forces: Reducing the risks. The Iraq War has led to requirements for more troops. In the U.S., for example, a large fraction of ground forces is either committed to Iraq already, deployed to other areas of crisis or potential crisis, or in the process of recovering from or training for deployment. Since few European countries, or other allies, are both willing and able to send large numbers of troops to Iraq, resourceful solutions are being proposed: 

  • Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe and Asia. President Bush has announced that troops will be withdrawn from Europe and Asia. These withdrawals would potentially permit the U.S. to reposition forces in Bulgaria, Romania, in the Caucasus region, or perhaps in Iraq. 
  • Proposed NATO mission in Iraq. The U.S. has proposed “turning the Polish-led division in Iraq into a NATO operation” (Amb. Burns). 
  • Using the Response Force outside the NATO structure. The NATO Response Force could be sent as a non-NATO mission, outside the NATO structure, and under the command of a British general with a British brigade in reinforcement. (However, SACEUR General James Jones has noted that the NATO force should only be used for relatively short missions.) 
  • European training of Iraqi troops. France, Germany, and other European countries may be able to train Iraqi troops even if they are unwilling to commit combat forces. 

Such measures would help the U.S. and its Allies retain the necessary military capabilities to respond if an important friend, such as Saudi Arabia, were to call for assistance or if Iran were to race forward toward developing a nuclear weapon. 


In the future, security issues will become increasingly important in the Middle East, Russia, the Black Sea and Caucasus, Ukraine, and especially China. Given the high cost of recent conflicts in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the development of successful relations with such regions is vital, because the stakes are even higher. 

The Middle East: The Need to Resolve the Israel-Palestine Conflict 

The Israel-Palestine conflict as the central issue. The Israel-Palestine conflict is the central problem in the Middle East (Adm. Di Paola) with wide effects throughout the entire Muslim world. In the assessment of German Defense Minister Peter Struck, “it is an illusion to think that genuine progress is possible anywhere in the region without solving this core problem.” In Iraq, the Middle East, or anywhere else in the Muslim world, the U.S. and its various partners can only succeed if the Israel-Palestine conflict is resolved. A measure of gravity of the Israel-Palestine conflict is the growth in suicide-bombing which, according to President B. J. Habibie, “should not be considered as an Islamic act of confrontation or war but more as a reaction to the injustice in solving the Palestine problem.” 

Why the U.S. is not trusted to broker a solution. A solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict will require a road map, two states, and land for peace. But while the U.S. alone has the necessary superpower status to impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, the U.S. is not currently perceived as an “honest broker” in negotiating peace between the two parties because it is locked into a position of support for the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Gen. Naumann, George, Amb. Fasslabend). In order to move forward, the U.S. needs to demonstrate that it can be a neutral mediator between both sides. 

Russia: Putting Past Rivalries Behind

The need for a closer relationship. Relations with Russia are key to European security. With its vast political, geographic, and historical influence, Russia has important contributions to make (Min. Struck) and no longer represents a danger to the West (George). As Ambassador Burns proposes, we should “set our sights on a closer relationship that will put our past rivalry behind us forever.”  

Prospects for cooperation with the U.S., EU and NATO. In order to modernize Russia, President Putin wants to develop cooperation with the U.S. and the EU. The events of September 11 gave him an opportunity to do so by joining the global war on terrorism (Meckel). In accepting the enlargement of the EU and NATO, President Putin is showing impressive pragmatism, especially since the country's military leaders continue to see NATO as directed against Russia. Russia and NATO are making progress through a large and successful program of joint exercises (Stafford) and on planning for TMD cooperation (Gen. Kujat). NATO needs to help Russia deal with its outdated strategic concept, based on the Cold War (Meckel), and “the deployment of huge armies and massive military hardware” (Amb. Cede). Minister Linkevicius offers additional proposals: a Russian peacekeeping brigade under NATO, or a NATO/Russia training program in Kaliningrad. 

Chechnya. As a result of the harsh methods employed by the Russian armed forces, most of Chechnya has turned against Russia just as many Iraqis have turned against the coalition troops. Terrorism is typically a means to “pressure political leaders toward a specific political end” (Pres. Habibie, Piontkovskiy). In Chechnya, however, the goals of terrorists seem to have evolved from the goals of autonomy or independence to destroying Russia itself. Russia must end the abuses by its armed forces and negotiate with any responsible leaders within Chechnya provided that they are willing to forgo terrorism (Piontkovskiy). 

