Military Bases: Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges presents the results of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) on ‘Political and social impact of military bases: Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges’, an event that took place in Lisbon, December 2007. The ARW, a joint Portuguese-Ukrainian organization, was the final result of earlier collaboration between several researchers from different countries on the issue of military bases. The intention was to go beyond the traditional ‘international relations’ approach and discuss military bases from more than the aspect of their strategic value. This work is divided into three separate sections. The first of these deals with the Cold War period, the second section is about the political and social impact of military bases. The third and final section addresses the issue of military basing in the greater Black Sea area. In each of these sections, the issue of military bases is studied and analyzed from several different theoretical and methodological perspectives.
This book presents the results of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) on ‘Political and social impact of military bases: Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges’, an event that took place in Lisbon during December 2007. The ARW, a joint Portuguese-Ukrainian organisation, was the final result of earlier collaboration between several researchers from different countries on the issue of military bases. Our initial idea was to organise a workshop that would focus on the political and social impact of military bases. We intended to go beyond the traditional ‘international relations’ approach and discuss military bases from more than the aspect of their strategic value. The ARW should present innovative ways, both theoretical and methodological, to look at the issue of military basing. We also believed that military bases deserve to be studied from different chronological perspectives: from a historical point of view that takes into consideration the complex contemporary challenges. Finally, we believe it is desirable to have a diverse geographical scope, one that considers the existence of military bases in several regions of the world.
The workshop, which was directed by Luís Rodrigues of the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE) and the Portuguese Institute of International Relations (IPRI) and Sergiy Glebov of Odessa Mechnikov National University, Ukraine, took place in Lisbon. The ARW's organising committee included Alan Dobson (Dundee University, Scotland, United Kingdom), Alexander Cooley (Columbia University, New York) and Volodymyr Dubovyk (Odessa Mechnikov National University). The organising committee was crucial in helping us put the conference together, in providing ideas for the organisation and moderation of the panels and for inviting the participants.
The event took place at the Portuguese Joint War College (IESM), where the delegates were welcomed by its then director, General Nelson Dias, and Lieutenant Colonel Proença Garcia. The IESM's facilities provided an excellent environment for the workshop.
This book, which is a collection of some of the papers presented at the workshop, is divided into three separate sections. The first of these, which deals with the Cold War period, includes contributions from Simon Duke, Jeffrey Engel, Alan Dobson, Charlie Witham, Rosa Prado Sanz and Luís Nuno Rodrigues. The second section deals with the political and social impact of military bases and includes papers from Adam Seipp, Anni Baker, Mark Gillem, Alexander Cooley, Carla Monteleone and António Telo. The third section addresses the issue of military basing in the greater Black Sea area, and includes contributions from Sergiy Glebov, Pavel Baev, George Melikyan, Alexander Pikayev, Kornely Kakachia and Sebastian Mitrache.
In each of these presentations, the issue of military bases is studied and analysed from several different theoretical and methodological perspectives. This reflects the key speakers' diversified fields of specialisation and the many ways in which the political and social impact of military bases can be studied. During the workshop, the subject of military bases was discussed by historians, political scientists, architects and members of the armed forces.
The workshop also analysed military bases in different time dimensions, which, as the book's subtitle, Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges, suggests, was the workshop's main objectives. While the first round table discussion addressed events that took place during the Cold War, the second and third round tables were largely concerned with the contemporary situation and most recent developments in terms of both American and Russian military bases. Another point to be noted is the diverse geographical origins of the participants involved and, consequently, of the topics debated. There were presentations focusing on southern Europe (Portugal, Spain and Italy), on Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Georgia and Russia), Western Europe (Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) and Central Asia and the Far East. The Black Sea area was the subject of the workshop's most far-reaching round table discussion. It should be also noted that the issue of military bases was studied from several levels of analysis: from the international, national, regional, local and even individual perspective.
We would like to say one final word about the consequence of this Portuguese-Ukrainian project on military bases. Both the workshop and the subsequent co-operation between Portugal and the Ukraine is an important step towards strengthening academic ties and the cultural trust within Europe from the Atlantic coast to the shores of the Black Sea. Our Ukrainian colleagues believe Ukraine should treat Euro-Atlantic integration as an essential part of the country's strategy towards full membership of NATO and for its future security and prosperity.
