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17 aprilie 2019 - Special reports - NATO - UE

Interview with Sergiu Medar, former National Intelligence Community chief: A possible European Army would only represent 20% of the effective NATO structure

Nicolae Oprea

Sergiu Medar, former adviser on national Security of Romania’s president and former chief of the National Intelligence Community, has stated, in an interview for MEDIAFAX and the Defence and Security Monitor, that a possible European army would only represent 20% of the effective NATO structure.

We are presenting you the full interview:

MEDIAFAX: What do you think of some European leaders’ ideas about creating a European army, autonomous to NATO?

Sergiu Medar: To shortly answer your question, I think that is not possible. First of all, a European army, outside NATO, does not make sense, because the European stability is supported through NATO and the European collective defence is supported by NATO only. Hence, what is the purpose of a European army? The participation of distinct military structures from different European states to NATO makes sense, and must be done, but only within NATO. In fact, there are also national armies across NATO. When talking about the European army, Germany, for example, said <<an army>>, it never mentioned national, it said << an army under national command>>, which is totally different from a national army like the participation of the European states to NATO.

MEDIAFAX: Do you think NATO countries from East of Europe are more vulnerable than the Western ones?

Sergiu Medar: Eastern countries are indeed more vulnerable than the Western ones, because they are closer to the aggressor. In that case, the aggressor is, according to NATO’s estimations, Russia. But the security of these states can be ensured only through NATO. And NATO’s military capabilities are far greater than the ones of a potential European army. The different is around 80% to 20%. In a European army Turkey, the US, Canada and Norway are definitely not included, hence the effective European army, from the current military capability and structure of NATO is 20%.

MEDIAFAX: What is Romania’s role as stability pillar, here, in Romania?

Sergiu Medar: As previously discussed at the conference, Romania cannot be but a European stability pillar. To that end, Romania must take a firm stance in terms of its options, continue to invest that 2% of GDB in Defence and continue to have within NATO at least the same position it had before: an appreciated state, with niche capabilities, like military intelligence, wherein its level stays among the first NATO states.

MEDIAFAX: What’s your perspective about cyber-threats in the Black Sea area? Are these a major danger for the European security?

Sergiu Medar: I would rather say cyber threats throughout the globe, not the Black Sea area. These can have as target the Black Sea area, indeed. The military or hardware element must be a deterrence method. Now, it is almost impossible for someone, or less likely, for someone to attack us with cannons, tanks or aircrafts. Cyber threats and strategic influence operations are permanently happening. Now, the aggressor states do not have enough reasons to occupy other states, because they must feed their people. Hence, they are trying to make them make decisions in favor of those aggressor states.

MEDIAFAX: What are NATO’s expectations from Romania, given that we are part of the Alliance for 15 years already?

Sergiu Medar: NATO has the same expectations it had in the beginning. However, in the meantime, Romania has took a stance, in some fields has even exceeded the expectations and, the better you are, the more expectations are increasing. But, at the same time, offers are increasing as well, and Romania is seen as a strong NATO state, even if many do not agree with this statement, but that’s reality.

MEDIAFAX: How dangerous are factors like radical nationalism for the Black Sea region stability?

Sergiu Medar: Radical nationalism is dangerous for Europe’s stability as a whole. Here are included also the West-European states, which are politically stable. Radical nationalism is, indeed, a threat for all European states.

Sergiu Medar, former adviser on national Security of Romania’s president and former chief of the National Intelligence Community has participated at the security conference organized by Defence Monitor, part of MEDIAFAX Group.

Defence and Security Monitor has organized, Tuesday, the “Transatlantic security bridges over increasing security vision gaps- Romania’s perspective” conference”, among the guests being 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).