print Print
send Send to friends
NATO after the Cold War
The year of 1991 has been called as the end of the Cold War because of the collapse of the Soviet union and changing of political systems of the most communist countries to liberal approach of democracy.
In this way, it was believed that by removing a powerful block and the promise of new order of the world, tensions and conflicts among the international communities will end and the world with peace and calm and without any violence will be started. In this era, arms marsh, military interventions, political cups or the creation of military bases gradually will be useless for controlling and containing other systems. In this area, the presence of some remained structures from the Cold War also will be changed .One of these institutions was NATO's North Atlantic Treaty that faced the peace of world after the cold war.

From a realistic standpoint, unions cannot remain after ending the life of their creative factors ; threat .In the unity of governments ,they gather up their capabilities for fighting the common enemy ,and unions have not any purpose beyond prevention and defense and any sources beyond the governments which became a member of them and when there is no threat, the unions lose the reason of their cooperation and as a consequence they break up . According to realism school, many researchers consider the first decade after the Cold War as an era of decline of NATO.

However, after passing about two decades after the Cold War, NATO still lives .For explaining the reason why NATO exists, we should know that unions always are not the absolute community of power and national targets, but we can also study them within the framework of institutions and security organizations .In the shape of an institution, with creation of distinction in capacities of Governments, Unions are trying to coordinate their policies and increase the acceptable level of prevention and defense.

On the other hand, the formation of Unions costs a lot but its continuation and survival does not. That’s why they can stay ;despite the changes in conditions, and become useful .It should be noted that apart from other unions ,they are security coalitions that have several purposes because they encounter a large gamut of security issues such as unsteadiness and instability and relations among unions.
In this field ,a security coalition can accept the change to get its framework updated in the field of rules ,approaches and procedures generally or specifically or makes its capabilities coherent and united for confronting various security threats that the members face.

The unions which can potentially confront instability and unreliable crises, they can update themselves without any threat .thus, in this field, the idea of considering the structuralist theories, is in mind. The structuralism, believe that preservation of a security coalition in the conditions of an environmental change is more cheaper for the members than leaving it or formatting a new structure, that in this field we should point to issues such as risk for a formation of a replaced-system and amount of agreement of governments and using pressure for accepting the conclusions apart from subordinate costs .On the other hand ,when values of present structure are more comprehensive than values of a possible institution in the future ,It is obvious that the present structure is preferable.

Soviet Union subversion made NATO to encounter a crisis in objective, identity and its functions. In this field, NATO inclined to change the definitions of their duties which developed the realm of operations in Europe and in a gradual trend for other regions. However, by defining a new agenda, NATO sought to control the changes in Europe after the Cold War. In this area, concern about European strength against threats left from former Soviet Union satellites, the issue of weapons of mass destruction, lack of transparency in the production, transmission of these arms and the future of Russia and new emerging countries in a general glance can not only justify but also necessitate further existence of this structure.

In this regard, NATO while redefining some of its goals adapted themselves to the new situations. Ability of this organization in complying with the new situation is the result of the performance of this organization during the Cold War in developing general and specific values of this political-military organization. General values as transparency, fortification of economical infrastructure, consultative measures and procedures and specific values are political-military integration, transnational powers and transnational defense policies.
During this readout, NATO objectives extended from Europe-Atlantic realm and the treaty while expanding relations with countries of European security domains defined comprehensively the word security by which they would put into effect the agenda regarding any issue happening beyond Europe affecting on security of Europe.

In fact, NATO began some efforts to make limited changes as a result of the Cold War refluence in the late 1980s. The fundamental changes aroused from 1990 London declaration by which NATO announced that the Soviet Union and members of the Warsaw Pact would not be counted as enemies and they were invited to make bilateral political relations. On November 1990, NATO and former members of the Warsaw Pact signed off a treaty in the context of conventional weapons and an aggression proscription. Subsequently, NATO revised its strategy in military and released its new concept of strategy during the meeting in Rome on November, 1990.
Through it, accumulative defense remains the core of the union and it was announced that security issues were already resulted from the instability of unfavorable outcomes from disorganized economies, social and political problems such as ethnic rivalry and territorial conflicts that most central and eastern European countries are facing with. The crisis occurred in former Yugoslavia and some Eastern European countries and therefore the fear of communism is no longer considered as a threat to the treaty.

