Jan Broeks:

«We are see­ing more of a blur­ring of the bor­ders be­tween soft and hard power»

The Ukrainian Week - - CON­TENTS - In­ter­viewed by Yuriy La­payev

Jan Broeks: “We are see­ing more of a blur­ring of the bor­ders be­tween soft and hard power”

Direc­tor Gen­eral of the NATO In­ter­na­tional Mil­i­tary Staff on NATO's readi­ness to face hy­brid chal­lenges from Rus­sia, ex­pec­ta­tions for the sum­mit in Brus­sels, and Ukraine's con­tri­bu­tion to in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity

In April, NATO De­fense Col­lege and the National De­fense Univer­sity of Ukraine hosted the 18th In­ter­na­tional Kyiv Week. Direc­tor Gen­eral of the NATO In­ter­na­tional Mil­i­tary Staff, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Jan Broeks vis­ited Kyiv for the event. The Ukrainian Week spoke to him about NATO’s readi­ness to face hy­brid chal­lenges from Rus­sia, ex­pec­ta­tions for NATO’s up­com­ing sum­mit in Brus­sels, and about how Ukraine can con­trib­ute to in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity.

Could you share the de­tails of this year's con­fer­ence?

I am delighted to have been in­vited to at­tend and de­liver a key­note speech at this year’s In­ter­na­tional Kyiv Week. I think this con­fer­ence is the per­fect ex­am­ple of the strong and en­dur­ing part­ner­ship that ex­ists be­tween NATO and Ukraine. It is jointly or­ga­nized by the NATO De­fense Col­lege (NDC) and the Ukrainian National De­fence Univer­sity (UNDU), with support from NATO School Ober­am­mer­gau (NSO). Each new edi­tion helps fur­ther strengthen the ties be­tween the NDC and the UNDU. Both of these in­sti­tu­tions are strongly com­mit­ted to close co­op­er­a­tion in the field of strate­gic-level ed­u­ca­tion.

The In­ter­na­tional Kyiv Week is now in its 18th edi­tion. It is the re­sult of NATO's support for se­nior mil­i­tary ed­u­ca­tion in Ukraine which was ini­ti­ated on Jan­u­ary 28, 2000, when Mr. Kuz­muk, the then Ukrainian De­fence Min­is­ter, met the then NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Lord Robert­son, and they agreed to run an in­ter­na­tional course in Kyiv. The first In­ter­na­tional Week was held on 12-16 Fe­bru­ary 2001.

The In­ter­na­tional Kyiv Week has come a long way since those days. It is now an in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized fo­rum with four dis­tinc­tive aims. Firstly, it aims to im­prove the knowl­edge of NATO, its or­ga­ni­za­tion and work­ing meth­ods within Ukraine. Se­condly, it is an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss the chal­lenges fac­ing the Al­liance and its part­ners in to­day’s se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment. Thirdly, it al­lows par­tic­i­pants to ad­dress some key is­sues in the field of in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity. And lastly, it demon­strates the im­por­tance of a strong part­ner­ship be­tween Ukraine and NATO.

Rus­sia is ap­ply­ing hy­brid war­fare against Ukraine. Is NATO ready to adapt to the new war­fare?

Hy­brid war­fare is not new. Coun­tries have al­ways used pro­pa­ganda, de­cep­tion and sab­o­tage to desta­bilise other coun­tries. What is new is the speed, scale and in­ten­sity of the hy­brid tac­tics we see now. This in­cludes in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated cy­ber-at­tacks, dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns and pro­pa­ganda, as well as po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic pres­sure.

So it is more im­por­tant than ever to be on our guard against at­tempts to dis­rupt our free so­ci­eties. NATO has de­vel­oped a hy­brid strat­egy to counter such threats. We have set up an In­tel­li­gence Divi­sion to help im­prove our sit­u­a­tional aware­ness and make bet­ter de­ci­sions more quickly. We have in­cluded hy­brid el­e­ments in our train­ing and ex­er­cises. We are also ac­tively coun­ter­ing pro­pa­ganda — not with pro­pa­ganda - but with facts -on­line, on air and in print. And as hy­brid war­fare also af­fects the econ­omy and cy­berspace, we are strength­en­ing our co­or­di­na­tion with other or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing the Eu­ro­pean Union. NATO stands ready to de­fend all Al­lies against any threat, whether con­ven­tional or hy­brid.

Is NATO in­ter­ested in Ukraine's ex­pe­ri­ence in hy­brid war­fare?

At NATO, we of­ten say that the NATO-Ukraine re­la­tion­ship has been mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial and Hy­brid War­fare is one the best ex­am­ples to il­lus­trate this. We have seen many tools used in Ukraine from the Hy­brid War­fare tool­box and the Ukraini­ans have pro­vided data and in­tel­li­gence regarding these tools. This has al­lowed us to bet­ter un­der­stand hy­brid threats and meth­ods.

