Transatlantic Security and the Future of NATO
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Stumbling Blocks to NATO’s Strategic Adaptation Initiative
From May 19-20, 2016, the Paris and Warsaw offices of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) organized the first meeting of 2016 from the Transatlantic Security and the Future of NATO program in Warsaw. The event was entitled “Assessing Stumbling Blocks to NATO’s Strategic Adaptation Initiative,” and was structured around a transatlantic dinner organized at the residence of the French ambassador to Poland on May 19, and three panel-discussions at the Belweder Palace on May 20. The gathering was supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Airbus Group; and held in partnership with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the French Embassy in Warsaw.
The discussions focused on various topics around three sessions including:
- From Pivot to Anchor: Has Europe Become Strategically More Responsible?
- Squaring Adaptation with Expectations: Smooth Sailing for the NATO Ship?
- (Re)Defining the Scope of NATO’s Levers to Address Contemporary Transatlantic Security Challenges after Warsaw?
In the first session, the participants discussed the efforts European powers have engaged in to assume more security responsibilities, the evolution of transatlantic and European political and military capabilities in light of the new threats Europe is facing, and the main obstacles preventing a better adaptation of NATO forces to their strategic environment. The second session addressed the differences among transatlantic powers’ foreign policy priorities, notably highlighting the potential impacts of the national elections in the United States, France, and Germany, as well as the risk of a Brexit. In the third session, the discussions focused on the necessary reforms to improve the credibility of NATO’s narrative on security issues in Europe and the United States, and to enhance its ability to mend the north/south and east/west divides.
The discussions featured speakers such as Krzysztof Szczerski, secretary of state at the office of the president of Poland, Marek Ziółkowski, undersecretary of state in charge of Eastern policy and security at the Polish ministry of foreign affairs, Rachel Ellehuus, principal director for European and NATO policy at the office of the U.S. secretary of defense, and Juri Luik, former defense minister of Estonia and director of the International Centre for Defense and Security.
A final report of the discussions with concrete policy recommendations along with policy papers written by participants will be published at the beginning of July.
The working session brought together 35 transatlantic senior officials, scholars, experts, and representatives of embassies, international institutions as well as of the defense sector.