NATO was and will remain a successful alliance because it discourages the aggression, which is a typical feature of this organization, director of the Euro-Atlantic Institute for Building Resilience Radu Burduja stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to the expert, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty was activated only once in NATO‘s history – after the attack of September 11, 2001, when the U.S. was attacked by an international terrorist group.
He noted that NATO is a defensive political and military alliance that obeys the rule of law principles and takes decisions only by consensus.
“The Alliance works based on democratic principles, such as the rule of law, fundamental freedoms, preeminence of the law, peaceful settlement of conflicts. I served as the Republic of Moldova’s military representative to NATO and had the occasion of seeing these principles in the discussions within NATO committees. Some of these principles have been promoted better, whole others – less better. I refer to the 1999 NATO bombing in Belgrade. I was then a military student at the Academy in Greece and saw that the Greeks were extremely dissatisfied with that attack. There were very harsh reactions on the part of some countries and that event had powerful effects. Everyone realizes that the attack was aimed at stopping the genocide in that situation, but still... In general, the NATO principles are respected. All the decisions are taken by consensus. Therefore, the decision-making mechanism is very intricate,” said the director of the Euro-Atlantic Institute for Building Resilience.
According to Radu Burduja, the NATO missions are a success. One of them is the KFOR mission aimed at keeping peace in Kosovo. Starting with 2014, Moldova has also contributed to the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Kosovo, which was established following the attack on Belgrade.
“A Moldovan contingent consisting of 41 service members works in Kosovo at present. We need such missions as this way our service members develop our defense capabilities. We can cooperate with the troops of different NATO member countries. We also contrite to an international effort to ensure stability and peace in the region. This way, we show that we are not only a consumer of security, but also contribute to security,” stated the ex-secretary of state.
He also said that since 1949, when the Washington Treaty was signed, NATO applied Article 5 only after the terrorist attack in the U.S. However, in that case too, it was an attack on the part of a non-state terrorist entity, not on the part of a state. No other such cases were witnessed as the element of discouragement existed.
The public debate entitled “NATO: History without propaganda” was the 19th installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.