In order to provide and safeguard peace in Europe and prevent the expansion of the crisis, political measures and military actions were necessary .In relation to this, NATO preceded the management of crisis, provision of peace and measures of supporting peace. During these actions, NATO defined the security interests of allies in the Middle East and South Mediterranean districts and NATO considered the global issues such as terrorism, spread of weapons of mass destruction and development of technology of ballistic missiles as the security threats of allies .It should be noted that providing a stable environment in Europe on basis of the growth of democratic institutions and resolving conflicts peacefully, permanency of Atlantic relations in the issues that are more effective on their interests, deterrence and defense against any threat that effects territorial integrity of NATO member countries and keeping the strategic balance in Europe, are considered as NATO’s general principles in this period. It is obvious that the actors in the north Atlantic treaty organization linked the security to the liberal democracy in the period after the cold war.
They legislated a set of rules and considered the development of it as one of the main security factors specially in East and the centre of Europe, that is why in the period after the cold war a direct relationship was established between the security and spread of democracy. Participating in peace plan and national democratic institutions as well as defending the human rights are also considered as the other announced policies in this period.
It is obvious that NATO’s collective defense system has changed to a collective security system. In relation to stabilizing Europe, NATO has not separated the Europe security from neighbor security and by posing these issues that NATO’s enemies are new and considered as the former enemies, declared that their relationship can be established beyond the former enemies.
In the course of its new strategic concept, NATO resorted the activities such as establishing reliability, increasing transparency and also controlling the arms; and to creating the peace; NATO cooperated with UN activities which are to create peace around the world. In June 2002, NATO proceeded sanction and interference in the country under the UN flag to keep peace and manage the crisis in the former Yugoslavia and until December of the year considering the responsibility and independency in action. In fact it was for the first time when NATO fulfilled its duties outside its traditional boundaries.
Creating institutions such as participating in peace in 1994 is to strengthen bilateral cooperation between NATO members and non-members countries, in order to secure these countries while Appling some policies which NATO had in mind or organizing the Mediterranean Talks among the countries in Mediterranean district in 1995(Tunisia, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Mauritania, later Algeria joined them) in order to provide stability in the region and make bilateral relations among NATO and Russia and also Ukraine in 1997 that promoted to council of NATO and Russia in 2002, in order to increase the cooperation in security issues of NATO measures in the world after the cold war.

Totally, it is necessary to mention that NATO had three main tasks during the cold war ,its first military duty was to defend territorial integrity of countries which were members of treaty and two of its political tasks were ultra Atlantic cooperation and provide an acceptable level of collective security for members but after the cold war, sometimes these tasks has been changed .
This time the collective defense was planned not only against a maximum direct threat, but also it was a kind of attempt to ensure the security of members against the threats which influenced from the out round of union.
The second, stabilizing project was the other new political tasks of NATO after the cold war ,that made the union’s cooperation possible in the border of union with political approach of talk and cooperation .This activity gradually transformed to a main political activity of NATO .In this field, NATO created committees and some mechanism at different levels .For example. Creating the North Atlantic cooperation council (NACC 1991) is considered as an institutional framework for NATO talks with central and eastern countries of Europe or creating institution building partnership for peace PFP 1994 and the other institutions which were mentioned earlier.
NATO’s open-door policy is the other political mean of this institution to expand the democracy in Europe based on market economy and authority of law and support the democratic institutions .In this field, the most important measures of NATO is an attempt to determine the best form of relationship with Russia. Stabilizing project through military tools is the other task of NATO that is expanded in this era.
For the first time, after the ethnic violence in the Balkans, a need of expansion in military strength was felt to support stability in the security border of treaty and eventually preservation of Atlantic relationships in the other basic task of this institution that involves the provision of Article 5 of founding treaty.
Although treaty members in some policies which are following the national interests include haggling and competition but it should be noted that, if necessary, these countries benefit a sufficient and necessary convergence, because of having a series of common values in polices of their national interests in that way they have shown in the 11 September incident. Eventually, reviewing the goals and measures of NATO caused this treaty to affect the international policies more and more by expanding its obligations during the period after the cold war and make its interests in the aegis of provision of international security.

By: Fatima Alishah