Accession Number:

ADA422953

Title:

Allied Command Structures in the New NATO

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1997-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

76.0

Abstract:

After extremely promising efforts to strengthen NATOs military structure, progress has been slowed by demands to convert the AFSOUTH command at Naples from a U.S.-led to a European-led position. AFSOUTH consists of Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Black Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. The role of NATOs regional commanders has been enhanced significantly since the end of the Cold War. As NATO broadens it focus, adding crisis management operations to its core mission of collective defense, it is the theater commander who has been called upon to deal with conflict at the regional level. The United States has but one major subordinate commander in Europe, at AFSOUTH. Therefore, the proposal to make AFSOUTH a European-led command would weaken the Alliance by weakening the U.S. leadership role in regional affairs at a time when that command is becoming increasingly important. The AFSOUTH issue has become difficult to manage for at least three reasons. As a result, a high-level effort may be required to break the deadlock. Setting aside the AFSOUTH issue, there has been significant progress in the area of NATO adaptation - that is, in strengthening of ESDI in NATO. However, U.S. military strength remains crucial. The military assets and capabilities that the United States makes available to AFSOUTH warrant a U.S.-led command. U.S. leadership will be essential at least until there is evidence that European leadership would be backed by European capabilities and resources commensurate with the importance of the region. Given the recent and projected trends in European defense investments, it cannot be foreseen when adequate capabilities and commitment of resources would become a reality. A review of recent history in the Balkans, the Aegean area, the Persian Gulf, and the Middle East indicates the indispensable nature of both U.S. diplomacy and U.S. military engagement in the key regions surrounding the AFSOUTH area of operation.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE