Is the Transatlantic Dissension Inevitable?

[01.01.2004, Tomáš Zálešák, PAPERS AND STUDIES]

www.yes-dk.dkNaturally, NATO is not the same alliance today as it used to be when restraining communism, and it never will be like this again. But this does not necessarily mean that its new form, which is being created at the moment, will not be needed. If the new structure, despite the changes that the alliance has undergone, keeps its old name from the Cold War time, it probably is because of the great symbolic power of the name... The transatlantic dissention is not inevitable. But if there is some, it will not come as a result of historical necessity, not even as a result of the superannuation of the partnership between Europe and America. The only reason will be political blindness and that is what we have to face.

The article analyses the situation in which NATO finds itself since the end of the Cold War. A change of circumstances, the demise of some old and the rise of new threats, call, according to the author, for a redefinition of the Alliance in all areas of its activities. The author defines, analyses and disproves some objections which question NATO, the basis of the transatlantic co-operation and values on which NATO is based. He presents arguments in favour of preserving NATO and Slovakia‘s membership. The new threats that the world is facing e.g. international terrorism, reach beyond the borders of respective states therefore they require a complex answer and this could be made only by extensive international co-operation. The author appraises positively the fact that NATO is changing into a flexible military structure which should be able to intervene in more remote places as well. He asserts that the existence of long-term and difficult to solve security problems, which is an argument used by the opponents of NATO, does not call into question the need for an alliance but, on the contrary, this argument puts more emphasis on it.

Author is a political scientist, foreign policy analyst and co-worker of the Conservative Institute of M. R. Štefánik. He is an advisor to the Chairman of the Slovak Parliament.

The article was presented at a conference Is There Any Future for NATO? held by the Conservative Institute of M. R. Štefánik on 8 December 2003 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

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