Das hohle Herz des Westens

BERLIN – Es ist verführerisch, die NATO und die Europäische Union mit den Fußballmannschaften aus Frankreich und Italien in der diesjährigen Europameisterschaft 2008 zu vergleichen. Was sie vereint, ist vor allem ein Prozess der „Wettbewerbsdekadenz“. Die EU und die NATO mögen sich selbst als potenzielle Rivalen oder sich ergänzende Partner auf dem Gebiet der Verteidigung sehen, aber das, was ihre Machthaber im Privaten sagen, offenbart ein Gefühl der allgemeinen Frustration.

„Es gelingt uns nicht, Militärpräsenz in politischen Einfluss zu übertragen“, sagt ein NATO-Vertreter, der ziemlich genau wie die EU-Repräsentanten klingt, die die Rolle der Union im Nahen Osten kommentieren. „Es ist uns nicht gelungen, unsere Wirtschaftshilfe in politischen Einfluss zu verwandeln“, beschweren sich diese.

Die Krisen, vor denen die beiden Institutionen nun nach Irlands Votum gegen den Vertrag von Lissabon und der Verschlechterung der Sicherheitslage in Afghanistan stehen, sind selbstverständlich völlig unterschiedlich. Dennoch handelt es sich bei beiden letzten Endes um Identitätskrisen. Sowohl die NATO als auch die EU wurden nach einem Erweiterungsprozess auf beiden Seiten gezwungen, ihre Funktionsweise neu zu definieren und ihre Ziele zu überdenken. Von diesem Standpunkt aus ist die Herausforderung, vor der die NATO steht, unter Umständen sogar noch schwieriger, da die Erweiterung einer Sicherheitsorganisation nicht nur bedeutet, neue Mitglieder aufzunehmen, sondern auch neue Pflichten „außerhalb des Gebiets“ zu übernehmen.

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