What about Syria? Is NATO ready to a cer­tain con­fronta­tion with Rus­sia on Syria, in­clud­ing in the cy­ber sphere?

NATO is not present in Syria and there are no plans for this to change. In the re­gion, we are cur­rently focusing on train­ing the Iraqi forces. Build­ing the ca­pac­ity of our part­ners and train­ing their forces helps them to counter the threat of ter­ror­ism.

In­di­vid­ual Al­lies have been in­volved in mil­i­tary actions in Syria tar­get­ing the regime’s fa­cil­i­ties that de­velop and use chem­i­cal weapons. NATO Al­lies have ex­pressed their support for this ac­tion, which de­graded the regime’s abil­ity to fur­ther at­tack the peo­ple of Syria with chem­i­cal weapons. NATO Al­lies have also called on the Syr­ian regime and its back­ers to al­low rapid, sus­tained and un­hin­dered hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­cess. Chem­i­cal weapons can­not be used with im­punity or be­come nor­malised. They are an im­me­di­ate dan­ger to the Syr­ian peo­ple and to our col­lec­tive se­cu­rity and those re­spon­si­ble must be held to ac­count.

It is clear that there is no mil­i­tary so­lu­tion to this con­flict and NATO fully sup­ports the ef­forts led by the United Na­tions to achieve a last­ing po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion. NATO calls on all mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to up­hold their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

As for the cy­ber part of your ques­tion, cy­ber-at­tacks are a real and present threat for NATO. So we must re­main vig­i­lant and con­tinue to adapt. Which is ex­actly what we are do­ing. NATO pro­tects its own IT net­works 24 hours a day. We have a rapid re­ac­tion cy­ber de­fence team on standby that can be sent to help Al­lies un­der at­tack. And we share in­for­ma­tion about cy­ber threats in real time among Al­lies and with part­ners. Cy­ber de­fence is a core part of col­lec­tive de­fence, and a se­vere cy­ber-at­tack could trig­ger Ar­ti­cle 5. As part of the adapted NATO Com­mand Struc­ture, we will es­tab­lish a new Cy­ber Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre. This will strengthen our cy­ber de­fences, and help in­te­grate cy­ber into NATO plan­ning and op­er­a­tions at all lev­els. We also agreed that we will be able to in­te­grate Al­lies’ national cy­ber ca­pa­bil­i­ties into NATO op­er­a­tions.

Speak­ing about NATO's adap­ta­tion mea­sures, can you com­ment on the sit­u­a­tion with the Ger­man com­po­nent of Very High Readi­ness Joint Task Force?

I as­sume you are re­fer­ring to the re­cent an­nounce­ment that Ger­many will take the lead of the NATO Re­sponse Force (NRF) Very High Readi­ness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2019, when it be­comes the frame­work na­tion for its land com­po­nent. This is just the lat­est ex­am­ple of Ger­many’s com­mit­ment to NATO and to in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity. We are grate­ful for Ger­many’s con­tri­bu­tions to NATO op­er­a­tions, mis­sions and

activities, from Afghanistan to Kosovo to the Aegean Sea to our very own back­yard.

What are your ex­pec­ta­tions from the NATO Sum­mit in Brus­sels? In par­tic­u­lar, can you talk more about the new At­lantic Com­mand that NATO aims to cre­ate?

At the Brus­sels Sum­mit in July, we will take the next steps in NATO’s adap­ta­tion to the evolv­ing se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment, build­ing on the de­ci­sions from our 2016 War­saw Sum­mit and the 2017 meet­ing of NATO lead­ers.

We will work on five key themes for our de­ci­sions. First, how to fur­ther en­hance our de­ter­rence and de­fence, with stronger re­in­force­ment and bet­ter readi­ness. Sec­ond, how to bet­ter pro­ject sta­bil­ity in our neigh­bour­hood. This is es­sen­tial in the fight against ter­ror­ism and for our own se­cu­rity. Third, stronger co­op­er­a­tion with the Eu­ro­pean Union on is­sues such as fight­ing ter­ror­ism, mil­i­tary mo­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity build­ing for our part­ners. Fourth, fairer bur­den-shar­ing is the foun­da­tion for ev­ery­thing we do. We have made great progress, but there is more to do. And last but not least, mod­erni­sa­tion of the Al­liance, in­clud­ing the adap­ta­tion of the NATO Com­mand Struc­ture.

NATO’s com­mand struc­ture is the back­bone of our Al­liance. We are work­ing to en­sure that it re­mains ro­bust and flex­i­ble, en­abling us to take quick and de­ci­sive ac­tion in re­sponse to po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions.

In Novem­ber 2017, NATO De­fence Min­is­ters agreed on the out­line de­sign for an adapted NATO Com­mand Struc­ture. An im­por­tant part of this new de­sign is a Com­mand for the At­lantic. Its pur­pose will be to look af­ter the 40 mil­lion square miles of the North At­lantic, to en­sure that sea lanes be­tween Europe and North Amer­ica re­main free and se­cure and to safe­guard them for po­ten­tial re­in­force­ments and sup­plies with per­son­nel and ma­te­rial. This is vi­tal for our transat­lantic Al­liance.

