Implications of a Changing NATO

  • May 01, 2010
  • COL Phillip R Cuccia

NATO officials plan to unveil the new NATO Strategic Concept during the Alliance’s summit in Portugal at the end of this year. This monograph focuses on the impact of what the Strategic Concept will have on the Alliance. This analysis describes recent trends within NATO and their implications. The monograph provides senior military and political leaders with a discussion of the changing composition of the NATO nations and the impact of these changes on the nature of the Alliance. This monograph describes four possible scenarios of what NATO could look like in the future in order to give senior leaders thoughts to consider while instituting NATO policy. The NATO Alliance has now reached its 60th birthday and is currently in the middle of updating and rewriting the new Strategic Concept. The Alliance, which has grown to 28 countries, is facing problems with changing demographics, an awkward relationship with Russia, a war in Afghanistan and threats of global jihad. Muslim immigration into Europe and population aging will have a great impact on European views of the Alliance. NATO must decide how closely it wants to work and coordinate with Russia in future endeavors. The most important issue at hand is how NATO is going to fare coming out of the war in Afghanistan. The desired NATO outcome needs to be defined clearly. It is imperative that the New Strategic Concept address NATO goals in Afghanistan and the ways and means of accomplishing those goals. Defined goals will give member nations objectives while formulating national defense plans. Getting the Strategic Concept right is the first step in maintain the health of the Alliance.