On July 9, on the side-lines of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the panel “Is Peace Possible? Strategy for a Chaotic Southern Flank”, which was organised by The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), took place as part of the Warsaw Summit Experts’ Forum. Moderated by Karen Donfried, the group of experts around H.E. Mr. Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, The Hon. Ahmet Ünal Çeviköz, President, Ankara Policy Centre, Derek Chollet, Counsellor and Senior Advisor for Security and Defence Policy, GMF, and Felix Arteaga, Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies, discussed potential steps for NATO beyond the Summit to tackle issues arising in particular in the southern bordering regions of the Alliance.
Minister Brende appealed for sorting NATO’s priorities in order to define the alliance’s roles and tasks in order to better coordinate and cooperate with the EU and AU, and in particular with the regions affected, in fighting extremism. With the powerful statement, that before 1945, Europe was the Middle East of the world, he underlined the necessity of NATO to continue advocating for values that are shared across borders and religions. Additionally he insisted that both deterrence and dialogue need to be pursued regarding Russia and the Black Sea region. Similar to the Minister’s plea for Europe to increase its engagement and responsibility, also Mr. Arteaga urged to prevent a competition between NATO and the EU, but called for the European Reaction Forces to act first, with NATO only in a supporting role. For him, key is the improvement of intelligence sharing, particularly of human intelligence.
Derek Chollet encouraged NATO to reflect why there is more potential for coalitions of the willing rather than a common NATO mission, and how to solve this trend. Furthermore, he underlined the potential NATO has to support capacity building in the southern flank region but at the same time reminded the fight against ISIL is not to trigger a new ISAF vs Daesh situation. The Hon. Mr. Çeviköz appreciated the focus on the southern flank, as Turkey is the place, where the challenges of the east and south come together, however he emphasized a non-priority of flanks within the alliance, but the need for a general definition of NATO’s handling of state/non-state actors, and preventive/pre-emptive measures. He also urged for a stronger cooperation between NATO and the EU to combine their potentials of dialogues and to merge their activities.