NATO’s Algorithm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANATO’s formula for coping effectively with the new security scenario can be based on an algorithm combining CSDP with four relevant articles of the Washington Treaty.

 C as Cooperation (Art. 2)

In this current security scenario no Nation alone is able to address the large range of threats and challenges on their own. In this respect, the new Strategic Concept, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, introduced the Cooperative Security with partners and other international organizations as a new core task, in addition to the existing collective defense and crisis management.

Moreover, the economic collaboration and the promotion of conditions of well-being, pursue by Art. 2 of the Atlantic Treaty, assume a priority more relevant than in the past among the NATO member countries. As stated in the Declaration on the Transatlantic Bond adopted in September 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales, “Our common security requires investment, based on strong economies. As we emerge from the recession, we do so with renewed dedication to promoting free trade, competitiveness, and growth across the transatlantic community, including greater defense industrial cooperation in Europe and across the Atlantic.”

To this end, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership represents an extraordinary opportunity to strengthening both security and prosperity.

S as Security (Art. 4)

In 1956, the farsighted Report on Non-Military cooperation in NATO clearly stated “that security is today far more than a military matter. The strengthening of political consultation and economic cooperation, the development of resources, progress in education and public understanding, all these can be as important, or even more important, for the protection of the security of a nation, or an alliance, as the building of a battleship or the equipping of an army.”

In addition to the traditional meaning of a static military territorial defense, the security concept acquired today new political, economic and social dimensions. Human security, the protection of the energy resources and critical infrastructures, the environment and the cyber space, are also among the new security challenges that NATO and the international organizations need to address.

To this end and in compliance with Art. 4 of the Treaty, the Cooperative Security approach with non-NATO countries around the globe is matched by an increased political role of the consultations among NATO members. In case the security of an Ally is threatened, those consultations called by Art. 4 can be effective enough to deploy batteries of Patriot missiles for the defense of NATO borders, as occurred in Turkey and perhaps tomorrow in another Allied country.

Today, security concerns also the adoption of Reassurance measures and solidarity, as the enhancing of the readiness level of the military forces and exercises in the Baltics or the solidarity expressed in the counter-terrorism cooperation.

D for Defense (Art. 5)

Mark Twain said “History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Although twenty-five years elapsed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Ukrainian crisis has highlighted that the thermometer of the relations between Moscow and the West is back menacingly at the temperatures of the Cold War. Nevertheless, the NATO primary task of collective defense appears today more difficult as it needs to cope with a wider arch of crises, spanning from the East to the South. In addition, NATO should also be prepared to face new unconventional and hybrid warfare, which exploits the cyber space and social media, together with the misuse of the diplomatic, intelligence, military, and economic instruments.

In this respect, the Wales Summit provided NATO with a Readiness Action Plan able to reinforce the Art. 5 core task of collective defense. A Very High Readiness Joint Task Force has been created while the NATO Response Force will grow to 30.000 troops.

In order to cope effectively with the new security threats and challenges, forces must be suitably equipped and trained. To this end, the NATO Heads of State and Government agreed in Wales to stop the diminishing national defense budgets and to devote in the future the 2 percent of the GDP in defense expenditures. This commitment is of paramount relevance to successfully carry out the necessary Smart Defense projects and to develop the related capabilities, as well as to keep the troops properly trained and connected by relevant exercises.

P as Partnerships and Enlargement (Art. 10)

In order to achieve Cooperative Security and to ensure Euro-Atlantic stability and security, the Alliance coordinates a wide network of partner relationships with non-NATO countries and other international organizations around the globe. At the Wales Summit, NATO decided to replace the combat operations in Afghanistan with the Resolute Support training, advisory and assistance mission.

In addition, a Defense and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative has been launched to reinforce NATO’s commitment and its cooperation programs to partner nations. Thus, helping the Alliance to project stability without deploying combat forces. The Initiative has been already extended to Georgia, Jordan and Moldova, while a defense and related security capacity advisory support for Libya might take place when conditions permit.

These efforts are pursue by NATO in complementarity and close cooperation with other international organizations, in particular the United Nations, the European Union, and the OSCE, which are called to severely reconsider the effectiveness of their partnership programs and neighborhood policies in the East as well as in the South.

The partnership programs with European countries are also to be evaluated in relations to NATO’s Open Door Policy and Art. 10 of the Treaty. In this respect, there is an “unfinished business” of the Euro-Atlantic institutions in the Western Balkans that cannot be neglected.


The initials of the aforementioned tasks recall the CSDP acronym of the Common Security and Defense Policy, and the ineludible need for developing a real strategic partnership between NATO and the European Union.

This is particularly necessary in the present security scenario. In 2013, for the first time, the defense expenditures of the Eurasian countries exceeded those of the European Allies while the Russian Federation is increasing its expenditures on military armaments and is ready to surmount the combined defense budgets of France and United Kingdom in 2016.

Moreover, the growing gap between the two sides of the Atlantic regarding defense expenditures and investments is undermining not only the operational interoperability between the European Allies and the United States, but the very foundation of the Atlantic Alliance, namely that Transatlantic Bond which is the bedrock of the indivisibility of our security and collective defense.

Notwithstanding that twenty-two of twenty-eight  European countries are member of both organizations, the Wales Transatlantic Declaration reminds us that a more responsible role of the European Allies is needed to “further strengthen the Transatlantic Bond, enhance the security of all Allies and ensure a more fair and balanced sharing of costs and responsibilities.” A conclusion that was immediately clear to the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who declared in 1951 that “A solid, healthy, confident Europe would be the greatest possible boon to the functioning and objectives of the Atlantic Pact.”