Some comments on the NATO Bucharest declaration

Some comments on the NATO Bucharest declaration.

General conclusion is that Bush got what he wanted.

1. Concerning missile defense the relevant paragraphs are:
37.  Ballistic missile proliferation poses an increasing threat to Allies’ forces, territory and populations. Missile defence forms part of a broader response to counter this threat. We therefore recognise the substantial contribution to the protection of Allies from long range ballistic missiles to be provided by the planned deployment of European based United States missile defence assets. We are exploring ways to link this capability with current NATO missile defence efforts as a way to ensure that it would be an integral part of any future NATO wide missile defence architecture. Bearing in mind the principle of the indivisibility of Allied security as well as NATO solidarity, we task the Council in Permanent Session to develop options for a comprehensive missile defence architecture to extend coverage to all Allied territory and populations not otherwise covered by the United States system for review at our 2009 Summit, to inform any future political decision.
38. We also commend the work already underway to strengthen NATO Russia missile defence cooperation. We are committed to maximum transparency and reciprocal confidence building measures to allay any concerns. We encourage the Russian Federation to take advantage of United States missile defence cooperation proposals and we are ready to explore the potential for linking United States, NATO and Russian missile defence systems at an appropriate time.

NATO has not welcomed the US system, but this word is the only thing that the opponents got. NATO clearly accepts missile defense as a good idea, accepts the US system and will look how it can itself make a supplement to the US system in order to cover the whole NATO territory.
This fulfills the condition of the Czech Greens for an integration into a multilateral system, so the Czech government has its NATO cover in order to sell the system internally. The US also signed the agreement with the Czech Republic in Bucharest.
What NATO still has to decide is how many of its own money it want to spent on missile defense and what system it exactly want to build to complement the US one. This has to come out of the options to be developed for the 2009 summit. Estimated cost for such a supplementary system: 7.5-10 billion euro's (source:
The second paragraph is the offer to Russia: the earlier presented US proposals. We will see in the coming days if Russia can live with that or if we get another round of angry counter-measures like the abolishing of the INF Treaty.

2. Another victory for Bush is the acceptance of an enlargement to Ukraine and Georgia. Both countries get a MAP (Membership Action Plan), although it may not be called that way yet. The official MAP has to be decided in December 2008. This enlargement to Georgia has also a relevance for the missile defence plans since we have not seen the end of US unilateralism in this issue. There is still a third site to be nominated for the European system. And the Caucasus is often dropped as possible location.

3. On nuclear weapons we only see that the NAC took note of a report. At this moment this is the only result of the German-Norwegian disarmament initiative. The Council is asked to keep this issue under active review. Hopefully this means that this process is not ended yet, on the other hand a bad sign is that there is no tasking for the 2009 Summit.

4. We also see an evolution in the direction of the 'global NATO' proposals, that means future enlargment to non-European states like Japan, South-Korea, Australia, ... For more information on these visions see the proposal of Aznar ( and the Foreign affairs article of Ivo Daalder (
). The idea of a Global Partnership was refused on the NATO summit in Riga, but now all sorts of new partnerships are popping up like Tailored Cooperation Packages.

5. Concerning NATO's role in energy security NATO defines its tasks as 'projecting stability' and supporting the protection of critical energy infrastructure. For me this reads as a new legitimation for military intervention and interference in oil-rich regions.

In general we see the European countries following the path dictated by the US. Bush is after all not a lame duck in Europe. This is not very promising for the future.
NATO talks a lot about democratic values, but in Ukraine they get NATO membership against the wish of the population, in Poland and Czech Republic missile defence installations and the public opinion about nuclear weapons or intervention in Afghanistan is also not worth a consideration. At the same time all protest in Bucharest is silenced as an anti-terrorism measure. But NATO will seek greater domestic support through improved public diplomacy efforts (par. 45 Bucharest Summit Declaration).

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