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.
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.
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.