Influencing the Discourse


on Global Issues

Smart Defense and the Future of NATO

Chicago, IL

03.28.12 - 03.30.12

Overview

Announcement

05.14.12

Public Release of Conference Report and Expert Papers

To view the conference report and expert papers, please click the “Conference Papers” tab (above).

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ speech in June 2011 repeated in public what many have privately acknowledged: NATO, the lynchpin of European security and transatlantic relations, faces “the real possibility [of] a dim, if not dismal future.” The experience in Afghanistan—and, to a greater degree, in Libya—has pointed to a) the consequences of chronically underfunding defense establishments; b) the difficulties in getting 28 sovereign states to commit resources equitably and predictably; and c) the speed at which new threats are emerging. The transatlantic alliance must confront—and quickly—a number of fundamental strategic questions about its future.

Just two months prior to the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted a two-day international conference on the future of the alliance. The timing and location of the conference served as a force multiplier, attracting some of the best academics, policy practitioners, and experts interested in “setting the scene” for the upcoming summit. The Chicago Council engaged a consortium of eight think tanks from NATO member countries and commissioned a set of papers to serve as the backbone of conference discussions. The papers, as well as a final conference report, were publicly released on May 14, 2012 in advance of the NATO summit.

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Agenda

03.28.12

The Future of NATO

6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Public Program with Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School; former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; and former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO

7:30 pm - 9:15 pm

Private Dinner with Remarks by General Stéphane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), NATO

Introduction:

  • Dr. Rachel Bronson, Vice President, Studies, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

03.29.12

Collective Defense in the Midst of Economic Turmoil

8:45 am - 9:00 am

Welcome

  • Marshall M. Bouton, President, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

9:00 am - 10:15 am

Economic Realities: The Scope and Depth of Austerity

Economic turmoil on both sides of the Atlantic is leading to a serious reconsideration of spending priorities, including defense spending. How states respond today will have a profound impact on tomorrow's capabilities. How are global economic conditions impacting national security decision-making processes and domestic budgetary considerations? What does slow or stagnant growth mean for member states’ defense spending, investment, and financial contributions to NATO? What does it mean for the Alliance’s ability to carry out current operations? What are the implications for future missions and capabilities?

Speakers:

  • Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, MP, Chairman, UK Defence Select Committee
  • Adrian P. Kendry, Senior Defence Economist and Head, Defence and Security Economics Directorate, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Chair:

  • Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel, Vice President for Community, Government, and International Affairs, DePaul University, and former U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Berlin

Paper Writer:

  • Dr. Josef Braml, Co-Editor, "DGAP-Jahrbuch" (Yearbook), German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

NATO's Political Ambitions in a Changing Strategic Context

Have U.S. and other allied interests diverged? Do European and Canadian allies have their own vision for NATO's future? How can NATO devise a strategy in line with its ambitions, and where should it place its focus in light of America's pivot toward Asia? What types of stresses might future political ambitions place on NATO's consensus decision-making?

Speakers:

  • Dr. Karl-Heinz Kamp, Director, Research Division, NATO Defense College
  • Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council, and former special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs, U.S. National Security Council
  • Dr. Bogusław W. Winid, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Chair:

  • Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Director, The German Marshall Fund of the United States - France

Paper Writer:

  • Dr. Henning Riecke, Head, Transatlantic Relations Program, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch and Keynote Address by Ambassador Ivo Daalder, United States Permanent Representative to NATO

Introduction:

  • Ambassador Fay Hartog Levin, Senior Advisor, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

Afghanistan: Learning the Right Lessons and Turning to Transition

How effective has NATO been in commanding complex military operations? ISAF has taken a large share of responsibility in Afghanistan: what lessons can be learned from balancing interests of contributing nations with different levels of training, different command structures, rotating commands, sharing of air resources, and divided command? Can military effectiveness be improved given NATO's basic political structure? What are the mid- and long-term obstacles confronting transition in 2014 and the enduring partnership with Afghanistan? What implications will these challenges have on Afghanistan's economic future?

