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NATO and International Security

Relevance of NATO after 9/11

Introduction

This year marks the 65th anniversary of NATO, signed between the United States, Canada,
and 10 European states on April 4, 1949.
Nowadays, there are 28 member states, numerous from Eastern Europe and the Balkans,
with more countries applying to join. NATOs Partnership for Peace program, which
celebrated its 20th anniversary in January, brings another 22 states, many from the former
Soviet Bloc, into regular exchange with the organization, including Russia itself. Many have
called NATO the worlds most successful alliance, being a primary tool of the West during
the Cold War, when it served as a bulwark against communism and the Soviet threat and
avails as a guarantee for peace in Europe and abroad today. Since the end of the Cold War,
however, NATO has struggled to redefine its identity. Almost immediately after the fall of the
Berlin Wall, it was forced to choose whether or not to act beyond its mandate of self-defense
and play a role in larger European crises, particularly in the Balkans.
All at once, the original purpose of NATO was both revived and demonstrated to be
out-dated. Indeed, in the immediate term, the attacks on America gave the values-based
alliance a renewed relevance in a post-Cold War world. But over the intervening decade, the
issues surrounding the global struggle against terrorism have also added new layers of
complexity and raised new questions about the alliance's future.
Twenty years after the great debate over NATOs future at the end of the Cold War, we
appear to have come full circle - back to the future1 in John Mearsheimers words. Its
instrumental role in pacifying the Balkans, its major commitment in Afghanistan, and its
recent operation in Libya notwithstanding, the role and relevance of the alliance appear no
more certain today than they were when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. International
1 John

Mearsheimer, Back to the Future

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relations specialists are certainly wondering. Rajan Menon has pondered the end of
alliances2 and Stanley Sloan speculated about whether NATO might no longer be a
permanent alliance3. It is therefore high time to stop and ponder what role and relevance a
Cold War alliance can still aspire to in (what appears to be) an age of coalition warfare?
Crimea has made manifestly clear how important Europe and NATO remain to global
security. Events in Crimea and the Ukraine bolster the pressing need to re-evaluate and
revamp the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Now, with Vladimir Putins annexation of
Crimea and threat to Eastern Europe, NATOs relevance is back on the front pages of
newspapers worldwide. Its relevance was questioned and argued last time on the events of
9/11.
Events in Ukraine have once again highlighted the need for NATO reform. 9/11 wasn`t
enough, Afghanistan was the wakeup call, and Ukraine the alarm. Whatever the alliances
reaction to Putin is now, a greater strategic and long-term question looms: What role does the
alliance have in the 21st century? NATO must create relevancy and power if it is not only to
survive, but to thrive.

International Security and NATO post 9/11


Press statement
The NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, meeting in extraordinary session at
Ambassadorial level on 13 September 2001, expressed its anger and indignation at the
barbaric acts committed against the people of the United States of America.4
On Sept. 13, 2001, as an act of solidarity with Americans after the previous day's
catastrophe, the allies invoked Article 5- the binding promise of the group's mutual defense
for the first time in history. Originally designed with Russia in mind, Article 5 says that for all
member states, an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America
2 Rajan Menon, The End of Alliances, Oxford University Press, 2008
3 Stanley R. Sloan, Permanent Alliance? NATO and the Transatlantic Bargain from Truman to Obama, Bloomsbury Academic, 2010
4 Source: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-91BE2096-AC55A3F9/natolive/official_texts_18861.htm?selectedLocale=en

