Our mission here at atlantic-community.org is to end the exclusivity of foreign policy discourse and give a voice to a new generation of thinkers as well as to strengthen the transatlantic partnership. Therefore, we are proud to feature our top five articles from the third category of the "Your Ideas, Your NATO" policy workshop competition, with ideas for how NATO can encourage nations to invest in Smart Defense and what kind of mechanism would bring about this kind of cooperation.
We encourage all of our members to give their feedback in the comments section and offer their own thoughts on the ideas presented, as well as adding their own policy recommendations. The Atlantic Memo will feature the best of all the proposed ideas, so while the shortlisted authors will write the memo, everyone's ideas could be included. Help us create a great memo and let NATO know what Atlantic Community thinks!
In February 2011, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen introduced the concept of Smart Defense - "ensuring greater security, for less money, by working together with more flexibility." To accomplish this, he said NATO "must prioritize... must specialize... and must seek multinational solutions." However, the European Union, much of its membership overlapping with that of NATO, has endeavored to accomplish a similar task through pooling and sharing, but shrinking defense budgets and concerns over sovereignty have severly limited progress. The United States, which recently released a review of its own defense strategy, has highlighted the need to spend wisely, and with significant cuts to its defense budget, "smart" spending will necessarily be more than a catch phrase. Yet even in this time of austerity when defense spending is certain to decline, nations have reservations about the multinational efforts required to make smart defense effective.
Question: How might NATO encourage nations, concerned about diminished sovereignty, to invest in Smart Defense? What mechanisms would make this kind of cooperation efficient and effective?
The articles will be published in the following order:
Tuesday, April 10: Solidarity and Sovereignty: A Blueprint for Smart Defense | Moritz Poellath
Wednesday, April 11: NATO and Russia Need the "Smarts" to Cooperate | Dmitry Stefanovich
Friday, April 13: NATO's Smart Sales: Smart Defense as a Product | Samuel Eamon Erickson
We received an impressive 62 submissions for this category, so there were many outstanding articles that unfortunately did not make the cut. We have published a selection of the best remaining articles, with even more ideas and policy recommendations.
The competition has been made possible by generous contributions from the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the US Mission to Germany, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation
Top image: courtesy of NATO