The Membership Action Plan, which Ukraine is seeking and which faced hard time in 2008, may in the end be more important for the country, which is currently in transition, than NATO membership itself. This book may be regarded as part of a modest input from academic circles in both countries, Portugal and the Ukraine, towards Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic expectations and its EU aspirations. The experience of Portugal, which was integrated into NATO during the hard times of bipolar international confrontation and domestic political turbulence, may show citizens of a country that strengthened its civil society within the framework of the democratic standards that NATO shares, gained much more than the state with its military expectations. Ukraine can surely rely on the goodwill of its Portuguese academic partners, who are ready to discuss common and specific challenges, opportunities and threats on the way to pan-European security architecture; an architecture that is inclusive, not exclusive. Our colleagues in the elaboration of this project on the Portuguese and Ukrainian sides, and those from NATO and non-NATO countries, may have differing points of view, but they also share common values, and that is why we are confident the views expressed in this book are valuable both for those who regard military bases as units of interdependent stability and assistance in the chain of global security, and those who view them as ‘islands’ of confrontation
Both Portugal and the Ukraine have long experience of hosting foreign and international military bases on their territories; it is this that makes both countries similar and which, consequently, means they face similar concerns. Moreover, Portugal and the Ukraine are situated on the extreme flanks of the Euro-Atlantic space, located ‘on the edge’ of common security values; because of this they are able to bring the interests of the US, the EU, NATO and Russia into one set of possible security solutions. This is why the idea of a joint team of Portuguese-Ukrainian experts has the ability to both deepen and widen future security topics in which military bases are only the starting point for discussions on other acute strategic and non-strategic security problems in Europe and the transatlantic zone.
The organisers would like to thank Professor Carvalho Rodrigues, Nato Science for Peace and Security Programme Director, for all the support, the Portuguese representative to the NATO parliamentary commission, Dr Miranda Calha, who opened the workshop with a very insightful presentation, and Dr Carlos Gaspar, director of IPRI, who moderated one of the panels. The staff from IPRI, particularly Mónica Fonseca, Daniel Marcos and Isabel Alcario were also important for the organisation of the event, by ensuring everything (and everyone) appeared in the right time at the right place. Finally, the editors would like to express their gratitude to Stewart Lloyd-Jones of CPHRC Editorial Services for proofreading and typesetting this book, and for translating the parts that were in Portuguese into English.
We hope that the reader enjoys the book as much as we did organising the workshop and attending it.
US military bases in contemporary Europe differ from those of the Cold War, largely due to the environment in which they operate. Yet there remains a strong legacy in terms of the location and disposition of the bases stemming from the Cold War. This is in part due to the heavy investments undertaken by the US in established main operating bases in Europe, but also because the European allies continue to offer one of the most stable politically permissive locations for long-term basing arrangements. The US is currently undergoing a force transformation in order to address a wide variety of threats and overseas military bases continue to be fundamental to force projection, many of which remain in Europe. Yet, for the host nations the bases no longer unquestionably serve the economic or political interests of the hosts nations as they once did. The implication of this is that the political ramifications of where forces are being projected to (and how they are used) have become the focus of attention, and of opposition.
American policymakers organised their post-1945 bases in order to thwart potential airborne attackers, but soon realised the overseas bases also offered political benefits. Beginning with the NATO alliance, strategists thereafter placed US bases within the territories of vital allies. This tripwire strategy assuaged allied fears that American forces were more for appearance than for fighting war. Over time, American policymakers constructed bases capable of projecting American might into strategic regions. Ultimately, the fear that drove American basing policy after 1945 contributed to a classic security dilemma for American strategists; one in which threats worldwide are interpreted as dire threats to the American homeland.
On 1 November 1960 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan announced that the British Government would provide land on the Holy Loch in Scotland for the USA to establish facilities for Polaris nuclear submarines. The base brought more security for the West as a whole, but it also posed dangers for the Holy Loch area. One of those dangers was the threat to the local population from radiation pollution from the submarine nuclear propulsion systems. The main focus of this paper is how those dangers and actual pollution incidents were handled by British officialdom.
