Has NATO Outlived Its Usefulness ??
24/04/2013 1 comentario
The Alliance Remains Vital. NATO is as important as it has ever been. Challenges to its members are different than they were when it was created in 1949, different from 12 years ago when it launched its first out-of-area operation in Afghanistan. But they are no less important, the rising austerity in which it today acts makes the institution ever more vital. Typically, the questions we ask regarding NATO are posed from a singular perspective, not the most important one. The debate normally starts from the position that because of significant defense cuts among the NATO members in Europe and North America, NATO no longer has the capabilities it needs to act. If it is no longer capable, perhaps it is no longer of value? We should be focusing on an alternate question: What are security challenges NATO members face today and in coming decades, do we have sufficient commonalities to harness the interests, will and the capacity to address them through NATO? To this last question the list is long, ranging from conflicts in the Middle East to energy security, cyber espionage and Iran’s nuclear program (many listed in the new strategic concept released in November 2010). Member states have many common interests here, and, as Libya’s el-Qaddafi found to his detriment, there is will also. While the capabilities are diminishing, particularly in military arena, they are certainly not insignificant. Challenge for NATO is to push the bureaucracy and the politicians to take a fresh look at today and tomorrow’s challenges and, through this lens, to consider new priorities. Then, a realistic assessment of capabilities should be considered that goes beyond traditional (and particularly expensive) hard military assets. The problems we face will not be better addressed unilaterally. Alliances are hard to manage, but they are better than facing our challenges alone.