Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

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The Future of NATO

by Stewart M. Patrick
April 25, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels April 18, 2012.(Jacquelyn Martin/Courtesy Reuters)



As U.S. and EU leaders prepare for the NATO summit in May, the Internationalist talks to Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, about why NATO will remain important for Europe and the United States even after the war in Afghanistan winds down. Niblett argues:

  • The European appetite for NATO missions outside the euro-Atlantic space remains “mixed.” While some countries, like the United Kingdom, are open to a more global role for NATO–such as the one in Afghanistan–others, especially those in Eastern Europe, value the assurance of U.S. protection and are less willing to see NATO engage outside Europe.
  • European nations increasingly confront the question of whether to pool assets as they reduce military spending. “In a Europe that shares pretty much the same security threats around it,” governments must decide how to move forward with NATO’s new “smart power” doctrine, which envisions lower defense costs by reducing duplication between countries.
  • You’d probably want to invent NATO if you didn’t have it. For all the challenges of NATO operations and disagreements between countries, “in the end, when they do want to act together, they can.” Together, the transatlantic alliance possesses “some of the most sophisticated military assets.” As a result, NATO will remain relevant after Afghanistan.
Watch the full video below.

This video is part of The Internationalist, a series dedicated to in-depth discussions about leveraging multilateral cooperation to meet today’s transnational challenges.

Post a Comment 1 Comment

  • Posted by Vitorino Batalim

    The future of NATO must its fast and because instead of peacekeeping organization it has becoma a supporter of State Terrorism organization controled by american and israhelly zionist. This is why it must be left for those two countries and all the others must leave it and create a true peacekeeping organization. What I’m saying about NATO can be said about United Nations. Both are nothing but terrorist organizations.

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