NATO: United States Policy Toward NATO: a Dossier
What is a Dossier?Via the dossiers, we try to highlight the priorities of the US Government with regard to specific foreign policy policy issues. We provide statements by U.S. public officials, but also reports, hearings, and journal articles.
"The key question for the United States now must be how we and our Allies can make NATO as effective in the 21st Century as it was in the 20th”-Ambassador Ivo Daalder.
Major US Government Statements
A select list of major statements with policy value.
Latest US Government Statements
The most recent statements in reverse chronological order.
The Posture of the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command Hearing: U.S. House, Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2013.CRS: NATO's Chicago Summit Paul Belkin, May 14, 2012 This Congressional Research Service report explains the issues to be covered at the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago, where talks about Afghanistan, "smart defense," and partnerships with non-NATO members are supposed to dominate.Hearing: NATO: Chicago and Beyond. U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, May 10, 2012Hearing: NATO: The Chicago Summit and U.S. Policy. U.S. House, Foreign Affairs Committee, April 26, 2012Testimony:
- The Honorable Dan Burton,
- The Honorable Tina S. Kaidanow,
- Mr. James Townsend,
- Mr. Damon Wilson,
- Mr. Luke Coffey,
- Stephen Flanagan, Ph.D.,
- The Honorable Gregory W. Meeks
Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense. Source: U.S. Defense Department, January 2012.
Light Footprints: The Future of American Military Intervention. Major Fernando Lujan, CNAS Report, March 7, 2013, var. pages. "With 'light footprint' military interventions fast becoming a central part of American strategy, Major Fernando Lujan, USA, a Special Forces officer and visiting fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), examines the utility of this approach and recommends adoption of a new strategic framework to guide it in Light Footprints: The Future of American Military Intervention. In this study, the author argues that to effectively deal with emerging threats in places like Mali, Yemen, Uganda or Libya, civilian and military leaders at all levels should understand not only the strategic uses and limitations of light footprints, but also the ways that the current defense bureaucracy can undermine their success." READ MORE
Unmanned Flight: the Drones Come Home. John Horgan, National Geographic, February 20, 2013, var. pages. "The prospect of American skies swarming with drones raises more than just safety concerns. It alarms privacy advocates as well. Infrared and radio-band sensors used by the military can peer through clouds and foliage and can even detect people inside buildings." READ MORE
NATO Global Partnerships: Strategic Opportunities and Imperatives in a Globalized World. Franklin D. Kramer, Atlantic Council, March 05, 2013 pp. 1-14."International security in today's globalized world demands a framework responsive to interconnectedness, multiple power centers, shared vulnerabilities, and dramatic change. To meet these diverse challenges that affect the security of its members, NATO, as the West's premier security organization, must reach beyond the transatlantic arena. It must link with other nations whose world views are comparable and whose capacities complement NATO’s strengths. NATO's global partnerships are critical elements in providing an effective international security framework and, therefore, are a vital key to generating a stable and secure international system. This report by Atlantic Council Board Director and Distinguished Fellow Franklin D. Kramer is the third that the Atlantic Council has issued in the last year focusing on how NATO needs to respond to the increasingly dynamic currents of history that the transatlantic nations face. What they all have reflected is that the world is at a turning point, where new powers are rising, new challenges are emerging, and long-practiced approaches to international security must be rethought. For NATO, the question is whether one of history’s great institutions can also become one of the future’s most relevant players. It won’t happen without change." READ MORE
The Future of NATO. Younghoon Moon, Harvard International Review, Winter 2013, pp. 19-21. "The article discusses the purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the post-Cost War era. Critics argue that NATO has not strictly been needed to resolve the conflicts in which it has recently intervened, including the Kosovo war, the Afghan war and the Libyan conflict. It notes that NATO's recent mission in Libya, called Operation Unified Protector, has exposed the alliance's internal division and over-reliance on the U.S. The war in Afghanistan also revealed a number of flaws in NATO, including the inequitable distribution of financial burden between the U.S. and Europe." READ MORE
Explaining states’ burden-sharing behaviour within NATO. Ida M. Oma, Cooperation & Conflict, December 2012, pp. 562-573. "This article reviews the state of literature relevant to states’ burden-sharing behaviour within NATO. The purpose is two-fold: first, to delineate the different dependent variables and evaluate whether important questions have been left untreated, and, second, to assess strengths and weaknesses of the explanations that have been proffered. It is argued that while the system-level explanations capture major incentives to contribute, the domestic-level explanations are necessary in understanding specific decision-outcomes. The existing integrative models are superior to each explanation or level of analysis individually but tend to portrait domestic leaders as rather passive registers of international and domestic pressures. Empirically speaking, it is argued that more studies of contributions to distinct events, i.e. NATO operations, are needed, particularly focusing on cases of small states. The dependent variable of form of contributions is seemingly the least explored and may require incorporation of other theoretical arguments than utilized in existing works." READ MORE
