At the NATO Summit in Wales, Alliance leaders set out to posture the Alliance to face an increasing number of challenges on multiple fronts, from Ukraine to the Islamic State, while still confronting emerging security threats and strained defense budgets. The Atlantic Council hosted a strategy session with Ambassador Thrayvoulos Terry Stamatopoulos, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, to discuss the future of NATO after the Wales Summit and flagship initiatives such as NATO’s Readiness Action Plan and the United States’ European Reassurance Initiative.

NATO’s Readiness Action Plan (RAP) as the focal point for NATO’s response to changes in the security environment. In early February, NATO defense ministers concluded that the plan was “well underway, and [has] achieved considerable progress since the Wales Summit.” But in light of limited resources and the need to forge political consensus among 28 member states, NATO must step up efforts to stabilize its neighborhood as Russia continues its war in Ukraine unabated, ramps up pressure on NATO’s eastern allies, and NATO’s southern allies grapple with an increasingly turbulent Middle East.

Ambassador Stamatopoulos is responsible for advising the Secretary General on political issues affecting the security of the Alliance, including NATO’s partnership relations and its interaction with other international organizations; chairing the meetings of Senior Political Advisers of the Allied Delegations at NATO Headquarters; and directing the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division of the NATO International Staff. Ambassador Stamatopoulos has extensive NATO experience, having served as Minister Plenipotentiary in the Greek Delegation to NATO from 2000 to 2004, and Greece’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council from 2007 to 2012. He has been particularly closely involved in the development of the new Strategic Concept and NATO’s partnership policy, and worked intimately with colleagues from the region in the context of NATO’s 2011 operation to protect the people of Libya.