April 11, 2012 |  26 comments |  Print this Article  Your Opinion  

NATO and Russia Need the "Smarts" to Cooperate

Dmitry Stefanovich: Military and technical cooperation with Russia would allow NATO to increase the efficiency of their Smart Defense initiative. A closer look at the areas of cooperation between NATO and Russia reveal they are ideally suited to being part of the Smart Defense concept.

This February, Defense Ministers of the 28 NATO member states agreed to support the "Smart Defense" initiative proposed by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. "Smart defense" was also mentioned in an article published by the newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin: "'Smart' defense to tackle new threats... is necessary to create a fundamentally new, 'smart' system of military analysis and strategic planning...Our country faces the task of military development within the limits of deterrence strategy and the level of defensive sufficiency." Cooperation in this domain is an important component of tackling the challenges which stand before NATO and Russia alike. Although NATO-Russian cooperation is criticized harshly by some Russian and Western European experts, such cooperation is today's reality. Joint operations against terrorism and piracy as well as table and field military exercises confirm the increasing level of mutual trust.

One of the principle points of Smart Defense is defense industry expenditures optimization with respect to research and development. It has been noted that favorable regimes of cooperation between NATO Member states may be an important measure within this process. I believe this approach should not be limited to Trans-Atlantic Defense Technological and Industrial Cooperation - working relationships with the Russian Federation must also be considered.

The positive experiences of cooperation with France ("Mistral" amphibious assault ships), Italy ("Lince" light multi-role vehicles) and others, as well as impressive financial resources allocated in the Russian federal budget for defense needs, may play a significant role in this field. But military-technical cooperation between NATO members and the Russian Federation is not limited to acquisition of military equipment and technologies by the Russian side. Possible joint projects in third-party states and cooperation with "new" NATO members with Soviet military heritage may be fruitful as well.

Cooperation in space has become a very important component of any country's defense capabilities, and the discussion on an international treaty to prevent an arms race in outer space must be returned to the agenda. Clearly formulated stances of all stakeholders will allow compromise on this subject, thus finding a common understanding of outer space's role in the overall defense system.

A special place in the Russia-NATO interaction is occupied by Ballistic Missile Defense. It is encouraging that both parties declare readiness to search joint solutions to ensure protection from missile attacks. Moreover, regular meetings of military experts are taking place and state-of-the-art simulation tools are used to analyze the effectiveness of different approaches towards possible missile defense architecture in Europe.

In order to fulfill the objectives of "Smart Defense", such as expenditures optimization, specialization of national defense industries, modern technologies and policies implementations, I see a supreme need to create effective, actual and common "rules of the game" for all stakeholders. Validation of universal norms for military-technical cooperation, export control, and weapon specifications will lead to creation of actually "smart" relations for the 21st century. The "NATO-Russia Council Consolidated Glossary of Cooperation" is, without doubt, one of the first steps in this direction. Possible further action may be assembling a comprehensive "open" database on scientific and technical military-industrial capabilities, thus allowing parties to establish mutually beneficial and effective cooperation.

Increasing the level of mutual trust and transparency in defense policy approaches will assure the stability of this system and provide the possibilities for optimal national defense industries development.  The proposed spheres of cooperation between NATO and Russia (conventional weapons, space activities, missile defense) match the objectives of "Smart Defense": optimized spending ("less money"), technological development in defense industries ("greater security") and international cooperation ("working together").

Dmitry Stefanovich is a post-graduate student in the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Samuel Eamon Erickson

April 11, 2012

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Demitry, I am pleased that we have an in-depth memo on Russia to debate and analyze. The NATO-Russia relationship is unique and is as much a product of individual member state’s perceptions of Russia as it is any unified NATO policy. This partially accounts for the often difficult process of taking the pulse NATO-Russia relations.

That being said, I think you are right; there is room in NATO for cooperation with Russia. This seems a direction in which NATO is already headed and an endeavor for which it enjoys at least some member support. However, there is a limit, and there are aspects of Smart Defense that, in all reality, Russia will probably never touch. Joint ownership, resource pooling, and multinational forces are not in the purview of NATO-Russian relationship. Russia-NATO cooperation can only go so far and acknowledging these limits is important when writing a realistic policy memo on Russia’s place within NATO. While you seem to believe that there is room for genuine cooperation, the memo came off as taking a slightly ‘rosy’ outlook of the relationship, without acknowledging many of the salient challenges that exist.

 
Samuel Eamon Erickson

April 11, 2012

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On a second point, I think the issue of Russia brings up a larger issue that we need to discuss in our policy memo: What should the relationship between Smart Defense initiatives and non-NATO countries look like? While a range of issues exist that might impede NATO cooperation with Russia, their lack of NATO membership is a fundamental one. Dmitry mentions arms sales and joint missile projects (another debate in its own right) as examples of cooperative projects, but where should the Smart Defense line be drawn, even with historically friendly non-NATO states? Should cooperation be considered on a case-by-case basis or should uniform standards exist? Should outside area cooperation even be termed a Smart Defense project, or is it different policy area altogether? If yes, this would recast Dmtry’s arguments away from Smart Defense. Or is Smart Defense even too ambiguous at the moment to even make such distinctions? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the issue.
 
