After several meetings, a group of experts, chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, has submitted a report to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), suggesting a new Strategic Concept -- or way forward -- for the military alliance.
The report, called "NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement," will be the subject of discussion at the next NATO summit, which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, in November.
In a letter that accompanied their recommendations, Albright and Jeroen van der Veer, vice chair of the group, said that the role of NATO has changed dramatically since 1999. In their estimation, NATO has "taken on an important mission far from its territory, where it works alongside civilian and military partners from around the globe; grown to twenty-eight member states; undertaken important initiatives in improvings its ability to deploy and sustain forces; and learned from and adapted its post-conflict missions in the Balkans."
So, what do the recommendations include?
NATO must be prepared to assure all its members that they will be secure against the full range of possible threats, whether they emerge from afar or from unfavorable developments in the Euro-Atlantic region.
NATO must be versatile and efficient enough to operate far from home, generally in robust partnerships, and well beyond what was anticipated in 1991. This can involve military operations but also active engagement, including consultations, practical programs of cooperation, crisis management, and support for efforts such as non-proliferation, arms control.