Speakers:

  • Dr. Mark R. Jacobson, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, and former Deputy NATO Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) and Director of International Affairs, NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Kabul
  • Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard (Ret.), Mentor/Senior Directing Staff, Canadian Forces College, and former Commander, Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM)
  • Ahmed Rashid, Journalist and Author of Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan

Chair:

  • Professor Michael Clarke, Director General, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

Paper Writers:

  • Beata Górka-Winter, Programme Coordinator on International Security, The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM)
  • Dr. Elinor Sloan, Associate Professor of International Relations, Carleton University, Ottawa

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Implementing Smart Defense

What are the basic requirements for operationalizing the "smart defense" agenda? Can concepts, such as the Mission Focus Groups, be helpful? What mechanisms exist, or should be built, to inform and consult on pending national decisions that could affect Alliance capabilities? How can the NATO summit in Chicago promote a more capable alliance vis-à-vis smart defense?

Speakers:

  • Dr. Hans Binnendijk, Vice President for Research and Applied Learning, National Defense University (NDU), and Director and Roosevelt Chair, Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)
  • Sir Brian Burridge, Vice President, Strategic Marketing, Finmeccanica UK Ltd.

Paper Writer and Chair:

  • Dr. Camille Grand, Director, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS)

03.30.12

Diplomacy, Partnerships, and Cooperative Security

9:00 am - 10:30 am

NATO-Russia Relations: Achieving Meaningful Dialogue?

What are the concrete achievements of the U.S.-Russia "reset," and what is the outlook for a step change in NATO-Russia relations? Is genuine partnership possible if Russia does not see security as indivisible? Is there scope for technical and industrial cooperation short of missile defense cooperation? Can there be more cooperation on Afghanistan, transnational threats, and issues pertaining to the global commons? What are the implications of bilateral arrangements with Russia (such as in Germany) for the alliance?

Speakers:

  • Steve Andreasen, National Security Consultant, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), and former Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, U.S. National Security Council
  • Ambassador Rastislav Káčer, President, Slovak Atlantic Commission, and former Ambassador of Slovakia to the United States
  • Dr. Dmitri Trenin, Director, Carnegie Moscow Center

Chair:

Dr. Kennette Benedict, Executive Director and Publisher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Paper Writers:

  • Dr. Isabelle Francois, Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Security Studies, National Defense University (NDU)
  • Dr. Dmitri Trenin, Director, Carnegie Moscow Center

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Strategic Partnerships: New Partners for New Challenges

How can NATO streamline its command structure to better integrate partners into future operations? Is there capacity for more training, capabilities, and/or support for democratic civilian-military cooperation in times of economic stress? What is Turkey's vision for the region, and where can it exercise leverage? Should partners in the Asia Pacific, like Australia, be more directly engaged?

Speakers:

  • His Excellency Kim Beazley, AC, Ambassador of the Commonwealth of Australia to the United States
  • Franklin Kramer, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Ambassador Ümit Pamir, former Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO, and Member of the High Advisory Board, Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) at Istanbul Kültür University

Chair:

  • General Vincenzo Camporini (Ret.), Vice President, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), and former Chief of Defence General Staff, Italian Armed Forces

Paper Writers:

  • Dr. Jonathan Eyal, Senior Fellow and Director, International Studies, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
  • Lieutenant General Şadi Ergüvenç (Ret.), former Military Representative of Turkey, NATO Military Committee, and Member of the High Advisory Board, Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) at Istanbul Kültür University

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch and Keynote Address by Dr. Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

Introduction:

  • Dr. Fran Burwell, Vice President and Director, Transatlantic Relations Program, Atlantic Council of the United States

2:15 pm - 3:45 pm

The Transatlantic Bargain After Gates

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ speech in June 2011 repeated in public what many have privately acknowledged: NATO, the lynchpin of European security and transatlantic relations, faces “the real possibility [of] a dim, if not dismal future.” What will this mean for NATO? Moreover, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made it clear that the United States will pivot from its traditional Westward focus and look to “lock in a substantially increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region.” Although Secretary Clinton has made clear that Europe is a partner of “first resort,” where does NATO fit into a broader U.S. security strategy? Is the United States beginning to see NATO as a European security framework rather than a transatlantic one? What does the future hold for NATO and for America’s leadership role within the Alliance?

