20 Dec. 2022The last article that we are republishing as part of 70 Years of NATO Review is evidence of just how much has changed in the last eight-or-so years.
Deterrence: what it can (and cannot) do
20 Dec. 2022The last article that we are republishing as part of 70 Years of NATO Review was written by consistent and long-time NATO Review author, Michael Ruhle, in April 2015. While that might not seem like very long ago, this piece is evidence of just how much has changed in the last eight-or-so years. In the 2000s and early 2010s, deterrence had become a dormant concept, all but cast aside at the end of the Cold War to make space for countering new challenges and enlarging the Alliance. In 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, deterrence was pulled out and dusted off to take centre stage as one of NATO’s traditional core tasks and the backbone to Article 5. Russian aggression in Ukraine highlighted the necessity of ensuring that NATO’s deterrence and defence posture was and would remain credible and effective.
Change and continuity
14 Dec. 2022This article, written by former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson at the end of his tenure in 2003, reflects on his four years at the helm. He oversaw one of the most turbulent periods in NATO’s history. The Cold War had ended. The troops were going home. Without the ever-present threat of Soviet invasion, Allies were rapidly demobilising their forces – eager to spend the 'peace dividend' on social programmes for their citizens at home, rather than on armed forces stationed abroad. Doomsayers were – as always – foretelling the imminent disintegration of the Alliance. The Warsaw Pact had been relegated to the ash heap of history, and, according to them, NATO was about to go the same way.
Russia’s nuclear coercion in Ukraine
29 Nov. 2022In 2022, the spectre of nuclear weapons use has returned to centre stage in Europe. From the very beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin has brandished his country’s nuclear sword in an attempt to compel Ukraine to capitulate to Russia’s demands and to deter NATO from intervention. This is the most significant attempt at prolonged, consistent, and conscious nuclear coercion against NATO and its partners in almost forty years. We must therefore reflect on Russia’s nuclear coercion with considerable scrutiny.
Knowledge security: insights for NATO
30 Sep. 2022Knowledge security entails mitigating the risks of espionage, unwanted knowledge transfers, intellectual property theft, data leakage and the misuse of dual-use technology (technology that is primarily “focused on commercial markets but may also have defence and security applications”). In the context of research on and the development of high-end technology, knowledge security is vital to NATO’s ability to deter and defend against adversaries and protect the prosperity of its members.
NATO's role in a changing world
16 Sep. 2022This article was written in April 1990 by Sir Michael Alexander, who was serving as the United Kingdom's Permanent Representative to NATO. It reflects on the historic months that followed Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union and the subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall – the so-called 'end of history', per Francis Fukuyama.
The 1982 Summit and after: a personal view
14 Jul. 2022This article was written in 1982 by Sir Clive Rose, a former Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council from the United Kingdom. In it, Sir Clive provides a personal view on the 1982 NATO Summit in Bonn, Germany, where Allied leaders agreed to invite Spain to join NATO. Forty years later, having just concluded the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid, we can look back and see many familiar themes in Sir Clive’s words – but also notice some key differences between then and now.
The consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for international security
07 Jul. 2022February 24, 2022, is likely to engrave itself on the history template of the contemporary world. Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and barbaric invasion of Ukraine is not only a manifestation of a huge security danger that has shattered peace in Europe. More structurally, it has broken the entire security architecture, built patiently on the continent over many decades, including international commitments agreed in the last 30 years. In short: almost every single agreement and principle of international law has fallen victim to the aggression ordered by Putin.
The Madrid Strategic Concept and the future of NATO
02 Jun. 2022At the Brussels Summit in June 2021, NATO leaders agreed to begin work on a new Strategic Concept, which will be adopted at the upcoming Summit in Madrid in June 2022. The last such Concept was agreed back in 2010 when the world was a different place.
Moving towards security: preparing NATO for climate-related migration
19 May. 2022Globally, most states and international institutions are unprepared for the coming magnitude of climate-related migration. NATO member countries, already at the forefront of conflict-related migration, will be destinations for migrants leaving areas that are becoming unlivable under changing climate conditions.
The present state of East-West relations
09 May. 2022This article, written in 1976 by then-Secretary General Joseph Luns, may evoke the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The 1970s saw a period of détente, or the easing of tensions, between the “West” (NATO) and the “East” (the Warsaw Pact, led by the Soviet Union). Despite warming relations and plenty of good-faith diplomacy, there were still concerns that the Soviet Union would continue its attempts to expand its sphere of influence through unpredictable actions, ideological conflict and even open hostility.
Risk, Uncertainty and Innovation
14 Apr. 2022The Alliance faces significant challenges from disruptive technologies and innovations in both conventional and hybrid methods of war. Distinguishing between uncertainty and risk can help to better prepare for emerging threats and to direct innovative initiatives to counter them.
Extending NATO: retirement plan not required
04 Apr. 2022Ups and downs in NATO’s fortunes are nothing new, and predictions of NATO’s demise are almost as old as the Alliance itself. What is remarkable is not the Alliance’s decline but its longevity.
That Council of Yours
07 Mar. 2022The following article was written by André de Staercke, a former Belgian politician and permanent representative to NATO, for the 20th anniversary of the Alliance in April 1969. It reflects upon NATO’s early years and the appointments of its initial Secretaries General, each of whom brought something unique to the Alliance.
NATO: An unexpected driver of climate action?
01 Feb. 2022The recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) raised the stakes for global climate action, recognising the urgency of acting today to decarbonise global energy systems. Even so, there have been competing claims about its success, and thousands of youth activists, who gathered in the streets of Glasgow, criticised world leaders and businesses for still failing to recognise the urgency of the climate crisis – the most critical matter of our time. In the fight against climate change, everyone has a part to play. How is NATO, as a security organisation, contributing to international climate efforts and what more can the Alliance do?
Why our values should drive our technology choices
16 Dec. 2021It is fair to say that our relationship with technology is complicated. Just look at headline topics like renewable energy or Artificial Intelligence (AI), or consider pharmaceuticals, automotive, consumer electronics, social media and biotechnology. On the topic of any of these technologies, you’ll almost certainly hear a cacophony of voices that range from promising a new era of happiness to predicting the doom of humanity. How can we make sense of these confusing perspectives, and how can we maximise the benefits of emerging and potentially disruptive technologies while effectively minimising their risks?
Hybrid Warfare – New Threats, Complexity, and ‘Trust’ as the Antidote
30 Nov. 2021One can argue that the nature of international security and conflicts remains the same. States are—as always—embroiled in zero-sum military and economic competitions, armed conflicts still seem inevitable, security dilemmas and balancing take place unremittingly, and so on and so forth. However, the modus operandi is no longer the same. Conflicts are fought in new, innovative, and radically different ways. With the advent of modern hybrid warfare, they are less and less about lethal or kinetic force.