USNF Brawdy was a major American undersea listening station set in a remote coastal location in Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom. The base played a vital role in Cold War naval intelligence between 1974 and 1995, but its significance was not its location: the negotiations for its arrival illuminated a complex phase in Anglo-American relations. 1971 was a period of shifting global political and economic alignment that forced adjustments in transatlantic as well as superpower relations. These changes had a direct impact on Anglo-American relations in general and, particularly over USNF Brawdy, their ‘special’ defence relationship.
The military presence of the US in Spain dates back to 1953. With the agreements signed that year, Spain left its traditional policy of neutrality to align with the Western bloc. Since then, military bases have been at the core of Spanish-US relations, and have had a decisive influence upon the Spanish population's perception of the great American power.
This paper analyses the impact of the new African policy adopted by the Kennedy administration in the early 1960s in the relations between the United States and Portugal. According to the new principles guiding its policy towards Africa, the United States was to abandon its ambiguous attitude towards European colonialism and actively support the self-determination and independence of colonial peoples in Africa. This new African policy brought great distress to the Portuguese government. Portugal was one of the last European colonial powers in Africa and it had not yet initiated a formal process of decolonisation. The United States, however, had an important military base in the islands of the Azores: Portuguese territory in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The existing agreement was due to expire at the end of 1962, and conversations between the two governments developed throughout that year. In order to renew the agreement, the Portuguese government demanded a radical change in US policies towards Portuguese colonialism.
This chapter argues that the management of refugee affairs was a crucial day-to-day responsibility of American occupation troops in western Germany after World War Two. Because of official disinterest in the refugee problem, conventional histories of the occupation have largely ignored the important connections between different groups of refugees and the occupation forces. In places like Lower Franconia, the American decision to expand its troop presence in Central Europe after 1950 had important repercussions for refugee populations, since many remaining refugee camps occupied space now claimed by the US Army.
This chapter begins with a description of tensions between Germans and Americans during the occupation era, then discusses the development of official German-American friendship in the 1950s. Friendship activities suggested that Germans and Americans shared a common culture, that they were partners in preserving world peace, and that each had something to teach the other. While friendship activities did not represent the entirety of German-American experience, they did reveal how the two communities wished to portray their relationship. By emphasising equality and partnership, German-American friendship activities helped transform West Germany from a defeated enemy to a valuable ally.
In building its global network of military bases, the US Department of Defense has followed a low-density development model commonly known as sprawl. Sprawl is the norm across the US and on US bases, from Misawa Japan to Aviano Italy. In this chapter, I show how the US is exporting this familiar development pattern to the frontlines. I also outline a seven-point model for sprawl that the military uses to create its inefficient installations. Unfortunately, the US is largely ignoring the environmental, economic and geo-political costs of sprawl and, as a result, is turning allies into opponents.
Under the Pentagon's current Global Defense Posture Review (GDPR), the United States is establishing a global network of smaller base facilities in new areas such as Central Asia, the Black Sea and Africa. Drawing upon recent evidence from the base hosts of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, this chapter cautions that these new US overseas bases, despite their lighter footprint, risk becoming enmeshed in the local political agenda of the host country elites, who may challenge the legitimacy of the foreign basing presence. These are important lessons for NATO planners who simultaneously seek to promote democratisation while they negotiate base access agreements with politically volatile hosts.
Italy is expected to play a growing role in the American global strategy. The American military presence has recently provoked uneasiness in Italian society and growing protests, as a reflex of the weakening of the current global leader in terms of international legitimacy and political support. However, the acceptance of Italy's role by governments of all shades is to be understood within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic pluralistic security community that still allows an improved environment in which it is easier to find co-operative solutions to problems as they arise, and to define common threats.
