WASHINGTON – Europe will need to take on a greater share of the burden in leading crisis management and contingency operations in Europe and its periphery, argues a new Atlantic Council issue brief. Under this transatlantic bargain, the United States will remain steadfast in its Article 5 security commitments, but will focus more of its defense resources to security in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Published today by Barry Pavel and Jeff Lightfoot, respectively director and deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s International Security Program, “The Transatlantic Bargain After ‘The Pivot’” offers a new transatlantic bargain in the aftermath of the latest US defense approach announcing a greater strategic focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Under this “post-pivot” bargain, Europe must take on a greater share of the burden to secure Europe and its periphery, and serve as a close partner of the United States in the greater Middle East, as the United States devotes more resources to pursuing common objectives in Asia. 

Pavel and Lightfoot offer five practical recommendations to prepare NATO for its role in this new bargain: updating its Article 5 collective defense capabilities to address the modern array of threats to the security of the transatlantic community; bolstering European roles in non-Article 5 operations; sustaining the Alliance’s “plug and play” command and control infrastructure; broadening and deepening NATO’s global partnerships; and entering into dialogue with potential security partners in Asia itself. 

“The transatlantic partnership can have a bright and robust future, even in the face of a new array of threats and challenges,” the authors argue. “Just as it has done before, the partnership will need to evolve once more to address a new international landscape.” 

This issue brief will serve as the basis for a presentation Pavel will deliver at a major NATO conference the Atlantic Council is co-hosting in Chicago from March 28-30. 

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