The Black Sea Region and the Caucasus Strategic Corridor

Strategic importance of the Black Sea. The Black Sea region, which includes such strategically important countries as Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, is vital as a transit corridor for oil and gas from the Caspian Sea. For most countries in the region (Russia and Turkey are the only exceptions), the Black Sea offers the only maritime access to the Mediterranean. 

BLACKSEAFOR, the Black Sea Economic Forum, the EU, and NATO. To achieve security and prosperity, the states of the Black Sea Region are pooling their efforts leading to the BLACKSEAFOR and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization (BSEC). Based on the success of BLACKSEAFOR, Ukraine has proposed giving it a permanent command center. As to Bulgaria, it has recently hosted a first tactical confidence building annual naval exercise, GALATHEA 2004 (Amb. Khandogiy). Bilateral and other multinational forms of cooperation are necessary, too. In fact, Black Sea countries are NATO members or partners (Min. Gonul). With the membership of Bulgaria and Romania in NATO, the Black Sea has become a new frontier for the Alliance. Moreover, Georgia (and certainly other countries in the region) aspire to EU and NATO integration (Min. Bezhuashvili). GUAAM also has an important role to play in the area (Amb. Khandogiy). 

In Russia's view, the BLACKSEAFOR, which can operate under UN Security Council or OSCE mandate, is one example of successful regional cooperation. Russia calls for respect of the 1936 Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits which limits the presence of warships of non-Black Sea countries. The Russian navy is keen not to become “second fiddle” to the U.S. in this vital region (Col. Gen. Skvortsov). 

Ukraine. The NATO Alliance has an important partnership with Ukraine, but domestic reforms are needed (Amb. Burns). 

China's Key Role in Future Security

A resurgent China will play a key role in future security (George). Given China's rapidly growing importance, NATO has recognized the necessity of enhancing its strategic relationships beyond those with its traditional partners (Gen. Kujat). In the future, Taiwan is an especially likely crisis point, since it lies within the intersection of the interests of two of the greatest future powers: China and the United States. In the future, Eastern Siberia is likely to become a trouble spot, since a weak border separates a relatively small Russian population from China's growing masses and its vast energy needs (Amb. Fasslabend). 


“Joint risks require joint responses” (Min. Struck). Given the breadth and gravity of the present dangers, we must “meet today's threats not alone but together” (Gen. Joulwan). This will require broad cooperation among countries at all international levels (regional organizations, the EU, NATO, G-8, and the UN (Amb. Burns, Gen. Wolsztynski, Min. Linkevicius). To be effective, countries must communicate more openly and agree on the equitable sharing of risks and rewards. This should make it possible for countries to work together in “addressing the new challenges of global security…using a broad array of instruments including…military power as a last resort, but involving as well social, economic, and political reforms in the countries of concern” (Amb. Cede). 

New scenarios require new ways of thinking (Adm. Di Paola). Since the implications of September 11 are playing out slowly, there is still time to develop more effective response strategies that will actually lower the terrorist threat. In the Middle-East, the core problem is the Israel-Palestine conflict: it must be resolved in order to permit progress anywhere else in the region (Min. Struck, George, Gen. Naumann, Amb. Fasslabend). Decision makers must plan for future threats that may be very different from those that are costing lives today. Instead threats may arise in unexpected ways from shortages of water or other resources, from global warming or other climatic changes, or from the spread of AIDS, Avian Flu, or other diseases. 

Repair trans-Atlantic relations. We must continue to strengthen vital U.S.-Europe ties, which were severely damaged by the Iraq War, for the “European Allies need the U.S. and the United States also needs Europe” (Amb. Burns). In case there was ever a doubt, recent events have demonstrated that neither the U.S. nor Europe has the resources to fight global terrorism on its own. By the same token, the U.K.'s plan to reduce its combat forces in Iraq by one-third—even though it may eventually increase its Afghanistan presence—underscores the danger for the U.S. of depending too much on just one or two allies in a given theater. 

Armaments cooperation will strengthen ties. “Armaments cooperation is not only desirable, but…imperative.” Programs such as “the Joint Strike Fighter…NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance, Eurohawk” (Wynne) are strengthening international ties, while also contributing to economies of scale (Volkman). More such joint projects are needed: EADS suggests a new heavy transport helicopter as a venture with Boeing or Sikorsky (Hertrich). While export controls may be needed, armaments cooperation also requires trust between allies for arms exports. Today, it is not really the case between the United States and European countries except for the WMD ban (Maulny). In fact, the proposed “Buy American Act” act would actually harm U.S. interests, since the U.S. must allow imports if it wishes to export (George). 