Max  Smeets

April 11, 2012

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Dmitry,

I found your piece refreshing and it is a perspective which should come to light more often. Overall, I agree with you (and Samuel) that the NATO-Russia relationship is crucial for both political blocks. In that sense, it is a pity that Valdimir Putin himself is unable to attend the Chicago Summit.

As you outline very clearly as well in the first part of your policy paper, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen aspires to cooperate on three key issues – “missile defence, conventional arms control, and reducing the number of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe” - indeed, clearly stated at the NATO website.

There are some aspects which I find problematic regarding the NATO-Russia, I hope you can provide your opinion about it.

For me the Russia-NATO relationship is a bit paradoxical in nature. On the one hand, Rasmussen mentions that he would like to work together on several issues together with Russia, on the other hand, in several security areas Russia is still seen as a huge threats. As Estonia (and Georgia) illustrates one of these areas is cyber security. In fact, Richard Clarke, a heavy weight U.S. defense specialist, also stresses that for the U.S. not China or any other country but Russia is by far the biggest threat in the cyber domain.
Hence, my question, how can you ensure (long-term) transparency and trust building with issues like these?
Tags: | NATO Russia |
 
Max  Smeets

April 11, 2012

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Another point I would like to comment on is that you mention that “[p]ossible joint projects in third-party states and cooperation with “new” NATO members with Soviet military heritage may be fruitful as well”. I truly hope so.

Yet, especially considering countries with a Soviet military heritage, it should be noticed that NATO countries are not in line with each other on how and till what degree to cooperate with Russia.

Hence, in my opinion, we should not only look at issues like missile defense and space, which only the top 6 defense industry NATO countries are able to contribute, as you mention. Would you not think it is appropriate to also look at much more mundane defense aspects for cooperation despite the fact that they are less costly in nature?
 
Max  Smeets

April 11, 2012

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Dimitry,

And there are some additional comments I would like to make.

The first point is about the by Ballistic Missile Defense. As you mention: “It is encouraging that both parties declare readiness to search joint solutions to ensure protection from missile attacks.”

Yet, it should be noted that NATO is not really happy with how things are going this field at the moment. One of the few times that this is clearly publicly stated is for instance in the Secretary General’s Annual Report 2011.

Regarding the objectives set in Lisbon to develop a Joint Analysis of a framework for future missile defence cooperation and to resume theatre missile defence cooperation, it was stated that “While trying to build trust, progress with Russia in this field has not been as substantial as hoped.”

Hence, in line with this, I wonder till what degree the proposal of an ‘open’ database you mention is able to solve some of these barriers/problems. I hope you can elaborate a bit more on it, as it for me doesn’t seem enough to tackle these structural issues.

Max
 
Dmitry  Stefanovich

April 11, 2012

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Thank you for comments, Samuel!

First of all, I clearly understand the limits of possible Russia's involvement in Smart Defense, as well as of any other "third party" you've mentioned. Moreover, I believe military planners from both sides still see each other as "probable adversaries", and I even don't want to imagine a public reception of russian troops with NATO badges, again on both sides. Nevertheless, my main idea was to underline the need for clear rules of further cooperation between Russia (and possibly other non-Nato states) and NATO in different domains, given the developments of Smart Defence initiative. After all, we do have common interests, we do have existing joint projects - why don't try creating a framework for mutually beneficial actions?

And about drawing "the Smart Defense line" - I may be wrong, but in my opinion the term "Smart" here comprises "Flexibility". I am a proponent of uniform standarts for cooperation, but with a number of options, that may be changed, considering the nature of defense sector. At the same time, case-by-case basis may make the process of cooperation extremely complicated, as in the beginning of each project a lot of time and resources may be wasted on working out the basic working scheme.

I apologize for not answering all of your questions directly, but I believe I clarified my attitude.
 
Dmitry  Stefanovich

April 11, 2012

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Max, I am really glad that my writings encourage such interesting debate!

Well, Russia-NATO relationship is a paradoxical one indeed. Speaking about cyber-security, there are different estimations. For example, in Russia many people see cyber-threat from China to any other country as the biggest problem (some extremists even say, that it is a shame that there is no information about succsesful "hacking operations" of our special services:)). I believe the transparency must be seen as a situation, when parties have clear understanding about each others' intentions and potentials. National (and aliied) interests still exist, and some measures to achieve them are obviously "not so friendly". I think jumping into speculative discussions on this subject will be counter-productive.

Considering your second comment - maybe I made my point not so clear. Work in the areas that you have so accurately labeled as "mundane" is very important, and one of the tasks (as well as possible results!) is to change the attitude of both sides towards this domain. I am sure, clear framework of cooperation will contribute to this matter.

BMD is extremely important part. Yes, you are absolutely right - things are not going very well, and both sides are responsible for it. Still, some progress is being made (e.g. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-369F5BF4-799C7DD1/natolive/news_8568...), and I am looking forward to some progress after a conference on BMD that is organized by Russian Ministry of Defence and scheduled for the beginning of May this year. I hope that our side will clarify position and proposals, as well as concerns.

