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Fascicolo 8 | 2015

Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze PoliticheL’ottavo convegno annuale promosso dal Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore sui temi della sicurezza internazionale, con particolare riferimento al ruolo della NATO, si svolge come in passato con il patrocinio di diverse istituzioni civili e militari, rappresentate qui dai loro massimi esponenti, che desidero ringraziare per il costante sostegno a queste iniziative. Tra le prime, la Facoltà di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, la Divisione Diplomazia Pubblica della NATO, l’Atlantic Treaty Association, presieduta dallo scorso anno per la prima volta da un italiano, il Prof. Fabrizio Luciolli, che è anche Presidente del Comitato Atlantico Italiano. Tra le istituzioni militari, il Centro Alti Studi per la Difesa, l’“università” delle Forze Armate italiane, il Comando Militare Esercito Lombardia e il NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy, il cui Comandante, Gen. C.A. Riccardo Marchiò non può con suo rammarico essere presente perché impegnato nella fase finale dell’esercitazione Trident Jaguar 2015, che concluderà il passaggio del suo comando da struttura delle forze terrestri a organismo interforze.


Massimo de Leonardis, Introduzione

Abstract – The conference continues a long-standing tradition of studies on international security (in particular on the Atlantic Alliance) that the Department of Political Sciences of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart pursues with the constant support of NATO Public Diplomacy Division and other military and cultural institutions. This eighth conference aims at shedding light on the perspectives that the Newport summit opened to NATO and on the Alliance’s apparent return to the “old mission” embodied in the couple “Deterrence & defence”, following a long period of deployment out-of-area.

Massimo de Leonardis, La NATO dopo il vertice di Newport e in attesa del nuovo Presidente americano: “masterly inactivity”

Abstract – Until a short time ago, NATO’s main role was its deployment out-of-area. In Europe, the Alliance remained “vigilant and prepared”, but no one really believed in the need for its engagement. However, at the eve of the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, there were signs that the period of the “NATO deployed” was coming to an end. Among them: the US withdrawal from Iraq and – most important – Afghanistan, where NATO was discharging the most relevant mission in its history. The emergence of the transnational threat of the Islamic State (Dā‘ish) did not affect this state of things. At the same time, the deterioration of the relations with Russia has led the Alliance to approve a new NATO Readiness Action Plan, to strengthen its military deployment along the Eastern borders and to establish a 4,000-men-strong Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. Is the Cold War coming back? Not at all, since the present NATO-Russia confrontation is not an ideological struggle; rather, Putin’s challenge is an expression of the “traditional” Russian national interest of preserving its sphere of influence. In the current strategic environment, the main risk is thus that NATO devotes too many resources to face the Russian threat at the expenses of the other theatres, especially in the Middle East. A vigilant NATO in Europe is a positive thing, but not enough if it is not ready to face the main threat wherever it emerges.

Gianluca Pastori, L’Alleanza Atlantica e la lotta al terrorismo internazionale: breve storia di un rapporto difficile

Abstract – The fight against international terrorism is one of the great challenges that the Atlantic Alliance and NATO are currently facing. Starting soon after 9/11, the Alliance has gradually developed its own doctrinary corpus, based on the three pillars of awareness, capabilities and engagement. This corpus is embodied in a series of documents ranging from the Military Concept for the Defence against Terrorism (MC-472, 2002), to the Strategic Concept (“Active Engagement, Modern Defence”) adopted in Lisbon in 2010, to the NATO’s Policy Guidelines on Counter-Terrorism, adopted in Chicago in 2012. However, strong reserves still exist about NATO’s ability to develop an effective counter-terrorism action. Its historical heritage and “reactive” character, as well as its nature of military organization, are normally quoted as the main obstacles in this sense. Presently, the Alliance seems thus trapped somewhere in between the two roles, while the possibility of an evolution remains uncertain. Traditionally, operational needs have been the main driver of NATO’s change. Today, instead, this element conjures with the financial constraints affecting NATO member States to promote a different kind of change, focused more on the Alliance’s military dimension than on its potential role of security broker.