Speakers:

  • His Excellency Martin Erdmann, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO
  • His Excellency Philippe Errera, Permanent Representative of France to NATO
  • Barry Pavel, Director-Designate, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council

Chair:

  • Dr. Rachel Bronson, Vice President, Studies, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Paper writers:

  • Barry Pavel, Director-Designate, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council; and Jeff Lightfoot, Deputy Director, Program on International Security, Atlantic Council

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm

Concluding Remarks:

  • Dr. Rachel Bronson, Vice President, Studies, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Speakers

General Stéphane Abrial

Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, Allied Command Transformation, NATO

Bio

Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns

Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School

Bio

The Honorable Ivo Daalder

United States Permanent Representative to NATO

Bio

Dr. Jamie Shea

Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

Bio

Steve Andreasen

National Security Consultant, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)

Bio

Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, MP

Chairman, UK Defence Select Committee

Bio

His Excellency Kim Beazley, AC

Australian Ambassador to the United States

Bio

Dr. Kennette Benedict

Executive Director and Publisher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Bio

Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel

Vice President for Community, Government, and International Affairs, DePaul University

Bio

Dr. Hans Binnendijk

Vice President for Research, National Defense University

Bio

Marshall M. Bouton

President, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Bio

Dr. Rachel Bronson

Vice President, Studies, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Bio

Sir Brian Burridge

Vice President, Strategic Marketing, Finmeccanica UK

Bio

Dr. Fran Burwell

Vice President and Director, Program on Transatlantic Relations, Atlantic Council of the United States

Bio

General Vincenzo Camporini (Ret.)

Vice President, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)

Bio

Professor Michael Clarke

Director General, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

Bio

His Excellency Martin Erdmann

Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO

Bio

His Excellency Philippe Errera

Permanent Representative of France to NATO

Bio

Dr. Camille Grand

Director, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS)

Bio

Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer

Director, The German Marshall Fund of the United States - France

Bio

Dr. Mark R. Jacobson

Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Bio

Ambassador Rastislav Káčer

President, Slovak Atlantic Commission

Bio

Dr. Karl-Heinz Kamp

Director, Research Division, NATO Defense College

Bio

Adrian Kendry

Senior Defence Economist and Head of Defence and Security Economics, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO

Bio

Franklin Kramer

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense

Bio

Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard (Ret.)

Former Commander, Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM)

Bio

Ambassador Fay Hartog Levin

Senior Advisor, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Bio

Ambassador Ümit Pamir

Former Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO

Bio

Barry Pavel

Director-Designate, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council of the United States

Bio

Ahmed Rashid

Author and Journalist

Bio

Dr. Dmitri Trenin

Director, Carnegie Moscow Center

Bio

Damon Wilson

Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council of the United States

Bio

Dr. Bogusław W. Winid

Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Bio

Conference Papers

Conference Report and Expert Papers

Coauthors:

Lisa Aronsson, research fellow, transatlantic security studies, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), and Molly O'Donnell, director, Emerging Leaders Program, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

This publication includes the “Smart Defense and the Future of NATO” conference report and expert papers, as well as a foreword by Marshall M. Bouton, president, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. A list of conference participants and the conference agenda are also included.

