In-depth research & reports
Issue Brief May 23, 2023
Providing long-term security for Ukraine: NATO membership and other security options
By Hans Binnendijk, Franklin D. Kramer
This issue brief evaluates membership and other security options for the alliance and its members to consider with regards to Ukraine, from formal actions by NATO as a whole to collective or individualized efforts by member nations.
Issue Brief Jul 10, 2023
We don’t really know which NATO allies are pulling their weight. Here’s how to fix that.
By John R. Deni
As NATO allies gather in Vilnius, there will be much discussion about burden-sharing and who’s living up to the 2014 Defense Investment Pledge. But exclusive statistical analysis by John R. Deni shows that spending more on defense doesn’t necessarily add up to contributing more to NATO missions.
Report Jun 15, 2023
US-China lessons from Ukraine: Fueling more dangerous Taiwan tensions
By John K. Culver, Sarah Kirchberger
The lessons that Washington and Beijing appear to be learning from Russia’s war against Ukraine could set the stage for a crisis over Taiwan in the next few years.
Issue Brief Apr 11, 2023
Defining success for NATO’s Vilnius summit: A primer
By Charles Barry and Christopher Skaluba
A successful NATO summit in July requires significant progress on a host of NATO’s political and military priorities, especially those enumerated at Madrid.
Issue Brief Apr 18, 2023
NATO deterrence and defense: Military priorities for the Vilnius Summit
By Franklin D. Kramer
Ahead of the NATO Summit in Vilnius, this issue brief sets forth six priority actions that NATO should undertake to enhance its deterrent and defense posture.
Report Mar 16, 2023
The future of NATO C4ISR: Assessment and recommendations after Madrid
By Gordon B. “Skip” Davis Jr.
Current C4ISR capabilities, concepts, policies, and processes do not meet all of the Alliance’s needs. While much has been done to improve NATO C4ISR over the past decade, much work remains.
Defense and deterrence in Europe
Developing policy recommendations for deterring and defending against Russian aggression aimed at allies and partners in the European theater.
Emerging challenges to transatlantic security
Creating strategies to harness emerging and disruptive technologies to maintain NATO’s competitive advantage and cohering a transatlantic approach to hybrid threats from Russia and China.
China and transatlantic security
Identifying areas of divergence and convergence between the United States and Europe with respect to China and proposing ideas to collectively counter China’s malign activities.
NATO and the new south
Analyzing the security impacts of great power competition in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions and developing strategies to improve stabilization missions beyond Europe’s borders.
Assessing the unique geopolitical and defense challenges of the High North to bridge perspectives between European and North American allies and partners on Arctic security issues.
NATO in America
Identifying bold policy ideas that demonstrate the enduring value of NATO to US interests in order to engage a new community of American champions for the Alliance.
Modernize the kit and the message
by H.E. Dame Karen Pierce DCMG
NATO will only remain successful over the next seventy years if it modernizes its capabilities, takes command of emerging technology, and harmonizes its strategic messaging.
Open a bank
by Max Bergmann and Siena Cicarelli
NATO can fund critical defense investments by bringing the necessary financial tools in house.
Design a Digital Marshall Plan
by the Hon. Ruben Gallego and the Hon. Vicky Hartzler
NATO allies, led by the United States, must cooperate in securing national 5G communications systems in Europe and beyond against malign Chinese influence.
Rethink and replace two percent
by Derek Chollet, Steven Keil, and Christopher Skaluba
NATO’s two percent metric is reductive and politically fraught but offers lessons for better ways to measure burden sharing.
Build an Atlantic-Pacific Partnership
by James Hildebrand, Harry W.S. Lee, Fumika Mizuno, Miyeon Oh, and Monica Michiko Sato
NATO is the only institution capable of organizing transatlantic and transpacific stakeholders to address China’s political, military, and information threats.
Disband the NATO Response Force
by John R. Deni
Replacing the NRF with a plug-and-play interoperability model increases the chance that NATO will employ its high-readiness forces.
Build resilience for an era of shocks
by Jim Townsend and Anca Agachi
NATO needs a fourth core task to protect allied populations from nontraditional threats like COVID and climate change.
‘Game out’ decision making
by AM Sir Christopher Harper, KBE, RAF (Ret.)
In an era where the distinction between peace and conflict is increasingly complex, NATO should retain its competitive advantage by using synthetic environments and virtual worlds to support rapid, efficient, and effective strategic decision making.
Digitalize the enterprise
by Jeffrey Reynolds and Jeffrey Lightfoot
If NATO is to unlock new frontiers of innovation and harness emerging technology, digitalizing how it does business is the key.
Listen to women
by Lisa A. Aronsson
Twenty years after its creation, NATO should affirm the strategic significance of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda and define what it means for an era of great power competition.
Ramp up on Russia
by Amb. Alexander Vershbow
NATO needs to increase the costs for Russian aggression while building back crucial dialogue if there is any prospect for improved relations with Moscow.
Put NATO back in the narrative
by Bridget Corna and Livia Godaert
NATO can recapture the imagination of allied publics by telling its own story better and in new ways to new audiences.
Seek membership for Mexico
by Christopher Skaluba and Gabriela R. A. Doyle
Mexico’s membership in NATO may be the key to keeping a rapidly changing America invested in European security.
by Safa Shahwan Edwards, William Loomis, and Simon Handler
NATO should adopt a digital .2 percent policy whereby member states commit to spend .2 percent of their gross domestic product on cybersecurity and digital defense modernization.
Christen a carrier strike group
by Michael John Williams
Using the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as its backbone, a NATO carrier strike group is an opportunity for high-end interoperability under European leadership.
End the Russian veto on Georgian accession
by Luke Coffey and Alexis Mrachek
Admitting Georgia to NATO without extending an Article 5 guarantee to Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region can fulfil the promise of the Bucharest Summit.
Threaten decisive nuclear retaliation
by David Gompert and Hans Binnendijk
NATO should thwart Russian use of nuclear weapons by threatening certain retaliation.
Revitalize NATO’s grand strategy
by Amb. 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.
Set NATO’s sights on the High North
by Jim Danoy and Marisol Maddox
Security in the Arctic is waiting on no one. NATO needs a strategy for defense and deterrence in the High North before it is outflanked.
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Featured commentary & analysis
Fast Thinking Jul 11, 2023
The NATO Summit’s underwhelming support for Ukraine
By Atlantic Council
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy didn’t get his biggest wish: a timeline for Ukrainian membership in NATO. Our experts are here to decode the communiqué and its ramifications.
New Atlanticist Jun 27, 2023
Finland and Sweden’s NATO entries are a mixed blessing for the old Nordic allies
By Ann-Sofie Dahl
Denmark, Norway, and Iceland are delighted to see their two neighbors in NATO. But Finland and Sweden’s size and strategic importance could cause the old Nordics to be overshadowed in the Alliance.
New Atlanticist Jun 8, 2023
Restocking US and allies’ arsenals starts with getting industry involved at the NATO summit
By Giedrimas Jeglinskas and Viltaute Zarembaite
The upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius offers an opportunity for government officials and the defense industry to get on the same page about the true urgency of inadequate defense supply chains.