• “Is NATO Relevant?” Sarwar Kashmeri with UK MP Mike Gapes, on Skynews

  • What’s Next For NATO: A “Reboot or Delete?” Robin Young, host of Here & Now asks Sarwar Kashmeri

  • Sarwar Kashmeri & NATO 2.0 on Fox News

  • To preserve NATO bridge it to the EU

    NATO used to be the world’s most formidable military alliance. But, its original reason for existence, the Soviet Union, disintegrated years ago, and its dreams of being a world cop are withering in the mountains of Afghanistan.

    Meanwhile, the European Union’s Common Security & Defense Policy (CSDP) has deployed twenty-seven successful military/civil missions from Africa to Asia in the last ten years. Through CSDP, Europeans are increasingly taking charge of managing their own foreign and security policy. NATO is no longer the sole and preeminent Euro-Atlantic security actor.

    But watching NATO fade into irrelevance would be a mistake. It is a tried and true platform to harness the resources of North America and Europe. NATO’s future usefulness depends on its willingness to accept its reduced role, to let the EU handle the day-to-day security needs of Europe, and to craft a relationship with CSDP that will allow North America and Europe to act militarily together, should that ever become necessary.

    It is time for NATO 2.0, a new version of NATO, to fit the realities of an ever more integrated Europe in the twenty-first century.

Summarize NATO’s New Strategic Concept in 17 words

There is a lot of action, many meetings, and a great deal of activity ongoing to arrive at  NATO‘s New Strategic Concept for the next decade. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright chairs a group of Euro-Atlantic experts who will produce the initial draft report for NATO’s Secretary General. When all is said and done, all 28 NATO countries must approve the document before year end 2010. Probably at the Lisbon Summit in October or November. Quite a challenge.

But a greater challenge is what the document will say when an inquiring reporter asks, so what is NATO?  Will the New Strategic Concept go on and on, or will it be able to provide as short an answer given an inquiring reporter in 1949 by NATO’s first Secretary General, General Lord Ismay. To just such a reporter who asked Lord Ismay to tell him what was NATO, the wise General replied:

The purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.

17 words that said all that needed to be said.

It seems to me that’s what we need today. An executive summary for the New Strategic Concept that is no more than 17 words long. Then the bureaucrats can take over with pages of diplomatic mumbo-jumbo. But at least the Executive Summary will ensure everybody knows what NATO is all about.

 

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