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A Study on the Path and Process of the Alliance Transformation and Security Strategy Change in the Post-Soviet Transition Period of East Europe: A Comparative Analysis between the case of Ukraine and Czech Republic

Baek, Jun Kee 1

1한신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research is to evaluate 'factors and process' of foreign security policy change and military strategy transformation among the East European nations in the transition period of ‘the post-Cold War’ and to take its implications for Korean reunification process. To do that, this research has selected two countries(Czech Republic and Ukraine) among them, and analysed the two nation's transition of strategy. In view of their population and national capacity, Czech Republic and Ukraine have middle powers, and in geopolitical aspects they play strategic-pivot roles in the great powers. These two nations have similarity to South and North Korea, considering relative capacities and geopolitical conditions. This research not only takes a realistic approach which highlights the 'Balance of Power', but also takes a constructive approach which focuses on 'the political perception and ideational factors' of political elites. EU which is a politico-economic alliance and NATO which is an European collective regime and a typical military alliance were selected as research objects. On the background of Czech and Ukraine's alliance transformation have worked geopolitical factors, 'geocultural identity' and historical experiences of the rules of the great powers. Most of East European countries have naturally chosen a transformation strategy which implicated joining NATO and EU by dissolving the Warsaw Treaty Organization and COMECON in order to integrate themselves with the Atlantic alliance system and Western Europe. The purpose of this research is to evaluate 'factors and process' of foreign security policy change and military strategy transformation among the East European nations in the transition period of ‘the post-Cold War’ and to take its implications for Korean reunification process. To do that, this research has selected two countries(Czech Republic and Ukraine) among them, and analysed the two nation's transition of strategy. In view of their population and national capacity, Czech Republic and Ukraine have middle powers, and in geopolitical aspects they play strategic-pivot roles in the great powers. These two nations have similarity to South and North Korea, considering relative capacities and geopolitical conditions. This research not only takes a realistic approach which highlights the 'Balance of Power', but also takes a constructive approach which focuses on 'the political perception and ideational factors' of political elites. EU which is a politico-economic alliance and NATO which is an European collective regime and a typical military alliance were selected as research objects. On the background of Czech and Ukraine's alliance transformation have worked geopolitical factors, 'geocultural identity' and historical experiences of the rules of the great powers. Most of East European countries have naturally chosen a transformation strategy which implicated joining NATO and EU by dissolving the Warsaw Treaty Organization and COMECON in order to integrate themselves with the Atlantic alliance system and Western Europe. In regional policy and alliance strategy, Czech’ political elites have decided to ‘return to Europe.’ The Czech’s ‘Euro-oriented geocultural identity’ has exerted influences on their policy-making. In comparison to Ukraine, Czech stood relatively aloof from Russia’s geopolitical influences, therefore, Czech’s elites could decide to take ‘the Western path’ more easily than those of Ukraine. For Ukraine, in view of foreign security policy and alliance transformation policy, Russia’s geopolitical influence is a main and the most critical factor of policy-making. In a geocultural aspect, unlike Czech which has a strong tradition of Europeanism, European orientation is confused with Russian orientation in Ukraine. Its cultural hybridism makes discordance with the ‘Western path’ and ‘Russian path’ in the process of making decision. The geopolitical, geocultural, and historical experiences of Czech and Ukraine suggest not a few policy implications to Korean reunification process. First of all, it would not be easy for us to secure strategic autonomy from political influences of China and Russia if the issue of alliance transformation will be raised in the reunification process. Secondly, it is necessary to indicate that we have to hold a introspection on geopolitical identity. Like East European cases, the geocultural identity of Korea plays an important role in the process of Korean reunification. Lastly, with reference to East European cases, the five strategic options (as realistic alternatives) could be set up as below: ① Maintenance and consolidation plan of the ROK-US alliance; ② Dissolution of the existing alliance regime(ROK-US-Japan vs China-Russia-North Korea) and establishment of the common security regime in Northeast Asia or East Asia; ③ Coexistence of the ROK-US alliance within a common security regime of Northeast Asia; ④ Transformation of the ROK-US alliance to the nonmilitary political alliance; ⑤ Non-alliance neutralization. The relatively autonomous space for those options would be constituted if we could rationally mobilize our strategic resources by considering domestic political conditions and international political environments in the process of Korean reunification. In regional policy and alliance strategy, Czech’ political elites have decided to ‘return to Europe.’ The Czech’s ‘Euro-oriented geocultural identity’ has exerted influences on their policy-making. In comparison to Ukraine, Czech stood relatively aloof from Russia’s geopolitical influences, therefore, Czech’s elites could decide to take ‘the Western path’ more easily than those of Ukraine. For Ukraine, in view of foreign security policy and alliance transformation policy, Russia’s geopolitical influence is a main and the most critical factor of policy-making. In a geocultural aspect, unlike Czech which has a strong tradition of Europeanism, European orientation is confused with Russian orientation in Ukraine. Its cultural hybridism makes discordance with the ‘Western path’ and ‘Russian path’ in the process of making decision. The geopolitical, geocultural, and historical experiences of Czech and Ukraine suggest not a few policy implications to Korean reunification process. First of all, it would not be easy for us to secure strategic autonomy from political influences of China and Russia if the issue of alliance transformation will be raised in the reunification process. Secondly, it is necessary to indicate that we have to hold a introspection on geopolitical identity. Like East European cases, the geocultural identity of Korea plays an important role in the process of Korean reunification. Lastly, with reference to East European cases, the five strategic options (as realistic alternatives) could be set up as below: ① Maintenance and consolidation plan of the ROK-US alliance; ② Dissolution of the existing alliance regime(ROK-US-Japan vs China-Russia-North Korea) and establishment of the common security regime in Northeast Asia or East Asia; ③ Coexistence of the ROK-US alliance within a common security regime of Northeast Asia; ④ Transformation of the ROK-US alliance to the nonmilitary political alliance; ⑤ Non-alliance neutralization. The relatively autonomous space for those options would be constituted if we could rationally mobilize our strategic resources by considering domestic political conditions and international political environments in the process of Korean reunification.

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