Nato Watch

Nato Watch Observatory

NATO Watch Observatory is a Bi-monthly newsletter that focuses on NATO policy and operations, drawing its clips from a wide range of subscriptions, feeds and alerts covering a substantial part of the major English language newspapers and other periodicals worldwide.

NATO report highlights drone limitations in ‘contested environments’

29 September 2014

The NATO Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) has published a study on the vulnerability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones, in the contested airspace of future operating theatres. It finds that although the use of UAVs “became critical in the global fight on terrorism”, current systems are not yet ready to survive in non-permissive or hostile air environments.

The study provides a detailed assessment of current UAV components’ limitations and vulnerabilities and addresses operational, technical and legal questions. It outlines a vision of possible future conflict scenarios and compares these predicted threats with current capabilities.

The study focuses on Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE), such as the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, and High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones. However, the authors argue that identified risks and threats, as well as the given recommendations, may apply to other classes of UAVs as well.

The study argues that, in contrast to manned aviation and ground operations, UAVs are currently only operated in permissive environments, where NATO forces do not anticipate a robust enemy air defence network. The highest risk to NATO drones “will come from enemy air defence systems and combat aircraft, as they are designed to detect and engage aircraft at long ranges,” the report states. “However, even rocket-propelled grenades or sniper rifles could cause catastrophic damage to the airframe and payload if an adversary were within range.”

The UAV system network and software is also vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to the report. Radio transmissions can reveal operators’ whereabouts, and ground control stations, satellites and satellite ground segments can be potential electronic warfare (EW) targets. “From the enemy’s perspective, the satellite’s receiving antenna and the RPA’s Global Positioning System antenna appear to be the most promising targets for EW engagements,” the study says.

The study also suggests that future asymmetric responses could see adversaries attacking operators rather than the drone itself: “Depending on the mission, RPAS personnel may be working at different locations,” the study says. “Within the area of operations, adversaries may engage RPAS personnel with any available weapons, for example combat aircraft, artillery or infantry.”

The study advises that there is sufficient information publicly available, for example, in the media, to enable enemies to identify personnel and carry out such attacks.

Although the study focuses on current systems it highlights some future designs that might prevail over existing vulnerabilities. These include: “deep penetration” drones that will provide full electromagnetic stealth and conduct reconnaissance and air strikes deep inside enemy territory; combat UAVs designed to conduct strikes in non-permissive and hostile air environments; swarms of UAVs operating in large numbers; and carrier-based UAVs designed to carry long-range, precision-guided air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions and project military power like naval aircraft carriers. “It is very unlikely there will be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for RPAS operations in a contested environment,” the study concludes.

The 136-page report devotes just two pages to the legal and moral aspects of drone use and only then in the context as to whether adverse public perception might endanger deployment. It identifies three major concerns shaping public perception of drones: radicalization of the target population as a result of drone strikes; dissent about the legitimacy of certain types of drone operations; and concern about using private contractors for former military tasks within the remotely piloted system. On the radicalization issue, the study is non committal, citing evidence on both sides of the argument.

The legitimacy question, however, is airily dismissed in three paragraphs as a “non-sequitur”: drones are seen as just another delivery system. Indeed, the study claims that “the probability of mistakes and unintended attacks is significantly reduced compared to engagements from manned aircraft”. The study concludes that the public debate on drones “is often driven by emotion rather than fact” and that “an adversary may also leverage that debate by spreading disinformation and propaganda through global mass media and the internet to exploit public opinion for its own purposes”.

With drone strikes becoming much more central to Western military strategy—over the weekend it was announced that a senior Taliban commander was killed in a NATO drone strike in Afghanistan—it is understandable that some within NATO are seeking to curtail a serious public debate on the use of armed drones. In the UK, for example, the MoD is facing a legal challenge over armed drone deployment outside of Afghanistan. Critics argue that any redeployment of UK Reaper drones to take part in military operations in Iraq or to long-term bases in Africa or the Gulf would involve clear risks to both British and global peace and security.

It is disappointing, therefore, that NATO centres like JAPCC do not seem to understand the benefits that would accrue from seeking to build an international consensus to regulate and limit the use of armed drones.

NATO report highlights drone limitations in ‘contested environments

Time to establish a ‘No Spy Zone’ in NATO?

By Dr Ian Davis, NATO Watch Director – November 22, 2013

Disclosure of US intelligence surveillance activities in Germany and other allied countries has aroused angry political and public reaction in those countries. The whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed close technical cooperation and a loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies. The German Government in particular has expressed disbelief and fury at the revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored Angela Merkel’s mobile phone calls. Even the Secretary General of the UN is regarded as fair game by the NSA.

But questions concerning the integrity and professionalism of UK and US intelligence services are nothing new. In March 2003, GCHQ‘whistleblower’ Katharine Gun revealed in a leaked email that the NSA was eavesdropping on UN Security Council diplomats belonging to the group of ‘swing nations’ that were undecided on the question of war against Iraq. The NSA requested the help of its British counterparts at GCHQ to collect information on those diplomats. …

The Snowden papers have shed some light on these technological capabilities but much still remains unknown. What is certain is that surveillance equipment has grown increasingly sophisticated over the years—the NSA alone has over 35,000 personnel and an annual budget of $10.8 billion—and is now capable of intercepting huge amounts of data. As the New York Times rather poetically put it, the NSA:

“sucks the contents from fiber-optic cables, sits on telephone switches and Internet hubs, digitally burglarizes laptops and plants bugs on smartphones around the globe.”

The 1961 Vienna Convention, which regulates diplomatic issues and status among nations and international organizations, prohibitssurveillance operations targeted at diplomatic missions and political leaders. …

Read in full:

NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangement and related procurement: Newer bombs, better planes and loads more mone

Briefing Paper No. 38: November 15, 2013

The programme to modernise the US B61 nuclear gravity bomb has been delayed by political turmoil, efforts to control the momentum of nuclear weapons laboratories and, more recently, possible funding reduction brought about by sequestration. Consequently, an initial starting date for deployment of 2017 has been put back to the early 2020s.

