Greenwood Paper Special Issue

Organising National Defences for NATO Membership. The Unexamined Dimension of Aspirants' Readiness for Entry

Staff of the Centre for European Security Studies
179 pages, ISBN 90 76301 17 4 (11 2001)

The study is the product of research that the Staff of the Centre conducted in 2001, assessing the progress that the nine Membership Action Plan states (Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) have made in their quest for NATO membership. It focuses on an aspect that has not been explicitly examined in official NATO procedure, and has not featured prominently in independent commentary either: the quality of would-be members' defence organisation. Yet an important dimension of preparedness is the individual aspirant's commitment to democratic control of its armed forces and its capacity to deliver a defence effort that is domestically acceptable, economically sustainable and strategically sound. Expressed concretely, serious candidates should be able to show that they are making now – and that structures and processes exist to ensure that they can make in future – military provision that fulfils these conditions. For this reason, it is not a comprehensive evaluation of the nine would-be members' claims to consideration. Nor can it be a final appraisal, even on its own terms, because at the time of writing, the Prague Summit is twelve months away. In addition, the study assesses how the performance of the MAP states looks in relation to NATO's expectations and requirements on its own terms and by comparison with the accession experience of the three 'first wave' enlargement entrants (Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland).

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Organising National Defences for NATO Membership. The Unexamined Dimension of Aspirants' Readiness for Entry

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