Leon Ryrko

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Future of NATO: strategic objectives and internal structure

The Strategic Concept published at the Lisbon Summit in 2010 was in several ways «first» : it is the first one adopted in the 21st century, it is the first one of which the content was publicly debated and the first one since the EU Eastern enlargement. In 2014 at the Wales summit, the members of the Alliance repeated their commitment to invest 2% of the GDP in defense and security until 2024. During the Warsaw Summit last summer, the NATO officially extended its operational ground to four pillars adding cyber defence to it. It seems that NATO has a lot of work to do, but is determined to achieve their objectives. But, where is it actually heading to?

The 21st century brought new situations and threats unimaginable before. Global terrorism is on the rise. The democratisation of the Internet made communication and information broader, deeper, more radical and more blurred than ever before. Populist movements rise up again. The eurozone became the third biggest economy, the €uro the second largest reserve currency. Some member governments of the Alliance do not seem to defend liberal, democratic values anymore. NATO faces nowadays more mobile threats through global terrorism and cyber attacks. NATO faces nowadays intrinsic threats with the resurge of political extreme movements. NATO faces nowadays a lethargic European military and an ineffective American one. But, NATO is not anymore a military concession, NATO is a guarantee of peace and freedom.

NATO is more important than ever before. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the bipolar world order transformed to a blurred structure of regional hegemonies. On one hand a reminiscent of the Cold War era, NATO is on the other hand one of the few constants in international relations. Since 1955, Germany supported NATO operations. With the time, the Federal Republic became one of the strategic members of the Alliance. In return, NATO ensured more than once, German sovereignty over its territory. The history of the relation between Germany and NATO tells much about the current situation. The Russian aggression in Ukraine led the German government to intensify its commitment to the Alliance. The Federal Republic is the second-largest direct financ...