Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, NATO Strategic Concept Expert Group

Views and interviews: video 3

What are the personal opinions of some of those connected with the drawing up of the new Strategic Concept? How far can it go? In this section, we offer face to face interviews with some key players.

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Views and interviews

What are the personal opinions of some of those connected with the drawing up of the new Strategic Concept? How far can it go? In this section, we offer face to face interviews with some key players.

Madame Secretary, why a new

Strategic Concept for NATO now?

And what's the role for the group

of experts which you head?

The last time there was a Strategic

Concept was in 1999, ten years ago,

and at the 60th anniversary

of NATO in Strasbourg/Kehl,

the Heads of State decided

that it would make sense

to have a new Concept to deal

with the issues of the 21st century.

NATO is a brilliant alliance

started in 1949,

that has over the years adjusted

its mandate and its mission

to suit what is happening,

and it certainly made sense

that in the 21st century, in 2009,

we should be looking forward

with a new Strategic Concept.

Some security issues that NATO

has to deal with, are global issues.

How much do the experts intend

to get outside and inside views?

Well, we do want to begin

with this group which is independent.

We have been named

by our countries,

but are not serving

in national positions...

And that is kind of the core group.

But because the issues are global,

it is important

to get a lot of views from the outside.

Also, we don’t have everybody

that’s a member of NATO,

on the group of experts,

so we will be reaching out.

And then also understanding

how the rest of the world feels about

what the issues are and

how they would integrate themselves

with whatever decisions are taken.

Many current and future security

threats come from non-state actors.

Is it the job of the Strategic Concept

to help NATO update,

as an alliance of nations,

to face these non-state threats?

Let me say, our group hasn’t met yet.

I don’t want to pre-judge

how we’re going to look at things,

but from my personal perspective,

I do think that it is very important

to understand what the 21st century

challenges are and they are different.

Non-state actors do in fact

present a whole different approach.

On the other hand,

we are still a state-based system

and it is the states

in alliance with each other

or through international organisations

that have to deal with the threats.

Non-state actors in many ways

present a lot of the challenges,

but the states have to continue

to be the basis of dealing with them.

How difficult will it be to balance

the focus on longer term threats

such as climate change,

with the pressing threats of today,

such as Afghanistan?

That’s one of the hard questions

generally that policy-makers have.

That we all have, whether

inside or outside governments

or experts

or representatives of countries,

to sort out how to deal

with the immediate challenges

and yet take on

the responsibility of understanding

that it’s the long-term issues

that will come and bite you,

so I think that we have to sort that out

in terms of looking at

what the immediate issues are,

but also keeping

an eye out for the future

and understanding what

the energy security issues might be

or cyber issues

or environmental issues,

a variety of questions

that are out there,

and that’s what that group

is going to try to determine

how much we have to do. I believe

it’s very important to look ahead.

What has been

so amazing about NATO generally,

it’s not about what we are against

but what we for,

and understanding how

the international community looks

at the future threats. But we have

to figure out how we're going to work.

You said that the new

Strategic Concept must recognise

that NATO has to work with,

and sometimes rely on,

other organisations

such as the EU and the UN.

Can the new Concept lay the ground

work for a better co-ordination?

This goes back

to the last question that you asked.

If you look at the immediate,

the medium and long-term threats,

they can’t be handled by one

organisation or one country alone.

There are a number of partnerships

that have to develop.

And the UN is set up in a way

to recognise the importance

of regional organisations.

The relationship between the EU

and NATO is obviously crucial.

There are aspects of various missions

that require co-operation.

It’s already true, whether

in the Balkans or Afghanistan.

So developing those relationships

is going to be part

of what the experts look at

and obviously as part of the work

that a new Strategic Concept

has to address.

If as part of the Strategic Concept

process NATO is to change

to work with these other

organisations more comprehensively,

what guarantees are there that

they will change in a similar way?

There aren’t any.

