Tajikistan and North Atlantic Treaty Organization

01.03.2013 10:10

The problem of security today as an integral attributes of the globalization process represents one of the main aspects of cooperation for integration process both in global and regional level.

Dynamics development processes in the field of international security raises the question of the effectiveness of transnational structures responsible for maintaining the security of the world with collective methods. In this regard, NATO is changing gears of its work, its approaches and tools to security for the Euro-Atlantic zone. For many years the Alliance is working hard to identify and justify it’s missions beyond the functions outlined in NATO's strategic documents. The main attention is paid to refocus on new challenges - the fight against terrorism, counter-proliferation of WMD, crisis management, peacekeeping and dialogue with non-member countries; Provision of high level efficiency of the armed forces which in general leads to transformation NATO into an instrument of power to ensure the realization of its goals.

Initial role of NATO has drastically changed owing to transformation of the geopolitical situation in the world. The geographical boundaries of influence and the real presence of NATO altered. Currently, Central Asia has become a region with vital importance of the organization. It should be mentioned that these countries are not considered as potential members of the alliance, but for their participation in the activities of the organization during a summit in Brussels in 1994 was proposed program "Partnership for Peace" (PfP) programme whose main aim was to strengthen the practical relationship between the Alliance and non-NATO countries.

Republic of Tajikistan, along with other former Soviet republics became a member of Atlantic Partnership Council in 1994. Until 2011 the cooperation between Tajikistan and NATO with regard to objective reasons was limited. But after September 11/2001 event and the beginning of the anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan served as a starting point to enhance cooperation with the Republic of Tajikistan by the organization in addressing regional security. Hence, in February 20, 2002 in Brussels was signed accession of Tajikistan to NATO "Partnership for Peace" ( PfP) programme. In present time, the Republic of Tajikistan has compiled a list of agencies that are ready to participate in NATO operations and exercises "Partnership for Peace." The infantry platoon which is responsible for provision of PfP activities in the territory of Tajikistan and a group of staff officers and a group of military doctors were included to the list.

With a view to the practical implementation of cooperation of the Republic of Tajikistan Individual Cooperation Program . Cooperation in language and military trainings, fighting against international terrorism, counter-narcotics, civil emergency planning are regulated under this programme. With initiative of the North Atlantic Alliance has been allocated funds from the NATO Trust Fund for funding humanitarian mine clearance programme. In addition, in 2013 NATO initiated the establishment of the Trust Fund for accounting and disposal of military munitions with expired storage period. Under this initiative NATO is working with the Department of Defense and other security agencies of the country.

Interaction takes place also in the fight against drug trafficking. In this regard, it should be noted that NATO is not organization directly struggling with drugs, but considering security issues and the threat posed by terrorists funded by drug trafficking the drug problem is relevant to all. May 23, 2007 during the visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of NATO for Central Asia and the Caucasus-Robert Simmons met with the director of the Agency for Drug Control (DCA) under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Rustam Nazarov. In this meeting the parties have agreed that the help of the NATO participating states will be provided in the form of organizing training courses for law enforcement officers in Tajikistan .

The Republic of Tajikistan is learning NATO’s scheme and order of work on disaster relief. Joint early warning system for natural disasters has been developed. Tajik representatives participate in courses on tactical and operational civil - military cooperation which NATO conducts. A security and stability interests are related, of course primarily regarding to the dynamics of the situation in Afghanistan and around it. Tajikistan is well aware that stability in Afghanistan is not a security only in our country and not only in Central Asia but also in the whole Eurasian space. Therefore, input in the stabilization of the situation in this country is an important part in the struggle against international terrorism and international security. Thus, Tajikistan cooperation within the antiterrorist struggle in Afghanistan is not only in the interests of both countries, but also is a factor ensuring international security.

Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Tajikistan with the assistance of NATO conducts training courses on counter-terrorism which can be a concrete example of abovementioned cooperation.

Tajikistan has played an important role in supporting the NATO’s operations in Afghanistan and at the airport of Dushanbe a limited contingent of the French Air Force has a presence. In 2004 during a visit by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Dushanbe a transit agreement to support the operations of NATO and International Security Force in Afghanistan was signed. Hence, NATO has been given permission to use Tajik railways and roads. In connection with the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan Tajikistan signed agreements with individual NATO member countries that regulate the transit of goods through the territory of the country.

NATO assists Tajikistan in improving the curriculum at the Military Institute. For example, since 2001 the United Kingdom financed programme of English study in the military lyceum and military institutions and every year Tajik officers have internship in specialized educational institutions of the British armed forces. In May 2004, in the ordnance yard of Fakhrabad was held joint tactical training units of the armed forces of Tajikistan and France. It was held in accordance with the plan of military and military- technical cooperation between the two countries in 2004. Considering a geographical importance of Tajikistan the United States financed the construction of border bridge between Nizhniy Panj in Tajikistan and Sher Khan Bandar in Afghanistan.

Tajikistan and NATO also implement scientific cooperation. Representatives of the Academy of Sciences are actively involved in the work of the NATO Science Committee. Scientists involved in the country scientific developments such as "Security through Science," " Virtual Silk Highway, " "Internet in the Academy of Sciences and universities RoT" whose purpose - to improve access to the Internet staff of higher education institutions and research workers in the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia through the use of satellite network of NATO. Tajik scientists awarded grants in several areas within the NATO programme "Science for Peace and Security." In 2006 for creation of network infrastructure to upgrade network in the Tajik Technical University was allocated a grant. Moreover, Tajikistan is cooperating with NATO environmental security, in particular, considering the possibility of cooperation in solving problems with tailing in the north.

NATO is supporting the implementation of activities aimed to involve youth in security issues. Since 2006 with the support of NATO's Public Diplomacy Department in Tajikistan held a summer academy during which representatives of NATO countries, as well as leading experts in the field of security problems of our country giving lectures to students. Each year a group of deputies and Tajik journalists visit NATO Headquarters.

Cooperation with NATO largely contributes to the summit. Since 2003 such meetings take place on a regular basis. Usually concrete initiatives with mutual interest will be presented on such meetings. For example, in February 2009 during a meeting of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jaap de Hoop Scheffer they discussed the allocation of machinery and equipment for the Tajik border guards in framework of “Partnership for Peace" programme and other cooperation programs with NATO, cooperation with Afghan border guards, military personnel training, scientific research, education, rescue center in Dushanbe, proposals to open a special center of NATO in the Republic of Tajikistan. In April of the same year Secretary General of NATO Parliamentary Assembly D.Hobbs and representatives of the parliaments of NATO member countries visited Tajikistan. At this meeting, the main attention was paid to the use of NATO capabilities for hydropower projects in Tajikistan.

In order to strengthen further cooperation with Central Asian countries, in the NATO Secretariat established the post of Representative of the Secretary General of NATO for Central Asia. In 2013 in Tashkent Office NATO was opened which is headed by Liaison Officer with the countries of Central Asia.