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  • Author: Mark Seip
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The United States and the Nordic states enjoy a strong, productive relationship. However, stability in the Nordic-Baltic area is under increasing stress, which has implications for both NATO and its partner members, Finland and Sweden. In "Nordic-Baltic Security and the US Role," the Atlantic Council's US Navy Senior Fellow Mark Seip argues that the United States must prioritize bolstering assurance among NATO members, principally the Baltic states. Additionally, the United States and NATO should enhance its capabilities through collaboration, leverage soft power instruments, and find mutuality between NATO and its key partners, Finland and Sweden. In doing so, the United States and the Nordic nations stand to solidify the gains of the thriving region and strengthen European security.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Nordic Nations
  • Author: Patrick O'Reilly
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO leaders have cited missile defense as an example of applying the principles of the Smart Defense initiative endorsed at the 2012 NATO Summit to enhance collective defense at minimum cost. As ballistic missiles continue to proliferate and become more accessible to both state and nonstate actors, it is important to foster global partnerships to pursue NATO's missile defense mission and protect North American and European interests. NATO should consider opportunities to further apply the principles of Smart Defense now to reduce future costs of deterring and countering missile proliferation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As the Ukraine crisis demonstrates, in an unpredictable world, military capabilities can be a critical factor. The longstanding goals of the United States and its NATO allies have been to create a Europe whole and free, and globally to support such goals through collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security. Ukraine raises the issue of how best to accomplish those ends. As part of the Ukraine response, there have been and will continue to be diplomatic, economic, and energy efforts. However, one key element will be to create more effective integrated capabilities that will support NATO's military tasks, and thus the values and goals that NATO represents.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: Walter B. Slocombe, Matthew Kroenig
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO's Strategic Concept (SC), adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, includes a number of propositions that define NATO's nuclear policy. Most fundamentally, NATO's most important strategy document declares that "[d]eterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of" the Alliance's "overall strategy."
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, International Security
  • Author: C. Boyden Gray
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of World War II, the greatest concern facing the United States and its European allies was restraining the Soviet Union and preventing the spread of communism. Cooperation on military security was paramount, and the United States and Europe rose to the challenge by creating NATO, a new type of multilateral defense agreement. Once again, the transatlantic relationship is at a new and perilous crossroads. But now it is economic, rather than military security that is at risk. Crisis grips the economies of Europe, just as the United States, mired in historic levels of unemployment in the wake of the 2008 recession, is rethinking its strategic priorities and place in the world. As before, fears mount concerning the future of liberal democracy and Western capitalism. The question is whether transatlantic cooperation will again rise to the challenge.
  • Topic: NATO, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Guillaume Lasconjarias, Jean-loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In recent years, the issue of missile defense has become one of the most prominent features of Israel's military debate. During Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip on November 2012, air defense systems such as Iron Dome proved crucial against rockets targeting Israeli territory. As a result, they have attracted increasing political attention. Against this backdrop, international media and policy circles now focus on Israel as the most advanced case to test the validity of missile defense. NATO, in particular, has dedicated a lot of attention to the Israeli experience in missile defense and the lessons to be drawn from it.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Barry Pavel, Magnus Nordenman
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The current turbulent global landscape recalls past key transition points in history such as 1815, 1919, 1945, and 1989, when the path forward was not so clear-cut and the world faced the possibility of very different global futures. As the US National Intelligence Council suggested in its landmark 2012 report, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, the transatlantic community is entering a new era in history that will pose a very different set of challenges and offer unprecedented opportunities. If it is to survive, the NATO Alliance must navigate this crucial period by fundamentally reconsidering its place in the global landscape as well as its future roles, missions, and functions from a strategic, long-term perspective. The world is changing rapidly, and if NATO does not adapt with foresight for this new era, then it will very likely disintegrate.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Demographics, Economics, Politics, Military Strategy, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barry Pavel, Jeffrey Lightfoot
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The "tough love" farewell speech of former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates last June was more than a major policy speech on the state of NATO. His remarks were also highly symbolic, coming from a legendary Cold Warrior whose forty-year career had been oriented around the transatlantic relationship. Secretary Gates used his final appearance at the bully pulpit not only to warn Europeans that declining defense budgets risked undermining the credibility of the Alliance among US policymakers, but also that a new wave of American decision-makers would not necessarily share his generation's knowledge of, concern for, or sentimental attachment to the transatlantic alliance.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Kori Schake, Lord Robertson, Franklin C. Miller
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Slightly over two years ago, NATO was embroiled in an internal controversy of its own creation which bore within it the seeds of a deep crisis within the Alliance. Several governments, impelled by a heady mix of domestic politics and a newly fashionable interest in nuclear disarmament among certain elites, actively sought the removal of US nuclear weapons from the European portion of the Alliance. In doing so, they raised serious questions about their adherence to the central core of the Alliance: the Article 5 guarantee.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Jason Healey, Leendert van Bochoven
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The perfect is the enemy of the good in both military alliances and cyber security. The dream cyber warning network would detect most attacks before they occur and quickly detect and stop the rest, preferably automatically. Unfortunately, this is currently feasible only for extremely small and heterogeneous organizations willing to commit significant resources, such as financial institutions. The challenges for a military alliance of twenty-eight nations with widely varying budgets and needs are much harder to meet.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Science and Technology
  • Author: Isabelle Francois
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Conventional arms control in Europe remains relevant more than two decades after the singing of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). Today, it could serve as a useful vehicle for collaboration with Russia on a broad range of security issues, and productive movement forward would also do much to reassure and secure smaller NATO allies and regional partners. Ultimately, what is needed is a paradigm shift away from "mutual assured destruction" and towards a concept of "mutual assured stability."