But I think that what has to happen,

if in fact we do our job right and

are able to involve other countries

as well as non-state actors

and other organisations,

then I think we’ll be able

to evolve a lot of our ideas together.

The other part that’s so important

is for our publics

to fully understand what's happening.

NATO is an alliance of democracies.

Which means

that the publics have to understand.

And many of those organisations are

democracies, and certainly the EU is,

and so we need

to have a whole dialogue

about how we evolve together

and how our publics support that.

How fundamental do you see

this Concept to the future of NATO?

Is it merely an updating or a re-birth?

Well I said in my July 7th speeches

that it’s not a matter of blowing

everything up and starting over.

It’s more an issue of refinement.

But there are some basic issues that

we’re all going to have to talk about

because the 21st century threats

are very different

than the ones that NATO

was established to deal with

and I’m hoping that the expert group

will look at some fundamental issues

while keeping in mind

what the basis of NATO is,

an alliance of countries

with similar values

that have a political

as well as a military goal to them.

In terms of fundamental core issues,

how central will be discussions

on article 5 on collective defence?

I think it will be. I think article 5

is central, but so is article 4

about the importance

of consultations and other parts.

What's so interesting is

if you look at the Washington Treaty,

how elegant it is and how carefully

the articles are knitted together

and that you can’t just...

While article 5 is clearly

central to the concept

that they are all one built on another

and so we’re...

I’m hoping that we kind

of re-read the Washington Treaty

and see how carefully

it’s all built on each other.

You say a wide-ranging discussion.

Will how decisions are made at NATO

also come up?

I think that as I’ve had discussions

already with people,

some are concerned about

the decision-making mechanisms,

but I don’t want

to pre-judge our work.

There are a lot of elements to this.

Obviously, this is

an independent group of experts

but we want to hear

from the Permanent Representatives,

we want to make sure that

there are wide-ranging consultations

and as NATO has grown, there are

issues about how decisions are made

but we have to see how the group

of experts want to approach this.

You said that we must explain

our actions persuasively.

Fewer and fewer people were around

when NATO was created

and understood in subsequent years

why we still had it

and that this is a crucial element

of making people understand

why we do what we do.

Will the public diplomacy element

of the Concept be important?

I think that is a very important part

of it because we are democracies

and that requires the people

supporting and understanding it,

which is also a reason

not to write a very turgid document

and that the Washington Treaty is

so...

...is really written

in a plain kind of a way.

Harry Truman was known for plain

speaking, that was how it started.

And I do think

that we are going to have to

and want to have to have

a public diplomacy aspect to it.

I believed in that across the board...

when I was Secretary of State.

Of really having a dialogue,

being able to answer questions

and having a transparent process,

that’s very important.

We’ve tried to kick that off by asking

for questions to be put to you.

So if I may put a couple of questions

that have come in from the public.

The first is from Gerrard Smadger

from France who asks:

Should ensuring safe access

to natural resources

for all NATO members,

be part of the organisation’s role?

This is the kind of issue that’s

out there longer range in this century,

in terms of energy

or how we deal with environment

and whether we deplete

natural resources,

but this is the kind of a question

that I want to put to the other experts

and see how wide-ranging

we want to be.

I do think that a lot of the 21st

century

is about the depletion of resources

and so it’s a very good

and interesting question.

And the final question is

about gender.

We've had groups of wise men

discussing this issue,

now it's a group of experts

and Raymond Lloyd asks

about the role of women.

The UN called in October 2000

for women’s full participation

in conflict resolution

and peace building.

How can NATO make that

more of a reality?

It’s very important we have

other women experts on our group.

But generally I have believed

that societies are more stable,

able to deal with conflict resolution

when women are politically

and economically empowered.

And I do think that it is

essential for us to be looking at

how to have more

than half the population

in all countries more deeply involved.

It is important to get women involved

in conflict resolution negotiations

and in the various aspects of work

that are part of a NATO agenda.

So I think that people can count

on me to raise those issues.

