Madeleine Albright: Strategies in an Unpredictable World
The German Marshall Fund - Brussels Forum 2010
In November 2010, NATO will hold a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where leaders will endorse a new Strategic Concept designed to provide guidance for the alliance in an increasingly unpredictable and globalizing world. Since the alliance last updated its Strategic Concept in 1999, NATO membership has expanded to include nine new member states and has become more operational than ever with Kosovo, Operation Active Endeavor, and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as some of its most complicated, sustained, and highest-risk missions. Moreover, NATO invoked for the first time in its history the Article V mutual defense guarantee after September 11, 2001.The alliance must reconcile different views and instincts across a set of big issues if it wants to remain modern and relevant in the 21st century. These range from how to carry out Article V guarantees and reassure new members to reengaging Russia. While the alliance has stepped up to the plate and deployed some 10,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, the ISAF mission remains controversial, as the recent collapse of the Dutch government shows. Today, NATO is busier than ever yet somehow seems less present in our political discourse and in the public's eye. It is engaging in more missions with more and more countries around the world, but defense budgets are declining and capabilities often lacking, creating new burden-sharing problems and debates. In today's unpredictable and globalizing world, can a bigger and expanded NATO react nimbly to new crises and strategic dynamics inside and outside Europe that affect the interest and security of its members?