More responsibility for European countries. Countries must reduce the gap between “ambitions and their willingness to provide resources” (SACEUR Gen. Jones). Some countries are already acquiring heavy transport and aerial refueling aircraft, precision guided munitions, and communications capabilities for network-centric operations. Especially after the planned withdrawal of U.S. forces, Europe must assume more leadership for its own defense. 

A stronger role for the European Union. Secretary General Javier Solana's new strategy is a key contribution (Gen. Perruche), together with the European Defense Agency, Joint European Battle Groups, and a European Gendarmerie (Min. Alliot-Marie). While Europe's new Defense Agency is a necessary first step in armaments cooperation (Ing. Gen. Ranquet), it needs to become a full-fledged procurement agency (Hertrich). 

Transformation of the NATO Alliance. NATO forces must transform from “static to being expeditionary, from having a regional outlook to being global, from…warfare based on masses to warfare based on precision, from a force based on quantity to one on quality” (SACEUR Gen. Jones). So that more than just 3% of forces can be deployed where they are needed, member countries must acquire more heavy transport aircraft, aerial refuelers, network-centric command and control, and other capabilities. The Alliance must better define military requirements—which would permit smaller countries to develop “essential niche capabilities such as command and control; communications; combat service support; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; CIMIC; and special forces.” Member nations most also close the gap between their “stated political ambitions—as defined by operations currently underway or poised to commence—and their willingness to provide proper resources for these operations.” Countries must avoid national caveats—“a cancer that eats away at our operational capability”—since they limit the effectiveness of NATO operations. “Tooth-to-tail” ratios must be increased by introducing modern logistics: up to 40% of deployed forces are unavailable to the tactical commander because they are acting as national support elements (SACEUR Gen. Jones). NATO forces in Kosovo and elsewhere need vastly improved operational intelligence and, according to General Kujat, NATO nations need to get better at sharing intelligence with each other and with NATO. Another future step in NATO transformation may be the creation of specialized “Stabilization and Reconstruction Forces” to help “win the peace” (Binnendijk). General Jones recommends that “nations maintain a floor for defense spending of no less than 2% of GDP.” 

Leverage technology through network-centric operations. Network-centric concepts have proven their importance in operations (Min. Struck, Gen. Kujat, Gen. Jones, Wynne, Wells, Stafford, Maj. Gen. van Dam). These capabilities leverage powerful commercial information and communication technologies to support combat and post-combat stabilization. During stabilization operations, planning should start in the pre-war period and implementation should begin within weeks after the end of combat. Such networks must be as broad as possible (including, for example, law enforcement or intelligence agencies), and should share information widely, which will require rules to encourage sharing and to assure security. Effective network-centric operations require changing business practices, not just technology (Maj. Gen. van Dam). They also require close co-operation between the U.S. and its Allies on spectrum use and other areas (Asst. Sec. Wells). 

Set aside past rivalries with Russia and China. If we do not manage the relations with Russia and China successfully, the consequences could be much graver than September 11. Ambassador Burns's suggestion that we “set our sights…on a closer relationship that will put our past rivalry behind us forever” should apply to both Russia and China. 

Address the threat of hyper-terrorism. With two-thirds of Al-Qaeda's infrastructure supposedly destroyed by military actions, many believe that terrorism is “on the ropes.” Instead, the Iraq War may have played into the hands of terrorists by increasing resentment against the United States and its partners. Al-Qaeda-related groups continue not only to attack but to innovate as shown by the use of cell phones to detonate the Madrid bombs (Cunningham). 

The gravest danger—WMDs in the hands of terrorists. We must address the menace of a clandestine nuclear (or other WMD) attack which is “serious and present now” (Klein). Such attacks truly represent a potential danger to our civilization (Gen. Joulwan). 


It is time to rise to the challenges by facing the future together —which means working with the Alliance (and strengthening its trans-Atlantic dimension) and other international organizations such as the EU, G-8, and UN. Our political leaders must seek new ways of thinking and decision making if we are to understand and resolve the underlying causes of global terrorism and other security threats. 

Certainly, such efforts will require not only imagination but vastly greater resources. As one illustration of the scale of such requirements, consider that the political leaders of several countries have called for a $50 billion annual “poverty tax” on wealthy countries to assist developing nations. While many will recoil at the prospect of such large investments and others will prefer different approaches, the proposed multi-billion dollar poverty tax suggests the necessary scale of responses to the current challenges. It would therefore be wise to heed the warnings of German Defense Minister Peter Struck: “If we fail to invest today in development and stability outside NATO and the European Union, in the Near and Middle East, the Caspian Region, Southern Asia, and parts of Africa, it will bounce back on us as a security problem in Europe and the U.S.” 



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