An unknown number of the modernised B61-12s are earmarked for deployment at bases in Europe accompanied in time by new delivery vehicles – the hugely expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. And while the cost of modernising the US nuclear gift to contracting countries within NATO (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherland and Turkey) is going to be around 20 million Euros, the ‘host’ nations may have to pay as much as, or more than, 400 million Euros per aircraft over the next 25 years for the privilege of deploying the gift.

In an age of fiscal austerity and declining utility of nuclear ‘deterrence’, does any of this make sense? Read the full analysis in a PDF briefing paper by clicking here.

France: fastest out of Afghanistan, quickest into Syria?

NATO Watch News Brief: November 21, 2012

On Tuesday, France ended its combat operations in Afghanistan, withdrawing 500 troops from a base northeast of Kabul after a handover ceremony with Afghan forces, according to an Associated Press report. The withdrawal satisfies domestic electoral promises by the French government to end its combat role on a faster track than other NATO allies.

"This is the end of combat operations," said Col. Thierry Burkhard, a French military spokesman, adding "It’s the end of support operations for the Afghan National Army because we have no more troops who can deploy in such a role".

France was once one of the largest contributors to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, with a peak deployment of 4,000 troops. But French public opinion has gradually turned against the Afghanistan mission, especially after a succession of insurgent attacks raised the French death toll. France has lost 88 troops in Afghanistan
since late 2001.

France plans to maintain 1,500 troops in Afghanistan in 2013, mainly to repatriate equipment deployed during the 11-year French military involvement in the allied intervention in Afghanistan. About 500 will help train and support Afghan forces, and help run Kabul’s airport.

"Today, the Afghan forces are capable of planning and conducting security operations in an autonomous way," the French military said in a statement Tuesday. Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the international coalition, said it thanked France for its contribution and suggested the pullout would have no negative impact on allied operations.

Meanwhile, a week earlier, France became the first NATO state to recognize the newly formed Syrian rebel coalition, a move since followed by Britain.

The decision by France and Britain to formally recognise the new Syrian opposition group as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people seems premature when in UK Foreign Secretary William Hague’s own words, the National Coalition "have much to do to win the full support of the Syrian people and co-ordinate opposition efforts more effectively".

Both governments have also said that they would consider arming the group known as the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

While Turkey
has also formally recognised the rebels, as have members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait), the Obama administration continues to shy away from such a declaration and also remains wary of supplying weapons.

“I announce that France recognizes the Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and thus as the future provisional government of a democratic Syria and to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime,” said French President François Hollande on 13 November. Mr. Hollande also said, France—the former colonial power in Syria—had not supported arming the rebels up to now, but “with the coalition, as soon as it is a legitimate government of Syria, this question will be looked at by France, but also by all countries that recognize this government”.

The Syrian conflict began as a peaceful Arab Spring uprising in March 2011, but has since turned into a brutal civil war that has left nearly 40,000 Syrians dead, displaced about 2.5 million and forced more than 400,000 to flee to neighbouring countries.

Under the previous presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, France also took a leading role in the early days of the Libyan uprising when it helped funnel aid and later became the first NATO country to openly acknowledge arming the anti-Gaddafi rebels. The French Government also worked with London and Washington to secure a UN Security Council mandate to protect civilians in Libya and then led attacks (with British and US forces) against Libyan targets as part of a no-fly zone. While command of the Libya operation was quickly passed to NATO, the modus operandi was not without friction
within the Alliance

A similar UN mandate in Syria seems unlikely given Chinese and Russian opposition, while NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has repeatedly said that NATO has no intention to intervene militarily in Syria. However, there does seem to be a growing risk that Paris, ably abetted by London and (this time around) Ankara, could yet draw the US and NATO deeper into the Syrian conflict. Today’s announcement that NATO is considering "without delay" Turkey’s request to
deploy Patriot anti-missile systems to protect its border with Syria could yet lead to a much more significant intervention.

NATO’s developing interest in the Arctic

NATO Watch Briefing Paper No.27: November 20, 2012

In a recent speech Admiral James G. Stavridis, Commander of US European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) said that the melting of the Arctic ice cap opens new opportunities, as well as risks and challenges, that will require increasing cooperation among regional nations. But should that cooperation take place within the Arctic Council, NATO or both?

Five of the eight Arctic Council members are also members of NATO but there appears to be little common ground within the Alliance as to what role it should play in the Arctic, as discussed by Nigel Chamberlain in this NATO Watch briefing paper. Download the pdf file here


1. The lack of information in the public domain regarding NATO’s prospective role in Arctic security is a particular concern, especially given Admiral Stavrides’s recent pronouncements on the subject. The NATO website, for example, has no reference to Arctic Security or the High North in the Thematic Index.

2. The UN Convention on Law of the Sea is a crucial agreement for framing future economic development in the Arctic region and environmental protection issues must not be downgraded by pressure from political and economic interests.

3. Emergency and disaster preparedness in the region are a natural corollary to economic exploitation but they should not be used as a cover for militarising the Far North. For that reason, an expanded Arctic Council is the more appropriate body to promote regional development rather than NATO, partly as Russia is a Member State of the former and not the latter.

Three NATO members sign Statement on the Humanitarian Dimension of Nuclear Disarmament

November 12, 2012

Thirty-four countries, plus the Holy See, signed on to the Joint Statement on the humanitarian dimension of nuclear disarmament delivered on 22 October by Ambassador Benno Laggner of Switzerland at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

Among the eight European signatories are three members of NATO: Denmark, Iceland, and Norway. Other signatories are from Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific. The Joint Statement follows on to the similar statement made by 16 countries (including Denmark and Norway from NATO) at the 2012 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee (PrepCom).

The key point in the statement concerns the “immense humanitarian consequences” of nuclear explosions. This issue will be further discussed at a conference in Oslo organised by the Norwegian Government in March 2013. The statement also observes that “the utility of these weapons of mass destruction in confronting traditional security challenges has been rightly questioned” and that “nuclear weapons are useless in addressing current challenges such as poverty, health, climate change, terrorism or transnational crime”.

