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The Future of NATO

Interviewer: Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations
Interviewee: Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House
April 24, 2012

As U.S. and EU leaders prepare for the NATO summit in May, CFR's Stewart M. Patrick, director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, and Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, discuss why NATO will remain important for Europe and the United States even after the war in Afghanistan winds down. Niblett argues:

  • The European appetite for NATO missions outside the euro-Atlantic space remains "mixed." While some countries, like the United Kingdom, are open to a more global role for NATO--such as the one in Afghanistan--others, especially those in Eastern Europe, value the assurance of U.S. protection and are less willing to see NATO engage outside Europe.
  • European nations increasingly confront the question of whether to pool assets as they reduce military spending. "In a Europe that shares pretty much the same security threats around it," governments must decide how to move forward with NATO's new "smart power" doctrine, which envisions lower defense costs by reducing duplication between countries.
  • You'd probably want to invent NATO if you didn't have it. For all the challenges of NATO operations and disagreements between countries, "in the end, when they do want to act together, they can." Together, the transatlantic alliance possesses "some of the most sophisticated military assets." As a result, NATO will remain relevant after Afghanistan.

This video is part of The Internationalist, a series dedicated to in-depth discussions about leveraging multilateral cooperation to meet today's transnational challenges.


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