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Burns, Damon Wilson, Jeff Lightfoot
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO leaders will gather in Chicago in May to discuss the war in Afghanistan, defense capabilities, and global partnerships. These are crucial issues for the Alliance, but they will not address the "dim and dismal" outlook warned against by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his June 2011 farewell speech in Brussels. That outcome is not preordained. It can be avoided if individual allies recommit to the Alliance and take the necessary steps to reinforce, or 'anchor,' the NATO Alliance in the decade ahead.
  • Topic: NATO, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Author: Kurt Volker
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Fixing NATO's public support problem requires the personal commitment of allied leaders (from Prime Ministers on down); tough decisions on resources, capabilities, and operations in order to restore NATO's credibility; and identifying how NATO's actions directly improve the lives of citizens in NATO countries. NATO must be seen as addressing the right issues, successfully, in a way that citizens of allied countries would feel proud to say "This is My NATO."
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe
  • Author: Jeffrey A. Larsen
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO released a new Strategic Concept in November 2010 that maintained its traditional call for continued reliance on nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantor of its security. But finalizing that document was not easy. Several compromises took place at the Lisbon Summit, including a decision by the Alliance to conduct a Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR) by 2012. In addition, the allies chose not to repeat some key wording that had remained unchanged since it was introduced in the 1991 Strategic Concept that the Alliance would "maintain adequate sub-strategic nuclear forces based in Europe." This may provide a political opening for the Alliance to eliminate forward-deployed US nuclear weapons in Europe, should it decide to do so. This brief examines options for NATO nuclear deterrence and assurance policy if that occurs.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Damon M. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As Qaddafi's regime crumbles and Libyan rebels assume the mantle of governance, many are bemoaning rather than celebrating the role of NATO in the Libyan revolution. As the Alliance winds down its military campaign and contemplates next steps, now is the time to draw lessons from what worked and what did not, and to prepare to act on these lessons in time for NATO's next summit in Chicago in May 2012.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa, Chicago
  • Author: Kurt Volker, Kevin P. Green
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The topic of reforming NATO—and in particular cutting costs and improving efficiencies—has been with the Alliance for decades. Throw-away lines such as "Why does NATO have 400 committees?" or "Cut the International Staff by 10 percent" have often been used to signal a rough determination to streamline NATO and make it more efficient.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marshall Billingslea, Gary Winterberger
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO's forthcoming 2012 Summit in Chicago gives the Alliance's senior decision-makers the opportunity to assess the health of transatlantic relations and to tackle a set of overdue internal issues that have been long postponed due to more pressing operational issues in Afghanistan, Iraq, and then Libya. Chief among these issues is the matter of reforming NATO's own headquarters and its many and varied agencies. A careful reform effort, with a special focus on shared services, restructuring and integration, NATO's human capital, and the procurement and capabilities development structure and process, could pay significant dividends for the Alliance and ensure the more efficient use of already limited resources. While not a panacea, this would go a long way towards preparing the Alliance for future challenges.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Economics, International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Chicago
  • Author: Rob de Wijk
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Should NATO remain primarily a collective defense alliance or should it be transformed into a worldwide security provider? This question lies at the core of the debate in allied capitals as NATO develops its next Strategic Concept. New security challenges, as well as NATO's military operations in Afghanistan, suggest that the pressure for change has become irresistible.
  • Topic: NATO, Climate Change, Economics, Politics, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, North America
  • Author: Kurt Volker, Edgar Buckley
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: How can an organization of 28 sovereign countries act together effi ciently to agree policies, invest in common capabilities, manage crises and conduct military operations based on consensus? Obviously, not at all – unless it is founded on strong fundamental principles and shared values, agreed strategies and a tradition of mutual trust. That has always been the assumption underlying NATO's constitutional approach.
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Boyko Noev, Harlan Ullman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is overseeing the drafting of NATO's latest Strategic Concept, set to replace the current version approved in 1999. Even though only a decade has passed, changes across the globe have been stunning and in some cases revolutionary. For NATO, we believe the challenge of the Strategic Concept is to address the question of whether NATO is still relevant or whether it has become a relic. We strongly believe the former. However, that can no longer be taken for granted. Twenty years after the Soviet Union imploded, the Alliance must finally find a new strategic anchor for its raison d'être or deal with the implications of becoming a relic or an Alliance that may have served its purpose.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Asia