COLLOQUY ON "EUROPE AND THE NEW UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY - FIGHTING TERRORISM TOGETHER"
"EUROPE AND THE NEW UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY - FIGHTING TERRORISM TOGETHER"
"Europe and the new United States national security strategy -
fighting terrorism together"
:Proceedings of the colloquy
co-hosted by the WEU Assembly and the Greek WEU/EU Presidency
Athens, 17-18 March 2003
Divani Apollon Palace Hotel
10 Agiou Nikolaou & Iliou Street
166 71 Vouliagmeni
Monday 17 March 2003
12.30 Inauguration of the Colloquy
Mr Apostolos Kaklamanis, President of the Hellenic Parliament
Mr Jan Dirk Blaauw, President of the WEU Assembly
Mr Theodoros Pangalos, Vice-President of the WEU Assembly, Chairman of the Greek Delegation
15.15 Opening Session
Chairman: Mr Jan Dirk Blaauw, President of the WEU Assembly
Keynote speech: Mr Ioannis Magriotis, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece
Europe and the new US national security strategy
- Mr Lluis Maria de Puig, Rapporteur, WEU Assembly
16.15 First Session
Chairman: Mr Karolos Papoulias, Chairman of the Standing Committee on National
Defence and Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament
Consequences for global security
Mr Ivan Eland, Director of the Center for the Study of War, Crises and Liberty, the Independent Institute, Oakland (California), United States
Mr Vladimir Lukin, Deputy Speaker, State Duma of the Russian Federation
Tuesday 18 March 2003
09.30 Second Session
Chairman: Mr John Wilkinson, Chairman of the Defence Committee
The consequences for NATO and transatlantic cooperation
H.E. Mr Thomas J. Miller, Ambassador of the United States to Greece, Athens
Mr Mario Palombo, Vice-President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Mr William Hopkinson, Associate Fellow, Royal Institute for International Affairs and Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, UK
11.15 Third Session
Chairman: Mr Jan Dirk Blaauw, President of the WEU Assembly
Prospects for CFSP/ESDP
Mr Yannos Papantoniou, Minister for Defence of Greece
Mr Anatol Lieven, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, United States
15.00 Fourth session
Mr Theodoros Pangalos, Chairman of the Greek Delegation to the WEU Assembly
Common responses to international terrorism and future security challenges
Mr Michael Chrisohoidis, Minister for Public Order, Greece
Mr Pascal Boniface, Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, France
Mr Ismael Cem, Former Foreign Minister, Turkey
Mr Lluis Maria de Puig, Rapporteur, WEU Assembly
17.30 Press Conference
In the eyes of many Europeans the US decision to use military force against Iraq without the support of some of its major allies has posed a serious threat to the international security institutions established following the second world war. In the aftermath of the war in Iraq Europeans must find a way of persuading the United States that institutions such as the United Nations and NATO are the right places to address its future security concerns.
This was one of the main themes to emerge from the colloquy in Athens on "Europe and the new US National Security Strategy - fighting terrorism together" organised on the eve of the war by the Assembly of Western European Union (WEU) and the Greek Government, which currently holds the joint EU/WEU Presidency.
More than 250 European national parliamentarians, government representatives and security experts attended the colloquy. The great majority of speakers showed understanding for the strong emotions felt by Americans following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, but they also expressed concern over certain aspects of US security policies and statements recently made by leading US policy-makers about Iraq.
Opening the colloquy, the Speaker of the Greek Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis, called on all parties concerned by the Iraq crisis to respect the role of the United Nations. Former Greek Foreign Minister and leader of the Greek Delegation to the WEU Assembly, Theodoros Pangalos, said international terrorism raised new issues, such as who should lead international action in the event of a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat emanating from a state or from a terrorist group, and how decisions to act should be made, by whom and who should implement them.
Mr Pangalos argued that in the absence of agreement on these questions, there was a risk that the United States would impose its own form of multilateralism, meaning that it would bypass international institutions and seek a coalition of nations willing to support what would in practice be a unilateralist policy.
In his opening remarks the President of the WEU Assembly, Jan Dirk Blaauw, raised the question of whether the consequences of the 11 September 2001 attacks had been fully analysed and whether the results of the investigation had been identical on both sides of the Atlantic; there was also the question of whether the US had indeed chosen to act unilaterally and whether Europeans for their part would be ready to take their place in a multipolar world.
In a keynote speech, the Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Magriotis, representing the EU/WEU Presidency, said that while the section on pre-emption in the new National Security Strategy contained many elements that would cause concern to Europeans, it also proposed dealing with the roots of terrorism through diplomatic initiatives, economic aid and special support for moderate Muslim countries.
The Assembly's Rapporteur for the colloquy, Lluis Maria de Puig, said that the strategy document called for the United States to retain its existing military supremacy over other nations and to regard the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction as serious enough to trigger pre-emptive, unilateral action. He added that the use of religious language by President Bush and the impression given by him that America had a special mission to "rid the world of evil" had caused particular dismay among Europeans. Such thinking was especially dangerous if the "mission" was not so much for the United States to lead its allies and partners as to dominate them.
The war in Iraq was seen as the first implementation of the United States' controversial new National Security Strategy, which had been published in September 2002. This comprehensive strategy was an impressive statement of US determination to defend America against its enemies, and particularly against threats posed by international terrorist networks such as al-Qa'ida, but also by rogue states seeking nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.
In a debate on the consequences of the new United States National Security Strategy for global security, most of the speakers among the national parliamentarians from the 28 WEU countries criticised the US Government for putting the survival of post-second world war security institutions at risk. However, some of them also reproached the United Nations and European institutions for their inadequacy and their inability to respond appropriately to the threats to peace. Many speakers were critical of what they described as the new security doctrine's unilateral approach and its tendency to legitimate what appeared to be an unlimited right of intervention.
The Vice-President of the Russian Duma, Vladimir Lukin, said in his address that it was unacceptable for a country to say that it would only respect the United Nations if the latter voted the right way. Although many members of international organisations for political consultation and decision-making, such as the United Nations, NATO and the European Union, had expressed doubts about the seriousness of the threat from Iraq, the United States had decided to act on the basis of its own assessment that the threat was serious enough to justify military intervention.
Karolos Papoulias, Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament, pointed out that the risk of domination by the world's sole superpower, now intent on projecting its own democratic ideal by force of arms if necessary, and while claiming the moral high ground and the justice of its cause, was a very real one. It was both harmful and a pity that Europe did not speak with one voice.
While many speakers criticised the content of the security strategy and the way it had been presented and implemented, Ivan Eland, Director of the Center for the Study of War, Crises and Liberty of the Independent Institute, Oakland, California, also cast doubt on its viability and potential for success. In his view, the two central tenets of the strategy - primacy and pre-emption - were both counterproductive and unsustainable. The strategy was already proving counterproductive, in that it was accelerating the proliferation of WMD rather than slowing it down, he asserted.
Mr Eland cited North Korea and Iran as examples of countries that were already stepping up their efforts to acquire WMD, so as to be able to threaten retaliation if the United States were to consider intervening in their case. The US strategy was unsustainable, he argued, because it would be too costly and in any case it was virtually impossible to intervene in every country working on nuclear, biological or chemical weapons programmes.
Many participants in the colloquy, however, shared the view that once the war against Iraq was over, there would be a historic chance to establish the basis for a democratic government and the rule of law in that country.
As for the consequences of the National Security Strategy for NATO, H.E. Mr Thomas J. Miller, Ambassador of the United States to Greece, stressed that the Alliance had to evolve to meet new challenges. To deal with global terrorism, it needed to be more flexible and better adapted, and should develop ties with other countries such as Russia, Ukraine and the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Europe had to play a greater part in this shared effort, both in terms of its spending and in reforming its armed forces. It also needed to catch up with regard to capabilities.
As far as the necessary recourse to force was concerned, clearly the level of acceptance of the threat was no longer the same in the United States after the 11 September 2001 attacks. There was no point waiting until Iraq was in a position to pose a real threat to the United States. The United States had worked hard for many years within the UN framework. There had been several more resolutions, but all efforts to find a compromise had failed. One could not go on discussing things for ever. Resolution 1441, like many earlier resolutions, referred to the possibility of "serious consequences" for Iraq if it continued to fail to meet its obligations and the point of no return had now been reached. The announcement by one country of its intention to use its veto had forced the other countries on the UN Security Council to act the way they did. The Iraqi regime had been delivered an ultimatum. The United States had no option. Force was the only answer. The United Nations' goal would be achieved and Iraq would be disarmed. Nevertheless, cooperation between Europe and the United States was essential to prepare for the post-war period and for continuing the fight against international terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction.
Mario Palombo, Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, observed that the rift between the two shores of the Atlantic and within Europe over the Iraq question added yet another layer to the divisions that already existed between the United States and Europe in areas such as international trade, environmental protection, the death penalty or the role of international institutions. While Europe had the right to defend its own political position and values within the international community, it also had a duty to be more credible in military terms. He concluded by saying that Europe and the United States would continue to disagree in many areas but that there were more issues on which they were united than divided.
William Hopkinson of the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London predicted that the consequences of the new US strategy would be limited as the Alliance was already "dying". In his view, the recent American trend toward unilateralism and the dynamics of ever greater military superiority would mean that in the long term no other nation would be capable of operating alongside US military forces. This would merely reinforce a process at the end of which NATO would no longer be relevant for US security policy.
If the outlook for NATO appeared somewhat grim, participants were not much more optimistic about the European Union's attempts to establish a common European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Anatol Lieven of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington said that the United States had long been ambiguous about European efforts to develop a more independent security and defence policy. Under the current Administration, that ambiguity might turn into open hostility.
Nevertheless, while it was true that many leading members of the US Administration were profoundly sceptical about the seriousness of Europe's efforts to increase its military capabilities, people should not be too pessimistic. Many speakers were convinced that if Europeans were to spend their limited resources in a better and more efficient way, and with a view to creating capabilities complementary to those of the United States, they could once again become viable partners.
The United States had every reason to continue to cooperate with its traditional NATO allies as part of its national security and defence policy. In particular, Europe could provide the United States with useful permanent military bases. Furthermore, Europe would be an important partner for the United States in its security dialogue with the former Soviet Union countries. Vladimir Lukin pointed out that it was in everyone's interests to keep the anti-terrorist and anti-proliferation coalition together.
A number of speakers said it had to be accepted that for the foreseeable future the United States would be very reluctant to allow any multinational body to influence the use it made of its military forces. But Washington might be willing to cooperate and coordinate if there were somebody or something to cooperate and coordinate with.
As many participants acknowledged, what Europe was endeavouring to do in the Balkans was a first step in the right direction, with the European Union preparing to take over NATO's peacekeeping missions not only in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but perhaps also in Bosnia.
If Europe showed that it was willing and able to share the burden of guaranteeing international peace and security, it would gain credibility as a respectable partner in the eyes of the United States. Europe, which had no ambition to establish a competitive autonomous security and defence system on a par with the United States, needed to concentrate on improving its military capabilities by making more efficient use of its financial resources.
Then, if the United States acknowledged Europe's political will and recognised that its improved military capabilities made it possible for Europeans to join with Americans in shaping a safer world and fighting international terrorism, there was a good chance that confidence would quickly be restored on both sides of the Atlantic.
Without the Americans, Europeans could not achieve their ambitions in the Balkans or safeguard their global security interests. There was no credible European military presence in East Asia or the Pacific, as Mr Lieven pointed out.
There was, however, a fundamental need for Europe to overcome its current divisions and reach a consensus about the role the European Union should play in international crises. It was only as a united group that Europeans could be a viable partner for the United States. Any influence that countries might hope to gain by dealing with the United States individually or in an ad hoc group would be very limited. Above all, Europeans had to agree on when and how military force could be used in the framework of ESDP.
Yannos Papantoniou, Minister for Defence of Greece, said the differences among Europeans over what means should be used to arrive at the disarmament of Iraq did not call into question the aim of building a common defence in Europe. On the contrary, the need for it was more and more keenly felt. It was necessary to promote an autonomous ESDP and, at a later stage, a common defence. This was a challenge for the Convention on the Future of Europe. It was also necessary to broaden the aims of the EU's rapid reaction force and to introduce a mutual assistance clause in order to deal with the current terrorist threats.
The fact that the EU was to take over from NATO in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), showed that NATO and the EU were complementary, and this would foster a more integrated approach to security policy.
Michael Chrisohoidis, the Greek Minister for Public Order, was of the opinion that the direct causes of terrorism had to be studied. It was also necessary to establish how terrorism tied in with other causes (such as economic, social and political factors) and take into account the local and regional environment in which terrorism developed and terrorist actions were perpetrated. The target for such actions in today's society was democracy and it was for that reason that democracy needed to be strengthened and developed as an antidote to violence. The challenge in this day and age was how to "spread" democracy.
Ismael Cem, a Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, analysed the common responses to international terrorism and future security challenges. He noted that the United Nations had been dealt a tragic blow and identified the conditions necessary for fighting terrorism effectively. In his view, without substantial European participation and without a strong and highly respected UN dimension, the new US national security strategy would be strictly an American instrument. It would not serve the cause of the world as a whole or meet its needs, nor even those of America.
Pascal Boniface, Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, France, questioned what was really at stake in this war. Iraq was a potential danger and the regime had to be disarmed. There was therefore full agreement on the objective. But there were two other major issues: the Middle East and the international security architecture. If the United States continued to apply "double standards" in its policy, there was a risk of a further deterioration in the military situation in the region. More important still, the international security architecture was being undermined. As far as the speaker was concerned, the strategy of legitimate preventive defence corresponded to an attack. There was a choice to be made between relations governed by international law or by force. The real issue was the US Administration's determination that might should be right, and to use compulsion rather than persuasion. There were also lessons to be learned from the present crisis. European public opinion had been born.
Lluis Maria de Puig presented his conclusions, welcoming the wide range of views and many different arguments that had been put forward during these particularly interesting debates. There had been critical comments and self-criticism, as well as some positive input for the future and a clear resolve to be constructive. During the discussions a general consensus had emerged on Europe's commitment to working as a partner alongside the United States. Europe needed to build new relations with the United States. At the same time it was recognised that Europeans needed to get organised so that Europe as such could play a role both within NATO and the United Nations alongside the United States. Europe needed the United States, but the United States also needed Europe.
Monday, 17 March
Inauguration of the colloquy
Mr Apostolos Kaklamanis (President of the Hellenic Parliament) welcomed those attending the colloquy.
The summit meeting between the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal in the Azores on Sunday, 16 March, might herald the declaration of a war that would have a domino effect around the world. Every effort to avert the prospect of such an appalling event constituted a step in the right direction. Reference needed to be made to the relevant international bodies with responsibility for security matters. The United Nations Security Council bore exclusive responsibility for deciding whether to impose disarmament by force on a state refusing to comply with international law and to support the United Nations as the legitimate source of law and order. The European Union position was that the authority of the United Nations should be respected.
As regards Iraq, the remit and powers of the UN weapons inspectors, whose impartiality was unquestioned, should be extended. This was by far and away the most effective means of ensuring that Iraq complied with United Nations resolutions.
There should be no question of applying double standards.
War was not inevitable, there was still a glimmer of hope. The use of force should be a last resort when enforcing the law. The question of international security remained the international community's greatest concern.
Terrorism, the United States national security strategy, the CSFP/ESDP and transatlantic cooperation were among the main areas of concern. The war on international terrorism had become an overriding priority. There was therefore a need to act at global level, both in security matters and in regard to development as the European Union was doing. Every effort should be made to eradicate conflict flash-points (such as the Middle East, the Balkans) and to ensure proper respect for human rights.
Mr Blaauw (President of the Assembly of WEU - the Interparliamentary European Security and Defence Assembly) first expressed his warmest thanks to the Greek EU/WEU Presidency, without which this colloquy would not have been possible. The Assembly was most grateful to the Hellenic Parliament for its vital support and particularly to President Kaklamanis. The Hellenic Parliament's European Affairs department had provided extremely effective backing for the organisation of the two-day event. Especial thanks were due to Mr Theodoros Pangalos, the Chairman of the Greek Delegation, as the colloquy's host.