Turkey’s quest for NATO membership: the institutionalization of the Turkish–American alliance. Şuhnaz Yılmaz, Journal of Southeast European & Black Sea Studies, December 2012, pp. 481-495. "This article aims to analyze the institutionalization of the Turkish–American alliance through the Turkish pursuit of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership. It examines the external as well as some of the internal factors that shaped this transformation during the period of 1945–1952, starting with the end of the Second World War and lasting until Turkey’s accession to NATO. The main argument of this paper is that Turkey’s NATO membership has institutionalized three important transformations. The first one is the culmination of Turkey’s long-lasting search for security. The second one is Turkey’s quest for Westernization and an acknowledgement of its identity and role as an integral part of the West and its institutions. Finally, the third and more specific one is the institutionalization of the Turkish–American alliance through Turkey’s NATO membership, which has become one of the main pillars of Turkish foreign policy to this date." READ MORE
The evolving security environment in the eastern Mediterranean: is NATO still a relevant actor? Thanos Dokos, Journal of Southeast European & Black Sea Studies, December 2012, pp. 575-590. "The article aims to briefly describe the main trends and drivers in the Mediterranean and the Middle East (with an emphasis on the eastern Mediterranean) and to assess whether NATO has a meaningful role to play, either as an autonomous actor, or in cooperation with the EU or regional actors. More specifically, the article will assess the possible contribution of NATO in the following areas/missions: (a) peacemaking operations/PSOs, humanitarian intervention (Libya-type) and post-conflict stabilization; (b) security sector reform; (c) maritime security; (d) combating WMD proliferation; and (e) energy security." READ MORE
The NATO–EU–Turkey trilogy: the impact of the Cyprus conundrum. Sinem Akgul Acikmese, Dimitrios Triantaphyllou, Journal of Southeast European & Black Sea Studies, December 2012, pp. 555-573. "The Cyprus conundrum presents a major challenge to western security structures and relationships in particular with regard to Turkey’s European Union (EU) accession process and the stalled Berlin plus arrangements between NATO and the EU. This article argues that the Cyprus question is neither the sole reason for blocking the progress, nor is its resolution the panacea for unblocking the interwoven stalemate in the NATO–EU and the EU–Turkey relationships. In this context, this article will first provide a brief synopsis of the history of relations between Turkey and the EU as well as between the EU and NATO; and the gridlocks within these relationships with specific sections on the role of the Cyprus issue. It will then question whether or not the Cyprus issue is the decisive catalyst for blocking progress in the NATO–EU–Turkey triangle, through a thorough study on the relevance of other internal and external forces at play." READ MORE
NATO's dealing with a different Gulf now. Jean Loup Samaan, NATO Review, December 2012, var. pages. "What does the Arab Spring mean for NATO? Jean Loup Samaan looks at whether the Alliance needs to change its approach to Arab countries post-Arab Spring, how these changes could look and how to overcome obstacles." READ MORE
A Still-Strong Alliance. Charles A Kupchan, Policy Review, Apr/May 2012, var. pp. [...]of the American Era, I foresaw a European Union whose deepening mtegration would gradually give it the wherewithal to chart its own course, fostering an independence that would come at the expense of Atlantic solidarity. [...]leaders across the West should rally behind an agenda of progressive populism - one intended to channel electoral discontent toward constructive ends and enable centrist voters to prevail against special interests and the political extremes. READ MORE
NATO Goes Realistic. Bernard E. Brown, American Foreign Policy Interests, pp. 80-85. The two pillars of the Atlantic Alliance are the United States and the European Union (EU). In 2011, France and the United Kingdom went to war in Libya entirely outside the defense structures of the EU. It was also the first time a major military operation was carried out by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that was not under the leadership of the United States. This article presents reasons why the EU was totally absent in Libya and why it does not necessarily portend “Europeanization” of the Alliance. The fundamental problem in organizing transatlantic relations is the asymmetrical relationship between the United States and Europe. READ MORE
War Powers and the Atlantic Divide. Kenneth B. Moss, Orbis, Spring 2012, pp. 289-307. “As within the United States debates have arisen over how much unilateral power the President has to deploy force, so too debates are being raised across Europe. Depending on each country’s history, system of government, and economic status, various historic positions are shifting. Public, as well as elite, voices are shaping the debate. Another point of tension is NATO’s changing role as countries develop autonomous war caveats. Extended analysis of how Great Britain and Germany are grappling with these concerns has great import for U.S. policy. Learning to skillfully persuade its European allies will gain the United States better cooperation from those who do not share the U.S. war powers model.” READ MORE
U.S.-Europe Relations. Is the historic trans-Atlantic alliance still relevant? Roland Flamini, CQ Researcher, March 23, 2012, var. pages. “Following World War II, the U.S. alliance with Western Europe stood as the cornerstone of American foreign policy in the face of Cold War threats from what was then the Soviet Union. Forged in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — the alliance's enduring defense pact — the partnership is rooted in the shared values of democracy, rule of law and free-market principles. But with the emergence of China and India as global economic powers, the Arab Spring revolutions and Iran's uncertain nuclear ambitions, the United States has shifted its political and security priorities to the Asia-Pacific region, leaving Europe worried that its historic ties with the United States are fraying. In May, President Obama will host two meetings of European leaders that could help define the trans-Atlantic alliance for years to come: a NATO summit in Chicago and a summit of the Group of 8 industrialized nations at Camp David, the presidential retreat.” READ MORE
