members from the United States, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, Turkey,
as well as Russia, Finland and Azerbaijan, discussed the future of NATO in
op-eds, as well as in a one hour Skype
Strategy Session, which ended with a vote on the most important policy
recommendations. The following policy recommendations are the result of this collaborative process.
1. Align the scope of the Alliance with its capabilities.
The Alliance should focus its troop intensive operations on defending Europe and North America rather than engaging in stabilization missions in other geographic regions (Lawson). NATO should neither aspire to be a global policeman nor a humanitarian intervention force. It can however, continue to provide limited logistical support after earthquakes and floods etc.
Still, NATO needs to be very well prepared for out-of-area missions should serious threats materialize (von Ploetz). In light of decreasing defense budgets, NATO members should reduce other commitments to be able to prioritize training, equipping and funding of the NATO Response Force, because out-of-area missions require flexible troops with a high level of interoperability, utilizing advanced technologies (Spiessberger).
2. Create Global Partnership Council to institutionalize and deepen co-operations.
NATO should create a Global Partnership Council with military, operational, and political consultation mechanisms to build upon the existing partnership programs, as well the NATO-India dialogue and existing co-operation with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea (Seidler).
This "Partnership 2.0" approach will enforce the idea of cooperative security and balance the doctrine of deterrence, thereby improving NATO's global image (Christman). At the same time it would help pool resources for mutual benefits, primarily in regard to naval surveillance of the world's oceans to prevent piracy, proliferation, and terrorist activities, but less so for Afghanistan-type invasions. It would need to be communicated that the partnership council would not be directed against other states.
The new Strategic Concept should include a strong commitment to overcoming enduring obstacles against better cooperation with both the EU and Russia. Russian membership of NATO is not a viable option for the time being (Benitez), but the NATO-Russia Council can and has to develop concrete collaborations (Nikolits).
NATO should engage the South Caucasus countries without relying on an eventual path to full membership and can do so with an approach similar to the EU Neighborhood policy (Sumerinli). The Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) frameworks should be strengthened and include public diplomacy programs.
3. Launch broad public diplomacy initiatives to make the case for NATO's existence.
NATO's Public Diplomacy Division should be expanded to focus more on the general public rather than cater to specialist circles. The public needs to be more directly and creatively engaged and NATO's civilian structure should be stressed. Specific attention should be paid to the Greater Middle East, for instance by providing more information on the internet in Arabic and hosting annual seminars with MD and ICI states (Scatamacchia).
Increased transparency is key to fostering public support for the Alliance. To this end, a working draft of the Strategic Concept should be published. Alternatively, the new Strategic Concept should be ratified by the parliaments of all 28 member states before it comes into effect (Davis).
Atlantic Memo is based on the op-eds and/or contributions during the Skype
Strategy session by the following atlantic-community.org members:
Jorge Benitez, Director of NATO Source and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council - United States
Walter L. Christman, Associate Professor of Global Public Policy at the US Naval Postgraduate School - United States.
Ian Davis, Founding Director of NATO Watch and Senior Advisor to ISIS Europe - United Kingdom.
Jerzy S. Deren, Retired colonel conducting independent research on international security - Poland.
Oya Dursun-Özkanca, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College - Turkey.
Olga Kolesnichenko, Freelance journalist and coordinator for military issues for YATA-Russia - Russia.
Greg Randolph Lawson, Director of Communications for a political advocacy organization - United States
Colette Mazzucelli, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Center for Global Affairs at New York University and in the Department of Political Science at Hofstra University - United States.
Daniel Nikolits, Graduate Student in International Relations at Humboldt University in Berlin - United States.
Luca Ratti, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Roma Tre University and the American University of Rome - Italy.
Ari Rusila, Development project management expert - Finland.
Donatella Scatamacchia, Graduate from the University of Naples with an MA in international relations and with a PhD offer by King's College London - Italy.
Felix F. Seidler, Student of Political Science, Law and History at Wuerzburg University - Germany
Klaus Spiessberger, Member of the German Council on Foreign Relations and currently working for PHOENIXgroup - Germany.
Jasur Mezahir Sumerinli, Head of the Doktrina Center of Journalist Union on Military Research - Azerbaidschan.
Olaf Theiler, National Expert in the Operations Division at NATO HQ in Brussels - Germany.
Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz, Group of Experts, - Germany.
Youth Atlantic Treaty Association, Lake Constance Chapter - Germany: Marcel Raecker, Yves Steinebach, Yann-Lukas Schaefer, Juri Schnoeller, Matthias Garbin, Aylin Matle, Lukas Bresser, Florian Sies, Jonas Massing, Lina Drexler and Nikolina-Romana Milunovic.
Dr. Theiler and Dr. von Ploetz participated in a private capacity and were not speaking for NATO or the Group of Experts.
For more specifics on these recommendations as well as many other important recommendations, which could not be included here due to limited space, please click on the above names to read the op-eds from the atlantic-community.org's policy group.