The database I mentioned is targeted at all possible areas of cooperation, and its main objective is to provide the sides with clear vision of what may be the benefits of joint projects in different domains. It may not raise all barriers, but it will facilitate the cooperation.
 
Bram Peter De Ridder

April 11, 2012

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This is again a solid article and a good discussion following. I think Samuel clarified some important points: NATO-Russia cooperation definitely needs to be looked at, and we should combine this with looking at other non-NATO countries. And as long as it fits within the ‘more for less’ approach I think it can be an important part of Smart Defence. Especially further cooperation in technology and production might indeed be considered, as this reduces costs, increases efficiency, and because these areas are politically less sensitive compared to other fields. About the ‘working relationships’ you mentioned, Dmitry, I am less enthusiastic as I have doubts about how such a partnership would work in practice. It might work in some areas, but I believe this would have to remain on an ad hoc basis, especially when major players like Russia or China are involved.

But as has been mentioned, even if it cooperation would be limited to technology and industry, there are serious political concerns about such relationships. I therefore think that the idea Dmitry outlined in the comment above is useful. A uniform standard with flexible options indeed deals with the problem of creating a mosaic and makes cooperation easier and more attractive. So I think the most important job would be to come up with some standard: what are the minimum requirements for cooperation in certain fields? Within such a framework, I also believe that NATO members in any case should be allowed to have a veto over every proposal. Security interests are widely varying, so even if only one member considers a potential partner a vital threat it should be able to influence decisions concerning this country. Otherwise we might create a situation whereby the NATO cooperation scheme reinforces a member’s potential enemy, which cannot be beneficial to NATO cohesion.
 
Bram Peter De Ridder

April 11, 2012

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I have noted you have added a second comment just when I was typing mine, Dmitry, so I might have to change my ideas a bit. I like your (and max's) idea about 'mundane' cooperation, but would the working relationships you mentioned also fall in this category? You mentioned possible joint projects in third-party states, but such projects can be either very complicated or very easy and non-senstive. So if you see these working relationships as 'mundane' I follow your argument, but if they entail more complex issues my initial point stands.
 
Marcin Jan Zoltowski

April 11, 2012

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Dmitri, congratulations on being shortlisted. You have presented a really bold and interesting perspective. Like Samuel, Max and Bram, I see a strong rationale for tightening cooperation between NATO and Russia favorable for both sides and with a growing potential especially in the context of “counterbalancing emerging Asian powers.” However, I am afraid the vista you have outlined is far too ambitious and unrealistic to be accomplished in the foreseeable future.

You mention that: “Possible further action may be assembling a comprehensive "open" database on scientific and technical military-industrial capabilities, thus allowing parties to establish mutually beneficial and effective cooperation.” Perhaps I do not possess this high level of visionary capacity, but I simply see it highly unlikely. First, consider the snail’s pace of cooperation efforts between the very NATO member states regarding reduction of interoperability gap . More than two decades after the end the Cold War the Allies states still struggle with the incompatibility of communication and battlefield information systems which make the multinational operation on the common battle space very difficult, if not impossible. Second, and here I also refer to Bram’s comment, considering the current level of distrust between Russia and NATO, I think that cooperation in such crucial areas for the security of individual states as defense technology is still a pipedream.

Another obstacle is a ballistic missile defense which constitutes a major source of disaccord, for NATO’s and Russia’s perspectives on this project are divergent. And as the successive attempts of NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to invite Russia to cooperation failed we are witnessing, at the moment, a sort of stalemate.

The huge question that will have a decisive impact on the future of NATO-Russia relations, is the policy of President-elect Putin towards the Alliance. Is it going to be the open and benevolent approach that comes out of the quote provided by Dmitri or more suspicion-ridden, like the one presented by Vladimir Putin in an article published in the Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper, entitled "Russia and the changing world":

“As before, I believe that the major principles necessary for any feasible civilization include indivisible security for all states, the unacceptability of excessive use of force, and the unconditional observance of the basic standards of international law. The neglect of any of these principles can only lead to the destabilization of international relations.
It is through this prism that we perceive some aspects of U.S. and NATO conduct that contradict the logic of modern development, relying instead on the stereotypes of a block-based mentality. Everyone understands what I am referring to – an expansion of NATO that includes the deployment of new military infrastructure with its U.S.-drafted plans to establish a missile defense system in Europe. I would not touch on this issue if these plans were not conducted in close proximity to Russian borders, if they did not undermine our security and global stability in general.
Our arguments are well known, and I will not spell them out again, but regrettably our Western partners are irresponsive and are simply brushing them aside. We are worried that although the outlines of our "new" relations with NATO are not yet final, the alliance is already providing us with "facts on the ground" that are counterproductive to confidence building. At the same time, this approach will backfire with respect to global objectives, making it more difficult to cooperate on a positive agenda in international relations and will impede any constructive flexibility.”
(source: http://premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/18252/)
 
Dmitry  Stefanovich

April 11, 2012

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Bram, thank you for detailed feedback!

