• “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.

“America should withdraw its credit card underwriting Europe’s defence within 3-4 years”

America should say to Europe that they will cease to underwrite the security of Europe and its periphery in just three to four years, after which America will only serve as a catastrophic security layer

This was  central message I tabled for debate at a private dinner hosted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in the center of Brussels during the events surrounding European release of  “NATO 2.0: Release or Delete?” June 14-18, 2011.

The shock of this proposal would galvanize EU leadership, I said, to tackle reforms to the EU’s defense establishment that presently spends $300 billion (equal to America’s defense budget prior to 9/11) but is rife with duplicate weapons systems and other inefficiencies.

The 20 people around the table included one of the four Directors General of NATO, the former special advisor to Baroness Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign & Security Policy, and a series of European defence experts, politicians, commentators and academics specialising in security matters.

The lively views expressed included:

  • The shock will come from the US within three years but the shock will come before that from young Germans.
  • Is Germany going to put up with France and the UK driving foreign defence policy?
  • Germanyunderstands that there needs to be a common European army and is prepared to contribute, but GB and France stand in the way of EU strategic thinking.

<Read the full press release from the dinner here>