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Three visions for NATO

113 pages, pdf
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  Three visions for NATO

Publisher: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Volume: 113 pages, pdf


The future of NATO is once more under discussion. Politically, the Alliance and relations between the allies have been characterized by multiple tensions and heated controversy in recent years. But the Alliance has been under massive pressure to change militarily, too. The evolving nature of the Afghanistan mission and the return to the core task of collective defence in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine were perhaps the most prominent challenges, but by no means the only ones. To be sure, NATO responded to the new challenges, but it was a long time before there was a comprehensive strategic discussion in and between the member states on a strategic reorientation of the Alliance. The most recent Strategic Concept dates from 2010. But the most recent experts’ report to NATO’s Secretary General on the political dimension of the Alliance made it clear that it was high time to renew the Strategic Concept. It looks likely that the requisite mandate will be issued at the NATO summit in Brussels on 14 June 2021. But whatever the precise process of working out a new Strategic Concept, it is essential and will shape the security policy discussion over the coming years. In his analysis of NATO’s current Strategic Concept for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in January 2011 Christos Katsioulis came to the conclusion that »the Strategic Concept glosses over the sometimes fragile consensus between the member states and avoids definite positions on disputed points«.1 A new Strategic Concept worthy of the name needs to confer clarity on the key contentious issues in order to provide orientation, both internally and externally.