Madame Secretary, thank you.

- Thank you.

Madame Secretary, why a new

Strategic Concept for NATO now?

And what's the role for the group

of experts which you head?

The last time there was a Strategic

Concept was in 1999, ten years ago,

and at the 60th anniversary

of NATO in Strasbourg/Kehl,

the Heads of State decided

that it would make sense

to have a new Concept to deal

with the issues of the 21st century.

NATO is a brilliant alliance

started in 1949,

that has over the years adjusted

its mandate and its mission

to suit what is happening,

and it certainly made sense

that in the 21st century, in 2009,

we should be looking forward

with a new Strategic Concept.

Some security issues that NATO

has to deal with, are global issues.

How much do the experts intend

to get outside and inside views?

Well, we do want to begin

with this group which is independent.

We have been named

by our countries,

but are not serving

in national positions...

And that is kind of the core group.

But because the issues are global,

it is important

to get a lot of views from the outside.

Also, we don’t have everybody

that’s a member of NATO,

on the group of experts,

so we will be reaching out.

And then also understanding

how the rest of the world feels about

what the issues are and

how they would integrate themselves

with whatever decisions are taken.

Many current and future security

threats come from non-state actors.

Is it the job of the Strategic Concept

to help NATO update,

as an alliance of nations,

to face these non-state threats?

Let me say, our group hasn’t met yet.

I don’t want to pre-judge

how we’re going to look at things,

but from my personal perspective,

I do think that it is very important

to understand what the 21st century

challenges are and they are different.

Non-state actors do in fact

present a whole different approach.

On the other hand,

we are still a state-based system

and it is the states

in alliance with each other

or through international organisations

that have to deal with the threats.

Non-state actors in many ways

present a lot of the challenges,

but the states have to continue

to be the basis of dealing with them.

How difficult will it be to balance

the focus on longer term threats

such as climate change,

with the pressing threats of today,

such as Afghanistan?

That’s one of the hard questions

generally that policy-makers have.

That we all have, whether

inside or outside governments

or experts

or representatives of countries,

to sort out how to deal

with the immediate challenges

and yet take on

the responsibility of understanding

that it’s the long-term issues

that will come and bite you,

so I think that we have to sort that out

in terms of looking at

what the immediate issues are,

but also keeping

an eye out for the future

and understanding what

the energy security issues might be

or cyber issues

or environmental issues,

a variety of questions

that are out there,

and that’s what that group

is going to try to determine

how much we have to do. I believe

it’s very important to look ahead.

What has been

so amazing about NATO generally,

it’s not about what we are against

but what we for,

and understanding how

the international community looks

at the future threats. But we have

to figure out how we're going to work.

You said that the new

Strategic Concept must recognise

that NATO has to work with,

and sometimes rely on,

other organisations

such as the EU and the UN.

Can the new Concept lay the ground

work for a better co-ordination?

This goes back

to the last question that you asked.

If you look at the immediate,

the medium and long-term threats,

they can’t be handled by one

organisation or one country alone.

There are a number of partnerships

that have to develop.

And the UN is set up in a way

to recognise the importance

of regional organisations.

The relationship between the EU

and NATO is obviously crucial.

There are aspects of various missions

that require co-operation.

It’s already true, whether

in the Balkans or Afghanistan.

So developing those relationships

is going to be part

of what the experts look at

and obviously as part of the work

that a new Strategic Concept

has to address.

If as part of the Strategic Concept

process NATO is to change

to work with these other

organisations more comprehensively,

what guarantees are there that

they will change in a similar way?

There aren’t any.

But I think that what has to happen,

if in fact we do our job right and

are able to involve other countries

as well as non-state actors

and other organisations,

then I think we’ll be able

to evolve a lot of our ideas together.

The other part that’s so important

is for our publics

to fully understand what's happening.

NATO is an alliance of democracies.

Which means

that the publics have to understand.

