One of the most important questions nowadays is connected to the issue of extending the NATO Partnerships or more exactly: Why the NATO Alliance needs extension of the network of Partnerships? Does the contemporary world in which we live require new sources of stability and peace? The aim to expand the network of partnerships is defined as one of the most important functions of the Alliance. But does the Alliance provide a unique forum for members and partners to consult on issues in terms of security, in order to build trust and prevent conflict? Do the methods of practical cooperation and multilateral initiatives result in joint work towards detecting new security challenges? And after all, does the NATO partners are included in its work in ways that are individually tailored to their specific needs and requirements?
Regarding the happenings in the recent years connected with explosions and overthrow of the political systems of several states and regimes the question is: Whether these partnerships fulfill the purpose for which they were created? It seems like the system of partnerships until now has not proved as an effective tool for conflict prevention.
The idea to reform NATO’s partnership policy was launched at the Lisbon Summit in order to make the dialogue and cooperation more inclusive, flexible and strategic – oriented. The result from this Summit was a new developed Partnership policy. Still, it takes some time to see the results from these renewed partnerships whose goals among other are focused on fostering the cooperation not only with the member states, but with the organizations from the non – member states and with non – member states themselves.
Another important theme related to the Alliance’s Partnership policy is the question whether the promotion of Euro – Atlantic security is best assured through a wide network of partner relationships with countries and organizations around the globe? Whether the strong presence of NATO trough the network of partnerships shows results?
While NATO can and should do more to promote the cooperation in the field of security the progress of this specific task cannot be separated from the broader political and security development. The security cooperation cannot evolve or play a significant role if some of the countries that are not members of the Alliance characterize with continuing violence and the deterioration of inter-ethnic and inter-relationships. To achieve this objective in the years that come NATO will have to remain deeply engaged in some of the regions which characterize with fragile political developments thus threaten the whole international community. One of the elements of this engagement should be the enhanced support of regional cooperation. The challenge for the major European and international organizations will be to find political space in which regional organizations can develop and provide political and material support to strengthen this cooperation.
The world where we all live in today is faced with the realities of geo-strategic and geo-political change. This is best described with the changes in the international relations and policy that took place afterSeptember 11, 2001. This event was a crucial for redefining the security concepts of the Alliance in terms of cooperative approach to security. The new concept was also pointing out that future threats will come from different directions and will be difficult to predict. In this way the proliferation of nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems threaten with major implications for global stability and prosperity. Terrorism for example is a direct threat to the safety of the citizens of NATO member countries and to international stability and prosperity more broadly, especially if terrorists possess nuclear, chemical, biological and radioactive weapons. Third, instability or conflict despite the limits of NATO member states directly threatens the alliance by fostering extremism, terrorism and trans-national illegal activities such as trafficking in arms, narcotics and human trafficking.
The Strategic Concept of 2010 stated that the Alliance should be able to defend their members and to handle even the most challenging crises. But the question is: Are the states interested to involve in these kinds of security partnerships in order to improve their security? And after all, are all of the states equally treated in this partnerships or the premise that the stronger is more powerful prevails here? Countries will loose their trust in these kinds of partnerships if they are constantly exposed to threat and insecurity. Regarding this, the Alliance will have to redefine its partnership policy in a way that will include the smaller and less powerful states in order to guarantee their security and stability.
In my opinion, the Alliance will have to put some additional effort in order to preserve the global security. This means that the states themselves will need to focus on improving the aspects of their regional cooperation with the neighbor states and to move toward greater cooperation in the field of security. This is especially important for the states that are not member of the Alliance, regarding their ultimate goal and that are integration into the Euro – Atlantic structures.