NATO can develop a new Strategic Concept
Recall, starting from 1949, once every few years, NATO leaders analyze the military-political situation in the world and present a plan for the future development of the organization. In the so-called Strategic concepts stipulate the paths of the military and political development of the organization, designed to be a timely response to current security threats. For example, the official reasons for the emergence of the 2010 Strategic Concept of the Year were international terrorism, the situation in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and the importance of cooperation with allies around the world. With these things in mind, a new Strategic Concept was created in 2010, called “Active Participation, Modern Defense”. It was made public in November 2010 during a meeting of NATO leaders in Lisbon (Portugal).
According to the 2010 Strategic Concept of the Year, NATO is a “unique community based on values and committed to the principles of individual freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law”. The main tasks of the organization presented in the concept are collective defense, crisis management and security through cooperation. In addition, the authors of the document note the importance of international consultations and continuous reform of the organization.
Under the conditions of the time when the current Strategic Concept was created, there was a whole range of security challenges for NATO countries. In this regard, three main areas of activity of the North Atlantic Alliance were identified:
- Collective defense. The Washington Treaty Article 5 obliges NATO countries to help each other in the event of an attack on one of them. This feature of the organization is one of the key and is not subject to revision. Therefore, the Alliance should take care of the security of each country that is part of it;
- Crisis regulation. NATO has the political and military tools to deal with crises of any nature, either before or after, or during conflicts. In order to eliminate possible threats, an organization must effectively use both military and political methods. In this way, it is proposed to stabilize the situation, not allowing it to escalate into a conflict, end conflicts and ensure stability after their termination;
- Security based collaboration. The North Atlantic Alliance and its member countries can be affected by international events and can also influence them. For this reason, NATO should actively work with third countries and other international organizations to ensure security. In addition, it envisages the admission to NATO of countries that cooperate with the organization and meet the requirements.
The strategic concept of 2010 of the year considers nuclear and non-nuclear deterrence to be the main security tool. At the same time, it is argued that no state in the world is declared a potential adversary. Nevertheless, the Alliance intends to preserve and develop the forces and means aimed at eliminating existing and prospective threats. The main threats are terrorism, nuclear proliferation and other weapons mass destruction, as well as their means of delivery, cyber attacks and attacks related to ecology or resources.
In accordance with the current Strategic Concept, the North Atlantic Alliance must adhere to a holistic approach to crisis management. This means that NATO should act where it is necessary and possible to prevent crises or reduce their consequences. At the same time, the need to increase the number of structures coordinated to participate in such activities was noted. An additional tool to stabilize the situation in given regions is to help countries build their armed forces and improve the system of interaction between military and civilian structures.
In 2012, a renewed NATO development concept called Smart Defense was adopted in Chicago. The main feature of this document was the distribution of responsibilities between countries. Thanks to this proposal, the member countries of the organization were able to save on armaments, military equipment and other expenses without duplicating each other. However, Smart Defense recommendations are not actually being implemented, since countries have their own views on defense and their own opinions about potential threats. At the same time, 2010’s Active Participation, Modern Defense Strategic Concept of the Year becomes obsolete and needs to be replaced.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier that the organization has learned from recent events in the Crimea and eastern regions of Ukraine. What kind of judgments and views emerged due to these events, it was not specified. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that the Ukrainian crisis will be one of the main prerequisites for the emergence of a new Strategic Concept for NATO, and some of its events will be taken as the basis for the formation of new strategies that meet the requirements of the times.
Recent events have led to a deterioration of the situation in the international arena. NATO and Russia have taken diametrically opposed positions with regard to the Ukrainian events, which has already led to the imposition of sanctions and a host of unfriendly statements. The situation is unlikely to improve in the near future. Therefore, the new Strategic Concept of NATO, on which foreign specialists can currently work, can be based on the existing situation related to the deterioration of the international situation.
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