Read On

"NATO’s Inward Outlook: Global Burden Shifting"

Author:

Josef Braml, editor-in-chief, DGAP Yearbook, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

While European NATO partners have their difficulties coping with economic problems, the dire economic and budgetary situation in the United States matters more for the alliance. We have become familiar with the challenges European members face in fulfilling their obligations. But we should understand that NATO’s lead nation, shouldering three-quarters of the alliance’s operating budget, is in deep economic, budgetary, and political trouble. Hence the United States will seek ways to share the burden with partners inside and outside NATO. With the instrument of a “global NATO,” the United States continues to assert its values and interests worldwide. In addition to the transatlantic allies, democracies in Asia will be invited to contribute their financial and military share to establish a liberal world order.

Read On

"Focused Engagement: NATO's Political Ambitions in a Changing Strategic Context"

Author:

Henning Riecke, head of the Transatlantic Relations Program, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

NATO is the strongest military alliance in the world, but it faces a strategic dilemma. Should it focus on a limited set of tasks, or should it broaden its mandate and expand its geographic focus? How can NATO renew the consensus about its purpose as it faces new challenges and smaller means? Existing strategic challenges remain such as Russia’s drive for dominance, developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and transnational risks like terrorism. Other challenging developments are gaining in strategic importance. The Arab Spring might shift power structures along the southern brim of the Mediterranean. The growing importance of China and other emerging states as global players—active also in Europe’s neighborhood—must be of concern for the alliance, together with the turn of U.S. foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific region. A focused engagement on the regions closer to NATO territory, a clear strategic view of cross-border risks, innovative efforts for better partnerships, and limited missions if necessary might provide a pragmatic mix of solutions that serve the interests of all allies, even the most powerful.

Read On

"Challenges for the Security Sector in Afghanistan: How to Save Reform?"

Author:

Beata Górka-Winter, program coordinator on international security, Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM)

Recent dramatic events in Afghanistan expose the lack of trust between the parties involved in the state-building process and the resultant difficulties to be faced in the future. Despite the “ISAF fatigue” felt by most NATO countries, the alliance must be willing and able to engage substantially with its Afghan partners to overcome these difficulties. Local ownership of state-building efforts in Afghanistan is lacking. Challenges for the security sector include the possible decomposition of the Afghan National Army (ANA), the mounting security threats to the population stemming from the presence of armed groups of different origins, and the vast amount of time and resources it will take to sustain the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Consequently, continued support from the international community is necessary. NATO should deliver the message to the Afghan people that it will remain committed to ensuring their security.

Read On

"NATO and Crisis Management Operations: A Canadian Perspective"

Author:

Elinor Sloan, associate professor of international relations, Carleton University (Ottawa, ON, Canada)

This paper looks at NATO’s ability to conduct out-of-area crisis management operations, focusing specifically on Canada’s engagement in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the period 2006 to 2011. It brings to light the manner in which the Canadian experience changed over time as its troops moved from being under U.S. command, to under NATO command with a distracted America, to under NATO command with an engaged U.S. core. The paper assesses five layers of relationships Canada has in the security/defense arena. All layers are important in different ways, and the ideal for Canada to fight with its “four eyes” partners. The bottom line, as drawn out clearly in this case, is strong U.S. leadership: Canada should say “yes” to operations preponderantly led by the United States. Canada must ensure from the outset that any future NATO non-Article 5 operation in which it participates enjoys core U.S. support and direction.

Read On

"Smart Defense"

Author:

Camille Grand, director, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS)

Austerity measures spurred by the global financial crisis have led to decreases in defense spending in almost all allied countries, especially in Europe. Indeed, these cuts are the most visible marker of the chal- lenges to Western leadership in international security affairs. As former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates cautioned in his famous farewell speech in Brussels, there is serious risk of the “demilitarization” of Europe as more and more nations are unable to provide militarily relevant forces to NATO (or EU) operations. In this context, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen launched the “Smart Defense” concept in February 2010, which aims to transform the approach to defense acquisition in order to deliver capabilities in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. A multifaceted concept, Smart Defense promotes new ideas and manage- ment, facilitates better coordination within NATO, and provides strategic responses to capability shortfalls. It will require significant political will and cooperation among allied countries, but is critical in combatting the current challenges of the defense sector.