I agree with the addition of "veto capability" to the framework, despite understanding the possible results of this because of some tensions that do exist among Russia and some NATO countries. This is one of the essential principles of NATO, and the only possible solution is to find the areas where cooperation will be beneficial for all stakeholders.

We must once again thank Max for the great word - "mundane" cooperation definitely is a very "fertile" area for establishing working relationships. By the way, one of my colleagues is doing a research on operational compatibility between forces of different countries for the purposes of joint peace-keeping, anti-piracy, counter-terrorist and other missions, and the peculiar thing is that on a "pyramid" of national forces depending on the "technological sophistication" (I believe you understand what I mean), Russia stands close to a number of NATO states with, if we can say so, "not so developed" armies. So projects in conventional forces development may be very interesting for quite a number of countries, and the overall result will be positive on the global scale. Moreover, I believe such developments may be seen positively by NATO nations that posses superior armed forces, thus carrying the biggest share of joint operations.

Still, BMD, Strategic and Tactical Nuclear weapons, Space issues must remain on the agenda. I believe the options for cooperation in this areas within the scope of Smart Defence.
 
Dmitry  Stefanovich

April 11, 2012

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Marcin, thanks for your addition.

I'll begin from the end of your comment. General opinion in Russia is still rather negative about NATO, and some actions of the Alliance make it even harder to convince people that NATO is no threat to our country and we have to cooperate. There are still questions about role of NATO in the modern world - and the debates that took place in this "Open Think Tank" show that the discussion is far from over. Once again, I think that there is no need to discuss past and present "offenses" if we want to find common grounds for cooperation. By the way, today mr. Putin was presenting an annual report from the Federal Government in the State Duma, and there was a question from the parliament about "NATO base in Ulyanovsk" - a rather widely used "scarecrow" in the domestic debate recently, that stands for "Logistic Center" for supplying troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Putin clearly stated, that generally NATO is an Cold War atavism, but our cooperation, in Afghanistan for instance, is advantageous for everyone.

Similarly, the situation with BMD is also subject to political speculations - russian officials tend to blame US for not providing necessary details about the project, and in Europe it is seen as russian reluctance to cooperate. I hope for some breakthrough after the conference in Moscow this may, considering the fact that actually our military experts continue joint simulations of different approaches, as I've mentioned previously.

Answering Bram, I have already mentioned possible field of cooperation in tackling incompatibility issues. Speaking about the "database"...yes, I see the problems you have mentioned, but the discussion about such ambitious projects must begin - and only after that we will be able to estimate about the result.

We have to "be realistic - demand the Impossible" if the objective of Smart Defense is to create greater security for Europe.
 
Max  Smeets

April 11, 2012

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As a side note, you mention the Mistral amphibious assault ships and the Lince light multi-role vehicles as projects of cooperation. What I actually the most interesting project between Russia and the NATO is the facial/body recognition project for the metros, which tracks suspicious behavior.

Furthermore, I dug up some statistics I looked up before; it fairly supports your argument. What can be found in the document: “Prague Security Conference EU, NATO and Russia 20 Years After. And What Now?”, I think is worth quoting at length:

“As for Russian views on NATO membership, in a recent public opinion survey, 6 % of respondents were in favour of it, 25 % considered that Russian security interests would be better served by the creation of a rival security organization, and 43 % favoured cooperation with NATO, but only if NATO’s future functioning adequately reflects Russian views. Cooperation with NATO is favoured mostly by people with higher education and women, while men and less educated people predominantly reject the idea. Most Russians believe NATO should limit its activities only to fight against terrorism, providing aid during natural or men-made disasters, and preventing WMD proliferation.”

 
Greg Randolph Lawson

April 11, 2012

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Rather than argue specifics on this piece, I should point out an overall strategic vision that Dmitry hints at here and Marcin above explicitly refers to, “counterbalancing emerging Asian powers” is something that must be considered.

While all want to get along and cooperate, it is difficult to envision we have escaped the historical pull of traditional conflicts, even if those conflicts manifest themselves now in non-traditional ways. Consequently, the erosion of Atlantic, "Western" power is indisputable.
The debate now is whether the "Asian shift" is permanent or whether we are entering an era of non-polarity as opposed to bipolarity or a "Chinese Century", etc.

In this context, Russia is arguable the pivotal player. Russia's entire history straddles the European/Asian divide going all the way back to the Mongol Yoke and continuing through Peter the Great's efforts at westernizing and other, alternating turns at embracing the West vs. some forms of alternating quasi-oriental despotisms of varying intensities.

The bottom line is, Russia has lots of oil and lots of nukes. It would be better for Russia to be more oriented to the West than the East in an era of renewed and amorphous competition.

Any form of NATO cooperation with Russia would be good.

While I do argue a NATO focused on intra-European stability is better than trying to focus on out of theatre operations, making Russia finally part of the West would be a massive strategic boom. NATO, more than any other western institution has the best chance of facilitating this.

