Call for papers vol 9, no. 1, 2018 is open until 30 March 2018

NATO AND THE ARAB SPRING-THE MEANS FOR A COMPLEX SITUATION

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INTRODUCTION
The end of the Cold War and the conflicts between the East and the West might have spelt the end for NATO, which was created to answer the threat of the Soviet Union. It is common knowledge that no such thing happened and that NATO not only survived but was also reinforced afterwards. At the Lisbon Summit of November 19 and 20, 2010, NATO voted its new strategic concept, renewing its commitment to mutual defense: the threat of nuclear proliferation and weapons of mass destruction with the anti-missile shield, the emphasis put on cyberdefence, energy safety, cooperative safety, smart defense, and the fight against terrorism are essential concerns, requiring action and structuring its approach (Mongrenier, 2012).
The MAY 20, 2012 Chicago Summit of the Atlantic Council reaffirmed the main three tasks of NATO, i.e. collective defense, the management of crises and cooperative
security, and mentions UN-mandated operation Unified Protector, that is to say the military intervention in Libya in 2011.
The intervention is at the heart of what is referred to in Europe and the Western world as «the Arab Spring», which is presented as the uprising of the oppressed people
fighting for Freedom and Democracy, more particularly the surge of young people, using the resources of internet and social networks against well-established dictatorships. Even if the revolt started in January 2011, i.e. in Winter and not in Spring, with the immolation of a young man in Tunisia on December 17 2010, the word «Spring» is here used in reference of the European Revolutions of 1848 called «the Springtime of the Peoples», and more generally in reference to all the insurrections of oppressed people, like the «Prague Spring» of 1968.
NATO could not but feel concerned with the events that directly hit some of its member states- France, Turkey and Italy among others.
However, if the upheaval raises hopes, isn’t it as well a cause for concern and potential threats? Does the Alliance have the means to face them?

IS THE ARAB SPRING A HOPE OR A THREAT?
It took less than a month for the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia to collapse (December 17, 2010- January 14 2011); in Egypt, less than three weeks for Hosni Mubarak to resign
after the huge demonstrations on the Tarhir Square in Cairo ( January 25-February 2 2010).
In Libya (February 17- October 20 2010), the uprising of the people in Benghazi ended with the brutal death of Mouammar Kaddafi. In Syria, in March 2011, the initial peaceful demonstrations in Deraa were brutally repressed and triggered the ongoing civil war (see declaration of June 2012 of UN Chief of military peacekeeping forces). In Yemen, in 2011,



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Security Dialogues by Toni Mileski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at sd.fzf.ukim.edu.mk.

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