Read On

"NATO-Russia Relations: Toward a “Strategic Partnership?"

Author:

Isabelle Francois, distinguished visiting research fellow, Center for Transatlantic Security Studies, National Defense University

The formal launch of the NATO-Russia relationship in 1997 has resulted in fifteen years of progress, but also disappointment and frustration on both sides, raising questions about the effectiveness of the relationship and its precarious future. Russian and NATO goals and expectations are often at odds, and dialogue over issues of European security has been shaky. The Russo-Georgian conflict in 2008 typified these opposing interests and reinforced differences within the alliance on how best to engage with Russia. Does the necessary political will exist with which to develop consensus for joint action? Can a “strategic partnership” between NATO and Russia truly exist when the parties’ interests diverge as fundamentally as they do? The NATO-Russia Council has for the most part failed in its overarching goal of developing an inclusive security community within Europe. That said, at practical level there have been significant milestones in the relationship—notably with regard to Afghanistan—but the road ahead appears bumpy. In addition to a broad security dialogue involving high-level political and military engagement, an enduring foundation of confidence and trust between the two partners must be built for there to be any hope of sustainable cooperation leading to a new quality of relations in the future.

Read On

"NATO, Russia, and the Vision of a Euro-Atlantic Security Community"

Author:

Dmitri Trenin, director, Carnegie Moscow Center

While there have been improvements in the U.S.-Russia relationship, relations are still stuck halfway between former enmity and aspired strategic partnership. Emphasis should be placed on transforming relations to make an inclusive security community in the region more likely. In addition to transforming strategic relations between the United States and Russia, historical reconciliation must be achieved between Russia and several NATO member countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Without either of these, there will be no inclusive security community in the Euro-Atlantic and thus no stable peace in this part of the world. The challenges are tremendous, but returning to the status quo is not a sustainable, longer-term option. Missile defense can act as a catalyst in improving relations.

Read On

"NATO and the Middle East: A Positive Agenda for Change"

Author:

Jonathan Eyal, senior research fellow and director, international studies, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

NATO has been given an excellent opportunity to refocus itself. For once, its cooperation framework is likely to become important. Indeed, with the recent challenges in the Middle East and North Africa, NATO is virtually guaranteed to have a role to play. And it has a lot to offer—it is the one organization with the most extensive track record in managing military transformation, an area of experience and expertise that will be essential in the region. It has the necessary credibility to engage with military establishments in the region, and the Arab Spring is inviting NATO to do what it does best—engage in discussions and dialogue on core military issues. The negatives pale in comparison to the potential positives if NATO engages as an enduring example that “soft” security measures can still help achieve hard security goals.

Read On

"Turkey’s NATO Agenda: What Role in the Middle East?"

Author:

Lieutenant General Şadi Ergüvenç (Ret.), member of the High Advisory Board, Global Political Trends Center (GPoT), Istanbul Kültür University

Turkey relied on the NATO alliance throughout the Cold War years, but, at times, it has come to feel like the “lone wolf” in the alliance. The country still relies on NATO, to be sure, but the extent to which Turkey can count on NATO is contingent upon NATO’s cohesion in how it contends with pressing security concerns. Given Turkey’s strategic geopolitical location, Turkey cannot remain indifferent to the ongoing crises in North Africa and the Middle East. Indeed, Turkey has demonstrated the ability to facilitate intensive dialogue and consultation to promote regional peace and stability.

Read On

"The Transatlantic Bargain After Gates"

Coauthors:

Barry Pavel, Arnold Kanter Chair and director-designate, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, and director of the Program on International Security, Atlantic Council; and Jeff Lightfoot, deputy director of the Program on International Security, Atlantic Council

As the United States reassesses its defense priorities towards the Indo-Pacific region amid cutbacks on defense spending, European partners in NATO must take on a larger responsibility for security within their own region and remain a close partner with the United States in providing security for the Middle East.

Read On