Strategic adaptation to new challenges
Announcement – The 3rd Webinar of “The V4 towards NATO Strategic Concept and Strategic Compass” grant will take place on the 24th of August at 12:00 CEST
We have the pleasure to inform you that the third in a series of four webinars devoted to discussing the common position of V4 countries towards the most pressing issues within NATO, will take place on the 24th of August. The discussion panel will be entitled: “Strategic adaptation to new challenges,” and will begin at 12:00 CEST. The seminar is a part of the project entitled: “The V4 towards NATO Strategic Concept and Strategic Compass,” initiated by Casimir Pulaski Foundation, The Antall József Knowledge Centre, EUROPEUM and the Slovak Security Policy Institute. It is aimed at supporting the coordination of the V4 group stance on works over a new NATO Strategic Concept as recommended by the “NATO 2030” report of NATO’s Secretary General, as well as on the idea of the EU strategic autonomy proposed by some European leaders. The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe. We would like to kindly inform you that participation at this event is by invitation only and will be held in English with no interpretation provided.
12:00 – 12:10 Welcome remarks – Matej Spišák, Research Fellow, Slovak Security Policy Institute
12:10– 12:20 Presentation: “Strategic adaptation to new challenges” – Matej Spišák, Research Fellow, Slovak Security Policy Institute
12:20– 13:20 Interventions:
- Slovak Perspective: E. Radovan Javorčík – Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United States of America;
- Polish Perspective: Robert Pszczel – Senior Fellow of Casimir Pulaski Foundation, Head of NATO Information Office in Moscow (2010-15);
- Hungarian Perspective: E. Zoltán Nagy – Permanent Representative of Hungary to NATO;
- Czech Perspective: Matúš Halás – Deputy Research Director at the Institute of International Relations (IIR).
Moderation: Matej Spišák, Research Fellow, Slovak Security Policy Institute
13:20 – 13:50 Discussion
13:50 – 14:00 Closing remarks
Webinar entitled: “Strategic adaptation to new challenges.”
The said webinar took place on August 24th and was a part of a wider project entitled “Coordinating the V4 Strategy towards NATO Strategic Concept and European Strategic Autonomy,” that is aimed at supporting the coordination of the V4 group stance regarding the new NATO Strategic Concept recommended by the “NATO 2030” report. It also aims to address the V4 strategy concerning the idea of the EU Strategic Autonomy, proposed by some European leaders, as a core concept of the EU Strategic Compass. The initiative is being undertaken by four partner organizations: The Casimir Pulaski Foundation (Poland), the Antall József Knowledge Centre (Hungary), the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy (Czech Republic), and the Slovak Security Policy Institute (Slovakia). The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
1. H. E. Radovan Javorcik (Slovak perspective) – the ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United States;
- H. E. Nagy Zoltan (Hungarian perspective) – permanent representative of Hungary to NATO;
- Matus Halas (Czech prespective) – deputy research director at the Institute of International Relations;
- Robert Pszczel (Polish perspective) – senior fellow of Casimir Pulaski Foundation and former head of NATO Information office in Moscow (2010-15);
The discussion was moderated by Matej Spisak, who is a research fellow at the Slovak Security Policy Institute. He opened the debate by emphasizing that if we want NATO to be a successful organization that will survive in the future, it must learn to better adapt to the new challenges. The organization must meet the needs of more demanding strategic environments that are marked by the return of systemic rivalry. All panelists agreed that the most important thing for NATO’s success is wide consultations. In order to reach a consensus on the key aspects of the Alliance’s future, allies must discuss and coordinate their statements. If the member states will understand each other’s perception on the possible threats, it will be easier to create a more coherent alliance. Ambassador Radovan Javorcik remarked that as soon as NATO defines itself, the organization is going to work more efficiently. He also emphasized that its members must discuss the NATO’s values and the rule of law. If the alliance has internal cracks among its members (on the values, what is the rule of law) then we will have a serious problem to deal with. Robert Pszczel agreed on the importance of the consultations. He said that each strategic concept has always been influenced by relevance. It was different in 2010, and right now there are different threats, so it is important to become adaptable in order to deter current hostile actions both the ongoing and planned ones. Matus Halas said that NATO needs to address what kind of strategic landscape it is facing, is it a Russian threat, climate change or the US engagement in Asia – Pacific. When it will have answers to these questions, reaching the agreement will be much easier. The organization needs a balance between the struggle to maintain the coherence, and at the same time, it needs to maintain enhanced ability to act. If it can address these two challenges, it can overcome any obstacle. Ambassador Zoltan Nagy started by saying that in NATO, the V4 group countries do not have a common stance on many issues. We face many of the same challenges but our threat perceptions are not identical. He believes that NATO’s primary challenge should be to maintain unity and cohesion. In his opinion, the political agreement should come first, since without it, it would be very hard to establish clear military objectives. All of the panelists agreed on the need to consult the Chinese challenge. Each country may have different goals in cooperation with Beijing, but they need to understand each other. They also agreed that the Russian threat is a problem that may divide the alliance. Robert Pszczel emphasized that Europeans have to stop pretending that they can perform difficult tasks (such as countering Russia) by themselves. There is a need for the US to be more engaged in Europe. He also highlighted that if NATO wants to keep its credibility, it needs to emphasize that Moscow is a real military threat. Matus Halas proposed an idea to improve the alliance by restructuring NATO’s nuclear sharing vis a vis Russia, with the inclusion of Poland Ambassador Zoltan Nagy agreed with the idea, remarking that as long as the nuclear weapons exist, NATO has to be the nuclear alliance. However, in his view challenges emanating from the south are more prominent than those from the east. Therefore Hungary absolutely believes in a NATO 360 degree approach.
We have then proceeded to the group discussion, where the speakers where asked questions about their views on the Open Door Policy, reaching the coherence in the alliance and the European approach to Russia. In his speech, Ambassador Radovan Javorcik reiterated, that maintaining the coherence within NATO is a very arduous task. There is a need to understand that the three core tasks (collective defense, crisis management and cooperative security) are still valid, if NATO wants to find more space for an agreement. The problem being the needs to have more coherence in Alliance’s military planning, since every country has its own national security strategy. If all member states would coordinate them, then the common stance would be easier to reach. In Robert Pszczel’s opinion, the lack of coherence derives from the problem of understanding Russian actions. If there was a common description of Russian hostile actions, then the allies would understand themselves better.. The panelists provided various thoughts on the adaptation towards new challenges. The speakers emphasized that although the threats may be the same, the perceptions may differ, so there is a need for broad, inter-member consultations. If the allies will try to understand each other’s stances, NATO will become a stronger and more coherent organization.