The Importance of Transatlantic Relations
Transatlantic relationships can be observed from various points of view, including geopolitical, strategic, political, economic, legal, defense, and security. All those things are inseparably linked through the NATO Alliance, which has existed since 1949 and keeps peace and security in today's world. We are witnesses to different insecure situations, we are witnesses to Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine… we were witnesses to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo in the 1990s. As someone who was born in and grew up in a Western Balkan country, Montenegro, I am more than aware of how necessary it is to build strong diplomatic relationships with the aim of preserving peace and security.
Today, my country is the most serious candidate for NATO membership. I am supporting the admission for many reasons, but for one in particular: my future and the future of all coming generations. A future without wars, without ethnic and religious hatred, and a secure future with possibilities for personal and professional improvement. From a professional point-of-view, I focus on this topic since I chose international relations as my vocation. I believe that the geopolitical position especially of the Western Balkans, oblige us to make all necessary reforms in order to join the Alliance. One specific fact about NATO is that all countries are not connected by territorial borders, but are connected via the Washington Treaty, which is the most powerful transatlantic connection. I wish to mention the significance of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, and remember early on the morning of September 11th the attacks on the U.S.
The importance of collective defense in the case of the U.S. was paramount. For the first time, the NATO alliance was put to practical test, and members began to mobilize in response to the attacks. Commitment to NATO means commitment to Article 5. Every country that aspires to NATO membership must be committed to creating and preserving transatlantic relations in the realm of hard security. Building strong relations among countries means building a secure world. Secure not only in our own territories, but wherever we are. Every territory must be considered our own and we are obligated to be a part of their construction.
The greatest example I can find in today’s world and current geopolitical situation is Afghanistan. The battle camp showed us how many nations can become one with the main aim to defend human security, human rights, and human lives. In a territorial sense, Afghanistan has nothing to do with most of the countries and their soldiers, but they are there, fighting against terrorists and providing peace and security in a very insecure place. We must learn from every experience we had in the past, no matter if it was Yugoslavia, Libya, or Ukraine.
We must become aware of the importance and necessity of strong relationships and we must build them. Future generations, as leaders of tomorrow, are ready to make efforts and contribute to the establishment of world peace and security.
Marija Martinovic is a Coordinator for NATO with Positive Montenegro.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.