March 8, International Women’s Day, is an official UN commemoration day and as such, part of that liberal order. Symptomatically for the current state of the transatlantic link, many thousands of pink-knitted “pussy hats”—a symbol of protest against US President Donald J. Trump—are expected to be seen on the streets in the United States and Europe on March 8. Over a month ago, on January 21, the Women’s March on Washington echoed all over the globe as one of the world’s bigger protests against the newly inaugurated US president.
But so far, not so good. A February review of how UNSCR 1325 has been implemented worldwide, researched by the nonprofit Security Council Report, shows that rather than embracing the inclusion of women as “one of the central tenets which support conflict prevention and underpin long-term stability,” the UN system still “views gender issues as an ‘add-on’ component.”
NATO defense ministers last month approved an "updated cyber defense plan" and moved forward with discussing how to practically incorporate "cyber" as their latest operational domain. That designation was formally made at the 2016 Warsaw Summit, obligating NATO to defend itself in cyberspace "as effectively as it does in the air, on land, and at sea." Easier said than done, needless to say, but Ducaru's office is on it.
Republican official says defense spending should not come at the cost of foreign assistanceUS President Donald J. Trump’s proposal to ramp up defense spending at the cost of foreign aid is attracting flak from within his Republican Party and retired generals who believe such a move is not in the United States’ best interests.
Trump is reportedly seeking $54 billion over the sequester caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act, putting defense spending in 2018 at $603 billion. This proposed increase would come at the cost of State Department and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding.
Matt Moore, chairman of the Republican Party in South Carolina, told the New Atlanticist in an interview that these cuts would be “disastrous for American security.”
Trump’s speech “covered some ground that needed to be covered, NATO, commitment to allies, working with Muslim allies… and so this was a necessary and critical first step,” to address uncertainties about US commitment and reassure US allies, according to Barry Pavel, Atlantic Council senior vice president, Arnold Kanter chair, and director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. In light of Trump’s statements, Pavel said the new administration “will pursue a lot of continuity in US foreign policy.”
“A lot more needs to happen,” said Pavel, “but this is a step we’ve all been waiting for, and now we can get going.” Pavel joined Alex Ward, associate director of the Scowcroft Center, for a Facebook Live discussion on March 1.
“The great danger here is that, in all of this tension, something is going to boil over,” said Peter Schechter, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
Mexico provides essential security assistance in deterring migrants from Central America crossing into the United States. “That, too, is in danger if things boil over,” said Schechter. “I imagine all cooperation will stop and, therefore, all of these people will start flowing upward.”
The last NATO strategic concept—the Alliance’s consensus statement on the threats and intended responses—was agreed in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2010. In 2016, some astute observers suggested that 2017 would be a good time to start work on a new concept. By that time, the Russian threat had re-emerged, NATO was mostly out of Afghanistan, and the challenges posed by mass migration from the south and the terrorism that sent people fleeing to Europe had fundamentally changed the strategic environment.
Now, in light of the new US administration, there is no way that the allies will agree to start work on a new concept.