The so-called “Revolution of Dignity,” that took place between November 2013 and March 2014 in Ukraine, gave Russia a pretext to seize the Crimea and engage proxy forces in the Donbas to rebel against the new Ukrainian administration. Seen from the point of view of NATO, this is an unprovoked action that threatens the status quo in Europe. It seems therefore normal that thus challenged, prudence would counsel the strongest possible support to Ukraine, to demonstrate resolve and reassure the Alliance’s Eastern flank.
In 1991, independent Ukraine inherited from the Soviet Union sizeable conventional military contingent equivalent to Europe’s second largest armed forces and had on its territory the third world largest nuclear arsenal. The process of conversion of this rather chaotic massive post-Soviet force and building the coherent national military of Ukraine went through two major stages – peace-time decline (1991-2013) and war-time transformation since the start of Russian invasion to Crimea in 2014.
Since Ukraine joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in 1994, and especially following the 2014 Euromaidan, the West has been supporting Ukraine in its security sector reform. The long time of the reform design and implementation may cause difficulties in assessing the reform’s progress. It has merit, therefore, to assess the Security Sector Reform in Ukraine in the aspects of its two key variables: governance and effectiveness.
There is nothing better than ‘NATO dirt’ under the ‘fingernails.’ So said then NATO Supreme allied commander in Europe, General John Shalikashvili, in reference to the goal of the Partnership for Peace (PfP). In the aftermath of the Cold War, the states of Eastern Europe looked for aid from the West. The Partnership for Peace (PfP) was NATO’s response. The goal was to bring members of the former Warsaw Pact into closer cooperation with NATO.
Strategic messaging is ever more important in the age of explosive social media. So much information flows to and through societies, governments and individuals that any attempt to organize and make sense of the data is welcome for its ability to be consumed. Not all information on the Internet is benign. Some individuals and organizations work to manipulate the information to represent their views. Some go beyond and use information as a tool to persuade. Some governments weaponize data into propaganda to purposefully harm other nations.
Projecting stability through increasing resilience of NATO partners’ institutions or using their unique experiences as elements maximizing the effectiveness of collective response strategies works to the advantage of NATO. By making its Partners more secure and able to effectively respond to challenges to their security, as well as by working with them to confront common threats, NATO directly contributes to security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. At the same time, insecurity and vulnerability of Partners negatively influence Allied security.
The United States has been in the business of assisting partner nations’ militaries for decades. The original security assistance framework that was first developed in the 1960s, however, has proven insufficient to keep up with the demands of the 21st century security environment. As such, the broader U.S.
“If our neighbours are more stable, we are more secure.” This statement, made by the NATO Heads of State and Government at their 2016 Summit in Warsaw, touches upon the core of NATO’s work on Projecting Stability. However, efforts aimed at “projecting stability” are not easy to contextualize and conceptualize – ‘stability’ may carry different connotations depending on the circumstances.
Transparent and accountable, efficient and effective Defense Institution Building (DIB) is one of the shared values that binds together not only NATO but also NATO’s Partnership Programming. In this way, DIB is also an essential part of defense management and reform.