Mr Blaauw noted that the colloquy was taking place at a crucial moment in world politics. Transatlantic relations and the role of the United Nations were under heavy pressure and it was difficult to tell what effect the present crisis was likely have on their future development.
The new United States national security strategy, which had been published in September 2002 under the auspices of President George W. Bush, provided the point of departure. It represented both a degree of continuity in relation to earlier American strategies and a number of new departures. Discussion would focus on these new areas of thinking and their repercussions for Europe and transatlantic relations.
Mr Blaauw then took the opportunity to explain briefly the WEU Assembly's present position and its programme for the near future. It was sometimes difficult for observers to understand exactly where things stood regarding the development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), but these policies still formed part of the EU's agenda both in the Convention on the Future of Europe and at the forthcoming EU Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).
Over the coming months, the European Convention was expected to come forward with answers to such questions as how best to ensure that national parliaments could be instrumental in monitoring EU policies, particularly in view of their important prerogatives in security and defence policy under which national defence budgets and decisions on the deployment of troops for crisis-management purposes continued to be voted by national parliaments. The WEU Assembly was actively contributing to the Convention's work and some of its members were also members of the Convention. The future shape of the parliamentary dimension would be worked out at the Intergovernmental Conference that would follow the Convention.
It was clear from discussions in the Convention that national parliaments would continue to play an important role in the scrutiny of CFSP/ESDP, destined, for the foreseeable future, to remain in the domain of intergovernmental policy and therefore to continue to require interparliamentary oversight.
Such oversight would inevitably be the simultaneous task of the European Parliament and the national parliaments, within a structure that could draw on the model of the WEU Assembly. With the many uncertainties hanging over the possible inclusion of an Article V-type solidarity clause in a new EU Treaty, the Assembly felt that the collective defence obligations of the modified Brussels Treaty could continue to play a useful part in rallying those European nations that were prepared to face up to those responsibilities in a European framework. In that case, the WEU Treaty could be attached as a Protocol to the new EU Treaty. Mr Blaauw was also in favour of all new EU/NATO member states acceding to the WEU Treaty. The Assembly's view was that it was crucial to forge and maintain close links with the national parliaments of all European states, including those not, or not yet, members of the EU and/or NATO, as well as with other interparliamentary bodies concerned broadly with security and defence. Mr Blaauw therefore extended a special welcome to the delegation from the Russian Federation, headed by Mr Lukin, and also to the Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Palombo, both of whom would address the colloquy.
Mr Blaauw said that the Assembly was continuing to perform its task of examining and discussing specific issues of European Security and Defence Policy. Developments in former Yugoslavia was a key question that would be debated at its June session. These seemed to have been dropped by the media since the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States. With a view to a report on the subject, the President, together with Rapporteur Mike Hancock, would shortly be visiting the countries of the region. The assassination of Mr Zoran Djindjic, Serbia's Prime Minister, was an indication that Europe must continue to provide strong support for the economic and political reconstruction of those countries.
Mr Blaauw concluded his address by raising some of the many questions to which it was necessary to find answers:
Had the United States chosen unilateralism? Were Europeans, for their part, ready to take their place in a multipolar world?
Had the factors underlying the 11 September 2001 attacks been fully investigated on both sides of the Atlantic? Were the analyses arrived at identical in both cases?
What forms of joint transatlantic action might be envisaged in the fight against terrorism - a question implied in the colloquy sub-title "Fighting terrorism together"?
What was or was likely to be the impact of transatlantic and intra-European differences over the Iraq crisis? Because of their involvement, some participants who had hoped to attend the colloquy had been prevented from doing so.
Mr Blaauw again thanked the Greek Presidency for its warm welcome and support, and all those present for coming. He hoped they would make an active contribution to the debate. He felt that the high attendance rate at the colloquy deserved a mention in the Guinness book of records!
Mr Theodoros Pangalos (Vice-President of the WEU Assembly) recalled that the new United States' national security strategy had been chosen as the subject of the colloquy in September of the previous year. A coordinated approach within the EU had to be encouraged, all the while stressing the important link between the CFSP/ESDP and NATO. There had seemed to be a real need for Europeans to get talking among themselves and with the Americans. Events had run ahead of this and, in the light of circumstances, many American would-be participants had been unable to attend the colloquy. Nevertheless a good many had managed to come.
The Americans had wanted a strong focus on terrorism. They made a clear connection between terrorism and a number of regimes of which the international community was critical, especially Iraq. The main issue was what rules the international community ought to apply in similar cases in the future.
Representatives from the worlds of diplomacy, the media and academe were present to exchange their views. The colloquy was an opportunity for useful contact, serving the cause of European integration.
Mr Blaauw explained that because of the situation, the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr George Papandreou, had sent his apologies, as he been obliged to leave for Brussels that afternoon. The President of the Assembly explained that, when in Athens the previous month, he had had the opportunity of a very substantial discussion with Mr Papandreou. The Assembly was looking forward to the latter being present at its plenary session in early June, which, owing to building work being done on the Paris premises, was to be held in Strasbourg.
The President welcomed Mr Ioannis Magriotis, Greece's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and expressed the Assembly's appreciation of the Greek EU/WEU Presidency's efforts to ensure that parliamentarians were kept fully informed of developments concerning the European Security and Defence Policy.
In the introduction to the annual report that WEU governments were required to make to the Assembly, and which had been received the previous Friday, the Presidency had made a specific link for the very first time between the ESDP and the WEU Assembly. This could represent a breakthrough for the Assembly's efforts to give the ESDP a concrete interparliamentary dimension. The President thanked the Greek Presidency for its endeavours to that end.
Mr Ioannis Magriotis (Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaking on behalf of Mr Papandreou) noted that the main new challenges were terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This raised the question of how to reduce such threats to security. The course the Bush Administration was taking was a wholly new departure. The new national security strategy, published in September 2002, advanced the idea of acting to neutralise threats from weapons of mass destruction before they had even taken shape.
For the Americans, legalising pre-emption was a technical issue. But this pre-emptive approach was a break with the past and carried with it the potential for ultimately endangering peace and prosperity and giving rise to risks of instability. There was a danger of a backlash against US policy and the principle of pre-emptive strategic action threatened to undermine any spirit of cooperation. There were other solutions to prevent nations being tempted to acquire or engage in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. A coherent strategy to combat proliferation of such weapons was needed. The US doctrine of pre-emptive action also raised the difficulty of a setting a precedent that other countries might decide to follow. Pre-emptive action without firm evidence would then become a possibility for other countries. The threat of unilateral action without such proof could undermine peace.
There had to be a real dialogue on security matters. "An imminent threat" should be defined by the United Nations. The security dialogue should take place in the UN Security Council. In Mr Magriotis's view multilateral action would be Europe's best bet when it came to protecting itself against existing threats, provided underlying principles were clearly defined and strictly adhered to.
Regional conflicts were to be monitored and prevented. The US national security strategy bore some resemblance in this respect to European policy, especially the United States determination to minimise regional conflicts to prevent them from degenerating into terrorist struggles. In the US strategy, development and non-proliferation formed the basis of conflict prevention. Alongside our affluent societies, poverty was rife and the world was neither a just nor a stable place. Thus the United States intended to increase its development aid by 50%.
The threat from non-state players constituted a new element. The current priorities were intelligence gathering and strengthening police services in order to stamp out terrorist cells.
The United States spent 380 billion dollars on its defence. However, notwithstanding the fact that in terms of defence spending it was way out in front, it should not be allowed to bypass strong international cooperation, since in all other spheres the United States had need of partners.
The EU had to develop both its policy and instruments. At the Seville EU Summit on 21-22 June 2002, European Union countries had taken steps to protect themselves in the event of terrorist attacks. They aimed to set up an intelligence database, by pooling national resources. There was also a need to improve NATO/EU cooperation.
The world was no longer a bipolar one. Global society had to be more united if violence, instability and confrontation were not to gain the upper hand.
It was necessary to try and move towards a global security ideal aiming to establish international principles. That aim could not be the justification for armed intervention. Force should only be used in the interests of the international community as a whole. The riposte must be fair and proportionate to the attack. There could be no total destruction of the adversary. When use was made of violence, this should invariably be to ensure the survival of the human race.
Europe and the new United States national security strategy
Mr Lluis Maria de Puig (Rapporteur) described the thrust of the new United States national security strategy. This strategy needed to be evaluated against the reality of the present (post-11 September 2001 and the Iraq crisis). It was in essence unilateral, and envisaged the principle of a just war. It was set out mainly in the official National Security Strategy paper1 published in September 2002 under the authority of President George W. Bush, and in terms of its more operational aspects, the Quadrennial Defense Review. Those seeking a deeper understanding of the new security and defence strategy should also consult other statements and studies originating in the Republican movement in circles close to the Bush Administration.
The "axis of evil" had been identified by President Bush before the 11 September 2001 attacks. The decision to pursue the missile defence project went hand in hand with President Bush's decision on the United States' withdrawal from the ABM Treaty
Following the trauma of 11 September 2001, and in the context of the escalating crisis in Iraq, the United States new national security strategy, was received with heightened interest both internally and outside the United States - the more so as its publication had been delayed by a year.
The strategy represented both a degree of continuity in relation to earlier American strategies and some new departures.
Maintaining US military supremacy had been a recurrent theme in successive national security strategies. In Chapter IX of the current strategy, the United States reaffirmed "the essential role of American military strength", stating "We must build and maintain our defences beyond challenge".
The following were identified by Mr de Puig as the key ideas of the new US strategy in terms of new thinking.
- Global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction
A significant departure from earlier strategies was the possibility of the United States launching unilateral pre-emptive attacks against terrorist groups and so-called rogue states, either already in possession of weapons of mass destruction or potentially on the way to acquiring them. It was difficult to ascertain the extent to which the United States differentiated between terrorist organisations and potentially threatening "state actors".
There was also confusion between the notions of pre-emption and prevention, and a tendency to assimilate anticipatory action (undertaken "even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack") with pre-emptive strikes (which may be legitimate in the face of a certain and imminent threat).
Hence Chapter III stated: "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defence by acting pre-emptively against such terrorists (...)".
And Chapter V read: "We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends. (...) We must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed. (...) We cannot let our enemy strike first. (...) We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today's adversaries. (...) The greater the threat, the greater the risk of inaction and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act pre-emptively. The United States will not use force in all cases to pre-empt emerging threats, nor should nations use pre-emption as a pretext for aggression. (...) The reasons of our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just."
- Ad hoc coalitions and the role of the Atlantic Alliance
As far as alliances went, the United States seemed more inclined to favour coalitions of the willing, after the "multilateralism American Style" advocated by Robert Kagan.
Mr de Puig noted that President Bush, in his introductory message to the strategy, states that "Alliances and multilateral institutions can multiply the strength of freedom-loving nations" adding "Coalitions of the willing can augment these permanent institutions". Further on, Chapter VIII of the strategy stated that: "America will implement its strategies by organising coalitions - as broad as practicable - of states able and willing to promote a balance of power that favours freedom. (...)"
The strategy also clarified the role that the United States wanted NATO to play from now on. "NATO's core mission - collective defence of the transatlantic alliance of democracies - remains, but NATO must develop new structures and capabilities to carry out that mission under new circumstances. NATO must build a capability to field, at short notice, highly mobile, specially trained forces whenever they are needed to respond to a threat against any member of the Alliance. The Alliance must be able to act wherever our interests are threatened, creating coalitions under NATO's own mandate, as well as contributing to mission-based coalitions. (...) If NATO succeeds in enacting these changes, the rewards will be a partnership as central to the security and interests of its member states as was the case during the Cold War". It was worth recalling that it was at the initiative of the United States that NATO ratified, at its Prague Summit, a military concept that included defence against terrorism.
Even after 11 September and notwithstanding the European allies' decision to invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, the United States rejected offers from European countries and operations in Afghanistan were carried out by a coalition of the willing outside the Alliance framework. Subsequently, the Americans took the initiative to propose the creation of a rapid response force within NATO - an idea that was adopted in Prague.
The US national security strategy paper made a single reference to CFSP/ESDP. This was in Chapter VIII: " ... we welcome our European allies' efforts to forge a greater foreign policy and defence identity with the EU, and commit themselves to close consultations to ensure that these developments work with NATO". While the United States welcomed development of CFSP/ESDP, it nevertheless entered a proviso as to how it should develop.
- Multilateral cooperation and unilateral action
Although much was frequently made of multilateral cooperation, referred to in many parts of the strategy document, the objectives and means described in one section were at times diluted, or even contradicted, by principles set out in another.
In Chapter VIII for example, international cooperation was given prominence. "The events of September 11, 2001, fundamentally changed the context for relations between the United States and other main centres of global power, and opened vast, new opportunities. With our long-standing allies in Europe and Asia, and with leaders in Russia, India, and China, we must develop an active agenda of cooperation (...) We can build fruitful habits of consultation, quiet arguments, sober analysis, and common action. (...) "
However, while recognising the importance of alliances, the United States reserved the right to act alone if its interests so required. Thus Chapter IX stated "In exercising our leadership, we will respect the values, judgement, and interest of our friends and partners. Still, we will be prepared to act apart when our interests and unique responsibilities require".
There were other unsettling aspects of the US national security strategy, particularly the fact that little importance was attributed to the United Nations. There was also the idea that the US had a "mission" in the world. What gave rise to most concern was the Americans' propensity to assimilate that mission with their own national interests. In their eyes United States interests invariably coincided exactly with those of humanity.
Reading President Bush's speeches too, one found numerous references to ... "divine providence", the idea that God was "on our side", "with us" and the like, but no rational political argument.
The US strategy had also to be envisaged in a longer-term perspective. What would its impact be on the work of the United Nations, NATO or the European Union in several months or years?
Mr de Puig then cited former President Clinton who had stated in a recent press article2 that the United States should exercise leadership, not the will to dominate.
We were, Mr de Puig said, waiting upon events. Would the United States' official national security strategy come into its own under pressure of circumstances, particularly in the present crisis over Iraq? What did our friends in the United States want? Active cooperation in a multipolar world or unilateral action? What could their allies on the continent of Europe give them?
He concluded with the thought that Europeans had a duty to reflect on the implications of the new United States security strategy for the world, and on transatlantic relations. They had to stand up for their priorities and vision, through a process of constructive dialogue, that was at once both intra-European and transatlantic. This was all the more vital in the face of the threat of a rift between Europe and the United States.
Consequences for global security
Mr Karolos Papoulias (Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament), introduced the debate, observing that the decision to engage in military conflict seemed already to have been taken and it looked as though there was no going back on it, notwithstanding the views of the UN Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix, and countries like France, Germany and Russia.
The risk of domination by the world's sole superpower, now intent on projecting its own democratic ideal, by force of arms if necessary and while claiming the moral high ground and the justice of its cause, was a very real one. There were differences between it and Europeans, for example, who given their history, were much closer to the Arab world.
Terrorism was a very real threat, but a pre-emptive strike on Iraq, which would be a blatant violation of international law, was not desirable. It was both harmful and a pity that Europe did not speak with one voice. In the present crisis, eight EU member states had ranged themselves against the others as far as their relationship with the United States was concerned. Europe had missed an important opportunity to show that it was not just a large market but also a body with a political calling able to take a coordinated stance.
Mr Ivan Eland (Director of the Center for the Study of War, Crises and Liberty, the Independent Institute, Oakland, California), United States) said the national security strategy published by the White House in September 2002 contained little new thinking. The policy the United States had been pursuing since the end of the second world war remained substantially the same and was geared to achieving US world superiority. Former Presidents Clinton and Bush Senior had also had the same policy objectives of global hegemony. President Bush Senior had intervened in Panama and Iraq (Operation Desert Storm and Clinton in Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. In the case of the last, Clinton had attacked a sovereign nation without UN approval (but with the go-ahead from NATO, and by simply assisting one side in a civil war, without openly trying to change the nature of the regime). In 1994, Clinton had threatened North Korea with war because of its military programme and retaining American military dominance had always been a plank of the US national security strategy. American intervention since the end of the cold war had also been marked by a number of failures, particularly in the post-conflict and reconstruction phases: Iraq in 1991, Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan.
