“Global Partnership”: A New Conflict Within NATO?
Throughout the last several months, the concept of “Global Partnership” has beencausing headaches in the alliance. The United States has been working to implementan institutional framework within NATO in order to intensify global cooperation withthe so-called “likeminded states” – states with a Western orientation. This is intendedto be one of the primary results of the NATO summit to be held in Riga, Latvia, inNovember 2006. While Washington views the proposed “Global Partnership Forum”as an important step in modernizing the alliance to face the realities of the post-September 11th world, the majority of European NATO members are critical of theidea of a new committee with global membership. The Europeans’ concerns havearisen partly due to a lack of understanding of the proposed body, not at least aresult of the Americans’ insufficient communication of the concept. On the otherhand, the idea for the “Global Partnership” has not been given enough thought, andjustifiably raises questions. What stands behind the concept of a “global partnership”,what advantages can be attained through it, and which criticisms are in factcompelling?