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COMBATING NEW SECURITY THREATS

© Reuters

rorism more extensively and more frequently. And the WMD Centre (see interview with WMD Centre Head Ted Whiteside on pages 22 and 23) is contributing to improved coordination of all WMD-related activities at NATO Headquarters. demonstrated Alliance resolve and participation in the cam- paign against terrorism. Moreover, they are available for other missions, including participation in diplomatic initia- tives, such as under the Alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue, NATO’s forum for discussion and cooperation with coun- tries in the wider Mediterranean region. These ships were later joined by the Standing Naval Force Atlantic. On 25 and 26 October, heads of Alliance and Partner countries’ civil-emergency planning organisations met at NATO to discuss the implications of the 11 September attacks. They agreed to prepare an inventory of national capabilities, including transport, medical and scientific assets, which could be made available in the event of a bio- logical, chemical or radiological attack to be better able to protect civilian populations. If required, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre, which is based at NATO and staffed by experts from several NATO and Partner countries, could act as a clearing house for international assis- tance — in the same manner as it has done in response to several natural disasters in recent years. The United States and the United Kingdom began mili- tary operations against the al-Qaida terrorist network and the Taliban regime, which has been harbouring it in Afghanistan, on 7 October. Although this ongoing action is not a NATO operation, it is supported by all Alliance mem- bers, many of whom have also pledged ground troops and other military assets to support the campaign and to assist with humanitarian relief for the Afghan people. NATO forces in the Balkans have also contributed to the fight against terrorism. They have arrested several suspected ter- rorists with links to the al-Qaida network and are continuing to inves- tigate the activities of foreign nationals who came to the region as volunteer soldiers dur- ing the fighting and have remained. Since 11 September, NATO has been devel- oping increasingly close relations with the European Union to help address the terror- ist threat. At a 24 September meeting between the NAC and the European Union’s Political and Security Committee, ambassa- dors agreed the impor- tance of close consultations and cooperation between the two organisations. On 12 October, Lord Robertson briefed EU defence ministers on steps NATO had taken in response to US requests or recommendations by NATO military authorities. And the campaign against terrorism was high on the agenda of the joint meeting of EU and NATO for- eign ministers held in Brussels on 6 December. In response to a potentially grave humanitarian situation, the NAC tasked NATO’s military authorities on 13 November with preparing contingency plans for possible humanitarian operations in and around Afghanistan. The Alliance has both expertise and experience in this field, as well as significant logistical capabilities, as demonstrated during the 1999 Kosovo crisis. A possible contribution by NATO in the context of the current crisis would be at the request of the United Nations, and in close coordination with UN agencies and other humanitarian organ- isations.The unique cooperation among NATO’s armed forces that underpinned the success of both the coalition campaign against Iraq a decade ago and the ongoing peace-support oper- ations in the Balkans could prove extremely beneficial in difficult conditions. Take-off: Five NATO AWACS aircraft have been deployed in the United States to help with counter-terrorism operations The events of 11 September have also given new momentum to the NATO-Russia relationship (see article on pages 19, 20 and 21). Responses to the terrorist attacks have become a regular theme of meetings of the NATO- Russia Permanent Joint Council. Moreover, Lord Robertson met Russian President Vladimir Putin both in Brussels on 3 October and in Moscow on 22 November to discuss ways that NATO and Russia can work together to fight terrorism and develop a closer relationship that reflects cooperation in this and other areas. In the wake of 11 September, the Alliance has consider- ably increased its efforts against the dangers of terrorism by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in all fields, including political, military and medical ones. The Allies are exchanging information on issues related to WMD ter-

Winter 2001/2002

NATO review

7

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