There was basically no difference between America's new national security strategy and those that had gone before it. The only thing that had changed was that its goals were spelt out more clearly and vigorously than before. President Bush used words like "pre-emption", maintaining that "the best defense is a good offense" and that the United States should be so powerful that others were dissuaded from challenging it (primacy).
In the present example, the Iraq crisis, the words "pre-emption" and "prevention" were being abused by President Bush. There was no proof of an imminent threat to the United States from Iraq. Even if Mr Bush carried on regardless of the wishes of the United Nations, he was now more exposed to criticism as he was openly trying to topple the Iraqi regime, without the latter having given strong, direct provocation to the United States. This could be but the first of similar attacks to come against Iran and North Korea.
The global hegemony goal and preventive war doctrine were counterproductive and unsustainable in the longer term. The benefits of this type of intervention were quite limited and their economic cost was high; they were often violently opposed and led to terrorism and cycles of violence (attacks-reprisals). Furthermore, US public opinion was wary of military intervention abroad and, at international level, American policy was giving rise to growing opposition. The differences between the United States and some European countries were thus one of the consequences of the implementation of the US national security strategy.
The members of Mr Bush's Administration who supported that strategy had used the 11 September 2001 attacks as a pretext to take on the "axis of evil". From a struggle against terrorists that might strike anywhere (al-Qa'ida members), the war on terror had developed into a war against "rogue states" that were attempting to procure or use weapons of mass destruction. However, it would be difficult to take on the 13 biological weapon states, the 16 chemical weapon states, the 28 states with ballistic missiles and to wipe out the nuclear programmes developed by 12 countries. Mr Bush's aggressive counter-proliferation doctrine was actually producing more proliferation. The other 11 countries with nuclear weapons programmes, seeing how Iraq was being treated differently from North Korea, would step up those programmes.
In Mr Eland's view, if the United States wanted to end the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, it would do well to begin by laying off its profligate global intervention strategies that were prompting other countries to acquire weapons. It might occasionally need to take military action when attacked, but should eliminate needless military intervention such as that in Iraq.
Other major powers in the past had failed in their attempts to become "a hegemon" (for example, the Hapsburgs, Great Britain, the Soviet Union). There was no reason to think that this strategy would work out better for the United States. As it expanded its sphere of influence it would have to defend even more far-flung areas - for example it was no longer enough to defend oilfields in the Persian Gulf, it must now "take out" Iraq.
The empire would become overextended, and high military expenditure would erode economic growth. After the second world war, Europe cleverly concentrated on economic growth while letting the United States pick up much of the bill for its defence. However, this was a situation that could not last. Other powers would eventually seek to counterbalance a nation that became too powerful. "Balance of threat" theorists said this would not happen because the United States was a "benevolent hegemon", but recent events (namely the wrangle over a US invasion of Iraq) were proving them wrong. The traditional balance of power politics would cause other nations to provide a counterweight to the United States.
China, Russia, France and Germany were all opposed to the United States' war in Iraq. This was something that would increasingly arise in the future as Europe's and US interests inevitably diverged. The overarching threat from the Soviet Union had kept NATO together, as Europe accepted had US hegemony. But the decline of that threat would eventually seriously undermine NATO.
Hence the importance of the EU's efforts. Successive American governments up to now had wanted European integration provided there was no challenge to US dominance in Europe. According to Mr Eland, the United States would have to reduce its role in European security and the EU take on a bigger one. The EU should have the capability to act independently of NATO. This would be in both European and US interests.
After the controversy over Iraq, Europeans should be concerned about US primacy and its preventive security strategy. Profligate US interventions around the globe might conflict with Europe's interests and might even be dangerous for Europe. It could become the target of retaliatory terrorism or a rogue-state missile, fired by a cornered regime. The US military could get Europe into trouble.
The United States could become, as Mr Eland put it, "an offshore balancer", rather than taking the lead in Europe and everywhere else, and thus reduce its military spending and avoid falling into the decline that had been the lot of other hegemons. With two great oceans as moats, two friendly neighbours and the most potent nuclear arsenal on the planet, the United States was virtually invulnerable from conventional attack. However, as the 11 September 2001 attack had shown, the United States was vulnerable to terrorists that were not amenable to deterrence.
But to believe like Mr Bush that "best defense is a good offense" merely gave rise to more terrorism. It was necessary to hunt down terrorists, but intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security measures were mainly the way to do this, keeping military interventions to a minimum.
Excessive military adventures - such as in Iraq, Colombia, the Philippines or Georgia - merely fanned the flames of terrorism. Unprovoked attacks on Muslim countries played into Osama Bin Laden's hands and redoubled terrorist recruitment. The US Department of State estimated that 63% of cases of cross-border terrorism were directed at the United States, which was curious for a country not involved in civil war, that had no hostile neighbours and no ethnic conflict. Polls taken in Arab and Islamic countries showed that people liked American culture and political and economic freedoms, but not US policy towards the Middle East (in other words its hegemonic role). It was impossible to get this message over to the foreign policy specialists in Washington. Essentially they would answer that the US would be attacked no matter what it did because it was "the greatest". Non-US audiences were much more receptive to the argument that US actions in the world did have consequences.
The 11 September 2001 events showed that the demise of the Soviet Union had changed the costs and benefits of military intervention. The benefits were far fewer because of the absence of a rival superpower with equally hegemonic goals to compete with. The costs were potentially higher than at the time of the cold war because the Soviets, even though they had many nuclear weapons, were amenable to deterrence and "didn't want to commit suicide". Terrorists had shown that they were not necessarily constrained by such factors.
Furthermore economic growth would be higher and the American people better off without exorbitant military spending (the US currently spent on defence what the twelve next highest defence-spending countries spent together). Given its strategic position, it could actually spend less than other nations and be secure.
Mr Eland then speculated as to what the United States should do in the world and in Europe. It should "stop talking out of both sides of its mouth" about the European Union. If the United States wanted Europeans to spend more on their defence, it should take on board the fact that Europe wanted a say in what happened there and elsewhere. The US could not demand increased security burden-sharing and then ignore European wishes and demand to stay in sole command. The United States should also actively support the EU and turn it into the first line of security in Europe.
The United States must withdraw its troops from Europe and only act as a second line of defence in case a rising hegemon grew too powerful. The US should stop being more concerned about European security than the Europeans themselves. The EU, not NATO, should be handling future Bosnias and Kosovos. The United States should announce that a phased withdrawal would occur, thus giving its allies the chance to build up their own forces. The United States and its allies would both be better off if the US did less and they did more for their security.
In all three traditional key regions (Europe, eastern Asia and the Middle East) the United States supported rich nations against their much poorer potential rivals. It was time all such countries did more for their own defence, but they would not if US forces remained.
In short, the United States could not sustain its neo-imperialist role. Unneeded military interventions led to unintended consequences (Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq). They also drained the economy and this would eventually lead to US decline as a great power. With greater military power, Europeans would have a greater say over their own destiny and that, for rich nations, might be a price worth paying.
The current situation in Iraq (and perhaps future US military actions against Iran, North Korea or the enemy of the day) demonstrated the dangers of one hegemonic power, no matter which.
A balance of power among nations had worked to ensure safety for centuries and would work again if the US acted as the "balancer of last resort".
To say that Europeans could not manage their affairs was condescending and wrong. Americans should, as Mr Eland himself did, applaud what the EU was trying to do in setting up a rapid reaction force and expanding its role as far as European security issues were concerned.
Europe could act as a stable counterweight to the United States, provided it developed its defence capabilities and made progress in terms of its common foreign, security and defence policy. This implied a real effort on its part, especially in financial terms, if it was to appear credible.
Mr Vladimir Lukin (Deputy Speaker, State Duma of the Russian Federation) was pleased to see that the political choices Russia had made were in line with those of many other Western countries. His analysis of American policy was based on his experience as former Ambassador to the United States when George Bush senior was President. A comparison of the current situation with the one that had prevailed in 1991 was erroneous because at that time Iraq was clearly guilty of aggression, which was not the case today.
It was true that times had changed, as had the nature of the danger the world was facing. Terrorism was a threat to humanity and it was intolerable to think that weapons of mass destruction might be used by terrorists. This was the scourge that had to be removed, but by what means?
The United States had chosen to use force, but there were many examples in history that showed that in the absence of consensus and a sound network of alliances, all empires relying on military might were doomed to failure sooner or later.
The Americans had opted to bypass their system of alliances in favour of unilateral action. But they would not be able to solve all the world's problems on their own (such as imposing a new regional order in the Middle East for instance). This was a dangerous illusion. If they were to occupy the position of leader, this had to be done within stable alliances. They could not choose different partners to suit the occasion.
The United States had decided on its objective in the belief that it was just. In its day the Soviet Union had done the same, thinking it had a moral duty in the name of Marxist-Leninist dogma. Among other things, that had led to its invasion of Czechoslovakia as it then was.
The United States had to distance itself from the idea of a Christian crusade, otherwise it ran the risk of advocating "anti-extremist extremism".
Neither should it engage in a policy of double standards by intervening in Iraq while abstaining from action elsewhere. For example, it was not reacting with the same degree of interest to the very real risks generated by tension between India and Pakistan.
Even though the United States was the only world power at the present time, it had to set itself limits if it did not want to end up fighting wars on all fronts. Today it was taking action against Iraq, tomorrow it could be in conflict with Pakistan or China. It was unacceptable for a country to declare that it would respect the United Nations only if members voted the way the United States wanted them to vote. Russia was in the process of strengthening ties with Europe and took the view that any violation of international law based on the United Nations was to be condemned outright.
Russia did not want to quarrel with the United States. Its objective was to play a full part in European economic and political matters while maintaining excellent relations with the United States.
Mr Goris (Belgium) said he was proud to belong to the old Europe. In his view there was also an old America, that of George Bush senior, which was to be preferred. All Western countries supported the United States in the fight against terrorism, but using force was not the answer and would merely result in an escalation of terrorist actions. An attack against Iraq would in the long term lead to young Arabs fighting even more fiercely against a system they saw as unjust.
The United Nations was vitally important and no unilateral decision could be allowed to prevail. A legal solution had to carry the day. Instead of bringing about the desired outcome, disrupting the international order would produce the opposite result. Was it not right for Europe to be the custodian of the values it defended?
Mr Masseret (France) remarked that there were still countries in Europe which were dependent on American interests and did not recognise any common European values or interests.
He wondered about the consequences (challenges, risks and lessons to be learned) of the rift among the European states. He favoured the option of a powerful Europe. It was out of the question for Europe's relations with the United States to be those of subservience to a superior. The US Administration's argument that we shared the same vital interests was absurd. This was why it was important to be able to develop our own political project in the form of a genuine European Security and Defence Policy and a proper European industrial policy on armaments, not out of a desire for hegemonic power, but out of the need to assert our political identity. This called for very strong political resolve. The national parliaments had a role to play in those initiatives. Relations with Russia should be strengthened within the ESDP framework.
A further problem to be tackled was that of worldwide economic disparities, because the disproportionate gap between the rich and poor was a root cause of terrorism. Terrorism thrived when states were weak and when the inequalities that existed in terms of development were too big. A single state, however powerful, could not resolve those problems on its own by military means!
Mr Yañez Barnuevo (Spain) hoped to hear a range of views expressed during the colloquy. He was surprised not to have heard any opposing views being put forward.
The attitude of the United States was all the more deplorable in view of the fact that it had taken decisions in total disregard of public opinion, which was opposed to this strategy of domination. Obviously it was necessary to cut all links between Iraqi weapons and terrorism, but there were other ways of doing that.
Mr Gubert (Italy) remarked that while this repressive American policy might give the impression of offering better guarantees for global security, it did nothing to remedy the root causes of terrorism , which continued to exist.
Therefore, in his view, the first response to terrorism was to try and eradicate its causes. Such an analysis of the threats was lacking in the United States. Regarding the idea of a "just cause", it was important that there should be an evaluation of the threat at international level to determine whether such a notion was legitimate. Finally, the use of force was the least "cost-effective" way of trying to persuade another party to bow to one's wishes. This was true not only of relations among individuals but also of those among states.
Mrs Durrieu (France) stressed the continuity of United States policy. NATO's new strategic concept had been adopted in 1999 and it was hardly surprising that its effects were being felt today. Even at the 1999 NATO Summit, at a time when Mr Clinton was President, the new strategic concept of the Alliance had failed to clearly specify the need for all Alliance action to be based on a UN mandate. It had also referred to out-of-area operations by the Alliance and to non-military fields of action.
Even if this was a "lightning" war, it would represent above all the triumph of force and unilateralism over the rule of law and the principle of consensus.
President Bush had un ultra-Christian perception of the notions of "good" and "evil" and saw the combat against Islamic fundamentalism as a divine mission.
Nevertheless, there was cause for optimism because public opinion, particularly in Europe, was often ahead of its political leaders when it came to defending the international order.
The attitude of the former Soviet bloc countries and their difficulty in resisting the United States was not surprising in view of their history. It was up to us to demonstrate the strength and advantages of an autonomous Europe.
Finally, what would be the future role of Europe in a unipolar Alliance?
Mr Guardans i Cambó (Spain) felt that the differences of opinion were not that great, even in the United States, because the decisions taken today were those of a single political party and did not reflect the general opinion. There was therefore reason to hope for a change in United States policy. The rifts would not necessarily grow deeper. However, it was true to say that the perception of the threat was, for the moment, very different on either side of the Atlantic.
There could be no doubt that the United States had been badly bruised. But reacting with this show of power would at the end of the day only incite the states being targeted to arm themselves against it, which was precisely the opposite of the intended aim.
Mr Manzella (Italy) remarked that the doctrine of unilateralism had led to war, thereby demonstrating its weakness. Conversely, new impetus had been given to the United Nations. It was supported by international public opinion, which wanted a supranational authority as a guarantor of peace. The United States had underestimated the role of the UN and had not foreseen that the citizens of the world would come together as a countervailing force at supranational level.
Times had changed. There was a need to set up appropriate new institutions on the basis of new legal concepts. It was more than ever necessary to create the political and institutional framework for a newly defined European defence based on a transatlantic partnership. This was one of the tasks of the Convention on the Future of Europe. Europe needed to underpin its policy in a credible fashion, by defining convergence criteria in the field of the ESDP.
Mr Mercan (Turkey, associate member) drew attention to the consequences of the United States' military action in Iraq. It would lead to large numbers of refugees amassed in camps, whose feelings of rancour would provide a breeding-ground for terrorism. Transforming what was a political battle into a religious war was a sea change that would stoke the development of terrorism. Finally, it was illusory to wish to export democratic principles to countries with a totally different mentality. They could not be simply transposed and the rule of law did not exist everywhere.
The new American security strategy called for efforts to avoid civil wars and regional conflicts, which it said favoured the development of fundamentalism. There could be no question of reducing the fight against terrorism to a struggle between Christians and Muslims.
Mr Selva (Italy) pointed out that it was by the force of arms that the United States had liberated Europe from the Nazi and fascist dictatorships. That had been a just war that one should not forget. Absolutely no parallels would be drawn here with the invasion of Czechoslovakia. The United States had worked for a long time with the UN, everyone had patiently negotiated with Saddam Hussein, but to no avail. Resolution 1441 was important. The Pope himself had acknowledged that war was the last recourse, at the very end of the process. Many people took the view that this time had come, while others thought more time was needed. But everyone agreed that the UN had made provision for the use of force. Hence, there was no fundamental disagreement, contrary to what one would have us believe. It was to be welcomed that some countries were prepared to engage in the frontline in the fight against terrorism and intolerance. It was essential to reinstate the fundamental values of democracy and justice - on that everyone agreed.
Mr Loncle (France) stressed that in today's Europe and the Europe of the future, no country needed lessons in freedom. The United States was proud to be conducting such an important "mission". But did this mean that the other countries should just fall in line? What was the nature of that mission?
The United States had not properly evaluated the risks of destabilisation in the Middle East. Had it really weighed up the risks of its unilateral action leading to a resurgence of terrorism and becoming a precedent for other countries in the world?