NATO’s 2012 Chicago summit: a chance to ignore the issues once again? Andrew M. Dorman, International Affairs, pp. 301–312. The NATO organization and its members are beginning to gear themselves up for the forthcoming summit in Chicago in May 2012. Such summits are always important, especially when they are held in the United States. For example, the 1999 Washington summit held to mark the alliance’s 50th anniversary occurred against the background of an apparently failing war in Kosovo and a US President fearing impeachment as a result of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Moreover, this summit is happening in a US presidential election year and in a location particularly symbolic for the current incumbent President Obama. It will also follow on from the French presidential elections, thus presenting the first opportunity for either the new French president or a re-elected Nicolas Sarkozy to make a mark on the international scene. READ MORE
Willing or waning? NATO's role in an age of coalitions. Karsten Jung, World Affairs, March 16, 2012, pp. 43+ “Twenty years after the great debate over NATO's future at the end of the Cold War, we appear to have come full circle--"back to the future," in John Mearsheimer's words. Its instrumental role in pacifying the Balkans, its major commitment in Afghanistan, and its recent operation in Libya notwithstanding, the role and relevance of the alliance appear no more certain today than they were when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. International relations specialists are certainly wondering. Rajan Menon has recently pondered "the end of alliances," and Stanley Sloan speculated about whether NATO might no longer be a "permanent alliance." In April 2011, James Joyner joyfully declared that the Libyan operation was helping "NATO get its groove back," but only four months later, toward the end of an exhausting half-year battle with Muammar el-Qaddafi's third-rate force, he was much less optimistic, penning a commentary for the National Interest titled "NATO fails in Libya.” READ MORE
NATO's Victory in Libya. The Right Way to Run an Intervention. By Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis, Foreign Affairs, February 2, 2012, var. pp. “NATO's operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention. The alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime. It succeeded in protecting those civilians and, ultimately, in providing the time and space necessary for local forces to overthrow Muammar al-Qaddafi. And it did so by involving partners in the region and sharing the burden among the alliance's members. NATO's involvement in Libya demonstrated that the alliance remains an essential source of stability. But to preserve that role, NATO must solidify the political cohesion and shared capabilities that made the operation in Libya possible -- particularly as its leaders prepare for the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago this May.” READ MORE
NATO and Emerging Security Challenges: Beyond the Deterrence Paradigm. Michael Rühle, American Foreign Policy Interests, November 2011 , pp. 278-282. “New security challenges, ranging from cyberattacks to failing states, cannot be deterred by the threat of military retaliation, nor will military operations be the appropriate response in most cases. Instead, the emphasis must be on prevention and enhancing resilience. If the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) wants to play a meaningful role in addressing such challenges, it will have to develop a clearer understanding of the nature of these challenges, build closer ties with other nations and institutions, and seek partnerships with the private sector. Above all, allies will have to use NATO as a forum for discussing emerging security challenges and their implications.” READ MORE
Toward a New Transatlantic Bargain. Karl-Heinz Kamp and Kurt Volker, February 1, 2012, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, var. pp. “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is often described as the most successful military alliance in history. In addition to longevity, those characterizing NATO this way are usually thinking of the Alliance’s role in protecting freedom and guaranteeing peace in Europe against a hostile Soviet Union, right up until the Iron Curtain fell. NATO’s role in ending ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, and in helping to reintegrate Central and Eastern Europe into the mainstream of the continent, only added to this positive image of the Alliance. For NATO to hold together all this time—even amid such monumental challenges as the Suez crisis, the Hungarian revolution, the Prague Spring, Vietnam, Pershing missiles, and Kosovo—it is clear that allies maintained an underlying commitment to each other and to the cause of an alliance greater than the sum of its parts. The recognition that each side of the Atlantic was willing to sacrifice a bit to the other for the benefit of the whole is what is meant by the concept of a “transatlantic bargain.” For decades, this transatlantic bargain—though predominantly unstated and uncodified—was instinctively understood and acted upon. In more recent years, this transatlantic bond has been sorely tested, over the war in Iraq, over different perceptions of Russia, of missile defense, of terrorism, and even over differing interpretations of relations with Georgia and Ukraine. Whether or how NATO survives the severity of these tests still remains to be seen. NATO will surely come out best, however, if there is a renewed commitment on both sides of the Atlantic to some of the fundamentals of the Alliance that are important to both sides—a renewal of the transatlantic bargain.” READ MORE