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New Atlanticist June 17, 2021

MARKUP: Our experts annotate the NATO communiqué

By Transatlantic Security Initiative

This article is part of the Transatlantic Security Initiative’s Stronger with Allies series, which charts the course forward for the Alliance in conjunction with the 2021 NATO Summit.

It was a moment of transatlantic solidarity. US President Joe Biden joined his first NATO leaders’ summit this week declaring that “America is back.” One thing we do know: Verbose communiqués are back. Rather than the nine-paragraph statement of 2019, when former US President Donald Trump was in town, the thirty allies agreed to seventy-nine paragraphs of shared goals and policies. But what were they really saying amid all the jargon? And what was missing? Atlantic Council experts from our Transatlantic Security Initiative combed through the document and left their insights in the margins.

Below is the communiqué, displayed with annotations from our experts. Click on the underlined text to view their thoughts and takeaways.

Introducing your annotators for this edition of MARKUP:

  • Christopher Skaluba: Director of the Scowcroft Center’s Transatlantic Security Initiative and former principal director for European & NATO policy at the US Defense Department
  • Leah Scheunemann: Deputy director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative and former Pentagon official focused on international security policy
  • Ian Brzezinski: Senior fellow at the Transatlantic Security Initiative and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for NATO policy
  • Marta Kepe: Nonresident senior fellow at the Transatlantic Security Initiative

Related Experts: Christopher Skaluba, Leah Scheunemann, Ian Brzezinski, and Marta Kepe

Image: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg greets France's President Emmanuel Macron during the NATO summit at the Alliance's headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium, on June 14, 2021. Photo by Patrick Semansky/Pool via Reters.