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shall be considered an attack against them all5. The countries stood by the United States with
a sense of urgency and energy. The expectation was for 50 years for the United States that
would have to rush to the defense of Europe in the event of a war against the Soviet Union,
and the irony was that the only time we had ever invoked Article 5 was that next day, and it
was for the Europeans to rush to defend the United States, said R. Nicholas Burns former
U.S. Ambassador to NATO ( from 2001 to 2005, including during 9/11 events).
As the realities set in, it soon became clear that the gesture had opened NATO up to
an entirely different set of challenges than most had previously considered. For one, the
enemy was not a country, but a group of non-state actors, al Qaeda. Also, the threat of terror
gave NATO countries, whose united cause had been based on the notion of protecting a
geographic location, a new function. They could no longer just defend their own territory; to
fight against terrorists, they'd have to go far beyond. This was NATO's natural progression
after 9/11 according to Burns. It became very clear that while Europe was largely peaceful
and secure, the interests of the NATO members were being directly affected by terrorism and
what became the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So, NATO had to extend from its natural
geographic area because the interests of their members were being threatened.
The threat of terrorism was at that moment, more than ever, seen as a global issue that
couldn't be fought successfully by one country alone. Cooperation, whether through NATO,
the United Nations, or more ad hoc partnerships, was essential. We live in this age when all
of the really interesting security challenges are too big for one state to deal with alone said
Jeff Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for
Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterrey Institute of International Studies. So, you have to
have cooperation, and alliances are a major point of cooperation.
Even just a month after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, news reports
reflected hopeful sentiments that the tragedy could be a chance for rejuvenation for NATO,
the decline of which had been a common global talking point through the previous decade.
But as the United States began its campaign against terrorists in Afghanistan in October 2001,
Americans led by President George W. Bush initially seemed to rebuff NATO's efforts and
take things into their own hands, said Stewart Patrick, director of the International Institutions
5 The North Atlantic Treaty Washington D.C. - 4 April 1949 Article 5 Source: http://www.nato.int/cps/ro/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

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and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. That changed in 2003,
in his opinion, after the United States also decided to invade Iraq. Patrick: It was only later
that, and partly because the U.S. was feeling spread pretty thin after the invasion of Iraq, that
the United States really became open to the notion of NATO taking over ISAF, or the
International Security Assistance Force, in Afghanistan.
Still, even with the challenges, NATO is the best alliance the United States has, argues
Burns, and the past decade has indeed proven its worth: Reality is, when you have 28
countries in one alliance, it's going to be a rare moment when all 28 agree to make the same
effort. But as long as NATO is able to act collectively, that's still positive and it's still
important. It's an important tool for U.S. foreign policy

In the aftermath of September 11 the emerging dominance of NATOs


counterterrorism role in determining the alliances policy agenda can be clearly seen. In
response to the September 11 attacks the alliance invoked article 5 of the Washington Treaty
for the first time in the alliances history stating that an attack on one member was to be
considered an attack on all; fourteen of 19 NATO allies sent contingents to Afghanistan;
NATO has undertaken overall command of the ISAF peace support operation in Afghanistan
its first out of area deployment; the alliance has developed both a Partnership Action Plan
on Terrorism and a military concept for defence against terrorism for which a concept of
operations is being developed to put the concept into effect; and alliance members committed
themselves to developing the types of capabilities that will allow them to take military action
against terrorism through the Prague Capabilities Commitment and the developing NATO
Response Force. Indeed, the Prague Summit, held in November 2002, was initially scheduled
to focus upon the issue of enlargement. After 9/11 the focus of the summit was changed to the
issue of Alliance transformation reflecting the need for the alliance to adapt and respond to
changes in the international security environment, in particular, to respond to the heightened
terrorist threat reflected by the 9/11 attacks.
In many ways that the NATO agenda has been altered by the events of 9/11 is not
surprising. Given that 9/11 altered the environment in which NATO operates, if the alliance
did not adapt, especially in terms of its organization, roles and missions, to meet the demands
of the new environment it would risk becoming irrelevant as an actor within that

