ATA and the NATO Brussels Summit
by President Fabrizio W. Luciolli While Collective Defense, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security remain the NATO’s core tasks, as stated by the 2010 NATO Strategic Concept, in recent years the European security landscape has dramatically changed. The 2011 Arab uprisings and the 2014 Russian illegal annexation of the Ukraine’s peninsula of Crimea, obliged NATO to cope with all tasks simultaneously, and to adopt a 360° approach able to Deter and Defend the Alliance in the East while Projecting Stability to the South.
Moreover, the Russian nuclear posture, the Skripal case and the risk of CBNR proliferation, together with the potential threat of new forms of terrorism, are also of major concern. In addition, the new cyber operational domain, energy security, climate change and migrations, are testifying the different nature of the today threats and challenges, often originating with unprecedented speed, thus challenging the decision-making process of the Alliance. Likewise, a new Hybrid Warfare is eluding the application of Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty whilst the vicious use of disinformation and false news attempts to weaken the cohesion of the Western societies and their free democratic processes.
In this context, NATO’s political consultation is essential to maintain the Atlantic solidarity, which could be affected by different security perceptions among NATO member States and across the Atlantic, as the Alliance is called to act in three different continents, from the Baltic to Iraq and to Afghanistan.
Therefore, Allied solidarity and the Transatlantic Bond need to be strengthened by a fairer burden sharing in line with the commitment adopted by the NATO Heads of State and Government participating in the 2014 Wales Summit, which requires to devote the 2% of the GDP to defense expenditures, with a significant portion on major new equipment and related Research and Development.
In this framework, the strategic partnership with the European Union acquires paramount relevance to assure a coherent development of military capabilities and cutting-edge technologies as well as the military mobility of NATO forces across Europe.
In fact, in the present insecurity environment Readiness is key to deter as well as to prevent a crisis. The Brussels Summit Initiative on the so called Four Thirties recalls the number of the mechanised battalions, air squadrons and combat vessels that must be deployable within thirty days to respond or to anticipate a crisis. To this end, NATO is adapting its Command Structure by establishing two new Commands which will ensure that the NATO forces can move quickly across the Atlantic and within Europe.
Furthermore, thirty also represents the number of the future members of the Alliance, as the historic agreement between Athens and Skopje on the name issue paves the way for an invitation to the Government in Skopje to begin accession talks.
Notwithstanding the transatlantic debate between Allied Democracies and the competition of their free markets, the agenda of the Brussels Summit testifies the enduring Unity and Resolve of NATO members in addressing the wider challenges of the present complex insecurity environment by a 360° approach. Unity and Resolve is essential to steadily improve the NATO dual-track approach towards the Russian new assertiveness, open to a meaningful dialogue and based on a strong deterrence and defence posture. Likewise, Allied solidarity is also key to project stability and to tackle in a more ambitious way the security challenges originating from the Mediterranean which will be addressed by the new NATO Strategic Direction South Hub.
Looking at the incoming 70th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance, ATA is ready to complement the NATO 360° approach by adding a further degree of action aimed at communicating to the public opinions and the successor generations the enduring NATO’s values and role. This represents a natural task for ATA and its youth component (YATA), which will strengthen the vital linkage between the Alliance and the civil societies of the member countries, promoting a dialogue as transparent as the new crystal NATO headquarters hosting the Brussels Summit.