Retired brigadier from Turkey,
Oktay Bingöl, speaking about
|The last panel brought up the ongoing process of transformation in NATO, which will be the main topic at NATO's 2012 summit in Chicago. The speakers were Arild Eikeland (MoD), Ole Kværnø (Danish Defence College), Jo Gade (IFS) and Oktay Bingöl formerly with the Turkish Armed Forces.|
Arild Eikeland talked about the Norwegian Ministry of Defence’s perspectives on the NATO summit in Chicago. Important background factors for the summit include the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, the strategic concept developed in Lisbon, the financial crisis and the increasing importance of geopolitics. These will influence the summit issue of smart defence and visible assurance, as well as the deterrence and defence posture review. “New” challenges must be addressed, but collective defence remains at the core of NATO.
Jo Gade stated the importance of transforming NATO by giving it new capabilities. Key future issue include furthering the agreements made in Lisbon in 2010, cooperating on the missile defence shield with Russia, defending against cyber-attacks, finding a proper ratio between nuclear and conventional weapons, and sustaining the deployability of NATO forces. These issues will be affected by the backdrop of economic austerity in European countries, where smart defence will play a significant role.
Ole Kværnø addressed the topic of Afghanistan after the scheduled NATO withdrawal. It is imperative to work against a possible civil war. Three items were mentioned in this regard: the importance of a durable military transition, the value of learning from the Soviet Union’s exit-experience and the factors leading to the following Afghan civil war, and finally reinvesting the dividend from the transition back into Afghanistan to support the Karzai-regime. Oktay Bingöl discussed the perception of NATO in the broader Middle East. After the Six-Day War in 1967, as well as the intervention in Afghanistan and the U.S.-dominated invasion of Iraq, NATO has acquired a negative image in this region. This has not changed with the 2011 Libya-mission, as many believe it too was a predominantly interest-based operation for Western powers. More public diplomacy directed toward younger generations might help in changing these negative attitudes toward NATO.