Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

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Showing posts for "NATO"

NATO Membership Has Its Privileges (Unfortunately Ukraine Won’t See Them)

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. president Barack Obama and his Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, review troops during Obama's visit to Tallinn, Estonia, on September 3, 2014. U.S. president Barack Obama and his Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, review troops during Obama's visit to Tallinn, Estonia, on September 3, 2014 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is the most egregious effort since World War II to forcibly alter the borders of a sovereign European state. It is also the biggest test of Western resolve since the Cold War ended a quarter century ago. If history is any guide, at this week’s summit in Wales, President Obama and fellow NATO leaders are unlikely to extend significant assistance to Ukraine, and will probably instead focus on providing reassurance to the alliance’s own membership. Read more »

Crimea: Stop Citing International Law and Start Condemning Russian Expansionism

by Stewart M. Patrick
Participants in a pro-Russian rally wave Russian flags in front of a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Simferopol March 17, 2014. Crimea formally applied to join Russia on Monday after its leaders declared a Soviet-style 97-percent result in favour of seceding from Ukraine in a referendum condemned as illegal by Kiev and the West that will trigger immediate sanctions (Sergei Karpukhin/Courtesy Reuters). Participants in a pro-Russian rally wave Russian flags in front of a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Simferopol March 17, 2014. Crimea formally applied to join Russia on Monday after its leaders declared a Soviet-style 97-percent result in favour of seceding from Ukraine in a referendum condemned as illegal by Kiev and the West that will trigger immediate sanctions (Sergei Karpukhin/Courtesy Reuters).

Yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin pulled off a rigged referendum in which an overwhelming majority of Crimean voters chose union with the Russian Federation. But his victory is far from complete. The West retains a powerful card to play: mobilizing international opposition to deny Russia the international legitimacy it seeks for this naked power play.  U.S. and European leaders have roundly condemned the referendum, citing international law. It would be wiser for the West to shift the terms of the debate away from the legal merits of Russian conduct, and to focus instead on the illegitimacy of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s clear aspirations to expand its territory. Read more »

At Stake in Ukraine: The Future of World Order

by Stewart M. Patrick
Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, march outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 4, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defence of Russia's actions in Crimea on Tuesday and reserved the right to use force in Ukraine as a last resort, but he sought to ease East-West tension over fears of war in the former Soviet republic (David Mdzinarishvili/Courtesy Reuters). Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, march outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 4, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defence of Russia's actions in Crimea on Tuesday and reserved the right to use force in Ukraine as a last resort, but he sought to ease East-West tension over fears of war in the former Soviet republic (David Mdzinarishvili/Courtesy Reuters).

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has aptly labeled Ukraine the “biggest crisis in Europe in the twenty-first century.” Indeed, he could have gone further. Read more »

Collateral Damage: How Libyan Weapons Fueled Mali’s Violence

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Anti-Qaddafi fighters salvage weapons from a pro-Qaddafi weapons and ammunition compound in a village near Sirte on September 19, 2011. Munitions stockpiles in eastern Libya remain for the large part unguarded through today, despite pledges by the interim government to secure the country's massive arsenal (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters). Anti-Qaddafi fighters salvage weapons from a pro-Qaddafi weapons and ammunition compound in a village near Sirte on September 19, 2011. Munitions stockpiles in eastern Libya remain for the large part unguarded through today, despite pledges by the interim government to secure the country's massive arsenal (Goran Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Isabella Bennett, program coordinator in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The violence that has plagued once-stable Mali since late 2011 should have come as no surprise to Western governments, for it is a direct function of NATO’s Libyan intervention. By adopting a “light footprint” approach in Libya, the alliance unwittingly contributed to a security vacuum that allowed countless weapons  to stream out of Libya and fuel insurgency, extremism, and crime in neighboring countries. One of these countries was Mali, where the flood of weapons from Libya helped a rebel coalition topple the democratically elected government in Bamako in May 2012 and—until the recent French intervention—allow a jihadist alliance to gain control over the country’s entire northeast. The relevant policy question is why neither the United States nor its international partners did anything to  staunch or mitigate the flow of Libyan weapons south. Read more »

Behind the Scenes at NATO

by Stewart M. Patrick
German soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) approach locals during a patrol in the village of Isa Khel in the Chahar Dara district December 16, 2011.  (Thomas Peter/Courtesy Reuters) German soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) approach locals during a patrol in the village of Isa Khel in the Chahar Dara district December 16, 2011. (Thomas Peter/Courtesy Reuters)

On CFR.org, I argue that at first glance, NATO’s upcoming May 19-21 Chicago summit can be seen as a moment of triumph, but that there are fundamental questions about the future of the alliance that will go undiscussed. My colleagues in the United Kingdom, Israel, Turkey, and Russia, don’t necessarily agree though. Read their opinions on the second installment of CFR’s new Council of Council’s Global Expert Roundup. Read more »

The Future of NATO

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels April 18, 2012.(Jacquelyn Martin/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels April 18, 2012.(Jacquelyn Martin/Courtesy Reuters)

 

As U.S. and EU leaders prepare for the NATO summit in May, the Internationalist talks to Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, about why NATO will remain important for Europe and the United States even after the war in Afghanistan winds down. Niblett argues: Read more »