It had not stated its war aims sufficiently clearly. Indeed, it had cited several different aims. Moreover, there had not been enough discussion of those aims in the Security Council.
Furthermore, the relations between the wider Europe and the United States needed to be redefined. They should be based on the principle of consultation. Europe needed the United States as much as the United States needed it.
Mr Wilkinson (United Kingdom) recalled the importance of the fight against terrorism and his recent report on the subject, adopted in June 20023. Priority had to be given to the law, diplomacy and concerted measures. Speaking as one who had been involved in receiving the bodies brought home after the Bali tragedy, he expressed his horror at acts of terrorism and the suffering they caused.
Over the last twelve years Europeans had worked hand in hand with the Americans during the Gulf war and in Afghanistan. In the Balkans, US intervention had made it possible to end ethnic cleansing. The patience the international community had shown towards Iraq for 12 years should not be lightly overlooked.
If the problem of Iraq were resolved, there were other international problems requiring attention, such as tensions in Kashmir or the conflict in the Middle East.
Instead of criticising the United States, Europeans would do better to strengthen their military capabilities so as to be credible partners in operational terms.
Mr Salles (France) challenged the whole notion of pro- or anti-American sentiments. There were simply Americans and Europeans, who were friends. It was possible to interpret things differently and to have disagreements, but that did not mean that we were enemies. Quite the reverse, between real friends, this was a normal state of affairs.
Regarding military action against Iraq, the basic problem was one of legitimacy. On this point, France and a fair number of other European countries had taken different positions to the one the United States had hoped they would take.
The United States was not to be condemned. The reason why it was the only superpower was because Europe was incapable of organising itself politically and threatened to dwindle into a mere free trade area without a political design. The US attitude served, then, to point up our own weaknesses. Consequently, it was necessary to strengthen Europe's political "clout".
Mr Barbieri (Italy) criticised Mr de Puig for not being convinced by the principles set out in the new US security strategy. He asked what the reasons were for the international community's lack of action in the Congo crisis. In his view, the United States made up for Europe's shortcomings.
Mr Rivolta (Italy) felt that the Azores Summit would deliver an ultimatum to the UN Security Council, following the formal withdrawal of the proposal for a second resolution. Any withdrawal of the troops now in place belonging to the coalition of the willing brought together by the United States now seemed unrealistic. What way out were the speakers then proposing?
Mr Branger (France) observed that Europeans were the Americans' friends but that their approach over Iraq was different. Why go to war against Iraq, rather than Iran or North Korea for example, which was reactivating its nuclear reactor in order to make an atomic bomb?
It was necessary to be extremely vigilant when it came to Saddam Hussein's regime, but why attack this particular undemocratic regime when there were so many others in the world that were in need of reform and conversion to democracy?
The weapons inspectors had to be allowed to continue their work, thus avoiding war in the region. If a unilateral decision to resort to force was taken, a post-Saddam multilateral diplomatic solution needed to be found. It was still not known what would happen when the war was over.
Mr Blaauw informed those present that President Bush was due to broadcast a message that evening giving Saddam Hussein an ultimatum, and 48 hours to decide to step down from power. The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, had asked the inspectors to withdraw.
Mr Lukin's reaction was that an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was better than one to the UN Security Council.
He did not think it was possible to recall the troops already deployed in the area. They would intervene "because they were there". It may not be very sensible but it was the case.
He recalled that Russia had made an informal request to the United Nations to support a Russian intervention in Georgia (Pankisi) for reasons of self-defence, but that when the UN refused because it felt the Russians had insufficient justification, Russia had immediately bowed to the UN's decision. Russia therefore followed the United Nations' opinion in compliance with international law.
The future organisation of the world was at stake. Did we owe allegiance to the United States or not? There was an increasing need for a great-power Europe.
All countries were in favour of the disarmament of Iraq pursuant to Resolution 1141. It was necessary therefore to agree on how to act together against Iraq. But the United States had gone ahead regardless and "privatised" the fight against terrorism.
Mr Eland pointed to a continuity in the perception of threats between the Bush Senior, the Clinton and the current Bush Administrations. That was true also in terms of the goal of global hegemony.
Countries other than Iraq were in possession of weapons of mass destruction (Syria, Libya, India, Pakistan, China etc.). There was a need to fight terrorism together. President Bush's strategy was likely to lead to more terrorism. Other groups would be moved to imitate al-Qa'ida. Aggressive action was needed to fight al-Qa'ida along with all other terrorist organisations.
Success in Iraq could not be guaranteed. America could lose face. It might have to cut its losses and withdraw, which would be better than carrying on to no avail. It was still not possible to tell what the consequences of war might be.
Mr Blaauw concluded by saying that recent events served to justify all the more the existence of an Interparliamentary European Security and Defence Assembly to discuss common positions before crises blew up.
Tuesday, 18 March 2003
The consequences for NATO and transatlantic cooperation
Mr Wilkinson (Chairman of the Defence Committee) introduced the speakers. Ambassador Miller, who was the United States Ambassador to Greece, had previously occupied the post of US ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He had also been involved in negotiations on the future of Cyprus. As an experienced diplomat his presence at the colloquy at a critical time, when the United States, the United Kingdom and other allied countries might to go to war with Iraq, was much appreciated.
Mr Palombo, Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and a former General in the Carabinieri, was well known for his sterling work in the Italian Senate. The WEU Assembly had close and extremely productive ties with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Mr Hopkinson was an eminent expert on disarmament. He was currently an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs and the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies in the United Kingdom.
H. E. Mr Thomas J. Miller (Ambassador of the United States to Greece) observed that the Prague Summit had heralded important changes for NATO in the new century. The Alliance had to evolve to meet new challenges. Europe today was at peace and any threats were from unstable countries and international terrorism, and from weapons of mass destruction. Geography, as the NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson had put it, no longer provided a shield. Civilians were now in the front line. When it came to combat, there was not even a distinction in theory between those within and beyond the pale. NATO had to be able to intervene beyond the borders of its own member states, whenever the safety of their citizens demanded it.
To deal with global terrorism, the Alliance needed to be more flexible and better adapted, and to develop ties with other countries concerned such as Russia, Ukraine and the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The United States had decided to increase its defence spending (which stood at 3.5% of GDP) and hoped that the Allies would also make similar commitments (of at least 2% of GDP). Europe should play a greater part in this shared effort, both in terms of its spending and in reforming its armed forces. It should catch up in terms of capabilities while the US should open up its markets to a greater extent.
NATO, for its part, had decided to reorganise its command structures and establish a response force of 20 000 soldiers that could be deployed within one to two weeks and would complement the EU intervention force which was to have responsibility for Petersberg missions.
There were differences between the Allies on the ways of dealing with the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
There were also different views on the Iraq question but the facts were there for all to see: repeated violations of UN Security Council Resolutions, illegal pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, particularly biological weapons, human rights violations and support for international terrorism. UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which had been agreed unanimously, set out the responsibilities of the Iraqi Government as far as disarmament was concerned. Disarmament should be total, as in South Africa and Ukraine at the end of the cold war. There was a need to counter the threat, and the Iraqi leadership should comply with its political responsibilities.
The Iraqi regime had been delivered an ultimatum. The United States had no option. Force was the only answer. The UN goal would be achieved and Iraq would be disarmed. The issue was now no longer the number of inspectors and how much time they needed to complete their task. It had to be seen in other terms. Saddam Hussein had his back to the wall. There was an alternative window of opportunity to war but only a very narrow one.
With regard to the necessary recourse to force, clearly the level of acceptance of the threat was no longer the same in the United States after the 11 September 2001 attacks. There was no point waiting until Iraq was in a position to present a real threat to the United States.
There was no unity of thinking, but Americans and Europeans had the same goal: disarming Iraq. There were European states that supported the United States and its tough stance (Italy, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark) while other members of the international community wanted to pursue the path of peaceful disarmament. However, everyone had to cooperate to prepare for the post-war period and for continuing the fight against international terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The important thing was to consider what should happen afterwards, with a view to working together to meet the challenges and combat future threats.
Mr Wilkinson pointed to the significance of the transformation of the Atlantic Alliance. He noted that Poland, for example, had sent troops into the thick of the fighting. He was also very pleased about the aim of achieving complementarity between NATO's rapid response force and the European rapid reaction force.
Ambassador Miller apologised for having forgotten to mention the involvement of the forces of the central and European countries in the coalition against Iraq. The list of countries to which he had referred earlier was obviously not exhaustive.
Mr Mario Palombo (Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly) expressed regret that the main talking point of the day was division among Europeans, when, following the 11 September 2001 attacks, NATO had invoked Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and every European country had declared itself in complete solidarity with the United States. Two years on there was profound disagreement. Did that mean that there was no longer any will for joint action in the fight against terrorism or against the threat of weapons of mass destruction? The reality was much more complex than the newspaper headlines would have us believe.
The rift between the two shores of the Atlantic and within Europe over the Iraq question added yet another layer to the divisions that already existed between the United States and Europe in areas such as international trade, environmental protection, the death penalty, the role of international institutions and so on.
Moreover, the gap between the United States and other countries as regards military capabilities, meant that the United States could if it wanted do without allies in any military operations it wanted to conduct. Hence the importance of the decisions taken at the Prague Summit to strengthen Allied military capabilities, thus ensuring NATO's survival as a military alliance of a number of partners capable of acting together. It had therefore been decided to set up a NATO response force, to reform the command structures of the Alliance and launch the Prague Capabilities Commitment. The fight against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction had also become a priority. A Partnership Action Plan against terrorism had also been adopted and it was planned to strengthen the Mediterranean dialogue. The European Allies had an understandable interest in remaining active members of the Atlantic Alliance which had proved effective and durable in so many past crises.
Mr Palombo noted that significant cooperation measures had been taken in Europe in the war on terrorism, especially in judicial cooperation, intelligence and police action. The EU envisaged cooperation with the United States in fighting terrorism. But this threatened to pass unnoticed by the public at large, whose attention had been completely absorbed by the war on Iraq.
The Americans, one should understand, had, since 11 September 2001, considered themselves at war, but in an atypical context, in which adversaries could operate from countries unable to prevent them from doing so, or worse still, consenting countries. Under those circumstances, there could be no delay in reacting and no way of remaining passive. The critical point would come with a possible United States intervention not sanctioned by the United Nations. The new US doctrine of pre-emption had divided public opinion in Europe and it seemed impossible to arrive at a consensus. International law had always permitted states to defend themselves against the threat of imminent attack. However, the United States was now saying that it wanted to use the military option pre-emptively in order to anticipate enemy action, even though the place and timing of such an attack was unknown.
There were clearly political difficulties between the Allies but there was still, especially in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, a real willingness to enter into dialogue and a desire for transatlantic unity. The recent crisis in NATO over the plan to defend Turkey was an example of this. A common position within the Alliance had eventually been found as a result of dialogue. This showed the vitality of the transatlantic link.
Moreover, Europe had the right to advance its own political position and values within the international community. It also had to be more credible in military terms, boost its defence spending, take measures to improve the interoperability of the forces of the various European nations and bridge the technological gap separating Europe from the United States. Our American friends took a pragmatic approach and would be happy to see Europe translate its commitments into action.
Europe often laid claim to an international role without securing for itself the practical means of doing so. There had been too many windy speeches and high-principled declarations, but little progress towards greater European military capability. When the present conflict was over, lessons should be learned all round from mistakes and shortcomings, so as to promote real transatlantic cooperation towards finding solutions that favoured peace and progress, in line with Alliance goals.
Europe and the United States would continue to disagree in many areas but there were more issues on which they were united than divided.
Mr William Hopkinson (Associate Fellow, Royal Institute for International Affairs and Royal United Services Institute for Defence Affairs, United Kingdom) spoke about the consequences of the new United States national security strategy for NATO and transatlantic cooperation.
He felt that in one sense the consequences would be limited. NATO was already dying. The new US strategy would probably hasten that, militarily and politically: politically, because of unilateralism, and the divisions recently sown; militarily, because no one would be able to operate alongside an updated US military which would not wish to be impeded by the Alliance.
On the narrower question of fighting terrorism, firstly, NATO was not well equipped for this, and did not have much of a role. Secondly, the United States had its own agenda and its own views on the appropriate tactics, and these were unlikely to harmonise well with its Allies. Transatlantic cooperation in this area was likely to take place mainly outside NATO. The key point was not so much what documents such as the new strategy said, but what actions they underpinned.
The United States differed from almost all of its allies on the appropriate use of force (jus ad bellum) and to an extent on jus in bello, how to wage war.
Most NATO Allies saw no connection between Iraq and al-Qa'ida (at least in the sense of that state supporting the terrorist group); they saw little immediate threat to the West from Iraqi WMD and no justification within the UN Charter for the use of force at this stage. They thought that for that use to be lawful it must be sanctioned by the United Nations.
There was no proper discussion within the Alliance of real issues such as the situation in Iraq or Afghanistan. The United States did not need NATO politically or militarily. Its use to the other major allies was indirect, to provide common standards for coalitions, the EU, and so on.
The exchanges of the last three months painted a grim picture: NATO's decay revealed, EU foreign policy hopes dashed and the UN gravely damaged. Not all of this was the US's responsibility: Mr Chirac and Mr Blair must bear a heavy burden, as must, in a different sense, Mr Schröder.
The new strategy
With all mitigation, however, the underlying driver was United States unilateralism, its determination to do certain things its own way, irrespective of international law, the UN etc.
Transatlantic cooperation outside the military field was essential, on economic matters, in the pursuit of terrorism, against crime and all forms of trafficking. The US needed Europe for all those things. It would also need Europe in reconstructing parts of the world after intervention.
The new strategy offered a comprehensive statement of America's globe-straddling post-cold war ambitions to perpetuate its military supremacy, and of its willingness to use force to reshape the international order. It propounded "a distinctly American internationalism".
It showed that overthrowing the Iraqi dictator was only the next step in a massive project, pursued under the guise of the "war on terror," with some of its proponents aiming ultimately at remaking the world in the US image or, for others, shattering all threats or impediments to US interests. Who would be next after Iraq? Iran or North Korea?
The Bush Administration no longer viewed force as the last resort, but rather considered military power to be America's most effective instrument of statecraft - the area in which the United States owns the greatest advantage.
The new security strategy, echoing the President's speech at West Point on l June 2002, set three tasks for the United States, as follows: "We will defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. We will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent." This was not alarming per se but actions spoke louder than words.
Mr Bush intended to expand US global power projection capabilities. Already spending roughly as much on defence as the rest of the world combined, the United States would spend much more still so as to achieve a margin of such unprecedented and unsurpassed superiority that no would-be adversary would even consider mounting a future challenge.
Thus the strategy sought to secure in perpetuity the US status as sole superpower. Old concerns about the "clashing wills of powerful states" would disappear; henceforth, a single power would call the tune.
The letter serving as an introduction to the new security strategy spoke of creating "a balance of power that favours human freedom" while forsaking "unilateral advantage." The body of the document made clear that US forces would be "be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equalling, the power of the United States."
The West Point speech put it more bluntly: "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge." The President had therefore at last approved the controversial recommendation to this effect made by Paul Wolfowitz in a 1992 "Defense Planning Guidance" draft, subsequently leaked to the press and then disavowed by the first Bush Administration.
NATO was not part of the strategy nor, in any substantive sense, was the transatlantic relationship. What then was the utility of NATO for the US? Its own security did not hinge on the Alliance. Its use was surely as an instrument to control European foreign and defence policies, in other words to secure US influence.
More surprisingly, the most useful instruments for combating terrorism did not feature significantly in the strategy.
What then of Iraq? The hope was that toppling Saddam would complete the task the Gulf war left unfinished: that it would destroy whatever weapons of mass destruction he might have accumulated since then; that it would end whatever support Saddam provided for terrorists elsewhere, notably those acting against Israel; that it would liberate the Iraqi people and that in principle it would help ensure an ample supply of inexpensive oil.
