Nicola Casarini published this short analysis of ‘The European ‘pivot’ ” (link here) for the EU Institute for Security Studies.
It is mostly familiar stuff to regular readers of this blog and similar news. Casarini does however suggest the European pivot is distinguished by these factors:
- it started before the US pivot
- it is a blend of EU and individual European nations’ efforts
- it gets broader support in Asia because (in contrast with the US pivot) it’s not aimed at keeping China in check, so doesn’t risk causing a regional polarization
There are some stories circulating to the effect that NATO is going to do this or that if North Korea launches an attack, e.g. ‘NATO to protect US from N. Korea Attack’ here and ‘Senior NATO Official Will Not Rule Out Conflict with N. Korea’ here).
All the hard evidence so far indicates that NATO doesn’t know what it will do until an attack or something like it occurs. The North Atlantic Council would have to first meet to discuss the situation and options for any possible alliance response in the light of what just happened. Remember, Article 5 is about an armed attack on Allies in Europe or North America, not in Asia. An interview the NATO Secretary General gave to the Japanese media on 16 April during his visit to Japan makes it pretty clear:
The key point is around minute 1:
“If a NATO ally is attacked it will probably be raised for consultation among NATO allies. NATO allies will discuss the situation and make decisions based on the specific circumstances“
This is all the SecGen can say, which is no more than an explanation of the NATO process following the NATO Charter – specifically Article 4 (discussion), rather than 5 (collective action). And yet saying ‘we don’t know what we will do’ has more influence than saying nothing at all.
As for my earlier suggestions about employing NATO’s Article 4, Philip Cane at Atlantic Community has some practical suggestions about what NATO could do before an attack by the North (read at ‘South Korea:NATO’s Asian Pivot‘).
A full text of the declaration is available here. Not much of note in the text itself, but there was an intriguing if slightly confusing bit of language about what NATO is not doing in Asia -
On his video blog, the SG makes the point that “my visit does not mean that NATO seeks a presence in the Asia Pacific region, but it does mean that NATO seeks to work with the Asia-Pacific region…” Subtle distinction, but clear enough because the North Atlantic Charter is also pretty clear on allies needing to be from the North Atlantic area.
Then Rasmussen told reporters after the signing ceremony “While NATO has no ambition to take on a permanent role in Asia, we see very clearly the advantage of working with like-minded partners like Japan”.
But why the qualifier ‘permanent’?
“Out of range, out of mind: Is there a role for Europe in the Korean crisis?“
What can Europe hope to do about the situation in North Korea? Ian Bond (director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform) has some suggestions (link to full article here):
“If this becomes a shooting war, Europe’s practical role in Korea will be limited (though European forces may be called on to stand in for US forces in areas closer to home, and some allies may have niche capabilities to offer). But if, as most experts believe, the situation eventually calms down, in the longer term Europeans can help North Korea and the concerned powers to move forward by taking the initiative in four areas. Continue reading
(Photo courtesy of NATO) (Yonhap)
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will visit the Republic of Korea from 11 to 13 April 2013.
In Seoul, he will meet with President Park Geun-hye, Speaker of the National Assembly Kang Chang-hee, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se, and Minister of Defence Kim Kwan Jin.
Fogh Rasmussen gave an interview to Yonhap press agency, which offers some context. Here are the highlights:
“We are watching the development in the Korean Peninsula with great concern,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an exclusive interview with Yonhap News Agency Monday at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. “North Korea’s rhetoric, attitude and actions are provocative. North Korea’s actions pose a threat to regional and international security. They’re irresponsible; they are in defiance of the international community. ”So I have a very clear message to North Korea. Stop what you are saying. Stop what you are doing.” Continue reading
As always, a sane and rewarding read at the Thin Prinstriped Line on the situation in NK and how it might affect us in Europe. And how the UK, for one, might in a small way affect it:
The takeaway from Sir Humph is this -
“For those who say that this doesn’t matter, then they should Continue reading
Carnegie Europe has posted a new discussion piece on its ‘Strategic Europe‘ blog, in which Karl-Heinz Kamp, (research director of the NATO Defense College in Rome) says:
NATO needs to follow the US pivot to Asia
As for how, Karl-Heniz has the following ‘big hand, small map’-type suggestions:
“First, NATO has to Continue reading