• “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.

NATO’s existential crossroads

The United States’ department’s of State and Defense did something unusual this week. They coordinated and orchestrated a tough but constructive message to NATO and the Europeans.

      

Sec. of State, Clinton spoke at a reception for NATO’s senior team and high level officials, Monday, April 22. It was the kick-off to the one day NATO conference, Tuesday, Mar 23, to help draft the Alliance’s Strategic Concept for the next decade. Defense Sec. Gates opened the conference at the National Defense University the next day with as tough a description as I’ve every heard about NATO’s European members. Here’s how brutal it was.

The demilitarization of Europe — where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it — has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st…

<Read the NYT/International Herald Tribune Article> Gates Calls European Mood a Danger to Peace

Both Secretaries referred to each others remarks, built on what the other would say, and provided a one-two punch that was unusual, to say the least, in transatlantic circles.

Both Secretaries want NATO to expedite an overhaul of its bureaucracy (EG: over 300 committees, no integrated financial systems to track budgets, expenses, and projects) and to think about collaborating with the European Union and its security establishment: ESDP. No more double billing both Secretaries said, after all 21 of the 28 NATO members are EU members.

I was at the NATO conference, which was held under Chatham House Rules. So cannot offer quotations. I will tell you this, the mood was grim but determined. Grim because of the late hour for NATO. Determined because every person at the conference realized the importance of NATO to security and to the transatlantic alliance.

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