01 iunie 2018

The Security Analysis, a milestone for the new SDRs of the WBSA states

Stefan Danila

Sursă foto: Mediafax

[Romanian version HERE]

A possible war breaking, be it classic, non-classic or hybrid has been an international security topic widely approached especially after Russian Federation’s annexing of Crimea. Terrorism has been the main global threat after the September 11 attacks that were followed by others in Spain, UK or France. The attacks generated fear and insecurity all over the planet. After March 2014, world order uncertainty, untrusted current treaties, international organizations, and wolrd leader’s declartions piled up the issue.

Perception may differ, and depends on the region, geographical location, proximity to Russian Federation or the bilateral relations with it. The highest intensity is at the west of the Russian Fereration, though slightly different shades may occur. In the former soviet states, where larger or smaller communities of Russians can be found, the reactions are intense and range from damnation to appreciation or joint actions. There are ex-soviet or neighbouring states that have chosen action and they face the biggest doubting. The north-eastern states such as Poland and the Baltic States, are facing an increased concern to their security.

The WBSA has got and still has a large array of reactions that differ from state to state, from one community to another, or even within a state. The proximity to Russia, the economic relations, and the energy supply dependence on Russia, bring about different positions among states like Armenia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary compared to Georgia, Azerbaidjan, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova or Romania. The relations I have mentioned did not affect the liking of the Russian friends or brothers for the first ones, even if few voices speak against the violent actions in the east of Ukraine. Ukraine’s and Georgia’s wish to exit the influence of the bigger brother ended up in loss of territory, domestic instability, and uncertainty with regard to any international treaty. The NATO membership has not brought the expected security coverage (in Georgia’s case, it has even been misunderstood), but only political reactions and the damnation of aggressive actions by UN and OSCE. NATO membership or EU membership seems to be more of a constraint and the transatlantic or communty measures are criticised as incoherent policy or weak authority of the High Representative.

Turkey, a NATO member with a strong armed force and in control of the straits should be the balance factor leading to a stable situation. However, the brisk changes of the Turkish President statements both regarding the relation with Russia and that with US or EU generates even more uncertainty. If two years ago, the tensions in the relations between Turkey and Russia reached the brim due to the Russian plane  brought down by a Turkis F-16, the failure of the July 15 2016 coup  triggered actions that defused the tension and even led to a historical closeness between Putin and Erdogan.

Following US denouncing of the Nuclear Agreement with Iran, Germany and France re-open the dialogue  with the new elected Putin, through consecutive visits. This situation seems to favour the reason sought to overcross the sanctions agreed upon together with the US alies. The economic loss and the dependance on the Russian gas are too big to resist the temptation. Moreover, the idea of a multi-geared Europe seems to have both a financial and a security component. The attention given to the European defense industry is proved not only by the European Council’s decisions, but also by mutual programs to develop military equipment and forces.The states of the eastern Union are usually excluded or invidet only as clinets. More and more we can see a delimitation of a hard core specially for the states that are under Russia’s special attention. Russia’s seat belt seems to be accepted by more and more western leaders. The eastern states perceived that attitude and got closer to the US, through more visible partnerships of minor military acquisitions. Real investments for these states, support and infrastructure for lasting economic development resembling the Marshal Plan are totally absent. Therefore, the feeling of abandon adds up and intensifies the feeling of uncertainty and insecurity.

The security studies and analyses are complex and meaningful products, affecting the policies and actions of the national or allied decision-makers. An analyse of that type for the Black Sea Extended Region is extremely complex and implies the identification of the interests of all the bordering states, as well as of other actors that can play a role in the security of a region. The result will be neither a complex integrated ecuation nor a sum of interests, but rather a matrix whose determinant is difficult to establish through classic methods. The analysis could x-ray the situation and this image should be used by each and every single state later on.

At the level of each state, particularly NATO members, defense planning or strategic defense reviews shoud be performed every other 4 or 5 years. The security alteration in the area caused by invassion and annexing of Crimea should have generated strategic defense reviews. Poland did this and the result was SDR-16, The Defense Concept of the Republic of Poland. Even if the document is one meant for national policy, it has a strategig message of deterring, seeking the strengthening of the armed force, setting of a new force, a 2.5 GDP allocation for defense and equipment.

In Romania, the National Defense Strategy was adopted in 2015, and it can be said that includes the changes in the security situation. However, new elements have occured that can influence the international relations of the region  and could afect Romania’s main interests. Turkey’s new position towards Russia, Russia’s involvement  in Syria and the more evident Russian interests for a major role in the Mediterrainean and Middle East, the US denouncing of the agreement with Iran and the possible re-set of the EU relationS with Russia impact the approach of the international relations, the current agreements, especially those that need validation or extentions.

Consequently, a professional analyse of the security in the Black Sea Extended Region is necessary and I consider that it should be done at the level of the Alliance, involving SHPE’s and JFC Naples experts. This could lead to a validation and update of the allied plans as well as of the national plans and stragies.

Integrating the points of view expressed here and the proposals that have been made could definitely lay the foundation for a Strategic Security Analysis in the Black Sea Extended Region.

Point of view presented during the „Emerging Importance of Wider Black Sea Area Security” International Conference