However, more fundamentally, there was some hope that it would set in motion a process that could undermine and ultimately remove reactionary regimes elsewhere in the Middle East, thereby eliminating the principal breeding-ground for terrorism.
For the United States, the assault on Iraq was a plan for transforming the entire Muslim Middle East and bringing it into the modern world. There had been nothing like this in boldness and sweep since the Americans took it upon themselves to democratise Germany and Japan. There, however, the circumstances were very different. Whether the US could effect the transformation without European input seemed doubtful. Whether it should do so without United Nations involvement was very much open to challenge
President Bush also told the United Nations on 12 September 2002, that the US would save that Organisation from the irrelevance into which it would otherwise descend if its resolutions continued to be contemptuously disregarded. However, that statement hardly held water if the toppling of Saddam were done by flouting the UN Charter and procedures. Nor did it come well from a state that had itself done more than any other, except Israel, to flout the UN over the Palestine question.
The new world of US primacy and aggressive unilateral action began with the terrorist outrage of 11 September 2001 and the war on Afghanistan. The war on Iraq would turn those events into an epoch.
The world's "sole superpower" would eliminate a despicable regime that, nevertheless, presented no immediate threat, regardless of the opinions of Iraq's neighbours, most of its own allies and the rest of the world's sizeable powers. Of the latter, the United Kingdom alone remained loyal, at great risk to the political future of Mr Blair, its Prime Minister.
Since 11 September 2001, the US Administration had taken as its watchword an old Latin tag: salus populi, suprema lex - the safety of the people is the supreme law. Having a duty to protect its citizens, the state was not merely entitled but obliged to take the required actions. The more powerful the state, the more it was able - and obliged - to do.
The debate within the Administration was only between two rival versions of this doctrine. The first camp believed it was within America's power - and so in its interests - to remake its enemies, which was a contemporary form of l9th-century liberal imperialism. The second believed it was within America's power - and so in its interests - merely to destroy its enemies, a contemporary form of 19th-century nationalism. Neither fit very well with a leader of an enduring Alliance which saw itself as a community of values.
After the conquest of Iraq, the US would be confronted by the reconstruction of a fractured land in a failing and embittered region. Because of Iraq's pivotal place within the Middle East, it would also face the still more difficult task of remaking that region. Should it fail, it risked abandoning it in a still more embittered state.
NATO would have little role in that, though it might assume some peacekeeping-type functions. Europeans might wish to contribute, and the US might look to them for certain inputs. But it was unlikely those would include a contribution to policy. The adventure of remaking the Middle East was not one whose leadership the US would want to share with others. It already excluded as far as possible other influences in the region - as it had done with the Israel-Palestine conflict and the famous roadmap.
The alliance between France, Russia and China inside the United Nations Security Council was a predictable response. US strength was such, however, that this coalition would remain fragile for the foreseeable future. A countervailing coalition could become a force only if Europe united or, in due course, if China continued to grow economically and became more outward looking.
Paradoxically, European unity might in fact be closer than many supposed. The United Kingdom was clearly no longer (if indeed it ever had been) a bridge between the United States and Europe, but was at the moment anchored to the US end. If that decision were perceived to be a disaster, the UK's long-standing policy of aligning itself with the US might just change. A decision by the British elite that safety now lay in avoiding overweening dominance would greatly enhance Europe's capacity to pursue an independent policy.
The search for absolute security made others absolutely insecure. Any country actually or potentially viewed as a threat by the US was obliged, according to America's own logic, to attempt to make itself safe by obtaining weapons of mass destruction - a process that seemed more likely to be accelerated than slowed by the policy of pre-emptive action: Saddam Hussein was to be destroyed, while Kim Jong-il appeared safe. The lesson was unlikely to be lost on would-be proliferators.
The United States had adopted the ancient maxim that enemies might hate as long as they feared. However, hatred and humiliation bred terrorism. The US was no more likely to crush terrorism by military means than Ariel Sharon was to achieve the same aim for Israel.
Finally, the global economic order rested on cooperation, above all in international trade. The US could not achieve global prosperity on its own. Nor could it expect others to obey rules that it refused to follow itself. Here, then, it was bound by the idea of international law. Yet how long would a country used to being unquestioned judge and jury in its own cause accept the judgment of others in its economic life?
Transatlantic cooperation was part of a wider necessity, the UN or the international system. To ignore the US's law-giving role was bad. To assume that the UN Charter did not alter the role of force in international affairs was worse. To ignore the clear letter of the Charter and treat a veto one disliked as irresponsible was itself grossly irresponsible.
Examples mattered; great examples mattered greatly. The American people had to ask themselves whether this truly was the world they wished to inhabit. Back to 1914 - excellent as that world in many respects had been, but dangerous as it also undoubtedly was, not least inasmuch as military technical matters had dictated policy and politics were put aside for distorted military judgments about what "had" to be done, with results from which we would never recover.
Mr Masseret (France) explained that the interpretation whereby the countries that had voted in favour of Resolution 1441 had voted for a military engagement was questionable, not to say wrong. They had voted in favour of disarmament.
It was true that Saddam Hussein was not cooperating, but the risks of armed intervention outweighed any advantages it might bring. Disarmament was progressing, in spite of the total lack of cooperation on the part of the Iraqi leadership. Moreover, there was no proven link between Iraq and terrorism.
The shock caused by 11 September 2001 was understandable, but the US Administration had failed to examine thoroughly the underlying causes of the terrorist attacks. Action needed to be taken not only against terrorists, but also against injustice and poverty. Everyone was aware of the shortcomings of the action undertaken by the G8, the World Bank, the IMF and other similar organisations.
Who, in any case, was to define which states were "unstable"?
NATO should take action whenever the security of an allied country was at risk. Was it intended to develop this defensive structure into one that could also take part in pre-emptive wars? In which case, who was to decide whether pre-emptive action was justified?
Who would define the terrorist threat?
Any action on either side of the Atlantic should be taken in a spirit of loyalty, even-handedness and multilateralism. The current debate stirred up trouble because it was marked by a lack of mutual respect.
Europe had to exist as a political entity in its own right alongside the United States, but one complementary to it. It should be possible to express differences of opinion and vital interests.
Mr Rauber (Germany) remarked that the United States was particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks. In his view the main instigator of acts of terrorism was not Saddam Hussein, but terrorist organisations based in Saudi Arabia.
Saddam Hussein was a dictator who had had no compunction about using chemical weapons in the past. The question was whether the United States and Europe would be able to exert enough pressure to disarm him. The US Administration seemed to be hoping that the status quo in the region as a whole would change after the war. But that outcome was questionable. Was the aim of the United States to turn the Iraqi regime into an exemplary government (as it had wanted to do for Japan)?
Europe needed to be more involved, in the ESDP framework, with Mr Solana as its spokesman. An early warning system should be set up to avoid wars in the future. After this war, the United States would necessarily have to join forces with Europe to combat the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and to fight poverty.
Mr Dubié (Belgium) saw the war on Iraq as the first war of aggression of the 21st century. The Americans saw it as a crusade by the forces of good against the "axis of evil" (Iraq, Iran and North Korea).
In his own view, it was synonymous with the law of the jungle. Pope John Paul had described this pre-emptive war as foolish and criminal.
In parallel, the United States supported Israel, which had been systematically violating UN Security Council resolutions for years.
Furthermore, the United States spent 3.5% of its GDP on defence and only 0.13% on cooperation and development. 38 million Africans faced death by starvation, according to the Director of the World Food Programme, whose request for one million dollars in aid to combat famine had not been granted.
The US Administration's attitude was hypocritical. It accused Saddam Hussein of being a tyrant but had made no move when he first made widespread use of combat gases against Iran in 1982. Quite the reverse, Donald Rumsfeld had been on an official visit to Baghdad on 20 December 1983 and the United States had restored diplomatic relations with Iraq in 1984. At the same time the Union Carbide Corporation was supplying chemical products to Iraq.
"Old Europe", which included Belgium as well as France and Germany, defended international law and dialogue.
Mr Salles (France) noted with regard to the Iraq question that there was a broad consensus in France which transcended political dividing lines. France enjoyed a strong and long-standing friendship with the United States. But on Iraq the views of the two countries diverged. They disagreed both on the substance and on the procedure. Regarding the substance, France took the view that war could have been avoided. Regarding the procedure, the decision to go to war must be taken by the UN Security Council, as had been the case in Afghanistan.
The 2001 terrorist attacks had affected every nation. France (itself already the victim of terrorist attacks on its own territory) condemned terrorism. But it was opposed to punitive action. The imbalance between rich and poor countries constituted a breeding-ground for terrorism. It was important to deal not only with the consequences, but also and above all, the causes.
Mr Budin (Italy) wondered how best to defend the international order. Was it better to work on the basis of stable (but rigid) alliances, or on the basis of ad hoc coalitions (which all too often defended transient interests)?
Ambassador Miller replied that the United States was aware of the causes of terrorism and the conditions - misery, dictatorships - which favoured its development. This was taken on board in the US international aid effort which amounted to US dollars 15 billion alone for the fight against AIDS in Africa. But development aid should only be given to countries prepared to take measures to ensure that the funds were genuinely used for development purposes and not squandered.
Admittedly the list of "unstable" states was very long. Regarding the efforts to find a negotiated solution to the problem of Iraq's disarmament, it should be recalled that the United States had worked hard for many years within the UN framework. There had been several more resolutions, but all efforts to find a compromise had failed. One could not go on discussing things for ever. Resolution 1441, like many earlier resolutions, referred to the possibility of "serious consequences" for Iraq if it continued to fail to meet its obligations and the point of no return had now been reached. The announcement by one country of its intention to use its veto had forced the other countries on the UN Security Council to act the way they did.
Colin Powell had, however, presented evidence to the Security Council, although some, unfortunately, had contested it. If a small number of people with unsophisticated weapons were able to inflict so much damage on 11 September 2001, what would be the fate of the world as a whole with so many weapons of mass destruction in the hands of irresponsible states and terrorist organisations?
This war could provide the opportunity to re-launch the Middle East peace process and radically change the situation in the region as a whole.
It was indeed important to tackle the root causes of terrorism, but one should not forget that the perpetrators of the 11 September 2001 attacks had been educated members of the privileged classes.
It was regrettable that it was not possible to conduct foreign policy "after the event", so as to have the benefit of hindsight. It was true that the United States had previously supported Saddam Hussein, who, compared with neighbouring dictatorships, had at the time been the lesser evil. Iran had been the major threat at that time. Similarly, the United States had supported Bin Laden's resistance to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. But the situation now had changed, and the United States had adapted its foreign policy as a consequence.
Prospects for CFSP/ESDP
Mr Blaauw (President of the Assembly) welcomed Mr Yannos Papantoniou, Minister for Defence of Greece. He recalled that in his previous address to the Assembly during its December 2002 plenary session in Paris, the Minister had presented the programme of the incoming EU/WEU Greek Presidency as regards the ESDP and that Mr Papantoniou had hosted the informal meeting of EU defence ministers held in Athens on 14-15 March 2003. Thus there were many reasons for looking forward to his analysis.
The President also introduced Mr Anatol Lieven, who was well known to the readers of the Financial Times as a shrewd commentator on transatlantic relations. As Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington he was well placed to observe developments in the "new" America.
Mr Yannos Papantoniou (Minister for Defence of Greece) described the results of the meeting of EU defence ministers, at which four issues had been discussed. The first was Iraq, on which there were differences of opinion regarding the means, but full agreement on the evaluation of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and terrorism. None of this called into question the aim of building a common defence in Europe, quite the contrary: the need for it was more and more keenly felt. The ESDP should not suffer as a result of the differences among European countries. On the contrary, it was necessary to speed up its implementation and to take joint action in order to defend our values and principles.
The next issue was the progress being made by the Convention in the area of a common foreign policy and the possibility of incorporating the Article V collective defence clause in the future EU Constitutional Treaty. It was necessary to promote an autonomous ESDP and, at a later stage, a common defence. This was a challenge for the Convention on the Future of Europe. It was also necessary to broaden the aims of the rapid reaction force and to introduce a mutual assistance clause in order to deal with the current terrorist threats.
The NATO-EU agreement on reciprocity and complementarity also needed to be put into practice. The EU was to take over from NATO in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), with the first European forces due to arrive in two weeks' time. Although this operation was limited in operational terms, it could have major political repercussions and foster a more integrated approach to security policy.
Finally, as regards the armaments industry, progress had been made towards the setting-up of a European agency, which would enable Europe's industries to develop on the basis of common standards. The European Commission, whose attention had been drawn to this issue, had at last drafted a recommendation with a view to doing away with the ban on funding research programmes with military applications. Progress had also been made as regards giving priority to the training of officers and staff for the rapid reaction force, as well on the problems of the Mediterranean region. The Minister hoped that the parliamentarians of all European countries would give their support on these issues and that the resulting heightened awareness of the progress at European level would have a positive impact on political decision-making at national level.
Mr Dubié (Belgium) asked whether, in the Minister's view, Poland's decision to procure American F16 aircraft was conducive to strengthening the ESDP.
Mr Papantoniou replied that to a large extent this choice was linked with the competitiveness of the European defence industry. In his view the incentive for all European countries to "buy European" would increase as European industry became more competitive.
Mr Anatol Lieven (Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington) noted that Euro-American relations were going through a difficult phase. It was important to preserve the transatlantic link and to come up with European responses to the current crises, in other words, with a European strategy. But there were profound differences among governments, although the majority of public opinion was opposed to the war.
There were differences of perception between European and American public opinion, as well as between American public opinion and the Bush Administration. 40% of Americans supported the war in Iraq, but on the Middle East conflict the position of American public opinion was closer to that of European public opinion than it was to that of the Bush Administration.
One should not forget that this Administration would not stay in power for ever. Two years previously, American voters had preferred Mr Gore to Mr Bush.
The practice of diplomacy in the relations between Europe and the United States was made difficult by the action of the new Administration and the weakness of the State Department as compared with the Pentagon. Europeans should try to get through to American public opinion. Use could be made of the privileged relations between the United Kingdom and the United States. By remaining close to the United States, European countries could bring more influence to bear on US policy, particularly with regard to establishing a new balance in the Middle East after the conflict.
It was important for Europeans to speak with one voice as regards post-war Iraq, because there was a possibility of further American interventions which would have repercussions for transatlantic relations and, in particular, major political consequences for the United Kingdom. It was possible that there would be a greater interest on the part of the United Kingdom for the CFSP/ESDP in the future.
Europe needed to define its priorities. Its stabilising role in Afghanistan, due to the German-Dutch engagement in particular, was useful. It was a major contribution to the war on terrorism. Nevertheless, European states should focus first and foremost on neighbouring regions such as the Balkans (Bosnia, Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and the western part of the former Soviet Union. It was important not to forget the moral failure of Europe in Bosnia (and later in Kosovo), and the fact that it had not been able to do without American assistance. The assassination of the Serbian Prime Minister showed how fragile the stability of this region still was. Europe should be prepared, which meant developing its defence capabilities and reforming its decision-making structures. Thought should also be given to developing new types of framework for cooperation with countries like Turkey, Russia and Ukraine, in order to create a broader-based security environment.
Defence efforts were a matter of political will. It was inconceivable in the future for the United States to engage in operations in Europe in the same way it had done in the Balkans, Bosnia and Kosovo. Europe should get out of the habit of living under American protection, as this did nothing to make it shoulder its responsibilities. European efforts in that direction would encounter strong opposition from the United States, because the development of European military capabilities would reduce Europe's dependence on the United States and hence the latter's influence. The danger was the rift among European states which the Bush Administration would not fail to exploit. It was up to Europeans to assume their responsibilities with regard to that challenge. They should develop an "ethic of responsibility" specific to Europe.
Mr Blaauw agreed with Mr Lieven about the crucial importance of the Balkan region for Europe both now and in the future. A report on the subject was being drafted on behalf of the Assembly's Political Committee, which had closely monitored developments in the Balkans over recent years.
Mr Sfyriou (Greece) said the Convention discussions on the future of the CFSP/ESDP were crucially important. If the Constitutional Treaty mentioned the CFSP and ESDP explicitly and in ambitious terms, it would doubtless be more difficult for the EU member states to conduct bilateral or trilateral discussions in this area outside the EU institutional framework.
