Focus #1: The Acquaintance with the Developing Multipolar World Order
"The architecture of the international community has gravely changed since the end of the Cold War leading to a multipolar world order today. One can observe the roll back of formerly dominant powers such as the United States and new powers coming to the fore. If NATO is envisaging a sustainable strategic success, it has to determine how to integrate these new global players."
China: Today, it is nearly impossible to determine precisely the character of the Chinese state. It seems certain, however, that China will rise to become a world power. Chinese foreign policy has proven to be more and more aggressive and first potential conflicts with the West have become apparent, for instance in Africa. At the same time, China aims at establishing a sphere of influence beyond the Western-shaped multilateral organizations via developments such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China opposed the West, and henceforth NATO as well, with a widely ambivalent mixture of economic interests and foreign policy ambitions. This may be seen as the chance for action for the Transatlantic Treaty. On the one hand, China will not seek to be squeezed into preexisting structures shaped by Western powers. Therefore, cooperation is difficult and integration impossible. However, history has shown that Chinese political decision making is subordinated to the core goal of economic growth. Henceforth, NATO must develop mechanisms that combine its military clout with an active economic policy. If a confrontation with China, in any form, is inevitable, the combination of military and economic pressure is the only option capable to succeed.
Focus #2: A new Interorganizational Cooperation Policy (ICP) for NATO
"The challenges in security politics that appear within the 21st century, such as “out of area” interventions and nation building operations, demand a strong cooperation between transnational organizations. NATO therefore needs an Interorganizational Cooperation Policy that focuses on tactical interoperability with reliable new partners."
Since NATO's attraction for member states partly lies in its single-issue character, it is not an option for NATO to mutate into another bureaucratic monster of global dialog and consent. By focusing on its two core competencies, military and logistic capabilities, NATO has to work on an ICP that aims at the establishment and maintenance of tactical interoperability for military engagement and the processing of human and natural disasters. The pursuit of global stability requires structural openness of its players. For NATO today, this means opening up operationally to partners all over the world, especially in Eurasia and Northern Asia.
Focus #3: Implications from ISAF: How To Ensure Sustainable Stability In Advance
"NATO's problems in conducting its leading role within ISAF reveal the necessity of sound new criteria for “out-of-area”-engagements. Proposal: without convincing self-interest, positive assessment of NATO’s overseas-capabilities and credible perspectives of regional ownership, NATO must not engage in state building missions."
Observing ISAF and its questionable success, there are three eye-catching problem areas in NATO's engagement in Afghanistan that relate to a common cause of defect: the non-sustainability of measures. This lack of sustainability partly emerged as a consequence of misguided or non-existent self-assessments and target-assessments during the process of pro-engagement decision making.
Lack of Assessment 1: Unconvincing Self-interest. Sudden troop withdrawals result in incoherent policies. Since political will is driven by nations’ self-interests, future engagements have to be in line with national self-interests.
Lack of Assessment 2: Personnel and Equipment. In order to ensure better performance in the future, NATO has two options: the pre-operational provision of necessary capabilities, or the abdication from engagement plans due to insufficient capabilities.
Lack of Assessment 3: Weak Ownership-potential (i.e. Afghanistan). NATO should reflect on a region's rebuilding and ownership potential prior to engagement. In the case of engagement, it should relinquish ownership as early as possible.
Focus #4: NATO's Nuclear Capabilities And Its Influence On International Disarmament and Non-proliferation
"A new strategic concept concerning disarmament and non-proliferation should involve the expansion of existing terms and treaties, such as the NPT, the CTPT, the Missile Material Cut-Off Treaty and START, as well as pick up recent topics such as strengthening ties with Russia, the replacement of strategically placed weapons, Nuclear Free Zones and the spread of atomic energy. The core of the strategy should be constituted of an international missile defense system as well as the expansion of the nuclear sharing arrangement."
Focus #5: A Strong Alliance Needs A Well-Balanced Burden Sharing Concept
"To ensure the inner stability of the alliance, NATO must reform its principles of burden sharing. The organization will only remain attractive for every single member country, if the ratio between costs and benefits of a membership are similar for everyone. This means mainly that the European members are in an obligation to raise their commitment."
NATO membership is exclusive and provides members with "security" through Article 5. Following from the principle that "costs lie where they fall," givers and benefiters do not necessarily have to be the same. NATO, therefore, is much more based on reciprocity than on a measurable balance of engagement. This means that every member country has to show the responsibility to commit itself sufficiently in order for the Alliance to work properly.
In 2010, YATA Lake Constance, founded at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, initiated this research paper with support from the Military History Research Institute (MGFA), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and the Aspen Institute. The above is an extract of a policy paper written by 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 as a contribution to the debate on the new Strategic Concept for NATO.
- Editorial Team: Join the AC Policy Team for NATO's New Strategic Concept
- Jasur Mezahir Sumerinli: The Potential of the South Caucasus
- Felix F. Seidler: Global Partnership Council for a Global Vision
- Daniel Nikolits: Russia is the Lynchpin of NATO 2020
- Klaus Spiessberger: Three Goals for a Modernized Alliance
- Jorge Benitez: NATO's Center of Gravity: Political Will
- Olaf Theiler: NATO Tensions No Cause for Alarm