Security snapshots
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This month in
NATO Review
Security snapshots
In this edition of NATO Review, we've tried to offer the best of both worlds: expert analysis on a wide range of security areas delivered concisely. While we usually pick a single subject and drill down, this time we're looking at a wide range of areas and getting a quick 'elevator pitch' from various experts on how they see it. So if you're pressed for time but still want to catch up on ideas on issues ranging from how to handle next year's Afghan elections to how to best handle defence budget cuts in Europe, this issue is for you.
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In Afghanistan in 2014, the drawdown of international forces will be the key. Wrong, says Ahmed Rashid. The elections are the one single event that will have the most important effect on the future of the country, he argues.
Cuts in defence budgets are an economic reality. But, says Franco Frattini, they are also an opportunity to finally start coordinating defence spending between nations who are now forced into prioritising. And NATO could benefit.
Forget the headlines showing tension between NATO countries and Russia, says Konstatin von Eggert. It's the low profile cooperation taking place regularly between the two that will help build a foundation for better long term relations, he argues.
In the shadow of the US' pivot to Asia, Europe clearly needed to step up its own role in international security. And it has, argues Tomáš Valášek. European efforts in Libya and Mali have already been appreciated in Washington and strengthened the Transatlantic bond.
The Western Balkans will not become one country again, says Sonja Licht. But it has realised that its strength lays in becoming a more united region, and eventually more united in Europe.
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Blaise Pascal once wrote to a friend saying: 'I have written you a long letter as I do not have time to write a short one'. This embodies a perrenial problem - that often key messages are lost in a rather wordy explanation. It also highlights an increasing trend in our modern societies - that messages have to be short and sharp, as they compete with so many others.

In this edition of NATO Review, we've done the hard work for you.

Blaise Pascal once wrote to a friend saying: 'I have written you a long letter as I do not have time to write a short one'. This embodies a perrenial problem - that often key messages are lost in a rather wordy explanation. It also highlights an increasing trend in our modern societies - that messages have to be short and sharp, as they compete with so many others.

In this edition of NATO Review, we've done the hard work for you. We've asked experts in several key security areas - from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and from Russia to defence cuts - their opinions on what's most important. And then we've pared it down to short sharp opinions. And they come from experts ranging from award winning authors to former foreign ministers, from international journalists to 'tomorrow's leaders'.

By making it a selection of shorter opinions, we hope that you'll get both a fresh insight into these areas and have more time to enjoy the summer.

Finally, a quote from Woodrow Wilson, who outlined the difficulty of being concise and precise when he was President of the USA. When asked how much time he spent preparing speeches, he replied: 'It depends. If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.'

Paul King

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