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NATO 20/2020

March 16, 2021

Revitalize NATO’s grand strategy: NATO 20/2020 podcast

By Ambassador Timo Koster and Ivanka Barzashka

 Collective strategic analysis is the pathway to a more inclusive, transparent, and systematic process for creating NATO’s next strategic concept. 

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About this episode

NATO needs “a grand strategy” that draws on “all the tools at its disposal—economic, political, diplomatic as well as military” to counter emerging security threats, NATO’s deputy supreme allied commander, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, told the BBC months before he stepped down from his role in 2017. Three years later, the problem has gotten worse as a global pandemic challenges nearly every aspect of our societies, Russia has become even more belligerent, and China has emerged as a competitor in a number of areas. Allies still lack, but badly need, a grand strategy to address current and emerging challenges together.

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Key Takeaways

  • 2:23: Timo explains the differences between what NATO is doing now compared to the grand strategy he and Ivanka recommend
  • 3:59: Timo also describes why their recommendation qualifies as a blueprint for a NATO grand strategy
  • 4:40: Ivanka talks about the impact their recommendation would have on countering emerging security threats
  • 6:51: Timo talks about the implications their idea has for updating NATO’s Strategic Concept
  • 9:25: Ivanka explains how wargaming and some of the other methods involved in collective strategic analysis (CSA) help NATO come to consensus on decision making
  • 12:35: Timo describes the difficulties involved in getting NATO allies to consider collective security interests before their own national interests and how this impedes Alliance decision making
  • 15:00: Timo and Ivanka talk about how CSA can serve as an important tool to understand data and aid in consensus decision making
  • 19:13: Timo describes the necessity of building in time for negotiations and compromises on priority issues
  • 23:57: Ivanka talks about what outcomes CSA might produce and why NATO needs to be better at defining strategic objectives
  • 27:58: Timo and Ivanka discuss whether NATO integrates data from wargaming into its policy and defense planning processes and how this affects competition with China on the high seas, maritime chokepoints, the Arctic, and cyberspace
  • 33:34: Ivanka and Timo consider the likelihood of their recommendation being adopted by NATO allies
  • 35:46: Timo makes the case for why NATO doesn’t need to wait for a new Strategic Concept to start using CSA

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NATO 20/2020

Oct 14, 2020

Revitalize NATO’s grand strategy

By Ambassador Timo Koster and Ivanka Barzashka

Collective strategic analysis is the pathway to a more inclusive, transparent, and systematic process for creating NATO’s next strategic concept.

Europe & Eurasia NATO

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The Transatlantic Security Initiative, in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes and influences the debate on the greatest security challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance and its key partners.

Related Experts: Timo S. Koster