How to do this is a very open-ended question and worthy of serious debate and appropriate skepticism. However, so was Nixon going to China in that era. Would this really be any more shocking IF (and this is a very big IF) it could be done?
 
Moritz  Poellath

April 11, 2012

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Dear Dimitry,

although I believe that trust through cooperation is a smart choice for the NATO-Russia relationship, I see no positive outlook for more cooperation nor an inclusion of Russia in Smart Defence projects. You make a very strong case, why more should be done and I want to congratulate you on your great article.

Here are some short observations, why I'm highly critical - some have already been mentioned in similar form.

- Russia is in a difficult transition period from a former superpower to a great power. It does not play an important role for the United States anymore. It's political, social and economic instability is more a threat to itself, than for NATO member states.

- The Balistic Missle Defense cooperation is stalled. US/EU partners are going their own way (naval units in Spain, radar systems in Turkey). Russia has been invited by NATO to be a part, but because of (again) political reasons connected to its self potrait as a superpower - perception and reality are in conflict.

- I do agree with you that there are spheres of cooperation netween NATO and Russia. yet I belive Smart Defense has first of all to work between member states. If possible and feasible the next step would be to include pfp countries like Russia.

I'll remain realistic and do not see Russia in the near future playing an important role. It has to find its place in the world first - than it can address its relations to NATO. I remember the Joint Data Exchange Center (JDEC) tha tshould have provided trust and cooperation on the important topic of missle defense. Nothing has become of it.
For our memo on Smart Defense we will have to address Russia and I'm happy to have you and your knowledge on board.

best regards, Moritz
 
Marcin Jan Zoltowski

April 11, 2012

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Dmitry, thanks for your reply. You are absolutely right when you say that we should let bygones be bygones and focus on the areas of common interest as a starting point of improving Russia-NATO dialogue. The reason I tackled the fault lines was to stress that the process of overcoming those obstacles will be for sure time consuming. And the time factor is of paramount importance when we are discussing the viability of Smart Defense. If SD project is going to embrace too many goals, as for instance the Defense Capabilities Initiative of 1999 (with its list of 58 issues), it will be damned to share the faith of its predecessors. Thus, I believe, it is crucial for the Smart Defense to first address the Alliance’s inner weaknesses in order to boost NATO’s credibility and solidify its identity. Then, (and here is my answer to Samuel’s question) continue to streamline the relationship with third parties. Nevertheless, the importance of partnership with Russia requires maintenance of parallel process carried out independently of SD.
 
Dmitry  Stefanovich

April 11, 2012

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Max, I am glad to see such interest in the subject! In fact, I even hadn't thought about this project, while it is really an important one, especially considering number of mega-events that will take place in Russia in the coming years.
Speaking about statistics - they seem rather realistic. Here are some figures published this January, based on data gathered in October last year: since 2009 a share of russian seeing NATO as an agressive organization dropped from 15% to 9%; still 50% (58% in 2009) have negative attitude, and it grows with the age, while 13% have positive attitude (8% in 2009); negative connotations in terms of NATO objectives account for 24% (agression towards other countries) and 17% (Russia and China deterrence); nevertheless, many respondents had shown solidarity with NATO missions - fights on terrorism (19%), on narcobusiness (10%), on WMD proliferation (16%).(c)http://wciom.ru/index.php?id=459&uid=112359

Greg, thank you for such a pragmatic approach. You are absolutely right about Russia being in a permanennt "east/west" dualism, and I like your attitude towards possible fututre developments. However, I believe Russia will try to remain independent from "blocking" with West or East.

Moritz, I am happy to be part of such fascinating project, and I truly hope that our work will serve common interests.There are obvious basis for criticism, I agree that there are much more reasons for being skeptical. But there are as well reasons to believe that existing "ups and downs" situation do not discourage our parties from search for areas were cooperation contributes to succesful tackling challenges of mutual concern.

Marcin, thank you for a good example of DCI'99. I am sure that each and every person working on SD understands the consequences, if this initiative sinks in bureacracy and overcoming all obstacles. I think approach proposed by you matches the basic goals of SD, but first of all NATO officials must clarify the scope of it.

2All: Thinking about your comments, one more possible area of cooperation came into my mind. Within the scope of works on solving imcompatibility issues, some cooperation framework may be established between CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force and NATO forces. Of course, here we also have the "probable adversary" paradox, but considering the recent developments in Afghanistan...
 
Samuel Eamon Erickson

April 12, 2012

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Dmitry, Congratulations on starting a lively discussion. No problem on not responding directly to my questions, they were simply intended to start a dialogue and spur conversation on the issue. I agree with you that a flexible cooperative framework with Russia is needed. I suppose the flexibility vs. uniform structure debate may hinge on how tightly one defines the concept of Smart Defense. If Smart Defense is defined as a policy, then crafting definitive rules and guidelines that can be applied to non-NATO states would be necessary. However, if Smart Defense is defined as a strategy, then there is more leeway in the construction of cooperative agendas. Initiatives would be less bound by restrictive rules and policies, with the potential for more creative and flexible (though not necessarily better or more reliable) cooperative partnerships being be created.

