NATO Should Adapt Geographic Division of Labor, Work with China in Mediterranean
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WASHINGTON (May 5, 2014) – A group of scholars from the United States and Europe argue in a new report that the transatlantic partners should:
- engage China’s military to provide cooperative security in the Mediterranean region via NATO;
- be willing to modify the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to regain consensus on the norm among emerging powers post-Libya; and
- acknowledge a geographic division of labor within NATO, in which Europe takes greater responsibility for crises in its neighborhood while the United States is more engaged in Asia.
These are among the recommendations of the Transatlantic Academy’s survey Liberal Order in a Post-Western World, released Monday.
Europe and the United States must accept that the international order built by the West and based on its values will not be universalized as their material and ideological hegemony wanes with the rise of China and other emerging powers, the scholars argue in the report, the product of seven months of collaborative research and analysis. The transatlantic partners must instead respond by solidifying their societies, economies, and alliance as an anchor for liberal values through the completion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other measures, while at the same time finding common ground with emerging powers to forge a new rules-based global order.
“Peacefully managing the onset of a polycentric world will require compromise, tolerance, and recognition of political diversity,” Transatlantic Academy Senior Fellow Charles A. Kupchan writes in the introductory chapter to the survey.
The scholars argue that, “As it confronts an era of geopolitical flux and uncertainty, a strong and resolute West will be needed to guide ongoing change.” Necessary steps for the “strengthening of the liberal anchor” include reinvigorating the transatlantic partnership through:
- a TTIP agreement between the United States and European Union, open for other countries to join provided they meet its standards;
- a capable NATO that accepts a geographical division of labor while maintaining full commitment to collective defense;
- the construction of a coalition for Internet governance to ensure an Internet “where access and content are open to all”; and
- greater U.S.-EU cooperation on development aid.
The report also recommends strategically engaging emerging powers in a number of areas, including:
- working with China to provide security in the Mediterranean, a region where Beijing is increasing its economic and military footprint;
- reopening the conversation on prevention of mass atrocities by using Brazil’s “Responsibility while Protecting” (RwP) proposal as a starting point to develop greater consensus; and
- cooperating with these powers on development aid.
The scholars also argue that the West must reduce its dominance of global economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to encourage emerging powers to provide more global public goods and prevent the marginalization of such institutions.
Individual chapters of the report examine how the international liberal order is viewed by countries such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria; global economic governance; TTIP; the changing world of development aid; Internet governance; China’s emerging role in the Mediterranean; and the use of partnerships to sustain order.
Liberal Order in a Post-Western World was authored by the six Academy fellows: Trine Flockhart of the Danish Institute for International Studies, Charles A. Kupchan of the Council of Foreign Relations and Georgetown University, Christina Lin of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University, Bartlomiej E. Nowak of the Vistula University in Warsaw, Patrick W. Quirk of Johns Hopkins University, and Lanxin Xiang of the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Shorter-term fellows and other scholars contributed additional chapters and boxes on topics such as monetary order, the eurozone crisis, and the Middle East.
“The previously Western-devised and -dominated world order is clearly in flux,” the report concludes. “The West need not cede all influence in shaping the rules-based world order to come, however. To the contrary, the United States and Europe can strongly shape it by consolidating their internal strength and allure as a liberal guide for future principles and actively engaging emerging actors to set new rules of the road.”