The Atlantic Council of Finland recently arranged a high level meeting of
NATO luminaries in Helsinki. Ivo Daalder, the US ambassador to NATO and his
Estonian counterpart Jüri Luik made presentations under the heading “Wider and
Deeper: NATO partnership in the Post-Lisbon Alliance”. The event was chaired by
Jukka Valtasaari, former Finnish ambassador to Washington.
The NATO partnership program is extremely flexible. It embraces almost every willing participant with at least half-democratic credentials. Although excluded from actual voting, the partners have a voice in all discussions, pertinent to the projects they support. The partnership for peace extends to virtually all European countries, the major Arab countries and the Asian part of the former Soviet Union (the “stans”). Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are “contact countries”.
NATO is successfully implementing its new strategy. It has quietly succeeded in tying up all democracies, real and aspirational, in its partnership network. This is all for the good. The global coordination of international security is now taking shape. Old threats like overt aggression and a nuclear holocaust are taking back stage. Instead new menaces like terrorism, cyber warfare, bioweapons and nuclear proliferation raise their ugly heads. Better be prepared.