At the pre­vi­ous Sum­mit, one of the most dis­cussed is­sues was an in­crease of de­fense spend­ing by the Al­lies to 2% of GDP. Are all Al­lies in­creas­ing their de­fense spend­ing now?

The foun­da­tion for ev­ery­thing NATO does is fair bur­den-shar­ing. At the start of the year, Al­lies pre­sented the first national re­ports cov­er­ing three as­pects: cash, ca­pa­bil­i­ties and con­tri­bu­tions to NATO mis­sions and op­er­a­tions. They show that we are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. Over the last three years, Eu­ro­pean Al­lies and Canada spent al­most US $46 bil­lion more on de­fence. And this year, we ex­pect eight Al­lies to meet the 2% guide­line on de­fense. We have turned a cor­ner, but we still have a long way to go. Al­lies are also in­vest­ing in ma­jor new ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Since 2014, we have added US $18 bil­lion to spend­ing on ma­jor equip­ment. On con­tri­bu­tions, Al­lies are in­creas­ing their par­tic­i­pa­tion in op­er­a­tions, mis­sions and activities. At the end of 2017, there were over 23,000 troops serv­ing in NATO de­ploy­ments, up from just un­der 18,000 in 2014. This is an in­crease of around 30%. So we are mak­ing progress, but we must do more to keep our Al­liance strong in a more un­pre­dictable world.

As a mil­i­tary, do you be­lieve that we are wit­ness­ing the end of soft power era in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions?

No, I don’t be­lieve at all that we are see­ing the end of soft power. Since the end of the Cold War, soft power has played an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions. And while hard power has been one of the most preva­lent forces in the his­tory of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, the emer­gence of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions such as NATO and the EU, com­bined with glob­al­i­sa­tion, has made na­tions more in­ter­de­pen­dent eco­nom­i­cally, mil­i­tary and so­cially. This has in turn made mil­i­tary op­tions less use­ful when try­ing to re­solve con­flicts.

I be­lieve we are see­ing more of a blur­ring of the bor­ders be­tween soft and hard power. Where the dis­tinc­tion be­tween the two used to be eas­ily made, we are now see­ing in­stru­ments we usu­ally as­so­ciate with soft power used in hard power ways. Yet, I think, it is far more com­mon for hard in­stru­ments of power to be used for soft power pur­poses than vice versa. For ex­am­ple, the mil­i­tary have clearly be­come another tool of soft power. We have seen armed forces called to par­tic­i­pate in hu­man­i­tar­ian and peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions, as­sist­ing in res­cue mis­sions and af­ter nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. Civilmil­i­tary in­ter­ac­tion and op­er­at­ing amongst the peo­ple have be­come more com­mon.

Per­son­ally, I would ad­vo­cate the use of smart power, which seeks to in­te­grate hard power and soft power into a co­her­ent strat­egy.

What role do you see for Ukraine in the global se­cu­rity sys­tem?

Ukraine al­ready plays a role in in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity. Ukraine is ac­tively sup­port­ing NATO’s mis­sions around the world, even while fac­ing ma­jor threats at home. Ukraine sup­ports our Res­o­lute Support Mis­sion in Afghanistan. It has joined NATO naval op­er­a­tions in the Mediter­ranean. And Ukraine helps counter im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices with an en­gi­neer­ing unit in Kosovo. Ukraine also sup­ports the counter nar­cotics pro­ject with the UN Of­fice on Drugs and Crime, train­ing of­fi­cers from Afghanistan, Pak­istan and Cen­tral Asian coun­tries to com­bat il­le­gal nar­cotics traf­fick­ing. Ukraine also par­tic­i­pates in UN and EU mis­sions. This shows Ukraine’s strong and con­tin­u­ing com­mit­ment to in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity.

Can you com­ment on the sug­ges­tions of de­ploy­ing peace­keep­ers in Ukraine's East?

A UN-man­dated mis­sion could make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion pro­vided it has full ac­cess to the Ukrainian-Rus­sian bor­der and a ro­bust man­date. It should ef­fec­tively con­trib­ute to the set­tle­ment of the con­flict based on the Minsk Agree­ments, rather than freez­ing it. It is cru­cial that any peace­keep­ing force has full, unim­peded, and se­cure ac­cess through­out the Don­bas and in par­tic­u­lar the Rus­sian-Ukrainian bor­der. Re­gard­less of this new ini­tia­tive, Rus­sia must take con­crete steps to de-es­ca­late ten­sions. In­clud­ing with­draw­ing its troops, equip­ment and fi­nan­cial and other support for the mil­i­tants in eastern Ukraine. NATO will also con­tinue to support Ukraine be­cause an in­de­pen­dent, sovereign and sta­ble Ukraine is key to Euro-At­lantic se­cu­rity.


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