What messages should Nato communicate?

Hugo Klijn, Senior Research Fellow within the Security Unit of the Clingendael Institute.

[…] US requests for more active engagement in the Middle East or a tougher stance on China are likely to be politely rejected. And with regard to NATO’s ‘internal balancing’ role, it seems current US policies are rather aimed at diluting than strengthening intra-allied cohesion. […]

The short London Declaration, issued last December by NATO Leaders to mark the Alliance’s nervously celebrated 70th anniversary, contains a proposal for a ‘forward-looking reflection process’. Actually, one would have expected NATO to update its 10-year old Strategic Concept (the last decade has seen no lack of turbulence) but, tellingly, nobody fancies such an endeavor now. Despite the cautious wording of this surrogate proposal (apparently not tabled by the US who argues that spending more on defence would be forward-looking enough), capitals should seize this opportunity to openly discuss their ‘evolving strategic environment’, not shying away from addressing internal business. This introspection should dig deeper than one of the conference’s concluding remarks that NATO is strong because it is united. Such mantras will no longer do. Läs artikel