As the Alliance faces evolving and emerging threats, NATO arguably finds itself in the most difficult security environment in its 65-year history. As NATO is simultaneously confronted with numerous real security threats at once, both inside and outside Europe, from the east as well as the south, NATO allies must determine how they will address these challenges, if they can tackle these threats politically, whether they possess the economic and military capability to tackle them effectively, and, ultimately, what NATO’s role should be in addressing these threats. The 2014 Wales Summit was an important exercise to realign NATO with the realities of a new security environment, but it also set an ambitious timeline for the Alliance to deal with the most pressing issues before the next summit in Warsaw in 2016. Will the implementation of the Readiness Action Plan succeed in reassuring all allies and showing NATO’s resolve from the Baltics to the Black Sea to the Mediterranean? How can the Alliance convince its publics of the importance of investing in military forces? How can NATO keep its partners engaged and what elements can drive a new political dialogue? Looking beyond the next summit in 2016, what should NATO’s future agenda and priorities be? Will the transatlantic allies find a new security consensus and ensure NATO’s continued realignment within the new security environment?
The NATO Summit in 2016 comes at a critical time for European security. It is essential to create continuity from the conclusions that were raised in Wales and to generate ideas about new forms of cooperation among NATO member states, while engaging with target publics about the relevance of defense issues and the utility of armed forces. In this context, GMF is pleased to work together with the United States Mission to NATO to organize regular public events and panel debates in key allied capital cities.