Timing is everything?

Same concept, different angles: video 2

How will the timing of this new Strategic Concept affect the outcome? Will it be able to deal with threats for decades to come? How will it change the way international organizations work together? And what will its changes mean for the men and women in uniform? All of these questions come under scrutiny in this section.

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Same concept, different angles

How will the timing of this new Strategic Concept affect the outcome? Will it be able to deal with threats for decades to come? How will it change the way international organizations work together? And what will its changes mean for the men and women in uniform? All of these questions come under scrutiny in this section.

NATO's new strategic concept

is being debated

in the middle of the worst

financial crisis in decades.

How will this impact on decisions

made on the future direction of NATO?

There is a saying

that a crisis is always an opportunity

and I think the crisis should be used

to realistically assess our capacities.

We have a responsibility

and it does not get smaller

or more limited because of the crisis.

It can't really get much worse.

So if you can meet your requirements

with the budgets you have now,

you will be able

to guarantee the ability

to implement that strategy

when the economy recovers.

It's not just money that is tight,

defence spending is also likely to be

a particularly specific target for cuts.

Now it's particularly difficult

because defence budgets

in democracies are likely

to suffer disproportionately

compared to other budgets.

There will inevitably be some impact

of the scarcity of defence resources

on the ambitions element.

And we need

to take a realistic approach

and perhaps examine closely

this whole question of ambitions.

Crisis will be helpful because

some things just will not happen.

Like it or not.

Some fancy ideas of long-range

power projection capabilities,

quickly and in high numbers...

It just won't happen. Like it or not.

This will force allies to do some

of the core business differently.

Some argue that with most NATO

allies' spending beneath targets,

now is not the time

to make further cuts.

We are now maybe six of the allies

meeting the two percent target.

Half of the allies are spending

half of their budget on people.

The bit of discretionary money

that they have,

is having to go to pay

for operations in Afghanistan.

And that is sacrificing modernisation

and research and development.

I would recommend pushing forward,

re-energise the heads of state

to instruct their finance ministers

to support their defence ministers

with resources.

Make that up-front commitment now.

The downstream costs will be far less.

The financial crisis is a factor,

but it should not be over played.

I don't think

that the financial crisis or a recession

can be an excuse

with being not able to deliver.

We know the different countries

contribute differently.

It's more a matter of political will

than of financial constraints.

It is not all about money.

It is much about alliance solidarity.

The Americans have clearly said:

Those who can't send forces

to Afghanistan, can do other things.

So yes, money is an issue...

It's not there anymore, so we have

to think... It doesn't help to complain.

There are advantages to reviewing

NATO's strategic concept.

We have one major advantage.

This discussion takes place

against the backdrop of a much

improved transatlantic climate.

The change of governments

on both sides of the Atlantic,

the fact that France

has fully returned to NATO,

has created a more permissive...

a more permissive climate.

Over the past five or six years

a lot of the bad blood has gone away.

We've had a change of leadership

over the bad days of the early 2000's.

Obama isn't Bush,

Sarkozy isn't Chirac,

Merkel isn't Schroeder.

And because of that

I think that the stars are aligned

for a new concept for more clarity

and to give the public

more reasons to support NATO.

NATO's new strategic concept

is being debated

in the middle of the worst

financial crisis in decades.

How will this impact on decisions

made on the future direction of NATO?

There is a saying

that a crisis is always an opportunity

and I think the crisis should be used

to realistically assess our capacities.

We have a responsibility

and it does not get smaller

or more limited because of the crisis.

It can't really get much worse.

So if you can meet your requirements

with the budgets you have now,

you will be able

to guarantee the ability

to implement that strategy

when the economy recovers.

It's not just money that is tight,

defence spending is also likely to be

a particularly specific target for cuts.

Now it's particularly difficult

because defence budgets

in democracies are likely

to suffer disproportionately

compared to other budgets.

There will inevitably be some impact

of the scarcity of defence resources

on the ambitions element.

And we need

to take a realistic approach

and perhaps examine closely

this whole question of ambitions.

Crisis will be helpful because

some things just will not happen.

Like it or not.

Some fancy ideas of long-range

power projection capabilities,

quickly and in high numbers...

It just won't happen. Like it or not.

This will force allies to do some

of the core business differently.

Some argue that with most NATO

allies' spending beneath targets,

now is not the time

to make further cuts.

We are now maybe six of the allies

meeting the two percent target.

Half of the allies are spending

half of their budget on people.

The bit of discretionary money

that they have,

is having to go to pay

for operations in Afghanistan.

And that is sacrificing modernisation

and research and development.

I would recommend pushing forward,

re-energise the heads of state

to instruct their finance ministers

to support their defence ministers

with resources.

Make that up-front commitment now.

The downstream costs will be far less.

The financial crisis is a factor,

but it should not be over played.

I don't think

that the financial crisis or a recession

can be an excuse

with being not able to deliver.

We know the different countries

contribute differently.

It's more a matter of political will

than of financial constraints.

It is not all about money.

It is much about alliance solidarity.

The Americans have clearly said:

Those who can't send forces

to Afghanistan, can do other things.

So yes, money is an issue...

It's not there anymore, so we have

to think... It doesn't help to complain.

There are advantages to reviewing

NATO's strategic concept.

We have one major advantage.

This discussion takes place

against the backdrop of a much

improved transatlantic climate.

The change of governments

on both sides of the Atlantic,

the fact that France

has fully returned to NATO,

has created a more permissive...

a more permissive climate.

Over the past five or six years

a lot of the bad blood has gone away.

We've had a change of leadership

over the bad days of the early 2000's.

Obama isn't Bush,

Sarkozy isn't Chirac,

Merkel isn't Schroeder.

And because of that

I think that the stars are aligned

for a new concept for more clarity

and to give the public

more reasons to support NATO.

Videos in Same concept, different angles:

1. A battle of minds

2. Timing is Everything?

3. New age, new threats, new responses

4. What does it mean for the military?

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