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environment. This argument has been asserted by a number of commentators including
Richard Lugar who states: If NATO is not up to the challenge of becoming effective in the
new war against terrorism, then our political leaders will be inclined for something else that
will answer the need. Gordon also reveals this line of thought, arguing that while the antiterrorism campaign changes NATOs character and carries many risks, it also demonstrates
NATOs continued utility and provides an opportunity to renovate and give new life to an
alliance whose future was uncertain.6
While not all would agree with Gordons assertion that NATOs future was uncertain,
the comment raises an important point. NATO itself has a clear institutional incentive to adapt
and take on a counterterrorism role in order to ensure its own survival as an international
security organization. Thus, the question that must be asked is whether NATO, an alliance
which developed during the cold war as a response to a state-based military threat in the form
of the Soviet Union, is suited to this new counterterrorism role and whether the alliance can
make a significant and lasting contribution to the campaign against terrorism. Is a NATO role
in counterterrorism desirable and clearly beneficial or is this merely a quest by the
organization to maintain its relevance in a changed security environment a reflection of the
mindset or the reality that if its not terrorism its not relevant? This is a major point for
discussing NATO`s relevance.
The geopolitical center of gravity eventually shifted from Europe to the Middle East
and Central Asia in the aftermath of 9/11, after which two other trends with profound
implications for the alliance started playing out more forcefully: the increasingly situational
character of capabilities and commitments as well as interests and alignments.
During the Cold War, when there had been a high likelihood of local crises escalating
into a global confrontation, a strong NATO force in Europe could help to deter the Soviet
Union from pursuing some of its more objectionable projects even in faraway places like
Central Asia. Once the threat of a systemic escalation of regional conflicts decreased after the
Cold War, however, power would henceforth have to be actually projected on a global scale
for it to have a deterrent effect: Quite naturally, al-Qaeda and the Taliban are much less easily
impressed by a strong NATO force in the German lowlands than the Soviets used to be,
particularly if the alliance lacks the strategic airlift capabilities to move it to Afghanistan.
6 Philip H Gordon, NATO After September 11, Survival 43, no. 4 (2001/02): 89

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Thus, when NATO eventually did accept global responsibilities in the aftermath of
9/11, the support and assistance offered by the alliance collectively, and by European allies
individually, under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, had little more than diplomatic
significance in American strategic thinking. Much more than French and German battle tanks,
what was needed in the unfolding war on terror were basing rights and over flight
permissions from countries like Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and particularly
Pakistan. The significant leverage these nations possessed with various important players
inside Afghanistan would also be more of an asset politically than the procedural legitimacy
accorded by various international organizations. As they gradually regained their confidence
in the days and weeks after the attacks, some planners in Washington thus came to perceive
the invocation of Article 5 by NATO not (primarily) as a genuine expression of allied
solidarity, but also as a more or less thinly veiled attempt on the part of the allies to gain some
sort of institutional control over the Bush administrations response to the attacks.
If, at that time of national emergency, American officials felt unable to surrender their
policies and purposes to NATOs often unwieldy processes and procedures, that sentiment
was largely grounded in the unhappy experience of having had to fight a war by committee
over Serbia just two years earlier. The interallied disputes and disputations during the Kosovo
campaign had allowed the world to see how difficult it had become for a standing alliance
like NATO to preserve its cohesion ten years after the Cold War. As the fundamental
antagonism between East and West wound down, national interests of alliance members were
less and less predetermined by a priori ideological considerations, but shaped and shaken on
a case-by-case basis depending on the distinct characteristics of each situation. Individual
states would no longer define their policy on any specific issue primarily according to general
geostrategic considerations, but increasingly had to chart their course based on situational
concerns such as geographical proximity, historical loyalties, diplomatic relations, economic
interdependence, and political expedience. As a consequence, different allies came to
perceive threats and challenges differently and would therefore react differently to them. With
the ultimate enforcer of alliance cohesion-the possibility of an all-out confrontation between
the ideological blocs-removed, alignments of convenience could (and would) emerge and
vanish based on situational communities of interest with little regard for the boundaries and
borders set by traditional alliance politics.