The statement further says that “all rules of international humanitarian law apply fully to nuclear weapons, notably the rules of distinction, proportionality and precaution as well as the prohibition on causing superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering and the prohibition against causing widespread, severe and long-term damage to the environment”. It then quotes the position set forth in the November 2011 resolution of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, namely that it is “difficult to envisage how any use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the rules of law”.

It remains to be seen whether the involvement of three NATO Member States in highlighting the catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons will stimulate any further rethink on ‘nuclear sharing’ arrangements within the Alliance. Efforts to reduce the salience of these weapons within NATO doctrine let alone outlaw them have stalled.

“Narrow, state-centric national security perspectives continue to dominate wider human security concerns. Without more NATO member states joining this type of initiative progressive change in nuclear weapons policy remains unlikely”, said NATO Watch Director Ian Davis.

Scotland – In or Out of NATO?

Independent recommendations on SNP foreign and defence policy

A new report ‘Human Security in an independent Scotland: new thinking for new challenges’ by NATO Watch Director Dr Ian Davis has been released today in advance of this week’s SNP conference in Perth and is a contribution to the debate about Scotland’s membership of NATO.

This wide ranging report makes eight major recommendations:

• Place ‘human security’ at the centre of Scottish foreign and defence policy

• Remove Trident and support the development of Scottish and Nordic Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

• Apply to join NATO, but only after a consultation process and if approved in a separate referendum by the Scottish people

• To create an effective Scottish Security Force: undertake a credible threat assessment and develop a national security strategy and a unified security budget to match the threats; buy in to NATO’s ‘Smart Defence’ initiative to provide the military component

• Establish a Scottish Defence Diversification Agency

• To ensure that Scotland’s use of armed force is always in conformity with international law, make it a criminal offence in Scotland for any Scottish leader to commit an act of aggression

• Select the path of peace when intervening overseas: support Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which is not primarily about military intervention

• Establish a Scottish Peace Research and Education Centre

Scotland is located in one of the safest and least threatened parts of Europe. Nonetheless, it is a country with an important strategic legacy, active role in current UK defence affairs and potentially significant future security roles both within and beyond these shores.

The report, produced by the Highland-based NATO Watch, suggests a positive way forward for all those electors who have, thus far, indicated their support for an independent, non-nuclear Scotland – inside NATO. “An established majority supporting a progressive and independent non-nuclear Scotland could then proceed to decide if their best interests would be served by applying for NATO membership or deciding against it”, Dr Davis said.

It calls for a wide-ranging debate about Scotland’s role in the world based on a very different approach to understanding security concerns and needs, primarily with non-military outcomes envisaged. From this starting point, Davis builds on what he sees as the positive momentum engendered by the removal of Trident from a recognised Non-Nuclear Weapon State (NNWS) under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

While recognising that there are strongly held opinions on this issue, he feels that the debate need not be as contentious as sometime presented. “I would suggest that Scotland could both make a positive contribution to a redefined collective security as a member of NATO and, by working with other like-minded countries, challenge NATO’s nuclear policy”, he concluded.

The report (a copy can be downloaded here) also suggests that one of the biggest obstacles to developing ‘a military-lighter National Security Strategy for Scotland’ is “the muddleheaded notion that independent armed forces are at the heart of what it means to be a sovereign country. They are not”, the report argues.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

There has been a useful (but often highly partisan) debate in the Scottish (and wider UK) media around, Scottish independence, NATO and nukes over the past two weeks – ignited by Malcolm Chalmer’s RUSI paper ‘The End of an ‘Auld Sang’ Defence in an Independent Scotland’, April 2012. The comment piece below is arguably one of the most thoughtful responses so far…… (and I don’t just say that because I am cited in the article!)….

Dr Ian Davis
Director, NATO Watch

Read the article here:

NATO Watch News Brief

NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers Meeting, Brussels 18-19 April 2012

by Nigel Chamberlain, NATO Watch

As NATO Spokesperson, Oana Lungescu, said at the pre-‘Jumbo Meeting’ press briefing on 16 April, “Obviously, the ministerial meetings this week are paving the way for the Chicago Summit.”

Key working sessions were flagged as ‘NATO Capabilities’ to ensure that “NATO is fit for the future- not just for 2012, but for 2020 and beyond”, Afghanistan moving towards and after the 2014 troop withdrawal and NATO-Russia relations, with Foreign Minister Lavrov in attendance.

DAY 1 (April 18th): Paving the Way for the Chicago Summit

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at the start of the series of ministerial meetings that:

Defence ministers will discuss today the best way to ensure the Alliance can acquire and maintain the capabilities it needs, even in times of financial austerity. The Chicago Summit is expected to approve a package of measures based on the concept of Smart Defence, by which nations focus on greater prioritisation, specialisation and multinational cooperation in their acquisition of modern equipment. The summit is also expected to move forward with the Connected Forces Initiative, which are a set of policies to make sure that Alliance forces are able to operate together through a renewed emphasis on training, exercises and compatible equipment. We will ensure that our Alliance has the modern, deployable and connected forces that we need for the next decade and beyond.

In his opening statement to the Defence Ministers Meeting, the Secretary General indicated that there would be discussions on national contributions to an integrated NATO missile defence system and renewing a culture of cooperation via Smart Defence initiatives. He then asked the media to leave the room, “so that we can start our work”.

Reuters reported that US Secretary for Defense Leon Panetta had said before leaving for Brussels, “We’re at a pivotal point for the alliance. We’ll also be working to ensure that NATO itself has the right military capabilities that will be needed for the future.” This reflected President Obama’s announcement in January that the United States would concentrate more effort in the Pacific region and US officials’ criticisms of defence under-funding in Europe.

In his lunch time press conference, the Secretary General said:

We have just had a substantial discussion on how to ensure NATO has the right defence capabilities. Despite the financial challenges we face, we must remain strong enough to deal with future security challenges……….. In Chicago, we will take the next steps, by approving a specific set of commitments and measures, and embracing the new approach we call Smart Defence………….Today, we also agreed that, in Chicago, we will adopt a series of measures in the fields of education and training, exercises and technology, to make sure that our forces maintain the strong connections they have developed during our operations. We call it the Connected Forces Initiative….Key to our future capabilities is missile defence. Only 16 months have passed since we took the historic decision at the Lisbon Summit to develop a capability to protect NATO populations, territory and forces against missile attacks. At Chicago, our ambition is to declare an interim missile defence capability. And today we made clear that we are all determined to make that happen.