Davide Borsani, “Back in business?”. Il dibattito sulla NATO negli Stati Uniti

Abstract – In 2014, the United States and Europe faced many controversial diplomatic and military dynamics. Until 2013, NATO was requested to unravel two main Gordian knots that would have determined its future: the commitment in Afghanistan and the burden sharing issue. However, today the Atlantic Alliance has revised the nature of its priorities, essentially due to the Ukrainian crisis. The United States, the majority shareholder of NATO, has undertaken a similar path by rethinking the role of the Alliance in its grand strategy. Nevertheless, Washington should still address a fundamental question for the future of the Western alliance: is America still an Atlantic power or has it returned to its historical vocation toward Asia? During President Obama’s first term, in fact, NATO was not at the core of the US foreign policy. Is this maybe the symptom that the Alliance has finally turned into the already predicted relic of the Cold War? Obama’s second term has instead shown a different approach toward Europe. Nowadays, the American debate on NATO is focusing on what is happening not only in Eastern Europe but also in the Greater Middle East. What kind of tasks and what prospects for the post-2014 NATO, then? In the US, the discussion is still open.

Antonin Giulio de Robertis, La NATO e la sfida della Russia

Abstract – The section discusses the new challenge posed by Russia and the possibility that NATO will get back to a more traditional strategy. The author sees a likeness between the German situation in 1919 and Russian one in 1991. Both people had their compatriots in others countries, both countries suffered from a huge inflation and their military class did not accept the defeat. Moreover, another and most important likeness needs to be highlighted: Germany surrendered but hoped that Wilson’s Fourteen Points would be followed, which did not happen; at the end of the Cold War, the situation was somehow similar. Indeed, Bush and Gorbachev tried to create a New International Order, which meant a coordination between the two Super Powers, but this cooperation was opposed by different influent members of the American leadership. The situation worsened during Clinton’s Presidency and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. President Clinton chose the “democratic enlargement” in the Eastern Europe and accepted new members in NATO. Additionally, after the peacekeeping mission in Somalia, he decided to take part in other international missions only when the national interest was affected. From that moment, the expression “national interests” was used to justify all the actions in international politics, which opened a new period of instability and recalled old fears.

Luca Ratti, NATO e Russia dopo Maidan: crisi e prospettive

Abstract – The paper debates the relations between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia in the broader context of transatlantic and European security. The first part of the paper focuses on the sources of the growing tension between NATO and Moscow in the aftermath of the Euromaidan revolution in 2013 and the annexation of Crimea in the following year. The second part of the paper provides a brief historical summary of the relations between the Atlantic Alliance and Moscow and formulates a few policy suggestions which might favour an improvement in mutual perceptions. Although the relationship between the Atlantic Alliance and Moscow reached its post-Cold War nadir following the Euromaidan events, the current situation represents only the latest chapter of a crisis, whose immediate origins have to be found in the events of the early 21st century. Indeed, it was at that time that the Atlantic Alliance’s enlargement to the Baltic states and the so-called colored revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan outlined deep strategic divergences between the West and Moscow. Nonetheless, the very root of this tension shall be found in the years 1989-1990, with the end of the East-West division and the pending question concerning the role of the Soviet Union and its successor states in the new architecture of the European security. The nature of that situation triggered mutual mistrusts and contrasting perceptions, which have prevented the establishment of a constructive relationship and still continue to fuel tension between the Atlantic Alliance and Moscow.

Federico Niglia, L’asse russo-tedesco: storia e attualità di un mito

Abstract – There is a myth concerning a special relationship between Russia and Germany. A myth always contains a part of truth and a lot of simplification. The most important milestones of this relationship are 1812, 1870, 1922, 1972. Tsar Peter the Great was the first leader trying to create a connection between his country and the German world. On the other side, king Frederick the Great sent ambassadors to Russia to understand the culture of that empire. The Napoleonic wars put strictly in contact Prussia and Russia and so did the peace after those wars. Bismarck’s era is seen as the period of maximum convergence between Prussia-Germany and Russia, but the relation was actually much more complicated. The Treaty of Rapallo was signed in 1922. This German-Soviet pact must be seen as the extrema ratio of German government, which had already tried to reach an agreement with Great Britain. Actually, the most important limit of the German politic with Russia was that Berlin did not see Moscow as a real interlocutor. In the 1970s the two countries rediscovered themselves thanks to the Ostpolitik. Germany appreciated that Soviet Union did not interfere in the reunification of the country. After the Cold War, the economic factor was the link between Germany and Russia. In this way, Berlin gained access to the Eastern European markets and became the continental epicentre. The good relationship continued under Schroeder and Merkel. 2008 marked the worst period in the relationship between EU and Russia, but Germany maintained important economic relations with Moscow. Even if Germany is one of the countries that want a dialog with Putin, the Ukrainian crisis made a fact clear: Germany is a regulatory power, while Russia follows a traditional realpolitik. If Germany wants to maintain a leadership in Europe, it has to change its idea of “leadership” and “intervention”. In the present situation, Germany has to make a “containment by integration” with Russia, or it will became the border of a divided world.

