NATO’s Defence and Security Sector Reform Challenges in Ukraine

NATO’s Defence and Security Sector Reform Challenges in Ukraine

NATO’s Defence and Security Sector Reform Challenges in Ukraine

By Eden Cole, Executive-in-Residence, Global Fellowship Initiative, GCSP

At the end of 2021, NATO prepared the ground for an intensification of defence and security sector reform (SSR) assistance to Ukraine. With the then-NATO Liaison Officer outgoing, the NATO Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine (CAP) Team Leader visited the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) to discuss strategic security policy, the status of defence and security sector reform (SSR), and the revitalisation of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR).1 The Team Leader’s emphasis on the importance of resuming high-level NATO-Ukraine consultations within the JWGDR format reflected an urgent need for broader multi-stakeholder consultation on SSR programming and greater coordination of bilateral SSR assistance programmes.

Despite the onset of war only four months later, the security policy challenges the CAP Team’s Individual Tailored Partnership Programme for Ukraine (ITPP) set out to solve remain. The effectiveness of ITPP remains dependent on increased cooperation with international and bilateral actors active on security policy issues in Ukraine since 2014. NATO had already increased cooperation with the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) and the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine (EU Delegation) on SSR issues, but bilateral nations continued to work directly with Ukrainian stakeholders.

In its original format, the JWGDR incorporated other international actors working on SSR and governance issues. Re-establishing a fully multi-institutional and multi-stakeholder format to cover the full spectrum of security sector oversight challenges can potentially remove obstacles that have limited SSR progress since 2014.

 

Disclaimer: This publication was originally published on Small Wars Journal. The views, information and opinions expressed in this digital product are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those shared by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy or its employees. The GCSP is not responsible for and may not always verify the accuracy of the information contained in digital products.

Eden Cole is Co-Founder and Director of Raidillon Associates and an Executive-in-Residence at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. The views expressed here are his own and are expressed in a private capacity.