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Research Report


Magnus Nordenman
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2014
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 19
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. [ii]-[ii])
    Frederick Kempe

    The transatlantic community faces several challenges of historic proportions. When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization convenes its leadership summit in Wales this September, it will confront one of the most serious sets of challenges since its birth in 1949 over how to respond to a newly aggressive Vladimir Putin, whose Russia has annexed Crimea and continues to apply increased security and economic pressures not only on Ukraine but also on other neighboring countries.

    At the same time, security threats proliferate across the Middle East, further destabilizing and inflaming a region that borders Europe. Sectarian violence overwhelms Iraq even as Syria...

  2. (pp. 1-1)

    The world is at an inflection point, reminiscent of other key junctures in recent history such as 1914, 1945, and 1989; such periods determined peace, power, and the future trajectory of the world for following decades. If the twentieth century was largely focused on transatlantic relations, then it is quite likely that the twenty-first will be remembered as the Asia-Pacific century. Furthermore, it is clear that history did not end at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Instead, NATO will have to operate in a more competitive, dynamic, and disorderly world.

    The project on “NATO in an Era of Global...

  3. (pp. 2-3)

    In operational terms, the last decade has been the most active in NATO’s sixty-five-year history. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, NATO has sustained a consistently high operational tempo, with close to thirty operations. It waged two major air campaigns-Operation Allied Force over Serbia and Kosovo in 1999 and Operation Unified Protector over Libya in 2011. NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The Alliance is suppressing piracy off the horn of Africa and is the key actor in the long-term counterinsurgency and...

  4. (pp. 4-5)

    While NATO is currently facing uncertain and turbulent environments directly to its east and south, as well as difficult budgetary challenges and contentious domestic politics, the Alliance also must keep an eye on the horizon. A number of global trends will present both new challenges and opportunities for NATO and the broader transatlantic community. As identified by the US National Intelligence Council in its Global Trends 2030 report, key global trends that will impact the transatlantic community, as well as the rest of the world, include the rapid shift of power to the Asia-Pacific region, emerging disruptive technologies, shifting demographics,...

  5. (pp. 6-8)

    Long-range global trends and recent events along Europe’s periphery provide clear indications that the transatlantic community is entering a prolonged period in which the global operating environment will be more uncertain, turbulent, and more demanding than at any other time since the end of the Cold War. This period also could prove challenging to the current structures of global governance, as well as national and local governments in sensitive regions, such as the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. This is coupled with a fiscally and politically challenging environment for most allies on both sides of the Atlantic. This combination...

  6. (pp. 9-11)

    NATO’s Strategic Concept, adopted in 2010, anticipated many of the trends and challenges discussed in this report and addressed many of the actions that NATO needs to take to be prepared for the future. However, the concept was developed and adopted at a time when the Alliance was largely consumed by high-intensity operations in Afghanistan, and the transatlantic community was in the middle of the worst stretch of the financial crisis. The end of the ISAF mission and the current transatlantic context presents an opportunity to recommit NATO to prepare itself for emerging challenges.

    NATO does not need ambitious new...

  7. (pp. 12-12)

    NATO is emerging from over a decade of costly warfighting in Afghanistan. But the Alliance that entered Afghanistan over a decade ago faces an entirely different world as it draws down in 2014. Today, the strategic landscape is far more competitive than only a decade ago, while resources are more constrained by the transatlantic economic slump. This is not only a challenge for NATO but also an opportunity.

    In parallel, NATO must now address its political strategy in order to build long-term support for its roles and missions. It must bolster its capabilities in a fiscally challenging environment and launch...