There seems to have been very little reporting of what might have been discussed behind the closed doors of the morning session. The Secretary General, in explaining missile defence would not be targeted at any specific country, did say (in response to a question about India testing a long-range nuclear capable missile) that,” we do not consider India a threat to NATO Allies or NATO territory”.

In his evening press conference, the Secretary General said:

I see emerging agreement for NATO to take on a new mission in Afghanistan after transition to full Afghan security responsibility is complete…..And I am very pleased that a number of allies today announced concrete financial contributions to the Afghan security forces in the future and other allies announced that they will be able to announce concrete contributions at a later stage. And I see that as a clear commitment to sustaining the Afghan security forces in the future.

There had clearly been much discussion about NATO’s Strategic Plan for Afghanistan behind the closed doors of the afternoon session which journalists were keen to pick up on. The Independent claimed that military commanders and diplomats have been arguing against an early cut of almost 40% in the Afghan forces current support of $6 billion when they are supposed to be taking more responsibility for security, primarily to make a significant budget cut. The Secretary General indicated that any decision would depend on the security situation in the country.

There are on-going discussions about how the projected budget of over $4 billion will be met. Apparently, the US will be calling on European and other ISAF countries to pick up over $1 billion. Japan and the Gulf States are also likely to be approached to contribute. The key, as yet unresolved question but which must be addressed in Chicago, appears to be what role NATO will play after 2014. UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond immediately committed Britain to £70 million per annum to the Afghan National Security Force after 2014 and encouraged other countries to follow suit – apparently nobody has, thus far.

In a news conference after the first day’s meetings, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said. “The transition is on track, the Afghans are increasingly standing up for their own security and future, and NATO remains united in our support.”

Briefing Paper No.23

17 April 2012

Eurofighters for NATO and for Export: An Example of ‘Dumb Defence’?

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been promoting the sale of British made defence equipment during his recent Asian tour while BAE Systems announced a new Eurofighter Typhoon contract with the NATO EF2000 and Tornado Development, Production and Logistics Management Agency (NETMA).

On this second annual Global Day of Action on Military Spending, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed that world military expenditure in 2011 totalled $1.74 trillion. This briefing paper reviews the part played by one military procurement and export programme. It also considers whether there are any lessons to be learned as NATO attempts to develop a new ‘Smart Defence’ initiative.

Exit Strategies: The case for redefining NATO consensus on US Tactical Nuclear Weapons

By Wilbert van der Zeijden, Susi Snyder and Peter Paul Ekker, IKV Pax Christi, April 2012


NATO is currently undergoing a Defence and Deterrence Posture Review (DDPR), which includes a discussion on the future of US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. This latest report by IKV Pax Christi (Exit_Strategies_FINAL_1.pdf), elaborates on the reality that a large proportion of the Alliance does not explicitly favour the continued deployment of US nuclear bombs in Europe.

The IKV Pax Christi Withdrawal Issues report of 2011, found that a majority of NATO member state would prefer to see the US nuclear weapons removed from Europe, albeit under varying conditions. This new report reflects the fact that there is no consensus on keeping the weapons in Europe and reframes the debate with that in mind. Instead of defaulting to an old policy that can no longer count on agreement, the report suggests NATO recognize that a new consensus is emerging, one that requires a change in current nuclear deployments.

With the forthcoming DDPR, now is the time to ensure that the voices of allies who want a change in current peacetime basing practices are heard. To this end, we encourage you to read the attached report and seize any opportunity leading to the Chicago summit to advocate for a change in NATO nuclear deployment practices. In the countries hosting US nuclear weapons, we will specifically target parliaments to pass resolutions calling for a new consensus within NATO on the withdrawal of the redundant nuclear bombs. Similar messaging from political parties, parliament or government in your country would be a great contribution to breaking the non-consensual impasse in NATO on this issue.

Executive Summary

NATO does not have the authority to enforce continued nuclear deployments. Deployment, upkeep, security measures, the training of pilots, procurement of delivery platforms – formally, none of these decisions involve NATO.

In the past when non-strategic nuclear weapons were removed or nuclear support tasks were ended, NATO consensus was not a notable factor in the decision making. In fact, these were essentially bilateral decisions involving the U.S. and the host nation.

The U.S. can decide to end any deployment unilaterally. The host countries can decide to end their support for the infrastructure needed for deployment. Together, the U.S. and the host can decide to end deployment.

Past practice has led the alliance to strive for consensus- where all members do not block agreement. However, there is no known formal requirement for NATO to make decisions only by consensus. This is a political choice.

There is no consensus in NATO on continued deployment of U.S. B61 bombs in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. A majority of states, experts, NGO’s and populations regard the weapons as redundant militarily and of little significance politically. They want the weapons removed.

Ergo, host governments cannot hide behind NATO when they need to answer to their populations. If there are still U.S. nuclear weapons in these countries in the future, it is not because NATO prohibits removal. Like all things nuclear, in the end it all comes down to political will.


Host states that want to end the deployment of foreign nuclear weapons on their soil should make it clear to their NATO allies that there is no longer consensus support for the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, forcing NATO allies to work towards a new consensus.

Host states should make clear to the Alliance that if NATO again fails to address their concerns appropriately, host states retain the right to negotiate a plan for withdrawal outside of NATO. Decisions could be made shortly after the finalization of the DDPR and could be bilateral, or multilateral between the U.S. and any number of host states.

Parliaments in host countries should make sure that their ministers and heads of state are fully aware of their formal decision making powers. Understanding this complexity cannot be taken for granted, even among government officials and MFA/MOD staff.

The U.S. should reconsider the role of TNW as a bargaining chip vis-à-vis Russia. Withdrawal to central locations in the U.S. would be a good start of negotiations, not a good outcome.

