• “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 New StratCon had no impact on markets. Brown Brothers Harriman’s Chandler explains why

The long-awaited NATO Strategic Concept, revealed last month at the Lisbon Summit, had very little impact on global financial markets. In the latest installment of the New Atlanticist Podcast Series Atlantic Council senior fellow Sarwar Kashmeri interviews Marc Chandler of Brown Brothers Harriman to discuss this issue, China’s financial leverage on the US, and the Euro’s future.

Advertisements

Skeptical about the missile shield, but need to pay attention to American phobias!

In the latest installment of the New Atlanticist Podcast Series ,Atlantic Council senior fellow Sarwar Kashmeri interviews Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Ambassador to NATO. For this podcast, Kashmeri asked Ambassador Rogozin for his interpretation of the Lisbon Summit’s outcomes regarding missile defense and what it means for the future of NATO-Russia relations. Frank and forthright, Rogozin sheds fresh light on Russian strategic thinking re a partnership with NATO.

Listen to MP3>

[Audio=http://mainstreetvoices.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/22-rogozin-2-112510-wcopy-02.mp3]

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.

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.

 

2 NATOs? The Great Divide?

Research for my book on the future of NATO continues. Conversations with transatlantic leaders, especially Eastern and Central Europeans are very educational. It is almost as though there are two NATOs within NATO. One filled with members who want NATO primarily to protect them against a resurgent Russia. The second full of the founding (Western) members for whom NATO is “the world’s greatest alliance, pre-ordained as playing a role throughout the world.” How this gulf is bridged, whether it can be bridged is a key foreign policy dilemma for the Euro-Atlantic countries. Complicating the matter is defending NATO members against cyber-warfare. Article 5 of the NATO treaty (an attack on one member will be considered an attack on all)  is now in play. What does it really mean going forward? Nobody is sure. Without certainty on this defiing NATO protection, what does the Alliance really guarantee?  Stay tuned! 

Today’s Financial Times has an enlightened op-ed on the NATO divide. Nato’s dilemma in face of Russian muscle

Why this site?

This site was created to track progress of the book I am now writing: 

NATO 2.0; Reboot or Delete?

Am writing it for anyone interested in this important current affairs topic, not just the experts.

 

My book will deal with the future of NATO.

  • Is there a future for NATO?
  • What is the future of NATO?
  • Does anyone care?

As I share my thoughts with you, will you share your thoughts with me? For starters,

  • What does NATO mean to you? Can you tell me in one short paragraph?
  • Should Russia be allowed to join NATO?
  • Did you know that 30,000 NATO troops serve in Afghanistan? (Not counting the 64,000 U.S. troops.)
  • Without America the EU would be defenseless. So America is the ultimae guarantor of peace & security in Europe. Do you agree? Y?/N?  Why?

I’ll soon start posting to this site.

Please stand by. Thank you.

PS: Have you read my first book?   America and Europe After 9/11 and Iraq; The Great Divide