Citizens were bewildered by Europe's inability to take rapid and effective joint action. The situation in the Balkans provided the best example so far of Europe's failure in that respect.
To overcome these shortcomings, the financial aspects of the CFSP/ESDP must also be borne in mind.
Mr Blaauw agreed that the CFSP/ESDP should not just be wishful thinking. It should entail real missions and have a substantial budget for that purpose.
For Mr Lieven it was vital that Europeans should first define common priorities before moving on to joint action, which was the next step.
For the moment it was difficult for the central and eastern European countries to give priority to the ESDP. Because of their recent history they saw the United States as the main guarantor of their security. But their position would evolve in favour of the CFSP/ESDP if their concerns were properly addressed. Hungarian public opinion, for example, was out of step with its government and more inclined to share the perceptions of French public opinion.
The risk of the United States imposing sanctions on European countries that did not share its views was a more worrying problem. A possible sanction against Germany, for example, was for the United States to move its military bases from Germany to central and eastern European countries. Such an option would be damaging to the United States in operational terms, since German bases were more favourably located for operations in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Certain articles published in Republican circles also envisaged using Europe as a base for operations in other parts of the world.
Mr Gubert (Italy) asked whether there was any principle of giving NATO precedence for the use of national armed forces that could be made available either to NATO or the EU.
He wondered about the position of American public opinion. Was it opposed to war in general as an instrument of foreign policy or only to this particular war because there was no UN mandate?
Mrs Durrieu (France) was concerned about the consequences of the Iraq crisis for the future. NATO was in decline. Although the EU-NATO security agreement had been signed on 14 March, the EU military presence in FYROM would be on an extremely small scale. There was talk of a 300 to 350-strong force under the orders of General Pierre Maral, the French Commander of the EU forces, and under the operational command of DSACEUR, Admiral Rainer Feist of Germany, based in Mons. It was therefore fair to ask whether the EU could not have taken action in FYROM without recourse to NATO. And more particularly, one had to ask for the future whether, in "old" and "new" Europe, we were capable of going further. Europe as an economic area was a reality. NATO provided the security area. Was this considered to be a good balance, or was there a desire to develop a political area? It was necessary for all Europeans to work together to develop the CFSP, the Petersberg missions and the autonomy referred to in Cologne (but not in Nice). European security and defence still had to be built by means of tangible projects like Helios and Galileo. But there were numerous political obstacles. Citizens seemed to want to send us a message. We should listen to them.
Mr Triantaphyllou (EU Institute for Security Studies) remarked that the ESDP would soon have to be framed in a Europe of 25, rather than 15. He referred to the existing security cooperation between the EU and Turkey and between the EU and Russia, and wondered what should be done in that respect with regard to Israel.
Mrs Grabowska (Poland, associate member) recalled that at the Convention on the Future of Europe the firm intention had been announced of developing the ESDP in coordination with the Commission, which had competence for trade and humanitarian aid policy. The idea of extending majority voting to CFSP matters had been envisaged. The EU would become a major international player if it were given a legal personality. Poland was also in favour of developing the operational aspects of the ESDP. It had sent police officers to Bosnia and would be present in FYROM.
Relations with NATO were essential. The ESDP should strengthen the transatlantic link and be complementary to NATO, which would reinforce the strategic partnership between Europe and the United States. The NATO-EU Declaration of 16 December 2002 on the ESDP explicitly reaffirmed that commitment.
Europe's security did not stop at the borders of the EU. The importance of the eastern dimension of European security policy had to be borne in mind. Indeed that dimension needed to be bolstered, as had been stressed in various government statements when accession negotiations with Poland had started in 1998, and again in 2001, and even more recently in January 2003 in a non-paper drafted by the Polish Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Cimoszewicz. In the Minister's view, EU enlargement provided an exceptional opportunity for strengthening ties with the EU's new neighbours (Ukraine, Belarus, Russia). The EU's latest framework programme would favour dialogue with Russia as part of a strategic partnership. Relations with Ukraine and Belarus should also be fostered in the EU framework. The European Commission Communication of 11 March 2003 laid down a new framework for relations with the EU's new neighbours to the East. Generally speaking, that document reflected the position of Poland.
Furthermore, Poland welcomed the excellent cooperation with the Nordic countries in the field of crisis management. Indeed, its particular interest in the eastern dimension of European security policy did not rule out its involvement in other areas of that policy.
European countries' differences on Iraq should not blind them to their common objectives of building peace and stability in Europe and beyond. An effective CFSP should remain the common goal. Poland too should participate in the coalition against terrorism. International organisations had a particularly important role to play in the fight against terrorism. Poland had supported the common positions adopted by the EU on the issue of combating terrorism. It wished to be a reliable partner and an active participant in the CFSP.
Mr Pavlidis (Greece) insisted on the need for European countries to talk to each other in order to arrive at common positions. The aim was to create a European lobby in Europe.
The war had ceased in the Balkans. The peoples there wished fervently for peace, and the best way of achieving lasting peace was to deepen democracy. It was not enough to send a few thousand soldiers, those countries also needed help with their economic development.
Mr Jelinçic (Slovenia, associate partner) stressed that the Balkan crisis had not yet ended. The assassination of the Serbian Prime Minister was proof of that. There were fears for the region's future once the Americans withdrew from Bosnia.
Following the Declaration by the Vilnius Group Mr Solana had visited Ljubljana, where he had stated that WEU did not exist as a political or military entity.
Mr Rauber (Germany) regretted the low level of European countries' defence budgets. 1.3% of GDP was not sufficient.
He recalled that when civil war had broken out in the Balkans, Germany had found itself with 800 000 refugees on its territory. It had spent between 15 and 20 billion euros for Balkan refugees. European countries, unlike the United States, had a strategic interest in the stability of the Balkans. Europe should therefore assume its strategic responsibilities, particularly in that region.
Today there was fresh hope of a new departure for the ESDP, which could at last be given the means to match its objectives.
Mr Lieven acknowledged that while the ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo had not worsened, they continued to exist.
Europe excelled in the field of development aid but was still no good at dealing with confrontation. Increasing defence budgets was not the whole solution. It needed to redeploy, reorganise and supplement its resources by applying the principle of specialisation. The most important thing was to be ready when action became necessary.
Most Americans were unwilling to subordinate the United States' national interests to international law. Here there was a major difference with Europe. Within the United States there were also differences, but of a more subtle nature, between the advocates of a "soft" approach to American sovereignty (in particular by means of multilateral treaties and agreements) and those Republican elements which favoured a stronger-armed approach.
A positive aspect was the unanimous support in the United States for democratic values and the idea of progress. The 11 September attacks had been a severe shock for Americans and their nationalistic reaction was understandable. American society was still overshadowed by the trauma of the Vietnam war.
The United States wanted at all costs to prevent the emergence of another superpower. However, their concern was focused on China rather than Europe.
The US Administration would always be opposed to the development of the ESDP. For years its stance had been ambiguous, but now the answer was a clear "no".
It would be useful for the community of European nations to stand shoulder to shoulder in confronting anti-European pressure groups.
American public opinion was divided over Israel as a result of current Israeli policy. If there were changes that were conducive to peace, it would be possible for Israel and the European Union to move closer together, but in view of the fact that Israel, unlike Russia and Turkey, was not geographically part of Europe, EU membership would be difficult and would turn the EU into a "club" rather than a project for political and economic integration.
History took its time, perhaps in Europe more than anywhere else in the world. There was a need for a more ambitious vision of Europe and to promote European values geared to the future.
Mr Blaauw stressed that it was up to Europeans to work for the ESDP. Without those efforts the money spent on defence would be wasted.
Common responses to international terrorism and future security challenges
Mr Pangalos (Vice-President of the Assembly of WEU, Chairman of the Greek Delegation) introduced the speakers. He made particular mention of the fact that Mr Chrisohoidis, Minister for Public Order of Greece, had had a resounding success in halting the terrorist activities of the 17 November group, which had threatened Greece for the past 27 years.
He also noted Mr Cem's active commitment to the WEU Assembly. A former Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Cem had been Head of the Turkish Delegation to the Assembly for many years. Finally Mr Boniface, an eminent French expert and Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, had already spoken at previous colloquies organised by the WEU Assembly, in particular the Berlin Colloquy.
Mr Michael Chrisohoidis (Minister for Public Order of Greece) observed that the threat of international terrorism was one of the major security challenges currently facing the world. The impact of the 11 September 2001 attacks had made it necessary to embark on new forms of action, more suited to the current circumstances.
There was a need also to look at the direct causes of terrorism and establish the links between them and other causal factors (social and economic) and the local and regional environment in which terrorism developed and terrorist actions were perpetrated.
European, transatlantic and international cooperation was necessary in order to put effective preventive and repressive measures into practice. However, notwithstanding the desire to adopt a common approach, problems over cooperation still remained.
Democracy had today become a target for terrorism, which was why it was necessary to strengthen and develop it as an antidote to violence. Civil society had an important role to play to that end, since the insecurity that was the product of terrorism weakened democracy. Spreading democracy was one of the challenges of our era. One essential measure for ensuring that democracy existed was to promote the entire system of values underpinning democratic society, especially human rights and human rights protection. The will of the majority was the one way of transforming society for which there could be no substitute.
As far as the perception of new threats was concerned, Greece had considerable experience here, both nationally and regionally by virtue of its geographic location and its proximity to the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Conflict could not be ruled out in those regions. Democratic institutions were fragile since the vestiges of totalitarian regimes remained and organised crime had risen exponentially. At the same time, poverty, unemployment and illegal immigration, combined with organised crime, spawned terrorism. Europeans needed to pull together to be able to deal with this new threat. New methods would have to be developed for dealing with all these problems. As Goethe once suggested, we came into this world not to solve problems but to raise them.
Mr Pangalos (Greece) observed that the best means of fighting terrorism was indeed to strengthen democracy. The socio-economic conditions that fostered violence had to be eradicated.
Mr Ismael Cem (Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey), analysed the common responses to international terrorism and future security challenges.
Given the current political climate (which some might describe as coincidence, others as one of life's ironies), how was it possible to regard Europe and the United States as forming part of an integrated approach and to talk of "common responses to international terrorism and future security challenges"? All such themes, topics, concepts and perceptions seemed to belong to a distant past, now outdated and superseded by recent events in Iraq and in the UN, NATO and the EU.
According to Mr Cem, the same could be said of the "new" US national security strategy. Its newness had quickly lost its shine, its main pillar and principal hypothesis seemed suddenly devoid of all substance. The pillar of the new US national security strategy, which had been updated in September 2002, was full cooperation with other great powers. Mr Cem illustrated his point by quoting the strategy, as follows: "We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers". Another principle enshrined in the strategy stated that, for the present, the world's great powers found themselves on the same side "united by common dangers of terrorist violence". The third principle around which the strategy was built: "The United States is committed to lasting institutions like the United Nations (...) and NATO" sounded like an echo from another era.
A pre-emptive assessment might lead to the conclusion that recent developments concerning Iraq and the UN had already done away completely with the concepts of `common struggle and being on the same side'. Those same developments had turned the United States into a caricature of itself and created divisions in NATO and the EU. The fundamental basis of the US national security strategy was thus put into abeyance and Europe, or some of its states like France, Germany and Russia, supposedly the overseas pillars of this strategy, were being held responsible.
The United Nations had been dealt the most tragic blow. Although the US claimed to be committed to the organisation, it seemed to be going the same way as the League of Nations. When its decisions were what one of its most prominent members wanted, they were valid, otherwise they were null and void. There had, of course, been other similar precedents although none so flagrant or so serious as the present. It could even be said that the United Nations was on the verge of obsolescence.
In short, the international dimension of the US national security strategy appeared dysfunctional because of the United States' rift with the United Nations, and with the major European powers on whose cooperation the national security strategy was supposed to be based.
According to Mr Cem, there was a fundamental flaw in the perception of the "common struggle", of "fighting terrorism together" and the concept of "legitimacy". Unless those perceptions or misconceptions were squarely addressed, Europe and the United States would be the ones to lose by it, and terrorists would have the loopholes they were looking for.
Firstly, Mr Cem insisted, in order to fight terrorism "together", there had to be a broad consensus on the level of threat that a particular form of terrorism represented, the imminence of that threat and the legitimacy of any coercive measures to be taken. Afghanistan was an example where all those conditions had been met. The opposite was true of Iraq. Hence, the United States, the United Nations and some of the major European powers had not been on the same wavelength and this had led to unilateral action. This was in itself a serious "breach" of the new US national security strategy.
Secondly, in order to provide "a common response", there had to be convergence in the US, UN and European analyses of the situation. This was not so in the case of Iraq. The United States was convinced that the impending war against Iraq would put an end to terrorist threats. The United Nations, together with permanent Security Council members Russia and China, was questioning the imminence of the war. France, for its part, had stated that declaring war on Iraq would not prevent terrorism. It would, on the contrary, provoke a further wave of global terrorism and Europe would not be spared.
Thirdly, there was the question of legitimacy. If in cases of war, in other words life and death, legitimacy resided with the United Nations, all parties should respect the decisions and the decision-making processes. Reliable machinery was required in order to devise a common response to terrorism and that machinery had to be respected. Once again, this was not the case in recent events. That is why the United Nations, another pillar of the US national security strategy, was in grave danger of becoming obsolete.
In the last analysis, with a discredited United Nations and a divided NATO and EU the world was now more exposed to the dangers of terrorism than it had been before the crisis in Iraq. Therefore what was to be done?
- To fight terrorism together, thoroughly and effectively, deal with regional conflicts and muster a common response, there had to be cooperation among transatlantic players and a respected central authority responsible for coordination and decision-making. If those factors were relegated to second place, or were absent, as was seemingly the case, the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism was compromised.
- To fight terrorism effectively, every effort should be made to recreate an environment conducive to consultation, cooperation and coordination. The damage caused by the recent show of unilateralism had to be repaired. Unilateral initiatives which might seem to produce results in the short term ran the risk of leading to harmful developments in the longer term.
- Lastly, without substantial European participation, and a UN dimension, the new US national security strategy would be an instrument of the US in the strictest sense. It would neither serve the cause of the world at large nor meet its needs. Mr Cem doubted whether it would meet even those of America.
Mr Pangalos (Greece), wondered about the process that led to a threat being regarded as such. He insisted that UN Security Council Resolutions should be respected, and on the need to give thought to ways of combating our own vulnerability, concluding with the observation that unilateralism might be effective in the short term but could also lie at the root of more longer-term problems.
Mr Pascal Boniface (Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, France) reminded participants of the important part parliamentary bodies played at a time when three democratic nations were getting ready to go to war against a dictatorship.
There was a need to question what really lay behind this war. The issue was not Iraq. There was all-round agreement about the evils of a dictatorship that had lasted more than 30 years. Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass destruction against Iran and against his own people. Iraq was a potential danger and the regime had to be disarmed. There was therefore full agreement on the aim.
Two major bones of contention were the Middle East and the international security architecture. The Middle East was a zone of instability. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians had grown worse. If the United States continued to apply double standards in its policy there was a risk of further deterioration in the strategic situation in the region. More important still, the international security architecture was at issue. The original intention had been to circumscribe closely the grounds for war (which was justified solely in the event of legitimate self-defence or by collective decision of the UN Security Council, if there was a threat to collective peace and security). The ground of legitimate self-defence was there to deal with aggression. There was a choice to be made between relations governed by international law or by force.
The war had caused one death even before a shot had been fired - the ESDP. It was difficult now to make progress in this area. Over the previous six years, it was true, significant progress had been made in terms of Europe's strategic autonomy in warfare of the kind encountered in Kosovo. There was no pro-American or pro-European divide. That was simply a red herring.
Nor did it make sense to divide Europe into "old" and "new". Differences of opinion were normal between EU members and applicant states. What was not so usual was when the Polish Government made statements to the effect that whatever the American view, Poland would fall into line.
The real issue was the US Administration's insistence that might was right and on using compulsion rather than persuasion. Statements like "those who are not with us are against us" said it all.