NATO should use the opportunity offered by the DDPR process to negotiate a consensus agreement on a time bound withdrawal of the B61s, reflecting the absence of full agreement to maintain a U.S. nuclear presence in Europe.

Briefing Paper No.21

21 March 2012

The UN Human Rights Council’s report on civilian casualties in Libya

UN Commission of Inquiry says NATO conducted a “highly precise” campaign in Libya

Document: International Commission of Inquiry on Libya Report

A UN commission investigating war crimes and human rights violations in Libya reported on 2 March that NATO “conducted a highly precise campaign with a demonstrable determination to avoid civilian casualties”. Published by the UN Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, the 220-page report largely absolves NATO from blame for civilian deaths.

This NATO Watch briefing paper (download here) reviews the Council’s main findings in relation to NATO as well as the reactions of international stakeholders, including Russia, China and human rights’ NGOs. It also reproduces the NATO-related extracts from the report as an Appendix.

Our conclusion is that NATO has a reasonably good story to tell in Libya, and it is to be congratulated for cooperating so fully with the UN Commission. Now the alliance needs to address the Commission’s remaining concerns and those of Amnesty International and others about carrying out further investigations and paying compensation to victims.

NATO Watch News Brief
21 February 2012

UK Defence Committee claims that civilian casualties from NATO bombing in Libya ‘cannot be counted’ and admits that it ‘does not have the power’ to press for scrutiny of NATO’s analysis of the conflict

British MPs have claimed that there is no way of knowing how many civilians died in the Libyan conflict as a result of NATO’s Operation Unified Protector. The UK Defence Committee issued its findings after an inquiry into operations in Libya that led to the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

The MPs said in their report published on 8 February:

We accept that the coalition forces did their best to prevent and minimise civilian casualties and we commend them for this approach. Nonetheless, it is at least possible that some civilian casualties were caused by coalition actions. In the absence of observers on the ground it is impossible to say whether, despite the best efforts of coalition forces, any civilian casualties were caused by coalition action and if so how many (paragraph 38).

However, the Defence Committee, while acknowledging “that it is difficult to estimate numbers”, still called on the UK Government to assess “the number of civilian casualties caused by coalition forces, pro-Gaddafi forces and NTC forces” (Paragraph 41).

One investigation by the New York Times found that at least 70 civilians were killed by NATO bombs, including 29 women and children. Human rights groups have demanded that the Alliance thoroughly investigate casualty reports and publish their findings. To date, NATO has refused to do so, despite a growing clamour for these allegations to be properly investigated.(1)

Hamit Dardagan, Co-Director of Oxford Research Group’s Every Casualty programme which drew up a Charter for the recognition of every casualty of armed violence,(2) said:

It is mistaken to suppose that no casualty recording can be done after military action has ended – indeed the usual objection is that it’s in the midst of conflict that it’s too difficult. While that isn’t strictly true either, if the recording isn’t to happen during or after conflict, when is it supposed to happen? “Never” is surely not a satisfactory answer, but then nor is it a necessary one. Much of the best and most lasting work around the world has been carried out post-conflict, with various projects in the former Yugoslavia providing a good example within Europe. NATO countries should make it a priority to learn from and adopt best practises in this field, one of which is to avoid unnecessary delay. Instead of giving up prematurely, we should be taking immediate steps to accord due recognition to each and every casualty of the military intervention in Libya.

NATO Watch director, Ian Davis, added:

The US military and NATO found the political will and resources to jointly investigate the fatal bombing of Pakistani troops and the Alliance has a moral duty to do the same for Libyan civilians. Despite NATO’s belated acknowledgment of civilian deaths in Libya, the Alliance has not expressed condolences or given small payments to victims or their families as it has done in Afghanistan.(3)

There are two ongoing independent investigations of NATO’s actions in Libya, one by the UN Human Rights Council which is scheduled to report in March and the second by the International Criminal Court.(4) NATO is also undertaking its own lessons-learned process, which is being conducted by the joint alliance lessons-learned centre in Portugal. Inquiries to NATO officials seeking clarification of the terms of reference and current status of this process (including whether the results will be made public) remain unanswered.

In its report, the UK Defence Committee not only calls on the UK Ministry of Defence to clarify the remit, format and schedule of the reviews it has carried out or will be undertaking, but also that it “it expects to see the reports”.(5) The Committee has also requested a briefing from the MoD’s Defence Operational Capability on the lessons learned from the Libya operation (Paragraph 148). However, the Committee did not make similar requests or take evidence from NATO officials in relation to the lessons-learned processes being conducted within the Alliance. This was because—as confirmed by correspondence with the Inquiry Manager to the Committee—the Committee does not have the power to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of NATO. Commenting on this peculiar state of affairs, NATO Watch director Ian Davis said:

While the Defence Committee is to be commended for scrutinising the activities of individual UK government departments in the Libyan mission, its inability to do the same for NATO reveals an ‘accountability gap’ within British defence policy. The public will be shocked and dismayed to learn that their elected representatives are unable to scrutinise the inner workings of a military alliance that is the ‘bedrock of our defence’.(6)

The Defence Committee will consider whether to take any further action on these issues when it receives the UK Government’s formal response to the report which is due in April.

For notes and contact details go to:

NATO Watch News Brief
20 January 2012

NATO Secretary General urges Iran to keep Strait of Hormuz open

Nuclear-sharing with Middle East allies suggested by NATO Defence College paper

Speaking at a joint news conference in Brussels on 18 January with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Iran to keep the Strait of Hormuz open for energy supplies. Turkey offered to host a new round of talks between Iran and the EU.

While stressing that NATO had no plans to intervene in the area – used for a third of the world’s seaborne oil exports – the Secretary-General said it was of “utmost importance to make sure energy supplies continue to flow through the vital waterway”. “I would like to stress that the Iranian authorities have a duty to act as responsible international actors and in accordance with international law,” Mr Rasmussen added.

