What Next for NATO


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President Donald Trump administration's highly ambivalent attitude toward the alliance. Finally, there will be downward pressure on defense budgets on both sides of the Atlantic as nations try to address social and infrastructure needs. Priorities will be more on cyber, unmanned vehicles from space to the bottom of the sea and special forces. There will be a greater emphasis on maritime and less on land-warfare capabilities, unless Russian adventurism becomes particularly acute. NATO turns 70 at a time of profound global restructuring. The alliance was born in the heydays of U.


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The world is moving into a more multipolar future, featuring a mix of competition, conflict and hopefully — but not necessarily — enduring cooperation. To adapt, NATO must fundamentally change. Its most urgent task is to revise the "social contract" that underpins the alliance. For the last 70 years, that contract featured the U.

In return, Europeans broadly accepted to pursue their foreign policies in line with the U. The end of the international liberal order as we know it means transatlantic cooperation will become even more vital than it is now. To maintain a healthy transatlantic bond Europe will have to take greater responsibility on defense — and Washington will have to have greater respect for the European quest for autonomy. It will be a long and bumpy ride, but a necessary one.

In a world in which illiberal, or at least non-liberal, powers will play a more salient role, Europeans and Americans will need to stand closer together to protect the liberal values underpinning their political and economic systems. In security terms, this will require an even stronger NATO in the 70 years to come. To survive, NATO needs to ask itself a difficult question: What role will it play in the new global power struggle? It later became an instrument to facilitate the transformation of Central Europe and to integrate the region into the West; then it transformed into a platform for joint American-European military interventions in the Balkans and in Afghanistan.

Now, in the face of significant changes to the global order, it needs to rethink its core mission once again. Russia, its nuclear competitor, will also stay high on Washington's agenda. NATO will have to determine where it fits into this new power dynamic. Its most likely role will be to put old wine in new bottles, or keep doing what it can do best: keep Europe safe from Russian designs and prevent it from being blackmailed into submission by Moscow. In doing so, the NATO's biggest challenge will be to maintain a high degree of cohesion and cooperation with the U.

The alliance needs to make sure Washington doesn't lose sight of the value of its alliance with Europe and that Europeans are ready to do their fair share by investing considerably into defense. Both sides have a great deal to lose from a breakdown in relations: Without its first-rate allies in Europe, the U. Alexander Vershbow is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council.

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Enlargement of NATO

He was deputy secretary-general of NATO. In terms of what NATO will look like, I think it will probably not have expanded any further, with the possible exception of Finland and Sweden going from partnership to membership. What I would like to see is the alliance become a more genuinely balanced partnership between the United States and Europe. Today the United States provides 70 to 80 percent of all key capabilities as well as spending a disproportionate amount of defense dollars.

I think as the U. The only actual live candidates to join the Alliance are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Georgia, which are special cases because of territory occupied by the Russians.

Our Organization

I think after the addition of North Macedonia and Montenegro, there will probably be a pause in actual admissions. The challenge to getting there is making the case to the public that defense spending still matters.


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  7. Many countries are still worried about terrorism or illegal migration. These are the immediate challenges that worry the southern flank: the Spanish, Italians, Greeks and French. So I would hope in the next 10 years NATO will get more serious about its southern neighborhood at a level comparable to the eastern flank with Russia.

    When it comes to NATO's future, we — the alliance's members — are our own greatest challenge. If we don't take seriously our own safety, we'll be endangering all that has been achieved in the last 70 years. NATO today has considerable firepower.

    Putin's warning on missiles in Europe pushes U.S. and Russia closer to new arms race

    We're entering a time of great geopolitical change and cannot afford to become complacent. Although NATO is powerful and its deterrence forces are credible, we also have weak spots that our adversaries know how to exploit. They seek to interfere in elections, dominate online platforms, exploit corruption, and feed global organized crime networks.

    Trump to meet NATO chief next week

    Battle tanks and missiles are no defense against online interference and targeted infrastructure attacks. To face these challenges, we need to dedicate more resources to ramping up intelligence. We need to be agile with informing and educating our populations and countering online mischief. We need to reinforce the defenses of our democratic institutions. President Donald Trump has shattered the illusion that Washington will always be there to secure Europe. As we enter into the next decades of the alliance, we also need to make sure we're spending our money the right way. Vice President Joe Biden.

    Over the past few years, NATO has rightly focused on ensuring it is ready to counter external threats and seamlessly move forces across the Atlantic and the European continent. Looking to the future, the alliance needs to turn its attention to strengthening its capabilities in new areas, such as cyber and space. The alliance has made major strides to ensure that NATO headquarters and its accompanying commands are protected from cyber threats.

    The picture among individual NATO allies, however, is far less encouraging. Too many countries continue to lack defensive and offensive cyber capabilities, and too few allies are taking the necessary steps to reduce their vulnerabilities at home. When it comes to space, member countries rely heavily on satellites for intelligence, navigation and surveillance on NATO missions in places like Afghanistan.

    Our adversaries know this and are building weapons to target those satellites. NATO needs a 21st-century space policy that acknowledges the importance of space and outlines ways in which the alliance can reduce its vulnerabilities there. It also needs to determine if space should be added to the existing list of NATO domains, which include land, sea, air and cyber. NATO will also have to spend more time talking about China.

    Given the massive investments China is making in artificial intelligence, its acquisitions of European advanced technologies, and its many investments in European infrastructure, the alliance can no longer afford to keep its head in the sand. To ready itself for the challenges ahead, NATO urgently needs to share information on what China is doing in and around Europe, look into potential points of leverage within the transatlantic community and discuss how NATO can respond to potential future threats from Chinese investment.

    This has started to address the critical issue of burden-sharing across the Atlantic and movement toward the alliance's 2 percent spending target. The alliance's acquisition of core capabilities that address shortfalls and enhance our readiness has also put us on the right track to address future challenges. NATO has renewed its focus on interoperability requirements, complemented by a strategy of long-term investment in cutting-edge technology.

    Our investment in the transatlantic bond will also be key to our future success. Like any relationship, it needs nurturing and it is evolving. Pompeo said, carefully avoiding repeating Mr. He did not need to. Last year, Mr. Trump periodically told his aides that he no longer saw value in staying in the alliance. And there was a sense at the 70th anniversary this week that the damage was done — even if he did not make good on the threat.

    In an interview, Mr. Blackwill praised Mr.

    Commentary: NATO at 70, What's next?

    Aware of the damage already done, Mr. Yet few in the hall seemed to believe him, recalling that Mr. In a detailed report about the multiple crises engulfing NATO , the two former envoys pointed up a greater vulnerability that has more to do with how the alliance is focusing its resources rather than how it is raising them.

    Until recently, there was little discussion of offensive cybercapabilities, nor doctrines of deterrence. Only now is NATO beginning to think about the vulnerabilities of civilian and military communications that rely on 5G mobile phone networks. The alliance has been slow to think about how artificial intelligence and the potential of quantum computing could change the challenge of defending member states. Next week, the NATO center of cyberexcellence in Tallinn, Estonia, will run an exercise envisioning a fictional nation — Berylia — under a combination of attacks on its power grid, its communications networks and its election systems.

    But Ukraine was not central to the discussions at the 70th anniversary. He was referring to the current goal of member states of spending 2 percent of their economic output on the military by the end of Murphy said. But the forces pulling that alliance apart were evident everywhere.

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    What Next for NATO What Next for NATO
    What Next for NATO What Next for NATO
    What Next for NATO What Next for NATO
    What Next for NATO What Next for NATO

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