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While the outpouring of allied solidarity after 9/11 helped to mitigate these problems
for a while after the sobering experience in the Balkans, the dispute over Iraq brought them
fully into the open. At the heart of the matter lay a genuine disagreement among the allies
over whether Saddam Husseins Iraq presented an imminent threat to Euro-Atlantic security
and, if so, how it should be confronted. With the United States determined to go to war and
with limited independent influence of their own, Germany and France. As a consequence,
Washington deliberately sidelined the alliance and its logjammed procedures in its
preparations for war. When the debate thus moved out of established institutional constraints,
it also moved quickly out of bounds, into an ugly Franco-German-American war of words.
Americans believed that NATOs consensus-based procedures had proved unable to uphold
what should be the very foundation of any alliance: agreement as to the existence and nature
of a common enemy or threat.
For a truly modern approach to bringing NATO up to speed on 21st century security
threats, the Alliance needs smart spending, more commitment and clearer planning argues
Dr. Jacquelyn Davis.
In the post-9/11 decade, NATO countries must change declining defence using
patterns and choose for the last time if the transatlantic barrier relationship is worth keeping
up. The point of reference showed most as of late by Operation Unified Protector is not
empowering.
The US approach of "leading from behind" in Libya while giving fundamental
competencies will never predominate if the European NATO partners stay ill-equipped to
raise safeguard plan. Associates should likewise work by and large to address principal
inquiries confronting the Alliance about the utilization of energy against new and developing
dangers to Alliance security. NATO's requirement for more efficient anticipating spasmodic
and unbalanced dangers from non-state on-screen characters might not have been stressed
enough in its new Strategic Concept. This deserves new thinking in Article 5 (an attack on
one is an attack on all) planning as well. Indeed as the NATO's last Summit in Lisbon
reaffirmed NATO's Article 5 safeguard as a center mission, open deliberation proceeds about
what this methods in a 21st century scene. Security challenges now run from state on-screen
characters and non-state outfitted gatherings utilizing high engineering weapons in
unbalanced approaches to low-innovation weapons which prompt fear and deliver
overwhelming regular person setbacks. The majority of these leave essentially from Alliance
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(and Western) ideas of war, which have advanced to concentrate on minimizing losses,
evading citizen misfortunes, and ending operations when achievable. Furthermore these are
not the only threats. Likewise the solitary wolf terrorists, space and digital dangers, vitality
security, weapons of mass devastation and their pursue by terrorist associations are dangers.
These all bring up issues about the importance of Article 5 in today's reality, and how it ought
to be executed.
NATO's examination of Article 5 particularly in the run-up to the new Strategic
Concept in 2010 was described by a false open deliberation over regional safeguard and
expeditionary abilities. As numerous Allies call attention to, the guard of NATO domain
(particularly along the flanks) obliges expeditionary strengths. In this way, the conversion of
NATO to grasp more noteworthy versatility, accuracy, and interoperability can just improve
not diminish NATO's regional safeguard missions. This raises a situation in light of the fact
that some part countries stay more intrigued by regional guard arranging along more
conventional lines, particularly Russian-related possibilities. Different Allies are all the more
ready to stimulate new, frequently unpredictable, thoughts regarding energy carriage, in light
of differing qualities of "risk" discernments and national hobbies. In addition, while regional
guard stays integral to security arranging, today's developing security difficulties are
progressively conflicting with that idea in light of the fact that fringes are more permeable
and immaterial to ballistic rockets or to digital dangers. Exactly how to safeguard against
these sorts of dangers in a time of obliged assets (and lower protection using) is the focal
inquiry for the Alliance at once in which there is not generally accord on future dangers
(Iran), required abilities (rocket guard), and on the utilization of energy itself (national
caveats). Thus, while possibility getting ready for any of various possibilities including
Russia remains an essential part of Allied Command Operations (ACO) arranging, it is not
the central Article 5 test that NATO must locate. Iran's potential development as an atomic
weapons state, with a ballistic rocket ability to target Europe, should additionally be singled
out, in order to keep the focus Article 5 missions of guard and prevention.
Be that as it may, in today's reality, regional resistance must grasp discriminating
framework assurance, outcome administration, wanting to defeat an Electro-Magnetic Pulse
(EMP) ambush, parts of vitality security and digital operations. Clearly, not all cyber attacks
can or ought to be viewed as an Article 5 crisis. The inquiry, then, develops about when and
how a cyber attacks, or an ambush on vitality framework may be identified with a statesupported possibility, in which defence of NATO assets rises as an out and out Article 5-sort
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challenge. The new Strategic Concept recommends, a comprehensive approach in which
non-military capabilities, non-governmental and international organisations and international
partnerships with non-NATO nations might be needed to execute future NATO missions. This
suggests another method for working in the Alliance. For a few Allies, for example, France, it
likewise means breaking the conventionality that NATO ought not be included with civil
organizations and in non-military capacities (police preparing, for instance).
NATO does as of now have a civil civil emergency planning capability, and one of the
territories for future development is liable to be NATO's Senior Civil Emergency Planning
Committee (SCEPC). There may, for instance, be the rise of new mission taskings in the
ranges of legal sciences, biometrics, and in outcome administration of a WMD occasion. An
extra discriminating part of preventive arranging is the need to have entry to great sagacity
about potential foes, their capacities, and their connections on the ground with different
gatherings, governments, and invested individuals. The need to refine and augment the part of
extraordinary operations strengths (SOF) in NATO arranging is a basic prerequisite. This is
particularly so if NATO is trying to work in regions in which its understanding of patterns,
abilities, and connections is short of what considerable. NATO has as of now started to do
this by making an all-source discernment system with the ability to help operations in theater
and additionally to give vital arranging data to emergency possibilities.
Worldwide and non-customary accomplice connections are additionally crucial to
Alliance endeavors to understand a thorough procedure. This could be the place NATO
powers help a non-military lead-org or a worldwide accomplice, for example, the United
Nations, in an emergency possibility. As of now, ISAF in Afghanistan is working with a more
extensive group of coalition accomplices, including, for instance, Australia and New Zealand.
This is a marvel that is just liable to expand in the years ahead, with globalization and the
way of exhaustive arranging. In reality, as NATO's 2010 Strategic Concept made clear, NATO
is a provincial Alliance with worldwide span. Today in Libya as well, NATO strengths are
working with non-NATO accomplices, quite from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates
(UAE). Both of these Arab states assumed noteworthy parts in preparing the Libyan
restriction powers, accepting the "train the mentor" idea that is key to NATO extraordinary
strengths' arranging. As we go ahead, this build - together with the requirement for improving
interoperability with non-NATO accomplices - will get direr.