Mr Davutoglu said he had been in contact with the EU’s Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and confirmed Turkey was ready to host a new round of talks between Western powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

“During my visit in Tehran, Iran declared that they are ready to restart the talks. Before that I had consultations with Madame Ashton, she in fact asked me to consult this with the Iranian side as well, and after this I spoke with Madame Ashton again. Both sides declared the intention to meet and to restart the negotiations. Of course it is up to both sides to decide, but as Turkey we will be happy to host these new rounds of talks,” said Mr Davutoglu.

Speaking on a visit to Turkey earlier in the week, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said negotiations for new talks were under way. The last talks between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – along with Germany stalled in Istanbul a year ago, with the parties unable to agree even on an agenda.

Meanwhile, as tensions continue to rise in the Persian Gulf, a new paper The day after Iran goes nuclear: Implications for NATO from the NATO Defence College in Rome examines the implications of a nuclear-armed Iran. The author, Jean-Loup Samaan, a researcher and lecturer in the Middle East Department of the College, argues that the biggest challenge both for the region and NATO “the day after Iran goes nuclear” is not the potential for nuclear warfare per se but the risk of increasing sub-conventional confrontations and of “nuclear hedging” among NATO partners in the region. As a result, he concludes that a nuclear Iran represents a major test for NATO: it challenges the raison d’être of its partnerships and raises the need for key decisions on the future of NATO nuclear and missile defence systems.

As one of several potential responses, Samaam suggests that NATO and its Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partners should consider adopting ‘extended deterrence’ in the form of ‘nuclear sharing’. “This would not involve the stationing of nuclear weapons on the soil of host countries but it might rely on policy measures such as information sharing, nuclear consultations, common planning and common execution”, he says. An added measure of reassurance to NATO’s Middle Eastern allies could be provided by “a relocation of US nuclear weapons currently stationed in Europe, from northern Europe to southern Europe”.

However, arms control groups contacted by NATO Watch were critical of the proposals on the basis that they risked undermining efforts to avoid a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Wilbert van der Zeijden, an international relations specialist working for the Nuclear Disarmament team of IKV Pax Christi in Utrecht, the Netherlands, said “Samaan’s suggestion to relocate US nuclear weapons to Southern Europe makes little sense. There already are US nuclear weapons in southern Europe, in Italy and Turkey. And burden sharing with Middle Eastern countries would be solely symbolic and therefore irrelevant to Iran. The suggestion could however feed the Iranian case for going nuclear out of ‘self defence’”. He added, “The paper also raises the question as to which Middle Eastern allies he wants to share nuclear secrets. Saudi Arabia? Qatar? Israel already has a nuclear arsenal unchecked by the NPT. More ‘nuclear deterrence’ in the region is the problem, not a solution”.

Similarly, Paul Ingram, Executive Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) in London said, “It is challenging enough for NATO member states to balance a continuing commitment to nuclear deterrence and diplomatic efforts to persuade others with far greater security challenges to foreswear the nuclear option. But if NATO were to ramp up its nuclear threat along the lines proposed it could prove disastrous for regional and global stability”.

Call for Independent ‘Lessons Learnt’ Inquiry into NATO Libyan Campaign

October 28, 2011

NATO Watch calls on the NATO Secretary General to establish an independent inquiry to evaluate Operation Unified Protector in its entirety

NATO will officially end its seven-month operation in Libya on 31 October, its governing North Atlantic Council said in a statement on 21 October. The Alliance secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaking at a press conference the same day said, “This is serious business”. “It was serious business to take on the responsibility of this operation in Libya. It is also serious business to take the decision to terminate such an operation because we take full implementation of the United Nations’ mandate very seriously”, he added.

We agree. Such a ‘serious business’ deserves a full, frank and independent evaluation of lessons learnt. In his press conference, for example, Rasmussen claimed that “Our military forces prevented a massacre and saved countless lives”. This may well be true, but where is the evidence? Indeed, what would count as evidence?

NATO Watch director, Dr Ian Davis said, “NATO‘s midwifery of Libya‘s liberation from dictatorship raised many complex issues before and during the intervention. Before formally closing the operation, NATO needs to identify and articulate the hard lessons of the intervention with candour and objectivity”.

There is no shortage of questions for a Libyan inquiry to consider. For example:

· What motivated the campaign and what was the impact of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973 and International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments against Gaddafi?

· Was there any way for the intervention to be calibrated to serve diplomacy between the insurgents and Gaddafi, or were the goals really aimed at regime change? And now that regime change has taken place, what are the social and political consequences?

· What are the ramifications of the fact that Gaddafi had given up his weapons of mass destruction in exchange for regime recognition, but was nevertheless confronted with regime change? How, for example, will NATO’s intervention in Libya be perceived by Iran and other would be nuclear powers?

· How might the techniques to lessen civilian casualties in Libya be applied in other theatres and how could NATO improve its investigation and monitoring of alleged civilian casualties?

· Now that the operation is almost over, how will NATO protect civilians in the post-conflict Libya given reports of widespread reprisals and prisoner abuse?

· How many people (not just civilians) did NATO operations kill? (Ministry of Defence data describes innumerable attacks on diverse targets but never with any figures for killed and injured even though bomb damage assessment using drones etc, would have provided copious information. And if there were many deaths due to the actions of NATO, this could be a source of bitterness and radicalisation in the future).

· How much did the intervention cost? And who paid for it?

· What were the details of Special Forces involvement and how do these square with “no troops on the ground” as per UNSCR 1973?

· What was done to prevent the haemorrhaging and proliferation of weapons from Libyan arms stockpiles?

· How useful a template is Libya for future Responsibility to Protect (R2P) missions? Has the mission provided any deterrent effect?

· What are the main lessons for NATO from the Libya campaign in terms of future force development strategies and the ongoing Defence and Deterrence Posture Review (DDPR)?

“R2P has now assumed a prominent place among NATO’s new missions” Davis added. “The Alliance needs to develop coherent approaches to the preparation, implementation and operational aspects of such actions”.

