As world leaders prepare for the NATO Summit in Chicago this May, a new Atlantic Council report argues for renewed transatlantic leadership that will allow NATO to better address significant global issues with a unified voice—specifically in the greater Middle East and around cyber security—in order to remain relevant in today’s increasingly interconnected world.

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Published today by Atlantic Council Distinguished Fellow Franklin D. Kramer, “Transatlantic Nations and Global Security: Pivoting and Partnerships” comes on the heels of President Obama’s newly released US defense strategy that outlines a more robust US focus on security in the Asia-Pacific. This so-called “pivot” toward Asia by the United States has implications for the transatlantic bargain as the US commitment to the Alliance comes into question.

To head off the risk of a dangerous drift between the United States and its partners within the transatlantic community, Kramer’s report offers a series of concrete policy initiatives that would ensure a much-needed strategic convergence between NATO and this new US strategy.

NATO can avoid a splintering by including these four missing agenda items for this May’s NATO summit: establishing a longer term strategy for the greater Middle East; working with North African countries on role of the military in a democracy; focusing on cyber as a global issue; and developing an advanced research and development program.

“Undertaking these actions would bring NATO strategy into congruence with the new United States defense guidance and make clear that the fundamental nature of the transatlantic bargain includes critical global issues…and the necessary capabilities to deal with such issues,” Kramer argues.

This report is a core effort of the Atlantic Council’s work to shape the transatlantic policy debate prior to the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago. Its conclusions were informed by a series of joint workshops conducted by the Council’s International Security Program, its Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, and the National Defense University.

The Atlantic Council Covers the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago

For over fifty years, the Atlantic Council has served as a preeminent, nonpartisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security. This May, as the NATO Summit converges on Chicago, the Atlantic Council maintains that the transatlantic alliance remains not only relevant, but vital, to today’s changing world. However, if it is to remain so, the transatlantic link must be modernized to account for our new fiscal and changing geopolitical circumstances. The Council will provide a cadre of experts who are available for analysis of the major issues shaping the Summit in Chicago, while also engaging and developing the next generation of transatlantic leaders in a host of related activities and resources. 

Click here for our current list of activities, with more to be announced as we get closer to the date of the Summit. Please check the page periodically to remain updated on all events related to the Chicago Summit.

Related Experts: Franklin D. Kramer