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At present, NATO has implemented only one anti-terror operation (Active Endeavor or
OAE), which is centered on oceanic prohibition in the Mediterranean Sea. Restricted to
concentrate on terrorist or WMD blocks, Active Endeavor was never intended to be a format
for future NATO against terrorism arranging. Some NATO strategists have proposed the need
to expand OAE into a bigger, oceanic security tasking, beholding again to the days when
ocean lines of correspondence security was recognized as a backbone of Alliance arranging.
In this appreciation, on the premise of the new Alliance Maritime Strategy from March 2011,
there is new thinking in Alliance arranging loops around a more exhaustive sea security
approach for NATO. This could see an express division of work with the European Union
(EU) over parts and missions, gave that the EU can truly create the solid security and
resistance character its parts have declared to be their destination.
Iraq was the defining moment for the collusion, says Nikolai Sokov, senior individual
at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, part of the Monterrey Institute's
Center for Nonproliferation Studies. The United States going into Iraq disseminated much of
NATO's vitality for the battle against terrorism. We squandered a lot of potential.
[..]Terrorism is no longer as unifying an agenda as it was (immediately) after 9/11.
Apart from the mission in Afghanistan, many counterterrorism exertions since
September 1, for example, intelligence sharing and law enforcementhave been conducted
unilaterally or bilaterally, been directed singularly or reciprocally, instead of through the
military apparatuses of NATO. And rather than NATO itself, it's been the partnerships with
non-NATO countries, especially in the Arab and Muslim world that have often proved more
useful in addressing the decentralized problem of terrorism, according to Miles Pomper Senior Research Associate in the Washington DC office of CNS , In the war on terrorism,
the key countries aren't really NATO countries, they're Arab countries or countries with large
Muslim populations. [..] It's a military alliance. It's not necessarily the best instrument to deal
with law and order and crime and case issues.
More recently, as allied forces remained in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism
persisted, the intervention in Libya this year showed that a decade after it expanded its reach
after 9/11, NATO remains an effective force outside its own territory. It was a proud moment
in NATO history says Burns. Yet, the disagreement among members over whether to
participate in the Libyan mission also demonstrated that the goals and the commitment of the
alliance often remain ambiguous and contentious. Kurt Volker: Afghanistan was not a good
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example of solidarity within NATOeverybody pulling their weight ... although we did
manage to get everyone to contribute. In Libya, that just went out the window. Only a third of
the allies really contributed