Lessons will only truly be learned when NATO incorporates them into its planning, doctrine, tactics, and training—a process which can take some time. Therefore, NATO should also consider establishing an R2P Committee, not only to incorporate lessons learned from Operation Unified Protector, but to analyse potential future threats of genocide and mass atrocities; develop military guidance on genocide prevention and response; and incorporate guidelines into Alliance doctrine and training (through, for example, a genocide prevention standardization agreement).

“Libya was a mission that occurred under unique circumstances”, noted Davis. “Future NATO operations under different circumstances will likely produce different results. Common sense suggests that the lessons offered here should be balanced against changing mission requirements and conditions. Future missions, however, are likely to contain enough parallels that the lessons learned in Libya warrant close attention”.

NATO considers options for a post-Gaddafi role in Libya

August 25, 2011

Lead role ceded to UN Contact Group

NATO planners are drawing up options for a possible alliance role in Libya after the civil war ends, officials said yesterday (Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press, 24 August).

NATO’s governing body — the North Atlantic Council — has told its military staff to come up with ways to support a future UN mission to stabilize the country.

“The council provided the NATO military authorities with a set of political guidelines for a possible future NATO supporting role in Libya … in support of wider international efforts,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said.

Options are expected to be presented to the alliance’s political leadership within the next week. These might include air and sea deliveries of humanitarian aid as well as setting up training programmes for Libyan security personnel. The alliance asserts that it has unique know-how in the reform of armed forces from autocratic nations, based on its work with East European military and police forces after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. However, NATO’s record of supporting security sector reform in the Middle East and North Africa is less impressive. Other assistance to the UN mission could consist of logistical support, or reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned drones to provide surveillance over Libya.

Lungescu said the North Atlantic Council had agreed that any possible future supporting role for NATO must “satisfy the criteria of a demonstrable need, a sound legal basis and wide regional support”. Another condition was that NATO would not have any “sustained” troop presence on the ground in Libya. This hints at a slight softening of NATO’s earlier “no troops on the ground” mantra, which Lungescu herself reiterated in the NATO press briefing only the day before.

The relatively successful post-conflict scenarios in Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor suggest an early deployment of international peacekeepers will be required in Libya. But if NATO refuses to participate in a peacekeeping force (as looks likely at the moment), this will place an increased burden on the already overstretched UN peacekeeping framework. One option might be for a combined EU/AU peacekeeping force, although this may take some time to assemble.

At that earlier press briefing the NATO spokeswoman also said, for the Gaddafi regime “the end is near. And events are moving fast. What’s clear to everybody is that Gaddafi is history. And the sooner he realizes it, the better. The Libyan people should be spared more suffering and more bloodshed. The remnants of the regime are desperate, they may be trying to fight back here and there, but they are fighting a losing battle”.

Lungescu stressed the need to sustain the mission to protect civilians citing the launch of another Scud-type missile against Misrata. How Gaddafi managed to retain some of his Scud missiles is itself an interesting story (discussed here), while others, including the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, warn that desperate members of the collapsing regime could yet try to unleash Libya’s stocks of chemical weapons.

NATO’s operational activities over the past five months in Libya were summed up by Longescu as having “steadily degraded a war machine, built up over more than 40 years. Today, we’ll past the milestone of 20,000 sorties flown. We have damaged or destroyed almost 5,000 legitimate military targets, including over 800 tanks and artillery pieces. And we have done so with unprecedented precision and as much care as possible to minimize the risk to civilians”.  But the campaign has exposed deep splits within the alliance, with only eight of the 28 member states taking part in the military action.

In particular, the issue of civilian casualties from NATO air strikes continues to raise concerns, with one US congressman calling for NATO’s top commanders to be held accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian deaths resulting from the bombing. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued statements calling on all sides to protect civilians amidst the fighting in Tripoli, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for a smooth transition and gave assurances that the UN would assist in post conflict planning including security and rule of law, social-economic, human rights and transitional justice.

NATO officials say the campaign is unlikely to be seen as a template for further intervention in the Middle East. The Libyan campaign had UN backing, giving it a legitimacy that is unlikely to be bestowed too readily on other humanitarian or ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) interventions. In part this is because NATO is widely seen as having exceeded the UN mandate by taking sides in a civil war. In addition to using its air power in aid of the rebels cause, NATO officials now concede that special forces teams from Qatar, France, Britain and some east European states, as well as US intelligence assets, provided critical assistance in an undercover campaign operating separately from the NATO command structure.

Further reading:

After Libya, the question: To protect or depose?  Philippe Bolopion, Los Angeles Times, 25 August 

Why Libya sceptics were proved badly wrong, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Financial Times, 24 August

We have proved in Libya that intervention can still work, David Owen, Daily Telegraph, 23 August

Don’t Call It A Comeback– Four reasons why Libya doesn’t equal success for NATO, Kurt Volker,, 23 August

Foreign policy: intervention after Libya, The Guardian – editorial, 23 August

A Solution From Hell – The perils of humanitarian intervention, the editors of n+1, Slate, 17 August

Libya and the State of Intervention, Tim Dunne, R2P Ideas in brief: Vol. 1 No. 1, Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, August 2011

Libya, Syria, and the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), ICRtoP Blog Post, 9 August

The Crisis of Humanitarian Intervention, Walden Bello, Foreign Policy in Focus, 9 August

NATO Watch Briefing Paper No.19

27 June 2011

Promoting a more transparent and accountable NATO

NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue in the wake of the Arab Spring:

partnership for peace or succour for despots?

By Martin A. Smith and Ian Davis

Download the Briefing Paper here:

Key Points:

NATO has been engaged in the Middle East and North Africa for over 16 years through a little known partnership programme known as the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and the more recent Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI)

NATO recently announced an extension in its MD/ICI cooperation “toolbox” from around 700 to more than 1600 “activities”. These activities range from ordinary military contact to exchanges of information on maritime security and counter-terrorism, access to educational programmes provided by Alliance institutions, and joint crisis management exercises. However, while 2008-09 versions of the toolbox were published for the first time in June 2010, what each country takes from it remains secret.

The lack of transparency makes it very difficult to evaluate the impact of these security relationships on the Arab Spring.

