20 April 2019

Interview Hans Domröse: Romania should concentrate on developing cyber security

Mircea Olteanu

Romania should concentrate more on developing niche capabilities, like cyber security, stated, in an interview for MEDIAFAX and the Defence and Security Monitor, Hans-Lothar Domröse, former NATO Joint Forces Command from Brunssum.

The German General stated that the European Union is a very important economic power, but not a military one, NATO being the only organization offering collective security and he underlined that between these two organizations there is no competition, both having different roles.

“The European Union can provide money, they can provide services, they can support NATO, but for the war fighting, and for not fighting in order to prevent a war, it is only NATO that can guarantee this. And there is no ambitions that I know about that the European Union has ever said that they will protect us. They cannot and they will not” stated the General German.

Hans-Lothar Domröse talked also about the importance of the 2% allocation from GDP for defence, congratulating Romania for accomplishing this NATO objective.

Another subject he approached across the interview for MEDIAFAX and the Defence and Security Monitor was Romania’s position within NATO, the general stating that Romania is important in alliance’s southern region, also recommending our country to focus on developing the niche capabilities, like the ones related to cyber security.

We are presenting you the entire interview with Hans-Lothar Domrose:

MEDIAFAX: There are growing concerns about the US commitments against the European defence, but also pressures over the European allies on their military budget increase. Are we witnessing a transatlantic crisis? How can survive, or even prosper, the transatlantic cooperation given the security dynamic changes?

Hans-Lothar Domröse: Firstly, I do not see a crisis. It is certainly an atmosphere, we are somehow nervous, but it is certainly not a crisis. We have just celebrated 70 years of NATO in Washington D.C. and this is a good sign. All the allies stand together. But you have mentioned the question of the GDP and the 2%and that is a very important one. We all know, since Crimea was annexed by Russia, since Russia is on East of Ukraine, we know that Russia is the most dangerous partner in this arena and we got to big up our forces. That’s why the head of states and governments, during the Wales summit, decided to come up with 2%. As a German, I cannot say why Germany should not pay 2% and why Romania is paying 2%, so, that is not unfair. We have to see the same challenges, we have the same problem and we only have one force and that force is too weak. We must be a stronger and a better force, so that is why 2% are important. And congratulations to Romania that you could make it and I keep saying to my government that we must do it as well.

MEDIAFAX: What is your perspective on European Union’s actions towards an autonomy in defence and security? Do you think these efforts are creating any political risk for the transatlantic alliance?

Hans-Lothar Domröse: The European Union is a very important economic power, but not a military one. The European Union has no plan on collective defence, collective defence is only NATO. So, there are two sides of one coin, many nations in NATO are Europeans and are all, at the same time, in the European nation. So, the European Union can provide money, they can provide services, they can support NATO, but for the war fighting and for not fighting in order to prevent a war it is only NATO that can guarantee this. And there is no ambitions that I know about that the European Union has ever said that they will protect us. They cannot and they will not.

MEDIAFAX: The concept of European army can undermine NATO?

Hans-Lothar Domröse: No! First of all, I do not see it, we are 29 nations and we have all our national “DNA” and we have all our national principles. For example, the Germans do not want to send their soldiers abroad that is decided by an unknown person in Brussels, so it is the German Parliament, and, I assume, it is the Romanian parliament who will take the decision, then join NATO, or join the EU, that is fine. We are in Mali, the Germans are in Mali under the EU, fine, or the UN, very good, in Africa, but for the defence of our beloved people and our territory it is NATO only. And the Europeans must come to the table, must do more in order to be a strong force. So, whatever Europe provides, can support NATO, so it is not a competition between those, it is different.

MEDIAFAX: What role could Romania play as a pillar of stability in Eastern Europe and as leverage within the transatlantic alliance?

Hans-Lothar Domröse: Well, there is only 10 years ago when it took place the NATO summit in Bucharest. So, those were different time, it was before Russia invaded Crimea and Ukraine. But, it simply underlined that Bucharest, hence Romania, is a very important partner and an ally within NATO. We have different regions: North, Norway for example, the high-North, very important, then we have the Baltic Sea, where the Baltic states play a very important role, then we have the Black Sea region, where Romania plays an important role. But, we all together want to deter Russia, to keep Russia out, and Romania is important in this Southern region, together with other allies, but all together form the alliance and we cannot say one nation is more important than the others.

MEDIAFAX. Any recommendations for Romania to accomplish its role in NATO?

Hans-Lothar Domröse: This wonderful nation does not need any advice from me, but if you ask me this question, I would concentrate more on the niche capabilities. You have many universities, you should concentrate more on modern warfare, on cyber security, on cyber offensive, on hybrid warfare, on these kind of things. I do not recommend you to build tanks, that you build helicopters, you have enough tanks – we do not have enough- we never have enough, but there are available. But, what is not so much available is this modern technology and this is my recommendation, because our young children are as smart as those on the other countries, so why should no Romanian mathematics develop something extraordinary that is good for NATO.

Hans Lothar Domröse is CEO and Founder at the Domröse-Consulting. Hans Lothar Domrose is a senior German Army officer, former Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum. In 2011, Domröse was appointed as the German Military Representative MC/NATO and EU in Brussels.

Hans Lothar Domröse has participated, Tuesday, at the DSM security conference on “Transatlantic security bridges over increasing security vision gaps- Romania’s perspective” conference”,. Among the guests were also security experts, high-level militaries and members of the intelligence services, like: American General Charles Wald, former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command, Carol Rollie Flynn, associate professor of the National Security Program of the US Research Institute for Foreign Policy, Anthony Pfaff, research professor for the Military Profession and Ethic at the Strategic Studies (SSI), U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA, retired Army colonel and Foreign Area Officer (FAO) for the Middle East and North Africa, Hans-Lothar Domröse, Former Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum and Arnold Dupuy (senior analyst on Energetic Security for the US Defence Department).