Conclusions
NATO has changed every defining point of its own existence after the Cold War and
moreover since 9/11. Nothing is the same. From capabilities, to defining the threats, from
perceiving the missions to choosing a theatre, from purpose to evaluation, everything has
evolved and was adapted to the new reality that 9/11 has brought.
Even though it is an alliance formed during the Cold War, its relevance shouldn`t be
questioned in terms of adaptability, but in a success stories perspective. Its existence is for
keeping the peace and to secure its members. While these two are reflected within the reality,
it means that NATO is doing its job and is still relevant in the international security context. e
I don`t argue the fact that the Alliance has to adapt continuously and to yield very
efficacious to the reality. It is very well known that NATO has to do some reforms, but this
doesn`t imply that its existence is not relevant anymore. There have been many studies,
articles and presentations on NATO reform to redefine its identity, purpose and ultimately, its
relevancy. There needs to be a streamlined approach that blends old and new into a new,
vibrant, proactive alliance. The defensive nature of the alliance was dictated by the rules of
the Cold War. A shield of defense must now be transformed into a sword of offense.

Bibliography
Books:

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Barry Buzan, Ole Weaver, Jaap de Wilde, Security. A New Framework for Analysis,
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Co., London, 1998;
Dr. Rachel E Utley, 9/11 Ten Years After: Perspectives and Problems,Ashgate
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Edward Kolodziej, Security and International Relations, Cambridge University Press,
2005
Ellen Hallams, Luca Ratti, Ben Zyla ,NATO Beyond 9/11: The Transformation of the
Atlantic Alliance, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
Rajan Menon, The End of Alliances, Oxford University Press, 2008

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Richard Cohen & Michael Michelka, Cooperative Security: New Horizons for
International Order, The Marshall Center Papers, No.3, George C. Marshall
European Center for Security Studies, 2001;
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Truman to Obama, Bloomsbury Academic, 2010;
Stephen J. Cimbala, Peter Kent Forster, Multinational Military Intervention: NATO
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Articles:
Christopher Bennett, Combating Terrorism, NATO Review;
Elinor Sloan,Beyond Primacy: American Grand Strategy in the post-September 11
Era International Journal LVIII, no. 2 (2003): 303-319;
John J. Mearsheimer, Back to the Future;
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(2003): 93;
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Against Terrorism;
Philip H Gordon, NATO After September 11, Survival 43, no. 4 (2001/02): 89;
Richard D. Lugar, Redefining NATOs Mission Preventing WMD Terrorism
Washington Quarterly 25, no. 3 (Summer 2002): 13.
Websites:

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http:// uspolicy.be/
http://worldaffairsjournal.org
http:// atlanticcommunity.org/
http://archive.atlantic-community.org/
http:// nato.int/
http://online.sagepub.com/
http://www.e-ir.info/

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