A second issue I want to touch on is Russian support for the mission in Afghanistan. It is a point we have yet to discuss in-depth, but I consider Afghanistan to be a defining issue upon which NATO must frame its short-term relationship with Russia. The continued use of Russian airspace and railroad linkages to supply ISAF troops is vital and must be closely considered issue whenever NATO leadership makes strategic choices regarding Russia (including Smart Defense initiatives). The significance of Russian support takes on even greater urgency when one considers the deteriorating ISAF supply-line linkages from Pakistan. For now it appears that these lines are safe, with Vladimir Putin recently giving support to a NATO logistics base being established in Ulyanovsk – though in the same speech Putin also referred to NATO as a “relic of the cold war.”
 
Dmitry  Stefanovich

April 12, 2012

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Samuel, I totally agree that a correct term must be applied and approved for the Smart Defence, and after that the frameworks will be developed. However, today I prefer to call it "concept", or "initiative".

I am glad that we (as well as leaders of Russia and NATO) have similar attitude towards cooperation on Afghanistan.
 
Tinatin  Beridze

April 12, 2012

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How can one think about NATO-Russia cooperation when the decision makers in Kremlin construe NATO as one of its biggest enemies?!

In my view, it is quite naive attitude (if not time wasting) to believe in the efficiency of NATO-Russia cooperation until the tzar Vladimir is the leader of Russia.
 
Greg Randolph Lawson

April 13, 2012

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Tinatin:

I would simply say, the West in general did not treat Russia all that well after the end of the Soviet Union. There is also this misunderstanding reagarding expanding it east, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/08/13/a_diplomatic_mystery

The bottom line is whether fears of a burgeoning Chinese population next to Siberia could make Russia nervous. This the lever point.

Russia is both West and East but probably can be pushed more one direction or the other. Thus far, I think the West has failed to do it. Even Putin, as realpolitik a leader as you could find, may be open to strategic logic over time if he sees the West back in the game rather than a seemingly uniformly rising Asia.
 
Georgi  Ivanov

April 14, 2012

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Dmitr,y you have written a very pragmatic piece...there isn't much I can add to it, except one more aspect that can only enhance it: trust building.

What I mean is that trust-building must become an articulated policy objective above cooperation - because you can still cooperate with someone without necessarily trusting them fundamentally. So, what does trust-building entail? It entails the convergence of language, doctrines, interests and positions, as the basis on which effective BMD, space or anti-terrorist cooperation can take place. Else, NATO can always 'cooperate' with Russia on this or that front, but without a systemic direction there will be no qualitative shift in the long-term relations for the better.
Tags: | NATO | Russia | cooperations |
 
Dmitry  Stefanovich

April 14, 2012

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Georgi, thank you very much for this addition. Actually, speaking about "validation of universal norms for military-technical cooperation, export control, and weapon specifications" I meant one of the important steps to trust-building, that is creating same language and same rules for all stakeholders.
 
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June 9, 2012

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There probably isn't anytnihg to be worried about unless the Russians get totally pissed off at us again and then take it out on regular folks. And things at present look headed that way.What I'd be most concerned about is whether or not the Russians consider your daughter to be a Russian citizen. THAT would be your real exposure for both your daughter and your wife.
 
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August 16, 2012

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(SBU) Deputy Semyon Bagdasarov is right about the nuclear capabilities of Tehran: as locally developed, they are nothing of which to speak. He is wrong about the structure of Iran; there is no danger of disintegration of Iran as the group of religious radicals is just a front, albeit perhaps unbeknownst to many if not most of them, for the despotic Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. Iran does not have intentions to use missiles against the U.S today, but there is no reason to give Iran the S-300, regardless of what Israel is or is not doing in Georgia. Yermakov needs to know that Tehran has a missile challenge as it currently is directed toward developing combat ready ballistic missiles to address regional concerns and does not have intentions to use missiles against the U.S today as discussed by Evgeny Zudin of the Russian Ministry of Defense, but the situation could escalate to missile danger, missile threat, and missile strike all within a single 24 hour period.
Iranians are trying to get nuclear ballistic missiles from Russia by getting around existing export control regimes including the FSB. Anatoliy Raikevich, First Deputy Department Director, Federal Security Service (FSB) runs criminal investigations of the attempts. A reduction of the achievements of the Iranian security services in this area is not enough to satisfy the needs of US National Security; the very potential for Tehran to secure nukes from Moscow needs to be impossible. To secure the situation, the FSB is calling out for cooperation with the U.S. and European security services.
The states of the former USSR are a very tender spot for Russia that the US cannot securely tread on. Russia to needs shore up relations with the only nations from which they can attract sufficient money, technology and expertise for rebuildingRussia. President Dmitry Medvedev and Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov have even threatened preemptive strike against US plans in Eastern Europe. Senator McCain unnecessarily lashed out at Russian response plans for radar in Kaliningrad and wrongly attributed the response to paranoia of Putin. The response is a political manifestation of a generally Russian need for pragmatism; Russia just happens to favor top-down organization. A weaker Russia would strive to remain strategically independent, and would not hesitate, occasionally, to oppose the United States.
U.S. Missile Defense (MD) plans in Romania Bulgaria and Poland are based on modeling, not realtime assessment, prod us to move in the wrong direction, and should include Russia or cease entirely. Like Luchaninov stressed, it is not acceptable to simply accept the threats as described by the United States; the identification of threats have to be part of missile defense cooperation. Russian Nuclear Risk Reduction Center is run by Col Ryzhkov. S. Shevchenko is in charge of implementing the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program the plans for which require approval by the Russian legislature. He has hosted Obama.
We need to think about all the systems that need to be developed and tested. The general defense of the disputed areas should be left up to the Russian Federation to later be re-connected with NATO as a sign of security for Moscow, and a bridge of trust and good faith for US and EU interests in Russia’s identification as a western nation. Washington must help Moscow help itself to be recognized by the West as a fellow democracy. Russia should be helped to return to to the status of a major economic power.
Russia is already calling for further negotiations with Tehran. Russia supplied Iran with the nuclear technology for its Busher atomic power plant and has previously supplied arms to Tehran. Moscow must feel that the U.S. is taking all the opportunities to resolve of the Tehran issue. Russia chose to side with the United States over Iran, to some degree, in 2010, but the US cannot allow Russia to remain identified as an eastern nation with development sympathies. Obama mistakenly just signed new restrictive measures directed not only against Iran, but against foreign companies and individuals who cooperate with it financially, and Moscow does not recognize the sanctions. US National Security priories are not in Eastern European MD control, they are in preventing Russia from becoming more sympathetic with Iranian development issues.
There are real technical barriers for the missile programs of Iran. They are not sufficiently developed to accurately reach over 1300km with the unreliable pre-cascade 1960’s liquid fuel technology they are using, and Major General Hassan Moghaddam has been killed. To produce modern items itself, Iran would need to seriously modernize its technological base. As the 2010s unfold, Russia’s foreign policy is increasingly focused on securing external resources for domestic technological modernization, especially in the south, Siberia, and the Pacific Coast. In Moscow’s view, those resources are largely concentrated in the United States and the leading countries of Western Europe, with the balance furnished by other developed countries. Earlier this year, US-Russian relations seemed to have been successfully reset by Obama and Medvedev, as symbolized by the New Start treaty and Russia’s WTO accession, although the prospects for their further improvement hinge very much on the tackling of the missile defense issue, including the highest level international FSB cooperation, which could become either a positive game-changer or a game-wrecker.
Netanyahu urged Russia to cooperate on tougher sanctions against Iran, but unilateral sanctions will not have the desired effect. The international community has to maintain united and either agree to impose or not impose sanctions. Relations between the United States and Russia cannot be allowed to suffer as a result of new, wide-ranging U.S. sanctions introduced against Iran. Iran should not be made to feel attacked by the US and every cause of retaliation should be prevented by withdrawing the restrictions and applications of extra penalties on countries working with Iran across a variety of sectors, from oil to insurance and shipping. An unnecessarily stifled Iranian national defense will cause great internal anxiety, which may eventually paralyze their higher thinking functions, and without the Arctic being shared by the five littoral countries (the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia), may cause, in 708 years, the all out nuclear war which will leave no city on the sphere on its foundations as predicted by Nostradamus.
Russian leaders’ occasional comments about closer co-operation with NATO unnerve Beijing. Moscow appreciates that China’s historical grievances are directed against Western powers. China’s rise has caused Moscow’s view of the world to be far less Western-centric, but it cannot be allowed to prevent collusion and integration with the west. China sees Russia as disorganized, backward, and uncivilized, and envy Russia only for its resources. Russia sometimes balks at the advanced technology transfers requested by the Chinese, because they have cloned Russian systems and then sold them on the world arms market. China does not appreciate Russia, but Russia will not do anything which might be seen by Beijing as leading to US-led encirclement, such as using Japan to help Russia produce semi-finished goods on their territory to return to China, a plan which is proceeding slowly.
Russia lacks unified external vision so the US must be seen as helping Russia to achieve domestic order and global position. For Moscow, China and East Asia more generally (including Japan and South Korea) are an alternative market that reduces Russian dependence on European customers (who, for their part, are looking for ways to lessen their dependence on Russian fossil fuels). To Moscow, China’s overall importance is higher than that of any other country, save the United States. Energy and global governance are the two areas where the countries most need each other. The IMF’s Special Drawing Rights – a quasi-international currency – could include the yuan and the ruble. The US cannot allow China to check and distract American power as hoped for by ant-western Russian Eurasianism since its inception in the 1920’s, but should allow China to provide Russia with more breathing room.
Topics: SFO, SMARTS, corE, and That the five littoral countries (the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia) MUST immediately unite the north and share the arctic to prevent eventual Russian alignment with Iran
Important Russian Names: Generals Orlov and Pozhikhir, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, Nazarov, Yermakov, Ivanov, Koshelev, Dmitry Rogozin, Nikolai Patrushev, Chairman Kosachev, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the Moscow-Based Inependent Institute for Strategic Studies, Russian liberal Igor Yurgens (who is close to President Medvedev), Dmitri Treninis director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre
Important US/NATO names: Vann H. Van Diepen, Acting Assistant Secretary, ISN (Head of Delegation), Sam Nunn, Senator Lugar, U.S. State Department special envoy Ellen Tauscher, NATO's deputy secretary general, Alexander Vershbow, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson
 
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August 24, 2012

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I was in error to send the first version of this letter as it contained negative statements and criticisms of others. One could argue that I should entirely forget about and not deal with matters of government at all, but we should all seize an opportunity to prevent war. The following is a better worded version of the letter.