We needed to have more confidence in democracy and international institutions. Mr Boniface felt that this was an idea that would come full circle, as reality invariably triumphed over ideology. The United States would get over its "superiority complex" and accept a dialogue between equal partners. Hence the importance of a European interparliamentary assembly like the Assembly of WEU.
There were lessons to be learned from the present crisis. European public opinion had been born. Some people were expressing their views for the first time in their lives. This had to mean something, whatever the positions taken by governments, in democracies like ours in Europe and in the United States. The future lay not in the ruthless exercise of power but rather in the force of argument. That was where the power of tomorrow lay, even if it had to be backed by force when necessary.
The battle against communism was not won by McCarthyism. The regime of the Greek generals or that of Mobutu had failed in their objectives. By contrast, the Federal Republic of Germany's Ostpolitik had borne fruit. The way to success was through policies of détente and confident assertion of one's values.
The risk lay in chipping away at our democratic values. To fail to respect them would be serious indeed, since they aspired to universality, and we could be criticised for applying them selectively.
If the aim was to democratise Iraq, and the region as a whole, double standards were out of the question. Otherwise the war would be a godsend to Bin Laden. Crude and simplistic policies should not be allowed to lend credence to the theory of a "clash of civilisations".
Mr Pangalos (Greece) commented on the significance of an awakened European and world public opinion, before throwing open the debate.
Mr Medeiros Ferreira (Portugal) noted that the damage done to international law by an intervention decided upon without the agreement of the United Nations should lead to a reappraisal of that institution's role and significance. The post-war aftermath would provide an opportunity to bring coordinated international action to the fore once again. As to the divisions in Europe, they suggested the existence of not one but two "old" Europes. Initially, France and Germany had announced their unilateral decisions without consulting their European partners. This had been followed by eight other European countries signing a letter supporting the United States, and the applicant countries going ahead with their own gesture of support. All of this was redolent of the attitudes of earlier centuries and had revived the division between great powers and smaller nations. There was a need to look beyond such divisions. It was not what the citizens of Europe wanted: they supported building common institutions.
Mr Yañez Barnuevo (Spain) felt that the most effective weapons in the fight against terrorism were cooperation over intelligence and between police forces and judicial systems. There was also a need to explain the problems to the public at large. The use of force was not the best way of countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. After the war, the threat of terrorism would be greater, the cost of the conflict in terms of human lives would be high and there would be a risk of the region becoming destabilised. Furthermore, we were witnessing a deterioration in the role of the international institutions. Public opinion had been alerted but it was regrettable that governments, especially the Spanish Government, were not receptive to the wishes of the people.
Mr Guardans i Cambó (Spain) raised two questions. Addressing Mr Cem, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, he asked what the current Turkish Government's position on the Iraq conflict was. Addressing the Director of IRIS, Mr Boniface, he referred to the Spanish People's Party's pro-war stance and wondered what one ought think of the criticisms levelled at the French Government, which had been accused of "cosying up to Iraq" long before the adoption of Resolution 1441 and criticised for what was considered an extremely detrimental way of expressing its opposition to the war.
Mr Pavlidis (Greece) asked the Minister for Public Order of Greece, Mr Chrisohoidis, for further information about the international cooperation efforts being made by European states in the field of security. He also pointed to the need for transatlantic cooperation on the basis of points of agreement on areas of common action.
He also asked for Mr Cem's views of the initial decision of the Turkish Parliament to refuse the US forces access to Turkish territory, and raised the issue of plans to ask the Turkish Parliament for another ruling on the same question. Was it to be asked to rule on precisely the same text? Would that not create a political problem?
Mr Cem (Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey) gave his personal position, also that of the current Turkish Government, which was that it was absolutely necessary to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq. The most dangerous scenario would be a scission between Arab and Kurdish Iraqis.
With regard to the stance adopted by the Turkish Parliament, Mr Cem was among those who thought it necessary for Turkey to keep its distance from the conflict in Iraq. There were indeed plans for another resolution from the Turkish Parliament, following the one that had been adopted on 1 March 2003. The issue was the authorisation of the overflight of specific zones, but he did not know whether it would be debating precisely the same text. If that was indeed the case, he agreed that there were likely to be major political problems.
Mr Chrisohoidis (Minister for Public Order of Greece) remarked that the European slogan should be "Democracy everywhere", for this was an essential prerequisite for achieving international cooperation in the combat against terrorism.
We should endeavour to take preventive action in the intelligence and police areas in order to dismantle networks. Organised crime posed a major threat. The Greek Presidency had taken a number of initiatives at EU level. It was necessary to ensure that there was good political visibility of the actions taken at European level.
Mr Boniface (Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, France) translated one of the questions that had been put to him in the following terms: had France acted more "for the United Nations" or more "against the United States"?
He recalled that since Iraq was only France's fifty-third trading partner, France's position could not be explained by its economic interests. Moreover, France had participated in the first Gulf war in 1991. It was not a matter of anti-Americanism on the part of the French Government, but rather of France being opposed to the policy of the Bush Administration on the specific issue of Iraq.
Regarding France's decision to use its veto in connection with the current conflict, it should be recalled that France was not opposed to the principle of war. Had Mr El Baradei and Mr Blix declared that it was impossible for them to continue their work, France would have voted in favour of the use of force.
It was true that France's motives were complex and that its national interest was also at stake. France's priority was to ensure the primacy of the UN Security Council. This was also in line with the concern expressed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
It was regrettable that the Franco-German tandem had been perceived as acting in isolation from its European partners.
Latin America, Africa and Asia saw Europe as an alternative to the unilateral power of the United States. It was important not to underestimate the expectations of the countries on those other continents vis-à-vis Europe. If, one day, Europe were to emerge as a power in its own right, it would be neither the result, nor the exporter, of a unilateral policy. European policy would necessarily be multilateral. There was no longer a single country in Europe able to impose its position alone.
Mr Rivolta (Italy) referred to the Turkish interest in maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq. Would Turkey be prepared to intervene in the case of a threat to that territorial integrity?
Even if the American-led intervention in Iraq was illegal in terms of international law, would France be prepared to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq?
Mr Cem (Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey) did not think that the situation was serious enough to call for Turkish military intervention. Turkey would intervene only if its own security were under threat or a hostile action were taken against it. The situation was absurd and contrary to international law, in that a third country had established contact with organisations in the north of Iraq with a view to overthrowing the government of that country.
Mr Boniface (Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, France) summed up the dilemma in which France found itself. If it did nothing, it would be accused of indifference. If it intervened, it would be accused of pursuing its own selfish interests. If reconstruction were to be decided and organised at international level under UN auspices, then all countries would be called on to participate regardless of their views about the legitimacy of the present war. If the US Administration reserved for itself the right to embark unilaterally on the reconstruction of Iraq, then it was unlikely that France, or indeed Europe as a whole, would participate. The recent comments by External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten made that clear.
Mr Lluis Maria de Puig (former President of the Assembly and Rapporteur) noted that a range of views and many different arguments had been put forward by both European and American participants during these particularly interesting debates. There had been critical comments and self-criticism, as well as some positive input for the future and a clear resolve to be constructive.
Regarding the United States' new national security strategy, it was clear to everyone that the 11 September disaster had, quite understandably, been a severe trauma for the Americans. Since that time the United States had shown unilateralist, some even claimed, hegemonic tendencies. The fight against terrorism had quickly been identified as a war. The Bush Administration had made clear its readiness to engage in pre-emptive warfare, a notion which several speakers had firmly contested. It now gave preference to coalitions of the willing rather than to multilateral action in the framework of international organisations. The use of force had taken priority as a means for resolving all these issues. The idea of a crusade of good against evil had emerged. There had been a brief debate on the question of who should be responsible for deciding which countries could be said to be "unstable".
The United States' hostility with regard to the ESDP was another concern raised by a number of speakers. It could not ask the Europeans to assume greater responsibilities and invest more in defence, yet oppose the idea of an autonomous Europe playing a complementary role to that of its American allies.
The policy being conducted by the Bush Administration was detrimental to the interests of the United States itself. It would exacerbate terrorism and the arms race, according to one American speaker. It would play into the hands of radical elements.
The most effective approach would be to act in the multinational framework provided by the United Nations, while taking into account the inevitable predominance of the United States as the world's only superpower.
Many speakers had deplored the difficulties within NATO. NATO was in decline. The United States did not need NATO from the military point of view. Its raison d'être was more political than military. The Atlantic Alliance needed to adapt to a new strategic partnership between Europe and the United States.
There had also been an exchange of views on the existence of a certain anti-American sentiment. No one could accept the hegemonic and unipolar approach set out in the new United States security strategy, but this was not being anti-American. All European states wished to see a multipolar world. They were unanimous in their support for the efforts to combat terrorist threats, in spite of the difficulties of intervention. All participants had expressed the wish to find effective ways of cooperating with the United States, in particular within NATO and the OSCE.
However, the fight against terrorism was becoming militarised under pressure from the United States. What would appear to be more effective, before any military action, would be to cooperate in the areas of intelligence, police and dismantling the funding networks for terrorist organisations.
As regards the fight against terrorism, all participants agreed on the acute nature of the threat and the need to join forces to combat it. Where there was disagreement was on turning this fight into a war, on militarising anti-terrorist action and on the concept of pre-emptive warfare. A number of participants had spoken out against the policy of double standards that the United States applied to different countries.
Some disagreement on the root causes of terrorism had been discernible. The general climate was conducive to the crimes of the fanatics responsible for the 11 September attacks and they had taken advantage of that climate to claim that they were fighting for a just cause. They had set themselves up as the spokesmen for that cause and for the people who suffered injustice and humiliation as a result of globalisation. Terrorism did indeed take root in poverty, injustice and economic under-development. To eradicate the causes of terrorism, there had to be more development, more prosperity and more democracy. The system of globalisation must be made more just.
Some speakers had been critical of the war in Iraq, others had supported it. The rift among European states had been deplored. Ambassador Miller had clearly set out the United States' case for the war. Everyone, Europeans and Americans alike, was opposed to Saddam Hussein. Where they disagreed was on how to set about disarming him, not on the aim of disarmament itself. Some had insisted that the vote in favour of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 had been a vote for the disarmament of Iraq, not for automatic military action. Another essential point that had been raised concerned the danger of this war setting a precedent that would incite other countries to follow the example of the United States.
There had been criticism of the divisions in Europe with regard not only to Iraq, but to the ESDP in general. The role of NATO and the United States had been discussed. Europe had engaged in some serious self-criticism, which was a healthy sign. The obstacles and shortcomings in terms of political resolve had been pinpointed. More investment was needed in defence. Mention had also been made of Europe's operational limitations and its dependence on the United States during the recent crises in Kosovo and Bosnia.
What had emerged clearly from all this was the need for Europe to have a Common Foreign and Security Policy in order to defend its values and vital interests, and to play a complementary role to that of the United States. Not only the institutional and political machinery of the CFSP/ESDP, but also its operational aspects (military capabilities, research and technology, forces interoperability) needed to be strengthened.
During the discussions a general consensus had emerged on Europe's commitment to working as a partner alongside the United States. Europe needed to build new relations with the United States. At the same time Europeans needed to get organised so that Europe as such could play a role both within NATO and the United Nations alongside the United States. It was absolutely essential to work together. This new phase would certainly commence after the current crisis. The aim was to build a peaceful Europe able to promote cooperation and maintain a solid transatlantic link. All this would be set out in the report on "Europe and the new United States national security strategy" that Mr de Puig would be submitting to the Assembly's plenary session in June on behalf of the Political Committee.
Europe needed the United States, but the United States also needed Europe. The United States' unilateral approach was not sustainable over any length of time. Only by engaging in dialogue and working in a spirit of partnership could Europe and the United States successfully build a peaceful and multipolar world. In that way, as several speakers had explained, while the differences between the United States and Europe may persist, so would transatlantic cooperation, because we shared the same common interests and fundamental values.
President Blaauw underlined the importance of interparliamentary cooperation for promoting those common transatlantic interests and values.
He drew attention to his recent visit to Sarajevo and the information letter he had sent out in that regard. Much remained to be done in order to build a European Security and Defence Policy.
Mr Blaauw thanked the Greek Government for its recognition of the essential work done by the WEU Assembly and for having kept its promise to avail itself of every possible opportunity to keep the members of the Assembly informed about the latest developments in the CFSP/ESDP. During the colloquy, for example, the Greek Presidency of the EU and WEU, in the person of Defence Minister Papantoniou, had briefed the Assembly on the outcome of the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers that had taken place in Vouliagmeni on 14 and 15 March 2003.
The President also thanked Mr Theodoros Panagalos, Vice-President of the WEU Assembly and leader of the Greek Delegation, for his welcome.
He explained that during the Assembly's plenary session in Strasbourg from Monday 2 June to Wednesday 4 June 2003, there would be much to discuss as events unfolded. The European Parliament had accepted the Assembly's invitation to hold a joint working meeting. It was to be hoped that Mr Solana, WEU Secretary-General and High Representative for the CFSP, would be able to attend.
