The independent resource on global security

1. The Euro-Atlantic system and global security



I. Introduction

II. The USA’s policies and doctrines

III. The US agenda in action and the repercussions

IV. Institutional developments: NATO and the EU

V. Russian policy in a Euro-Atlantic and regional setting



Read the full chapter [PDF].


New US strategy documents adopted in 2002 allow for military action—pre-emptive where necessary—against ‘asymmetrical’ threats posed by terrorists and weapons of mass destruction as one means to an explicit goal of preserving US military supremacy. They prescribe the transformation of US national forces with emphasis on strike capabilities, active and passive defences, and responsive infrastructure. During the year the USA pursued its military action in Afghanistan, acquired bases and military partners in new regions and launched an ambitious homeland security programme under a new single department. In March President Bush declared his determination to stop the threat from Iraq, with prime reference to Saddam Hussein’s efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Widespread international concerns were voiced about the consequences, legal propriety and relative priority of an attack on Iraq, and during the autumn the USA consented to work with other UN Security Council members for a UN resolution sending international inspectors back to the country instead. By the end of the year they had made no clear findings, while Saddam continued a policy of denial.


US–European relations were strained on a number of global policy issues besides Iraq. The US administration’s emphasis on ‘coalitions of the willing’ raised fears of its breaking away from alliances and legal constraints, while US thinkers derided Europe’s inability either to wield power or to understand it. Nonetheless, during 2002 factors of calculation or loyalty kept both sides working for compromises—fragile though these would soon prove.


NATO and the EU had a triple agenda: enlargement, adaptation and the management of the Balkans (where a trend to shift responsibility to the EU emerged by the end of the year). NATO invited seven new members to join in 2004, including the Baltic states, with minimal Russian protest. It adopted decisions opening the way for worldwide deployments, and a package of measures in November (a new Capabilities Commitment, a new Response Force and a new command structure) potentially providing tools for them. US–European tensions persisted, however, and the principal blockage to full NATO support for EU military operations was removed only after mid-December.


The EU invited 10 new members (including Malta and Cyprus) to join in 2004, gave Romania and Bulgaria a 2007 target and—after difficult discussions—agreed to define Turkey’s target date in late 2004 if reforms have progressed far enough. It opened a new-style European Convention to discuss the Union’s adaptation for the future, including a possible ‘constitution’. The EU and NATO also reflected on new ‘outreach’ policies and structures after enlargement to promote partnership with, and contain instability from, new neighbour regions to the east and south.


In Russia, President Putin developed a personal strategy increasingly anchored in the West, conserving Russia’s limited energies for internal growth and acknowledging the common nature of many global threats. Realist but not yet deep-rooted, this policy brought Russia some rewards in 2002 for its acceptance inter alia of US missile defence plans, NATO enlargement and US bases in Central Asia. The policy did not, however, achieve true US–Russian equality or dispose of all disagreements. Russia handled its internal conflicts as a ‘terrorist’ challenge, opting for an imposed military and political solution in Chechnya, especially after a costly hostage incident in October, and threatening cross-border strikes into Georgia.


Russia secured a new consultative relationship ‘at 20’ with NATO when the NATO–Russia Council was inaugurated in May, with an agenda including cooperation on ‘new threats’. Kaliningrad became the main bone of contention regarding EU expansion plans, but after eventful negotiations an EU package of measures to ease Russian citizens’ transit from and to the exclave was accepted in November. Russia took steps in Central Asia, notably emphasizing the collective security functions of the Commonwealth of Independent States, to signal its continuing claim to influence there.



Appendix 1A. The African Union: the vision, programme, policies and challenges


Full text Appendix 1A [PDF].


The African Union (AU) replaced the Organization for African Unity as a more cohesive and integrated African organization. At the time of transition, the continent was racked by a series of internal conflicts that threatened to undermine the viability of any sustained regional agenda. Disputed electoral outcomes have been a major source of political tension. The AU is also concerned with the issue of terrorism. The degree of international support will be a crucial factor in the implementation of the AU’s agenda.



Dr Ian Anthony (United Kingdom) is SIPRI Research Coordinator and the Leader of the SIPRI Internet Database on European Export Controls Project. In 1992–98 he was Leader of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Project. His most recent publication for SIPRI is A Future Arms Control Agenda: Proceedings of Nobel Symposium 118, 1999 (2001), for which he is co-editor (with Adam Daniel Rotfeld). He is also editor of the SIPRI volumes Russia and the Arms Trade (1998), Arms Export Regulations (1991) and SIPRI Research Report no. 7, The Future of Defence Industries in Central and Eastern Europe (1994), and author of The Naval Arms Trade (SIPRI, 1990) and The Arms Trade and Medium Powers: Case Studies of India and Pakistan 1947–90 (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992). He has written or co-authored chapters for the SIPRI Yearbook since 1988.


Alyson J. K. Bailes (United Kingdom) took over as Director of SIPRI in July 2002. She was previously a member of the British Diplomatic Service for 33 years, ending as British Ambassador to Finland in 2000–2002. Her other diplomatic postings include Budapest, the British Delegation to NATO, Bonn, Beijing and Oslo and she spent several periods on detachment outside the Service, including two academic sabbaticals, a two-year period with the British Ministry of Defence, and assignments to the European Union and Western European Union. Her main analytical interests are politico-military affairs, European integration and Central European affairs. She has published a large number of articles in international journals on these subjects as well as on Chinese foreign policy.


Shannon N. Kile (United States) is a Researcher on the SIPRI Project on Military Technology and International Security. He is the author of chapters in the SIPRI volume A Future Arms Control Agenda: Proceedings of Nobel Symposium 118, 1999 (2001) and SIPRI Research Report no. 7, The Future of the Defence Industries in Central and Eastern Europe (1994) and a co-author (with Adam Daniel Rotfeld) of a chapter in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe OSCE Yearbook (1997). He has contributed to two SIPRI books on Russian security policy: Russia and Europe: The Emerging Security Agenda (1997) and Russia and Asia: The Emerging Security Agenda (1999) and is the author of the SIPRI Fact Sheet ‘Missile defence and the ABM Treaty: a status report’ (2001). He has contributed to the SIPRI Yearbook since 1995 on nuclear arms control.


Dr Zdzislaw Lachowski (Poland) is Leader of the SIPRI Project on Conventional Arms Control. He formerly worked at the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw. He has published extensively on the problems of European military security and arms control as well as on European politico-military integration. He is the author of The Adapted CFE Treaty and the Admission of the Baltic States to NATO (SIPRI Policy Paper, 2002) and has contributed to the SIPRI Yearbook since 1992.


Dr Jinmi Adisa (Nigeria) is Senior Coordinator and Head of the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa—a major programme of the new African Union. He obtained his PhD in War Studies from King’s College, London, in 1983. He has lectured at the University of Ibadan and held several public positions in Nigeria. He served in various capacities in the UN and ECOWAS before joining the African Union. His publications include The Comfort of Strangers: The Impact of Rwandan Refugees on Neighbouring Countries (UN Centre for Human Settlements/French Institute for Research in Africa, 1996) and ‘NEPAD APRM: making the mechanism work’ in African Security Review (2001).

Dr Ian Anthony and Shannon N. Kile