Foreign Policy Blogs

NATO’s Strategic ‘Six-Pack’

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By Dominik P. Jankowski and Maksymilian Czuperski

The transatlantic community faces threats on multiple fronts, rendering NATO as essential as it has ever been. Because of these changing regional security dynamics, the Alliance should consider some additional reforms to its internal structure and capacities, so that it can achieve necessary readiness. There is still much to ponder. On the road from the 2016 Warsaw Summit to the 2017 Brussels Summit, the Alliance should embrace six core approaches—a new strategic “six-pack”—in order to strengthen the process of NATO’s long-term strategic adaptation.

First, NATO should become a key platform for a new transatlantic grand bargain. The ongoing presidential race in the United States has once again revealed growing criticisms of NATO in some American political circles, especially among supporters of Donald Trump. A new transatlantic bargain should lead to more fair and balanced burden sharing, both in terms of devoting necessary financial resources as well as investing in the right capabilities. Following the decisions of the Warsaw Summit, the Alliance will, in fact, need additional heavier high-end capabilities. A NATO Defense Planning Pledge—which would not replace the NATO Defense Investment Pledge, but concentrate more on a desired military output—could become a starting point for a renewed transatlantic bond.

Second, NATO needs a clear political-military strategy to counter the Russian “Anti-Access/Area Denial” (A2/AD) systems. Even if A2/AD is by no means a new concept, it poses a formidable challenge to the political and military credibility of NATO, as it restricts the freedom to maneuver. Therefore, it should be considered an aggressive posture. In fact, Russia has harnessed an array of stand-off weapons—including air defense, coastal defense, cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missile platforms, and naval and submarine forces, as well as electronic and cyber warfare—which can turn areas falling within their range into strategically and operationally isolated “bubbles”.

Third, in an A2/AD and hybrid environment the Alliance needs a renewed and more ambitious exercises policy. NATO drills should not only provide assurance to Allies, but also serve as an element of a deterrence policy. An updated approach to exercises should not only include visibility, high-end capabilities and large-scale formations, but also be employed in a non-permissive environment on the eastern, northern and southern flanks. In short, what NATO needs are regular drills of the Follow on Forces in A2/AD “bubbles”.

Fourth, NATO needs additional robust intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, which are a fundamental requirement for effective situational awareness, strategic foresight, and early warning. In response to the current threats and challenges, NATO should consider employing a Regional Intelligence Analysis Centre (RIAC) on its eastern flank, which would supplement the work done by the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre (NIFC). An additional ISR presence in the region, e.g. an AGS forward-operating location in Poland, would also support the planning and execution of current and future activities on the eastern flank.

Fifth, the Alliance needs a reviewed NATO Command Structure (NCS) that should be better suited to deliver on the collective defense tasks. Current regional security dynamics have challenged some assumptions on which the NCS was based, showing that its connectivity with the NATO Force Structure is not sufficient. Moreover, the Warsaw Summit decisions on strengthened deterrence and defense posture added new requirements for the existing NCS.

Sixth, NATO’s actions require a fully integrated approach to strategic communications (StratCom). The Russian pressure to redefine our values has now reached the stage of undermining the coherence of Euro-Atlantic communication. In the fog of misinformation NATO might be well prepared for classical cyber challenges, but the Russian-Ukrainian conflict shows that it also needs to be prepared for information war when the events are seamlessly melded with cyber, kinetic and electronic warfare operations. In fact, NATO’s activities should be enhanced by a creation of special StratCom departments throughout the Alliance member states to rapidly gather evidence, analyze and respond to disinformation campaigns.

As Europe confronts the prospect of future Russian aggression, terror, and domestic upheaval, NATO must remain a primary security guarantor on the continent. In fact, there is no viable alternative to NATO. But new security challenges cannot be borne by the Alliance of decades past. Indeed, NATO’s military adaption should be continued The Alliance must emphasize what is required of it, like intelligence, strategic communications and effective coordination and command, to confront these threats to transatlantic security. By developing a strategic “six-pack” NATO will stay on the right path and draw credible red lines that can keep Russian adventurism in check.

Dominik P. Jankowski is Head of OSCE and Eastern Security Unit at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Maksymilian Czuperski is Strategic Communications Advisor Europe and Special Assistant to the President of the Atlantic Council.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the institutions they represent.

This article was originally published by The National Interest.

 
  • rachidelaidi

    ” …il n’y a pas d’alternative viable à l’OTAN” ,si l’Europe se décide d’avoir une armée ,ce qui est entrain de se faire et si les britanniques cessent de saboter cette belle construction d’une armée européenne, car le problème et plus politique ,cette armée serait donc ,l’alternative de l’OTAN et il ne faut oublier ,que beaucoup de politiques européens veulent se soustraire de l’OTAN pour une vraie armée européenne. L’Europe dispose de tous les moyens financiers, usines d’armement avancées,de bonnes rapports et avec les américains et les russes au niveau des ventes d’armes…seul le côté politique fait défaut ,mais l’Europe est maintenant mûre et peut résoudre ces propres problèmes et en particulier celui du commandement(une sorte d’Etat major unifié) de quoi souffre ,aujourd’hui, l’OTAN . La France s’est réintégrée mais sans un véritable commandement ,car le commandement est toujours entre les mains des américains ce qui bloque toute décision à l’unanimité pour tout engagement dans ses opérations et puis, le financement de l’OTAN est plus tributaire de la contribution américaine(qui est plus importante par rapport aux pays membres) avec une armée européenne tous ces problèmes seront vite résolus si ,encore une fois, les politiques européens trouvent une volonté politique robuste et de dépasser leurs différents …la question qui s’impose l’OTAN ou une armée purement européenne qui défendrait l’Europe d’abord car les américains ont leur propre armée et peut faire la guerre partout dans le monde sans appui du vieux continent, pourquoi faire? est-ce alimenter une troisième guerre mondiale ou imposer leur état …ou tout simplement faire le gendarme du monde …un monde déstabilisé . donc il faut définir

Author

Dominik P. Jankowski
Dominik P. Jankowski

Dominik P. Jankowski is a security policy expert, diplomat, think-tanker and social media aficionado. Currently he serves as Head of OSCE and Eastern Security Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. Previously he served as Chief Specialist for Crisis Management at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2014-2016), Expert Analyst and Head of the International Analyses Division at the National Security Bureau of the Republic of Poland (2010-2014), Senior Expert at the J5-Strategic Planning Directorate of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces (2009-2010) as well as foreign policy expert at the President Aleksander Kwasniewski "Amicus Europae" Foundation (2007-2010). In 2016 he was managing a Twitter campaign of the #NATOSummit #Warsaw (Twitter account @NATOSummits). His publications appeared in Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Turkey, Uganda and the U.S. He graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics, National Defense University in Warsaw and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Currently he works on his Ph.D. thesis that evaluates the role of the military industry in Europe after 1990. He is a recipient of prestigious scholarships: 2012 Marshall Memorial Fellowship by the German Marshall Fund as well as 2012 "Personnalité d'avenir défense" by the French Ministry of Defence. In 2014 he became a member of the Munich Young Leaders which is a joint initiative of the Körber Foundation and the Munich Security Conference.

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