How will NATO’s new command structure transformation play out?

Duan Ting, Joint Operations College of the National Defense University, PLA China

NATO recently announced that its Joint Force Command Norfolk (JFC-NF) has achieved initial operational capability, marking a substantial step forward in the military bloc’s fourth transformation of its combat command system after the Cold War. This transformation reflects NATO’s new considerations for its security environment and new ideas for the employment of military means, […]

Transforming NATO’s command structure seems aimed at a stronger collective defense, but that doesn’t mean it will concentrate its military resources and attention on Europe alone. Actually it has looked to the Indo-Pacific region in recent years primarily because European countries pay special attention to the security situation in the West Indian Ocean as they rely on the energy supply from Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. But a more important reason is that Washington has spared no effort in promoting its Indo-Pacific strategy and has spurred on its NATO allies and partners to engage in the region’s security affairs more actively, thus pushing the alliance eastward by force.

Therefore, transformation of NATO’s command structure may influence regions beyond Europe while deterring Russia’s westward expansion. Once a handy excuse pops up, the organization is very likely to repeat what it did when meddling in the Libyan war – some members and partners will utilize the command organization to execute out-of-region military interference operations in NATO’s name. The international community should be alert to its commanding system reform this time. For another, it may fuel NATO’s inclination to carry out military interference operations out of the region and add to the possibility of the US’ military adventures. Läs artikel