And many of those organisations are

democracies, and certainly the EU is,

and so we need

to have a whole dialogue

about how we evolve together

and how our publics support that.

How fundamental do you see

this Concept to the future of NATO?

Is it merely an updating or a re-birth?

Well I said in my July 7th speeches

that it’s not a matter of blowing

everything up and starting over.

It’s more an issue of refinement.

But there are some basic issues that

we’re all going to have to talk about

because the 21st century threats

are very different

than the ones that NATO

was established to deal with

and I’m hoping that the expert group

will look at some fundamental issues

while keeping in mind

what the basis of NATO is,

an alliance of countries

with similar values

that have a political

as well as a military goal to them.

In terms of fundamental core issues,

how central will be discussions

on article 5 on collective defence?

I think it will be. I think article 5

is central, but so is article 4

about the importance

of consultations and other parts.

What's so interesting is

if you look at the Washington Treaty,

how elegant it is and how carefully

the articles are knitted together

and that you can’t just...

While article 5 is clearly

central to the concept

that they are all one built on another

and so we’re...

I’m hoping that we kind

of re-read the Washington Treaty

and see how carefully

it’s all built on each other.

You say a wide-ranging discussion.

Will how decisions are made at NATO

also come up?

I think that as I’ve had discussions

already with people,

some are concerned about

the decision-making mechanisms,

but I don’t want

to pre-judge our work.

There are a lot of elements to this.

Obviously, this is

an independent group of experts

but we want to hear

from the Permanent Representatives,

we want to make sure that

there are wide-ranging consultations

and as NATO has grown, there are

issues about how decisions are made

but we have to see how the group

of experts want to approach this.

You said that we must explain

our actions persuasively.

Fewer and fewer people were around

when NATO was created

and understood in subsequent years

why we still had it

and that this is a crucial element

of making people understand

why we do what we do.

Will the public diplomacy element

of the Concept be important?

I think that is a very important part

of it because we are democracies

and that requires the people

supporting and understanding it,

which is also a reason

not to write a very turgid document

and that the Washington Treaty is

so...

...is really written

in a plain kind of a way.

Harry Truman was known for plain

speaking, that was how it started.

And I do think

that we are going to have to

and want to have to have

a public diplomacy aspect to it.

I believed in that across the board...

when I was Secretary of State.

Of really having a dialogue,

being able to answer questions

and having a transparent process,

that’s very important.

We’ve tried to kick that off by asking

for questions to be put to you.

So if I may put a couple of questions

that have come in from the public.

The first is from Gerrard Smadger

from France who asks:

Should ensuring safe access

to natural resources

for all NATO members,

be part of the organisation’s role?

This is the kind of issue that’s

out there longer range in this century,

in terms of energy

or how we deal with environment

and whether we deplete

natural resources,

but this is the kind of a question

that I want to put to the other experts

and see how wide-ranging

we want to be.

I do think that a lot of the 21st

century

is about the depletion of resources

and so it’s a very good

and interesting question.

And the final question is

about gender.

We've had groups of wise men

discussing this issue,

now it's a group of experts

and Raymond Lloyd asks

about the role of women.

The UN called in October 2000

for women’s full participation

in conflict resolution

and peace building.

How can NATO make that

more of a reality?

It’s very important we have

other women experts on our group.

But generally I have believed

that societies are more stable,

able to deal with conflict resolution

when women are politically

and economically empowered.

And I do think that it is

essential for us to be looking at

how to have more

than half the population

in all countries more deeply involved.

It is important to get women involved

in conflict resolution negotiations

and in the various aspects of work

that are part of a NATO agenda.

So I think that people can count

on me to raise those issues.

Madame Secretary, thank you.

- Thank you.

Videos in Views and Interviews:

1. Admiral James G. Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

2. Ivo Daalder, US Ambassador to NATO

3. Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, NATO Strategic Concept Expert Group

4. Jeroen Van der Veer, Vice Chair, NATO Strategic Concept Expert Group

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