This article seeks to provide a panorama of the reasons leading to the creation of foreign bases in modern Portugal. By foreign bases is meant the prolonged presence (of at least one year) of foreign military units that have been duly authorised by the legitimate authorities on Portuguese territory. The presence of military missions, even when large-scale and prolonged, or of training or instruction missions will not be considered here. This study covers the period from the establishment of the multi-polar international system at the end of the 19th century until the transition to democracy in 1974, which also corresponded with the final phase of the Cold War. Only European Portugal, which includes Madeira and the Azores, will be examined: the colonies will not be considered. The way of understanding the establishment of foreign military bases in Portugal is to analyse the national and international strategies that resulted in their creation. The military plans that these strategies inspire are mentioned; however, lack of space here means they cannot be explored in any exhaustive or developed manner: the bases are classed according to the strategies that led to their creation.
Apart from the few years following its defeat in the Crimean War, the Russian Empire, which gained control of the northern coast of the Black Sea during the 18th century, has enjoyed dominance over the other littoral states. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has radically altered the traditional balance of forces in the Black Sea basin with Russia losing a major part of its Black Sea coastline. This geographical loss was accompanied by a severe economic crisis that disrupted routine military activity and prevented force modernisation for more than a decade.
This chapter will first look at the historical legacy of military confrontations in the Black Sea area, primarily as perceived by Russia, and on the emerging new profile of the Black Sea Fleet. It will then deal briefly with the particular case of Moldova, where Russia has only limited strategic interests, and with the role of Russian bases in the protracted confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Turning then to Georgia, this analysis will examine Russia's record of, and capabilities for applying military instruments as means of manipulating violent conflicts. Finally, it will take a measure of Russia's power potential in the North Caucasus and outline possible security developments in the near future.
The chapter focuses on one of the most acute issues affecting contemporary Russian-Ukrainian relations: the Crimean perspectives of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and current political speculations as to whether or not it is to remain in Sevastopol after 2017. The author examines the problems of Russia's navy base located in and around Sevastopol and argues that the unwillingness of Moscow to accept 2017 as a deadline for the Black Sea Fleet to be removed from Ukrainian territory has been directly linked to the Ukraine's intentions to join NATO. Therefore, Ukraine's top priorities are to secure its Euro-Atlantic aspirations and reassure Russia with respect to them in such a way as to ensure that Russia's Black Sea Fleet is an opportunity for all three—Ukraine, Russia and NATO—rather than an obstacle.
Before 1991, when the three Caucasian republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia declared their independence, the region of the South Caucasus was an interesting place of interaction between these countries at many levels. A dying communist regime, declining Soviet economy, the weakening of the Kremlin's centralised system and new political realities brought new challenges, developments and confrontations. By the late-1980s the region was in the grip of political and ethnic turmoil and economic collapse leading to armed conflicts that resulted in many thousands of deaths, refugees, ruined economies, lack of infrastructure and mistrust. In this context, and in the light of new geo-political developments, the military bases deployed in all three Caucasian countries, which have the fastest growing military budgets in the world, acquired a new significance and played, and continues play, a crucial role in forming the identity of these newly independent states.
Russian military presence, peacekeeping and ethnic conflict resolution is a major challenge for Georgia. By having military bases in Georgia, Russia enjoys political-military influence. Without a legal basis and against Georgia's oftexpressed will Russia has maintained three Soviet-era military bases in Georgia, totalling some 8,000 troops and large arsenals. The withdrawal of these bases, as agreed upon at a 1999 OSCE (Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe) summit in Istanbul, has been under way for several years, but it has never come to an end, partly because of embedded problems and partly because of Russian contraction to withdrawal. This paper discusses the present situation and assesses the position of Georgia and the social, political, and security implications of withdrawal.
A restructuring of both NATO and US defence posture appears as a direct consequence of the evolution of the international security framework, given the diversification both of the nature and of the geographical distribution of the sources of the risks and challenges. Situated at the eastern border of NATO (and of the EU), Romania represents a natural outpost in the efforts to combat potential threats coming from various regions, such as the Middle East or central Asia. The agreement concluded between Romania and the US in 2005 that allows American troops to use military facilities on Romanian territory appears, therefore, as a decision based on the necessity to be closer to the potential threats in order to be able to combat them more effectively. The decision to sign the bilateral agreement should be assessed in connection with both the process of NATO transformation and the adaptation of Romanian defence sector to the requirements of the country's status as a NATO member on the Alliance's border.
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