FINAL LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Speakers / Orateurs
Mr KAKLAMANIS Apostolos, President of the Hellenic Parliament / Président du parlement
Mr CHRISOHOIDIS Michael, Minister for Public Order of Greece / Ministre grec de l'Ordre
Mr PAPANTONIOU Yannos, Minister for Defence of Greece / Ministre grec de la défense
Mr MAGRIOTIS Ioannis, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Greece / Ministre adjoint des
affaires étrangères, Grèce
Mr BLAAUW Jan Dirk, President of the WEU Assembly / Président de l'Assemblée de l'UEO
Mr de PUIG Lluis Maria, Former President of the WEU Assembly, Rapporteur /
Ancien Président de l'Assemblée de l'UEO, rapporteur
Mr PANGALOS Theodoros, Vice-President of the Assembly, Chairman of the Greek Delegation
to the WEU Assembly / Vice-Président de l'Assemblée, Président de la Délégation grecque
auprès de l'Assemblée de l'UEO
Mr PAPOULIAS Karolos, Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defence and
Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament / Président de la Commission permanente de la
défense nationale et les affaires étrangères du Parlement hellénique
Mr BONIFACE Pascal, Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations /
Directeur de l'Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégiques, France
Mr CEM Ismael, Former Foreign Minister, Turkey / Ancien Ministre des affaires étrangères,
Mr ELAND Ivan, Director / Directeur, Center for the Study of War, Crises and Liberty, the
Independent Institute, United States / Etats-Unis
Mr HOPKINSON William, Associate Fellow, Royal Institute for International Affairs and Royal
United Services Institute for Defence Studies, United Kingdom / Royaume-Uni
Mr LIEVEN Anatol, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, US / Etats-
H.E. Mr MILLER Thomas J., Ambassador of the United States to Greece / Ambassadeur des Etats-
Unis en Grèce
Mr PALOMBO Mario, Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly / Vice-Président de
l'Assemblée parlementaire de l'OTAN
Mr SELVA Gustavo, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chamber of Deputies, Italy,
Member of the WEU Assembly / Président de la Commission des affaires étrangères,
Chambre des Députés, Italie, Membre de l'Assemblée de l'UEO
Members of the Assembly / Membres de l'Assemblée
Belgium / Belgique
Mr DUBIÉ Josy
Mr GORIS Stef
Mrs KESTELIJN-SIERENS Mimi
Mr POTY Francis
Mr TIMMERMANS Jacques
Mr BRANGER Jean-Guy
Mr DEBARGE Marcel
Mr DREYFUS-SCHMIDT Michel
Mrs DURRIEU Josette
Mr KUCHEIDA Jean-Pierre
Mr LEFORT Jean-Claude
Mr LENGAGNE Guy
Mr LE GUEN Jean-Marie
Mr LONCLE François
Mr MASSERET Jean-Pierre
Mr REYMANN Marc
Mr SALLES Rudy
Germany / Allemagne
Mr HÖFER Gerd
Ms JÄGER Renate
Mr LETZGUS Peter
Mrs LUCYGA Christine
Mr RAUBER Helmut
Greece / Grèce
Mrs DAMANAKI Maria
Mr DIMAS Stavros
Mr FLOROS Nikolaos
Mrs KATSELLI Eleonora
Mr KONTOYIANNOPOULOS Vassilis
Mr PAVLIDIS Aristotelis
Mr SFYRIOU Kosmas
Mr TALIADOUROS Spyros
Mr VOULGARAKIS George
Italy / Italie
Mr BARBIERI Emerenzio
Mr BUDIN Milos
Mr CREMA Giovanni
Ms DE ZULUETA Tana
Mr GABURRO Guiseppe
Mr GUBERT Renzo
Mr MALGIERI Gennaro
Mr MANZELLA Andrea
Mr MAURO Giovanni
Mr MULAS Guiseppe
Mr NESSA Pasquale
Mr OLIVERIO Gerardo
Mr PISCITELLO Rino
Mr RIGONI Andrea
Mr RIVOLTA Dario
Mr RIZZI Enrico
Mr SCHERINI Gianpietro
Mr SELVA Gustavo
Mr TIRELLI Francesco
Mr ZACCHERA Marco
Netherlands / Pays-Bas
Mr DEES Dick
Mr EVERSDIJK Huib
Mr ZVONAR Milos
Mr BRAGA Antonio
Mrs DOMINGUES Maria-Elisa
Mr MEDEIROS FERREIRA José
Mr NAZARÉ PEREIRA Antonio
Spain / Espagne
Mr ACOSTA PADRON Venancio
Ms AGUDO Cristina
Mr ARNAU NAVARRO Francisco
Mr BARQUERO José Manuel
Mr FERNÁNDEZ AGUILAR Adolfo
Mr GONZÁLEZ DE TXABARRI José Juan
Mr GUARDANS I CAMBÓ Ignasi
Mrs LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ María José
Mr PADILLA CARBALLADA Julio
Mrs POSADA CHAPADO Rosa
Mr PUCHE RODRÍGUEZ Gabino
Mr YAÑEZ BARNUEVO Luís
United Kingdom / Royaume-Uni
Mr ATKINSON David
Mr BRUCE Malcolm
Mr COX Tom
Mr ETHERINGTON Bill
Mr FLYNN Paul
Lord JUDD Frank
Mr MARSHALL David
Mr McNAMARA Kevin
Mr MEALE Alan
Mr O'HARA Eddie
Mr PRENTICE Gordon
Mr VIS Rudi
Mr WILKINSON John
Associate Members / Membres associés
Czech Republic / République tchèque
Mr DVORAK Martin
Mr KASAL Jan
Mr NEMEC Oldrich
Mrs ROITHOVA Zuzana
Mr SKOPIK Jan
Mr TITZ Milos
Norway / Norvège
Mr KONRADSEN Age
Mr MARTHINSEN Finn Kristian
Poland / Pologne
Mr GAWLOWSKI Andrzej
Mrs GRABOWSKA Genowefa
Mr JANAS Stanislaw
Mr KOBIELUSZ Antoni
Mr LORENZ Janusz
Mrs SENYSZYN Joanna
Turkey / Turquie
Mr ACIKGOZ Ruhi
Mr AKCAM Zekeriya
Mr ATES Abdülkadir
Mr BILGEHAN Gülsün
Mr CAVUSOGLU Mevlüt
Mr CAVUSOGLU Yüksel
Mr GÜLCICEK Ali Riza
Mr GÜNDÜZ Irfan
Mr GÜNDÜZ Süleyman
Mr LIVANELI Zülfü
Mr MERCAN Murat
Mr TEKELIOGLU Mehmet
Associate Partners / Associés partenaires
Bulgaria / Bulgarie
Ms ANDREEVA Kina
Mr NAYDENOV Angel
Mr TZEKOV Valeri
Latvia / Lettonie
Mr TURLAIS Dainis
Romania / Roumanie
Mr CIOCIRLIE Alin Theodor
Mr SZABO Karoly
Mr TIMIS Ioan
Mr VASILESCU Nicolae
Slovak Republic / République slovaque
Mrs BRESTENSKA Beata
Mr KUBOVIC Pavol
Mr MURGAS Milan
Mr BROCKA Julius
Mrs DUBOVSKA Diana
Slovenia / Slovénie
Mr JELINCIC Zmago
Mr PARTLJIC Anton
Ms POTRATA Majda
Mr VNUCEC Bogomir
Observers / Observateurs
Austria / Autriche
Mr HOFMANN Maximilian
Mr MURAUER Walter
Ireland / Irlande
Mr JACOB Joe
Mr NOONAN Michael
Mr O'KEEFE Ned
Mr WALL Jack
Permanent Guests / Invités permanents
Mr LUKIN Vladimir, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation/Président
adjoint de la Douma d'État de la Fédération de Russie
Mr KRSTEVSKI Zoran, Member of the Assembly of the Republic, FYROM / Membre de
l'Assemblée de la République, ARYM
Mr SPASOV Gjorgji, Member of the Assembly of the Republic, FYROM / Membre de
l'Assemblée de la République, ARYM
Chairmen of National Defence, Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Committees /Présidents des
Commissions de Défense, Affaires étrangères et européennes
Mr GRECO Mario, President of the Defence Committee, Senate, Italy / Président de la
Commission de défense, Sénat, Italie
Mr PASTIU Ioan, Vice-President of the Defence Committee, Senate, Romania / Vice-président
de la Commission de défense, Sénat, Roumanie
Mr PIETRZAK Wieslaw, Chairman of the National Defence and Public Security Committee of
the Senate, Poland / Président de la Commission de la défense nationale et la sécurité
publique du Sénat, Pologne
Mr POPESCU Gheorghe, Defence Committee, Senate, Romania / Commission de défense,
Mrs VAIDERE Inese, Chairman of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee, Latvia/ Président de la Commission des Affaires étrangères de la Saeima, Lettonie
Honorary Members of the Assembly / Membres honoraries de l'Assemblée
Mr BAUMEL Jacques, France
Mr HORNHUES Karl-Heinz, Germany / Allemagne
Sir Dudley SMITH, Former President of the WEU Assembly, United Kingdom / Ancien president de l'Assemblée de l'UEO, Royaume-Uni
Parliamentary Staff / Personnel parlementaire
Ms APOLENAROVA Martina, Czech Republic / République tchèque
Mr BARNETT Paul, Germany / Allemagne
Mr CASELLI Federico, Italy / Italie
Mr DARANAS Mariano, Spain / Espagne
Mr DE ROUCK Marc, Belgium / Belgique
Ms DE PANCRAZIO Elena, Senate / Sénat, Italy / Italie
Mr DORNSEIFER Rainer, Germany / Allemagne
Mrs DOSSIER-CARZOU Claire, France
Mr DUMAS Jean-Louis, France
Mrs GOMEZ-BERNARDO Marie-Teresa, Spain / Espagne
Ms GYORKOS Marianna, Hungary / Hongrie
Mr HUBNER Andrew, United Kingdom / Royaume-Uni
Mrs KARLOVA Lucie, Czech Republic / République tchèque
Ms LABEDZKA Anna, Poland / Pologne
Mrs MIRZA Natalia, Duma of the Russian Federation / Douma de la Fédération de Russie
Mr MUSSI Lukas, Austria / Autriche
Mr PEJKOVSKI Jovan, FYROM / ARYM
Ms PESCARU Adriana, Romania / Roumanie
Mrs PROIETTI BEFANI Enza, Italy / Italie
Ms QUADRELLI Nadia, Senate / Sénat, Italy / Italie
Mr RHYS James, United Kingdom/Royaume-Uni
Mrs SANTOS Montserrat, Spain / Espagne
Mrs STENOVA Iva, Slovak Republic / République slovaque
Mrs VASCO Margarida, Portugal
Mr ZHDANOV Vladimir, Duma of the Russian Federation / Douma de la Fédération de Russie
Permanent Delegations to WEU Council /
Délégations permanentes du Conseil de l'UEO
Col. WOUTERS M., Defense Policy, Belgium / Politique de défense, Belgique
Permanent Delegations to NATO/EU /
Délégations permanents auprès de l'OTAN et l'UE
Ambassador Bogdan MAZURU, Romanian Mission to NATO
WEU Secretariat-General, Brussels / Secrétariat general de l'UEO, Bruxelles
Mr JACOMET Arnaud, Head / Chef
EU Institute for Security Studies, Paris /
Institut d'Études de Sécurité de l'EU, Paris
Mr TRIANTAPHYLLOU Dimitrios, Senior Research Fellow / Chargé de recherche
European Union Satellite Centre, Torrejón, Spain /
Centre satellitaire de l'Union européenne, Torrejón, Espagne
Mr DAVARA Fernando, Director / Directeur
European Parliament / Parlement européen
Mr CUSHNAHAN John, MEP
NATO Parliamentary Assembly / Assemblée parlementaire de l'OTAN
Mr HOBBS David, Deputy Secretary-General /Secrétaire général adjoint
Centre des Hautes Études de l'Armement,
Ministry of Defence, France / Ministère de la défense, France
Mrs JACQUEMART Christine, Conseiller, Relations Extérieures et
Internationales/Counsellor, External and International relations
Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, Athens/Athènes
Mr GEORGIOU Theodossis, President / Président
Institute of Strategic and Development Studies, Athens/Athènes
Ms BOSSIS Mary, General Secretary / Secrétaire général
Embassies in Athens / Ambassades à Athènes
Mr APOSTOLOVA, Minister Counsellor / Ministre Conseiller, FYROM / ARYM
H.E. Mr BOTCHARNIKOV Mikhail, Ambassador, Russian Federation / Fédération de la Russie
H.E. Mr BROUWER Paul Reitze, Ambassador, Netherlands / Pays-Bas
H.E. Ms BULENOVA Jana, Ambassdor, Czech Republic / République tchèque
H.E Mr CHLEBO Jaroslav, Ambassador, Slovakia / Slovakie
Mr DEMSKI Zbigniew, Defence Attaché / Attaché de défense, Poland / Pologne
H.E. Mr DRAGOMIR Caius Traian, Ambassador, Romania / Roumanie
Mr DZIEMIDOWICZ Grzegorz, Poland / Pologne
Colonel GARI Michel, Attaché d'armement, France
Ms GUIMING Liu, Third Secretary / Troisième Secrétaire, China / Chine
Mr HAKAW Abaci, First Secretary / Premier Secrétaire, Turkey / Turquie
Mrs KANARIK Katrin, Chargé d'affaires, Estonia / Estonie
Mr KAND Kaupo, Third Secretary / Troisième Secrétaire, Estonia / Estonie
Mr KOLMANIC, Counsellor / Conseiller, Slovenia / Slovénie
H.E. Mr KOROSI Csaba, Ambassador, Hungary / Hongrie
Mrs KRALEVA Emilia, Head of Political Section / Chef de la section politique, Bulgaria/Bulgarie
H.E. Mr LACIS Martins, Ambassador, Latvia / Latvie
Mr MARMULAKU, Third Secretary / Troisième Secrétaire, Slovenia / Slovénie
Mr MATEJKA Josef, Counsellor / Conseiller, Czech Republic / République tchèque
Mr MICHALKO Peter, Counsellor / Conseiller, Slovakia / Slovaquie
Mr NIKOLOV, Bulgaria / Bulgarie
Colonel OBDRZALEK Jiri, Defence Attaché / Attaché de défense, Czech Republic/République tchèque
Mrs ORKUN Tolga, Third Secretary / Troisième Secrétaire, Turkey / Turquie
Mr PARAIPAN, Romania / Roumanie
H.E. Mr SPIEGEL Albert, Ambassador, Germany / Allemagne
Mr STARK, Third Secretary / Troisième secrétaire, Germany / Allemagne
H.E. Mr STOIANOV Stefan, Ambassador, Bulgaria / Bulgarie
Mr STRONCZYNSKI Krzstof, Poland / Pologne
H.E. Mr SVENSON Patrick, Ambassador, Sweden / Suède
Mrs TZVETKOVA Tsvetina, Second Secretary / Deuxième Secrétaire, Bulgaria / Bulgarie
Mr VON RÖMER Huberlus, Counsellor / Conseiller, Germany / Allemagne
Captain WILLS John, Defence Attaché / Attaché de défense, United Kingdom / Royaume-Uni
H.E. Mr ZHENQI Tang, Ambassador, People's Republic of China / République Populaire de Chine
Ministry of Defence, Greece / Ministère de la défense, Grèce
Mr KYRIAKIDIS Efstathios, LTCDR Hellenic National Defence
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greece / Ministère des affaires étrangères, Grèce
Mr ABATIS Louis-Alkiviadis, Counsellor / Conseiller
Mr DALIS Sotirios
Mr KINTIS Andreas, Counsellor / Conseiller
Ms PANAGIOTOPOULOU, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs / Secrétaire adjoint des affairs étrangères
Hellenic Parliament / Parlement hellénique
H.E. Mr KARABARBOUNIS, Ambassador
Mr PANAYOTOPOULOS Dimitrios, Director, External Relations / Directeur, Relations extérieures
European Relations / Relations européennes
Mrs APOSTOLOU Vicky, Secretary of the Greek Delegation to the WEU
Assembly / Secrétaire de la délégation grecque auprès de l'UEO
Mr BISSIOS Theodor
Ms ELEFTHERION Alice
Mrs MATZAVINOS Angelika
Office of the Clerk of the WEU Assembly /
Secrétariat du Greffier de l'Assemblée de l'UEO
Mr CAMERON Colin, Clerk, Secretary-General / Greffier, Secrétaire général
Mr BURCHARD Eike, Clerk Assistant, Deputy Secretary-General (Defence and Political Affairs) / Greffier adjoint, Secrétaire général adjoint (défense et
Mr LOUTZ Roger, Clerk Assistant, Deputy Secretary-General (Administration) / Greffier
adjoint, Secrétaire général adjoint (Administration)
Mr BRITO Paulo, Assistant Secretary Defence Section / Secrétaire adjoint de la
Mrs CABALLERO Corine, Assistant Secretary Political Section / Secrétaire adjoint de la Section
Mr COMBARIEU Gilles, Head Defence Section / Chef de la Section défense
Mr DE GOU Floris, Head Political Section / Chef de la Section politique
Mr HILGER Michael, Press Counsellor / Conseiller de presse
Mrs NUDDA Marisa, Secretary, Committee for Parliamentary and Public Relations / Secrétaire,
Commission pour les relations parlementaires et publiques
Mr PEDREGOSA José Manuel, Secretary Technological and Aerospace
Committee / Secrétaire de la Commission technique et aérospatiale
Mrs BARBE Caroline, Registration, Secretarial Assistance / Réception, secrétariat
Mrs BASSE Maureen, President's Secretariat, Cabinet du Président
Mrs BOURNE Patricia, Registration, Secretarial Assistance / Réception, secrétariat
Mrs FOUCHER Catherine, Secretarial Assistance, Committee meetings / Secrétariat, Réunions des
Mrs LACHOWSKI-FAVRE Vivien, Head Interpreter / Chef Interprète
Mr PANAGIOTOPOULOS Kostas, Head of Research Office / Chef du Bureau d'études
Mr RABAU Ben, General organisation / Organisation
Interpreters / Interprètes
Ms AILIANOU Evily
Ms BAYER Christine
Ms BRON Françoise
Mr CINI Umberto
Ms MARA Bettina
Mrs PERKHOFER Elfi
Mr SCOULLER Alastair
Mrs SOTINANOS Magdalene
Ms TANGO Anne
Ms ZISSIMIDES Eva
Press / Presse
Mr DREMIERE Alain, La Quinzaine Européenne
Mr SOLTYK Robert, Gazeta Wyborcza
Ms SUREN Stefanie, Deutsche Welle
1 Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html.
2 "Estados Unidos deberían liderar, no gobernar", William J. Clinton, El País, 19 December 2002.
3 "European military capabilities in the context of the fight against international terrorism" submitted on behalf of the Defence Committee, by Mr John Wilkinson, Rapporteur, Document 1783, 3 June 2002. http://assembly-weu.itnetwork.fr .
© 2002 - 2017, Assembly of WEU