IV Edition of YMD (2017) will deal with the following topics in four organized and balanced workshops:
• 360 Degrees: Investing in capabilities for a credible deterrence (Workshop 1)
– Investment for a credible deterrence strategy.
– Deterrence: the equilibrium between forcing too much and neglecting capacities.
– New threats: cybersecurity.
– Traditional threat: ballistic missiles.
NATO’s overall strategy is preventing conflict and war, protecting Allies, maintaining freedom of decision and action, and upholding the principles and values it stands for: individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
To protect those values, NATO needs to have and invest for a credible deterrence strategy. NATO has to find the perfect equilibrium between forcing too much opponents and neglecting their real capacities. NATO should strengthen its forces to ensure that it maintains the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and defend against any threat to the safety and security of its Allies. NATO needs to adapt itself to new threats such as cyberattacks, without forgetting about the conventional risks such as ballistic missiles.
• A maritime approach. The protection of the Mediterranean Sea (Workshop 2)
– 2011 Alliance Maritime Strategy: maritime operation Sea Guardian
– Counter terrorism
– Refugee crisis
– Protection from piracy
Spain, as a Peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, is fully aware of the importance of maritime security. This also applies to most countries in North Africa and Middle Eastern countries as they are dependent upon maritime security for their economic and political stability. Precisely due to this and focusing on the Mediterranean, as part of the 2011 Alliance Maritime Strategy, NATO has recently increased its maritime operations by creating a flexible maritime operation called Sea Guardian.
It is vital to count with Mediterranean countries for this operation, especially with North African countries, which are the main victims of terrorism and instability and with do not generally have enough Defence capabilities. NATO is committed to the protection of its southern partners and engagement should be continued and reinforced in the fields of counter terrorism, refugee crisis and protection from piracy. To do so, security and defence in the Mediterranean must continue to be a priority.
• A comprehensive approach to the Middle East (Workshop 3)
– Mediterranean Dialogue partnership and the Istanbul Initiative, reinforcing NATO-MENA relations.
– Training mission in Jordan: DAESH defeat and the situation of Kurdish people
– Training mission in Iraq: achieving stability in Syria
– NATO’s new centre in Kuwait
As the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg already said in April 2016, cooperation with regional partners and international organizations should be taken to a new level. Therefore, NATO needs to cooperate with MENA countries to make them more capable to resist possible threats or risks, ensuring their stability and counting on them for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea and promoting NATO`s values.
To project stability in the region, NATO needs to work with those who know the region best. To this end, is substantially important to recall on the Mediterranean Dialogue partnership and in the Istanbul Initiative, both associations which pretend to reinforce NATO-MENA relations. In addition, to protect its allies and to avoid possible threats, NATO is currently providing direct support to key allies in the region with initiatives such as training missions in Jordan and Iraq. Both missions are specially relevant for two different conflicts, the first one the DAESH defeat and the situation of Kurdish people in the region and the second one, achieving stability in Syria, getting to know how to achieve it and which price to pay for it.
Moreover, NATO’s new centre in Kuwait will help the Alliance to monitor and survey the everlasting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, nowadays focused on Yemen. Projecting stability does not only mean using NATO forces in the field, but to train local populations to defend themselves and to protect their own stability. As Mr. Stoltenberg clearly stated, a few months can mean the difference between a fragile state and a failed state.
• Projecting stability towards the South. Cooperative security in North Africa (Workshop 4)
– NATO’s Individual Partnership Action Plan with Morocco and Tunisia
– Morocco and the Saharawi conflict
– Tunisia and democracy
– Sahel area, especially in Mauritania and Niger
Recent developments in the Mediterranean region have shown that single States are often not prepared to bear the political and economic costs of stabilisation operations. The Alliance must try to expand its potential as a guarantor of security and stability in the Mediterranean. Cooperative security provides frameworks for political dialogue and regional cooperation, increases military interoperability and can be essential to the success of many operations and missions.
It provides collaboration between different actors resulting in information sharing and the harmonization of resources and capabilities. NATO is approaching the recent complex security environment by offering certain areas for cooperation and proposing activities which respond to mutually agreed objectives. Three areas can be outlined: the adoption of more flexible formats for cooperation, aiming to supplement the existing frameworks; widening the partnerships, which would enlarge the scope of outreach; and deepening the existing partnerships, to strengthen capacity-building among partners. Following these objectives, NATO has developed Individual Partnership Action Plan with Morocco and Tunisia.
The first one has just entered the African Union and has a vital role in the Saharawi conflict, while Tunisia is still fighting for democracy. It is also important to remember that every conflict in northern Africa has a subsequent effect in the Sahel area, especially in Mauritania and Niger.
Program: Program YMD 2017 (DRAFT)