Giorgio Battisti, La NATO in Afghanistan: da ISAF a “Resolute Support”

Abstract – The presentation focuses on the entire duration (over thirteen years) of the ISAF mission and the follow-on Resolute Support mission. The closing remarks present the Author’s personal point of view about the mission, rather than solutions to the problem. The Author deployed four times to Afghanistan, first time was in 2001-2002, then in 2003, afterwards in 2007 and, more recently, from January 2013 to January 2014 as the Chief of Staff of the mission, at ISAF Headquarters. As such, he had a great opportunity to witness first-hand how much Afghanistan has changed, and how – in Author’s opinion – the country is moving in the right direction.

Ferdinando Sanfelice di Monteforte, La NATO e il potere marittimo. Lo sviluppo concettuale

Abstract – During the Cold War, NATO maritime planning was a task performed by the Supreme Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT), while the other maritime Command, the CinC Channel (CINCHAN), was responsible for controlling the “Eastern Approaches” to Europe, the sea area where the reinforcement and resupply convoys, dispatched from the American continent, were supposed to arrive. In 1952, SACLANT issued a number of “Concepts of Maritime Operations”, defining five sea campaigns, which was approved by the North Atlantic Council. The evolution of NATO strategic doctrine caused this document to be revised in 1967 and then in 1980. During this period, SACLANT also developed the concept of “Maritime Contingency Forces” to be used both in peace and tension time. These forces were composed by one warship from each nation. It is worth noting that, while NATO focused its attention to the North Atlantic area, close to the main bases of the Soviet fleet, the major maritime crisis took place in the Mediterranean, as a consequence of the Arab-Israeli wars. A Soviet squadron, based in Alexandria, Egypt, posed a permanent threat to NATO, especially as far as the support to Greece and Turkey, in case of hostilities, was concerned. The end of the Warsaw Pact and the subsequent implosion of the Soviet Union led to a period of crisis response operations, which saw an intensive participation by NATO naval forces. However, the replacement of SACLANT by a new Command, the Strategic Allied Command-Transformation (SAC-T), led to the loss of maritime expertise, as SHAPE staff was predominantly focused on air-land operations. Several years elapsed, therefore, until the lessons learned through this activity led, in 2011, to the most recent NATO Maritime Strategy. While this document is a follow-up of the NATO Strategic Concept, it introduces a new task, Maritime Security Operations, which reflects the Alliance’s commitment of using naval forces during peace, tension and crises.

Pier Paolo Ramoino, La NATO e il potere marittimo. Le attività operative

Abstract – NATO was created as a strong link between North America and Europe. Its first goal was to deter Soviet Union from invading Western Europe. NATO fleets had to protect and control the Atlantic Ocean, which represented the major line of communication between America and Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the number of operations increased for NATO fleets. Missions took place in the Adriatic Sea, in the Persian Gulf, and in the Arabic Sea. The western fleets are, nowadays, a tool of naval diplomacy, and they perform mostly a constabulary role. The organization has been simplified, and a new command was established in Mons, Belgium, together with a new naval command in Northwood, UK (MARCOM). MARCOM head is the Prime Maritime Advisor to the Alliance, while the Command is responsible for the maritime component of the NATO Responce Force, based on four Standing Maritime Groups. MARCOM leads (or led) the operations Ocean Shield, Allied Provider, Allied Protector and Active Endeavour, and controls the NATO Commander Maritime Air and the Commander Submarine NATO. Not surprisingly, the exercise Nobel Justification (October 2014) and other operations have recently shown that NATO Navy is still a strong, flexible, and rapidly deployable military force.

Pietro Batacchi, La crisi ucraina e la nuova postura militare della NATO

Abstract – Initially, NATO and US reaction to the Ukrainian events in 2014 was rather weak, also due to the strategic surprise that Russia achieved. Nevertheless, it has grown stronger during the months. Land, sea and air assets increased in number, due both to the strengthening of the existing forces and to the conduction of large scale exercises, such as Saber Strike 2014 and Combined Resolve II. The Newport summit reaffirmed NATO’s commitment also with the adoption of a Readiness Action Plan, in order to deal with the new challenges that the Alliance is facing. The other pillar of the post-Newport NATO posture is the establishment of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VHRJTF, also known as “Spearhead force”). VHRJTF – a 5,000-men-strong multinational brigade – should reach full operation status by 2016, becoming the pillar of the NATO Response Force (established at the NATO Prague summit on 22 November 2002, which reached its Full Operational Capability in 2006), and its main aim should be to provide a credible force of dissuasion to reassure first and foremost the Alliance’s Eastern and Baltic members.

Gli Autori


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