Asymmetric Warfare: Slogan or Reality?

John T. PLANT, Jr.

In the United States, the title asymmetric warfare was popular in the years following the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. While still used by some senior members of the US government, the uniformed U.S. military has mostly rejected the phrase as a doctrinal term. Arguing that warfare is, always has been, and always will be fundamentally asymmetric; they have opted to describe warfare using a construct of major combat operations, stability and support operations, and irregular warfare. Seeing these arenas as overlapping and inclusive of nearly all military operations, they see little utility in another construct. Advocates of asymmetric warfare have difficulty finding a concise purposeful definition. Yet the term continues to be used by senior government leaders. This paper explores the utility of asymmetric warfare as a concept for understanding modern conflict.

21.6.2008 8:49:16 | read 67063x | posts: 1 | Gavendova | Full article

NATO Transformation and the Summit in Bucharest

Zdeněk KŘÍŽ


The text focuses on NATO Summit in Bucharest and tries to answer the question if NATO is being transformed into an organization of collective security, cooperative security or whether it continues to be a traditional organization of collective defence. The author believes that the conclusions of some prominent researchers that NATO is currently being transformed into an organization of collective security are not well-founded. NATO remains to be an organization of collective defence. On the other hand, today’s NATO prefers a wider definition of collective defence than the definition used during the years of the Cold War. Nowadays NATO focuses on the collective defence against such new security threats as international terrorism, drug trafficking, spreading of WMD and means of delivery, etc. When dealing with Russia, the Middle East, Mediterranean countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and some countries close to the Pacific Ocean, NATO still applies approaches typical of the concept of cooperative security.

21.6.2008 8:49:22 | read 14295x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article

The Russian strategic forces and the American nuclear primacy

Jaroslav ŠVESTKA

The article analyses the current status of the Russian strategic forces and creates a scenario of possible disarming and decapitation strike of the U.S. strategic forces on its Russian counterpart. It reveals serious vulnerability of the Russian strategic forces and disputes the continuing existence of mutually assured destruction relation between Russia and the United States. The contribution discovers causes of Russian vulnerability in the unreliable early-warning system and lack of operational experience.

21.6.2008 8:49:30 | read 377796x | posts: 32 | Hlavacek | Full article

Ethics, War And Human Rights


War is a situation in which the normal rules of civilised behaviour have broken down. The idea of upholding human rights within such a context is considered by many to be a little strange. However, warfare has always been one of the most rule-bound activities that mankind conducts. This paper explores some of the reasoning behind this apparent paradox, using the Just War Theory as a framework within which to explore the relationship between ethics, war and human rights and the way they interact in the contemporary military environment.

21.6.2008 8:49:39 | read 15012x | posts: 0 | Gavendova | Full article

UN Peacebuilding Commission - was it really the step towards the UN reform?


The article deals with the topic of post-conflict peacebuilding, in particular the UN Peacebuilding Commission established in December 2005. The text is divided into seven thematic parts: first two introduce the concept of peacebuilding, offer its definition and explain its essential role within the peace process. The third part mentions the place of peacebuilding in the UN agenda and explains main reasons for establishing the new UN body. The central part of the article focuses on the UN Peacebuilding Commission. This new UN organ should help post-conflict countries to manage the challenging transition from the end of the conflict to the sustainable peace. It offers the solution to existing weaknesses of the UN in peacebuilding activities. The fourth chapter describes its structure plus position within the UN system and the fifth one defines main spheres of its activity. Critical evaluation in the sixth chapter points out the weaknesses of the Commission and stresses the fact that its affectivity is totally dependent on good will of the UN member states. The seventh part of the paper views the role of the Commission in context of intended UN reform. The conclusion approved that the establishment of the Commission was the improvement within the UN reform process but it does not ensure the realization of wider reform.

21.6.2008 8:49:49 | read 17060x | posts: 0 | Gavendova | Full article

Austria’s engagement in Chad as element of its neutrality policy


The article provides an overview of the Austrian engagement in the EU military operation European Union Force (EUFOR) Chad/Central African Republic (CAR) and its historical and political background. Notwithstanding its neutrality, Austria has deployed the soldiers of the “Bundesheer” (Austrian Armed Forces, AAF) for more than forty years to international peace operations. Since becoming an EU member in 1995 Austria has been participating in the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Austria’s position is that neutrality means refraining from military alliances, troop deployments on Austrian soil and participating in wars. Peace operations are part of its “active neutrality policy” and neutrality is the key for an active peace policy. As a neutral state Austria is a reliable intermediator in conflicts. To alleviate the plight of the refugees in Chad is the main reason for Austria to deploy troops to this country. The opposition criticises the deployment because in their opinion the soldiers are ill-equipped and neutrality could be violated if Austrian soldiers are dragged into the ongoing Chadian civil war. Certainly this operation is very demanding and therefore a challenge for the Austrian military. The success of the whole operation will be a test for European abilities to create safety and stability in Africa.

21.6.2008 8:49:56 | read 17096x | posts: 0 | Gavendova | Full article

Global inequality as a global security threat


In the first decade of the 21st century global inequality is becoming an ever more serious global security threat. The most telling fact in this respect is the 3 billion people living below the poverty threshold and in absolute poverty. True, by 2015 this number should decline to 2.6 billion, but even so it will still be a very high proportion of the world’s total population. The fact that large areas and regions, mostly of the developing world, are lagging behind in social and economic progress generates not only regional, but potentially also global security instability. Uncontrolled mass migration is a particularly serious threat in this respect. Global inequality can have serious consequences even for the security of the European Union, which is an important destination for migrants especially from Sub-Saharan Africa and potentially also from the Middle East. Social inequality generates even completely new security challenges. One example of this are the “failed cities”, mostly an African, Asian and Latin American phenomenon. In order to reduce global inequality as a global security challenge the West will have to implement a set of integrated political and economic measures, which will consist first and foremost in the provision of effective humanitarian and development aid.

21.6.2008 8:50:04 | read 19514x | posts: 0 | Hlavacek | Full article
Created 21.6.2008 8:49:07 | read 14576x | Hlavacek