Meeting in Lisbon in November 2010, the NATO allies brought the Alliance's strategy up to date with a new Strategic Concept. As the allies prepare for their May 2012 summit in Chicago, they must decide how the goals set in the Lisbon Strategic Concept can be met when financial realities on both sides of the Atlantic will reduce resources available for defence efforts, the Eurozone may remain in danger of collapse, and the United States is partially paralysed by political gridlock as it faces national elections in November 2012.
At the same time, the international system seems to call for even more effective transatlantic security cooperation. At Wilton Park in September 2011, a high-level group of US, Canadian and European defence and foreign policy experts and officials met to develop recommendations for the allies as they begin to shape the Chicago agenda. Much of the discussion focused around the question of how best to re-validate the Alliance in an age of austerity. This paper suggests some of the themes and specific steps the allies should consider as summit goals and accomplishments.
Stanley R. Sloan teaches international relations at Middlebury, College, Vermont, and lectures frequently at the NATO College in Rome.