NATO-Lisbon :: Segurança desafia estratégia (autores convidados)
A multiplicidade e a dupla natureza (interna e externa) dos desafios com que a NATO se depara actualmente condicionam as suas opções estratégicas, mas só um conceito estratégico apurado permite uma resposta eficaz da Aliança a esses mesmos desafios – este argumento está na base do contributo de Inês de Carvalho Narciso para o debate em torno da Cimeira da NATO em Lisboa. Inês de Carvalho Narciso é licenciada em Relações Internacionais pelo ISCSP-UTL e tem um LLM em Law and Politics of International Security pela VU Amsterdam. Foi investigadora no Peace Research Institute Frankfurt e colabora igualmente com o IPRI – Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais. Integra ainda, desde 2006, a direcção da Associação da Juventude Portuguesa do Atlântico.
Security challenges NATO Strategy
After the 2nd World War many transformations have been occurring in the world which have a direct impact on the organization of the international system, on the distribution of power, and on the understandings of security and threats.
From the optimistic perspective of the “End of history” political leaders and the military were confronted with a diffusion of power, with “new wars”, and the need to develop mechanisms to face a new security context in which traditional conceptions of “threat”, “enemy”; or even “war” were replaced by more complex and diffuse threats which required the transformation and adaptation of the existing mechanisms of prevention and maintenance of international security.
Globalization, Regionalization; the expansion of the concept of security; and new types of threats are some of the examples which enhanced, and still enhance, the need of the actors of the international system to constantly review their strategic postures in relation to a constant and quick change of the strategic environment.
This is so since both actors’ objectives and the risks and constraints they face are multidimensional and constantly changing.
Very briefly, one could identify some Security Challenges that concern NATO as an organization, and its member states, by dividing them into two categories: Internal and External Challenges, as in the table below.
At the same time, none of the challenges identified can be isolated from the others. Instead, international security has to be analyzed as a whole.
Therefore, the distinct feature of today’s international security state of the art is its multidimensional character and the urge to combine efforts, wills, and capabilities in order to respond to complex and diffuse threats.
NATO has an element of this very same system is constantly questioned and the path it will follow is not a given. On the contrary NATO’s existence, potential and concrete contributions to international security are issues which do not lead to a unique answer, even between Allies.
However, during 60 years the Allies have managed to accommodate interests and to maintain NATO has an important organization. Indeed the Alliance has been adapting to an ever changing strategic environment.
This adaptation has been based on the revision and adoption of new strategic concepts. In fact, during its 60 years of existence NATO has had only 3 strategic concepts. However, there is little chance that in the next 60 years the strategic concepts approved will last that long.
Strategy, and more specifically a strategic concept, is the basis which will allow planning and deciding on objectives and on the way to fulfill them.
In the case of NATO, as an alliance of states with a political military vocation the controversial and difficulty is already on an internal level, on the moment of the definition of common goals.
However, and after defining the objectives, one will be confronted with an adverse environment, or to say the least, with obstacles to accomplishment of the objectives defined. These obstacles can become threats, which have to be predicted (to a certain extent) beforehand, when drafting the strategic concept. In fact, one will only identify threats after it has clearly defined its objectives as a collective defense organization. Only after setting up an objective can one face opposition to that same objective.
Hence, the core of the discussion is now what do the Allies want NATO to be and to accomplish, which type of mission, and contribution does NATO want to perform and how will it accommodate the national interests of its members in the new strategic concept.
More importantly, how will NATO face security challenges and remain being an important organization for the maintenance of peace and security?
This is the million dollar question that politicians, militaries and international experts expect to be answered next week in Lisbon.
Inês de Carvalho Narciso – firstname.lastname@example.org
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