NATO’s New Strategic Concept Must Reflect Today’s Strategic Reality

From Daniel Fata, German Marshall Fund: In the six months before acceptance of the final document, Allied governments and NATO officials should consider some of the following questions:

How important is the Strategic Concept to today’s NATO?

Is the overall concept of a strategic document outdated? Should there be something akin to a “National Security Strategy” rather than a “Strategic Concept”?

Should there be a mechanism to force Allies to adhere to the commitments made in the Strategic Concept? If not, is this exercise really worth doing? If so, what should the mechanism be?

Should NATO abolish the consensus rule for decision-making?

What is the capacity of the Alliance to identify, manage, and resolve the full range of modern crises that could challenge a nation, a region, or the Alliance as a whole?

What will happen to the Alliance’s strategic deterrent capabilities if there are no longer nuclear weapons in Europe?

An Alliance as successful as NATO deserves thoughtful discussion and debate about where it needs to go in the future, and that needs to be grounded in today’s reality, not in some conceptual mindset. For those that believe NATO’s best days are ahead of it, such debate must begin now.  (photo: NATO)

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