The US must help Russia to achieve domestic order and global position, but Russian leaders’ occasional comments about closer co-operation with NATO unnerve Beijing. Moscow appreciates that China’s historical grievances are directed against Western powers. China’s rise has caused Moscow’s view of the world to be far less Western-centric, but it cannot be allowed to prevent collusion and integration with the west. Russia will not do anything which might be seen by Beijing as leading to US-led encirclement, such as using Japan to help Russia produce semi-finished goods on their territory to return to China, a plan which is proceeding slowly without the Japanese. For Moscow, China and East Asia more generally, including Japan and South Korea are an alternative market that reduces Russian dependence on European customers, who, for their part, are looking for ways to lessen their dependence on Russian fossil fuels. To Moscow, China’s overall importance is higher than that of any other country, save the United States. Energy and global governance are the two areas where the countries most need each other. The IMF’s Special Drawing Rights – a quasi-international currency – could include the yuan and the ruble. The US cannot allow China to check and distract American power as hoped for by anti-western Russian Eurasianism, but should allow China to provide Russia with more breathing room.

US National Security priories are not in Eastern European MD control, they are in preventing Russia from becoming more sympathetic with Iranian development issues. Russian Nuclear Risk Reduction Center is run by Col Ryzhkov. S. Shevchenko is in charge of implementing the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program the plans for which require approval by the Russian legislature. He has hosted Obama. Anatoliy Raikevich, First Deputy Department Director, Federal Security Service (FSB) is calling out for cooperation with the U.S. and European security services. We need to think about all the systems that need to be developed and tested. The general defense of the disputed areas should be left up to the Russian Federation to later be re-connected with NATO as a sign of security for Moscow, and a bridge of trust and good faith for US and EU interests in Russia’s identification as a western nation. Washington must help Moscow help itself to be recognized by the West as a fellow democracy. Russia should be helped to return to to the status of a major economic power.

There are real technical barriers for the missile programs of Iran. They are not sufficiently developed to accurately reach over 1300km with the unreliable pre-cascade 1960’s liquid fuel technology they are using, and Major General Hassan Moghaddam has been killed. To produce modern items itself, Iran would need to seriously modernize its technological base. As the 2010s unfold, Russia’s foreign policy is increasingly focused on securing external resources for domestic technological modernization, especially in the south, Siberia, and the Pacific Coast. In Moscow’s view, those resources are largely concentrated in the United States and the leading countries of Western Europe, with the balance furnished by other developed countries. Earlier this year, US-Russian relations seemed to have been successfully reset by Obama and Medvedev, as symbolized by the New Start treaty and Russia’s WTO accession, although the prospects for their further improvement hinge very much on the tackling of the missile defense issue, including the highest level international FSB cooperation, which could become either a positive game-changer or a game-wrecker.

Netanyahu urged Russia to cooperate on tougher sanctions against Iran, but unilateral sanctions will not have the desired effect. The international community has to maintain united and either agree to impose or not impose sanctions. Relations between the United States and Russia cannot be allowed to suffer as a result of new, wide-ranging U.S. sanctions introduced against Iran. Iran should not be made to feel attacked by the US and every cause of retaliation should be prevented by withdrawing the restrictions and applications of extra penalties on countries working with Iran across a variety of sectors, from oil to insurance and shipping. An unnecessarily stifled Iranian national defense will cause great internal anxiety, which may eventually destabilize or even paralyze their higher thinking functions. Nostradamus predicted, that without the Arctic being shared by the five littoral countries (the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia) an all out nuclear war will begin by Russia giving nuclear missiles to Iran. He wrote that it will leave no city on the sphere on its foundations and will begin in about 700 years.


Topics: SFO, SMARTS, corE, and That the five littoral countries (the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia) MUST immediately unite the north and share the arctic to prevent eventual Russian alignment with Iran

Important Russian Names: Generals Orlov and Pozhikhir, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, Nazarov, Yermakov, Ivanov, Koshelev, Dmitry Rogozin, Nikolai Patrushev, Chairman Kosachev, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the Moscow-Based Inependent Institute for Strategic Studies, Russian liberal Igor Yurgens (who is close to President Medvedev), Dmitri Treninis director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre

Important US/NATO names: Vann H. Van Diepen, Acting Assistant Secretary, ISN (Head of Delegation), Sam Nunn, Senator Lugar, U.S. State Department special envoy Ellen Tauscher, NATO's deputy secretary general, Alexander Vershbow, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson
 

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