In the early years, the dialogue consisted mainly of low-key bilateral meetings at NATO headquarters between officials and representatives from Mediterranean states. A lack of funding from the NATO side, lack of more substantial military input to the dialogue from both sides, and a continuing sense that the process lacked overall direction and a clear sense of purpose were key constraints.

The ‘complementary’ ICI was created in 2004, at the suggestion of the United States, to involve Middle Eastern states in future NATO missions, although both the MD and ICI have remained relatively marginal processes in internal NATO debates, as well as in terms of actual co-operative activity.

The new Strategic Concept adopted in Lisbon in November 2010 acknowledged the importance of partnerships in general and indicated that a fresh impetus would be given to the MD/ICI.


The MD/ICI throughout its relatively short history has predominantly focused on the interests and security agendas of the Alliance, rather than those of the partner states. The human security concerns of the people in the region were of even lower order of priority. Hence, the events taking place in the Middle East are happening not because of NATO policy but despite it.

Divisions within NATO continue to hamper a consensual and constructive response to the Arab Spring.

There is very little information in the public domain on the extent of NATO’s cooperation with individual countries under the MD and ICI initiatives. Any future NATO security sector reform assistance in the region should be subject to proper scrutiny, oversight and independent evaluation.

NATO’s renewed policy of partnership will only appear reliable to the ‘Arab street’ if it is consistent, sustained and views reform as the key issue on the agenda

Libya: NATO must stick to the R2P script

Dr. Ian Davis – director of NATO Watch – March 31, 2011

Nato WatchThe UN-authorised intervention in Libya has thrown up complex ethical issues of paramount importance, as well as misgivings about NATO assuming command of the military dimension. It is an intervention that has both an overt face and a hidden face, and behind every rationalization seemingly another rationalization, often of quite a different order than the declared protection of Libyan civilians.

What started out as an action that observed the majority of the norms of international law and multilateral consultation is now in danger of reverting to type. The heavy-handed application of unilateral US, French and British muscle and talk of regime change, arming the rebels and even assassinating Gaddafi risks breaking the fragile international consensus and many of the political gains secured through UNSC resolution 1973 – including the historic embrace of the responsibility to protect (R2P) principles agreed in 2005.

With NATO assuming command of all military operations, the Alliance must stick to the letter of the UN resolution and R2P principles. Five crucial steps are required:

  1. The use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilian areas from attack by Libyan government forces should only continue as long as the attacks on civilians persist or are threatened
  2. Diplomatic efforts should be stepped up to achieve an early unconditional ceasefire and then work towards a lasting political settlement
  3. NATO should abide by clear and transparent rules of engagement
  4. Parliaments in member states should hold their governments accountable for NATO actions in Libya
  5. Open and careful monitoring of civilian casualties

There was undoubtedly a strong anti-war case for staying out of Libya, but there was, and still is, a stronger pro-peace case for limited military intervention based upon a responsibility to protect civilians. But the limits of the Libyan intervention need to be clearly articulated and followed to the letter.

Download the full atricle here.

NATO Watch Briefing Paper No.18

8 March 2011

Promoting a more transparent and accountable NATO

NATO starts around-the-clock surveillance of Libya…..

….but allies remain divided over no-fly zone plan

NATO leaders are divided on plans to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. The NATO Secretary General has ruled out a NATO-enforced no-fly zone in the absence of a UN mandate. Should NATO be doing more than issuing press releases? Or would it be better to leave the Libyans to win their battle with the Gaddafi regime on their own? This briefing examines the options and pitfalls for NATO military intervention in Libya.

Download the Briefing Paper here:

Urgent questions NATO should be asking before considering any military intervention:
What is the legitimacy and basis for supporting a group of rebels in the eastern part of Libya as the de facto ‘new Libya’?
If this is a civil war, what separates the two sides? Is it simply Gaddafi or do identity, geography and/or ideology come into it too?
What degree of popular support does Gaddafi have in Libya?
Does NATO have sufficient intelligence to mount an effective military intervention?
What would an ‘effective intervention’ seek to deliver?
What are the potential ‘blowbacks’ from intervention, including the likely impact on what has been until now a predominantly organic, home-grown democratic movement across the region?
What are the potential consequences for Libyan citizens and the future of the R2P doctrine by non-intervention?
To what extent should other actors and/or non-military instruments be applied first or in parallel with military intervention?
What should be the triggers for military intervention and on whose authority should it be undertaken?
Would the country (and region) be better off to the extent that whatever happens is a Libyan decision (and unequivocally seen to be so), not one made in Brussels, Washington or London?

Welcome to the 18th edition (February 2011) of NATO Watch’s monthly Observatory:
download it by clicking here

In this edition:
NATO Watch Editorial:
   Failure to tax US contractors in Afghanistan hinders “irreversible transition”
   Ban on offensive cyber operations needed
   Missile defence capabilities: science fact or fiction?
News, Commentary & Reports
   Bosnia and Herzegovina
   Climate Change & Environmental
   Security ; Counter-Terrorism
   Cyber Security
   Defence Budgets, Procurement & Private Military Companies
   Energy Security
   Enlargement and Partnerships
   Iraq; Kosovo
   Maritime Security & Piracy
   Missile Defence
   NATO Military Committee
   NATO-Russia Relations
   Nuclear Weapons
   Reform; Strategic Concept
   Transatlantic Cooperation
   Transparency and Accountability –
Upcoming Events
Security News from NATO Member States
   Bulgaria; Canada; Denmark; Estonia;
   France; Germany; Hungary;
   Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Slovakia;
   Turkey ; UK; United States


Previous NATO Watch Observatorys to read/download:
17th edition (Jan 2011)
16th edition (Dec 2010)
15th edition (Nov 2010)
14th edition (Oct 2010)
13th edition (Sep 2010)
12th edition (Aug 2010)
11th edition (Jul 2010)
10th edition (Jun 2010)
9th edition (May 2010)
8th edition (Apr 2010)
7th edition (Mar 2010)
6th edition (Feb 2010)
5th edition (Jan 2010)
4th edition (Dec 2010)
3rd edition (Nov 2009)
2nd edition (Oct 2009)
1st edition (Sep 2009)