Time to revitalise NATO


New Direction with the support of Carnegie Europe hosted a seminar on the need to give fresh energy to the NATO Alliance, particularly in the light of the current crisis in Eastern Europe and other threats to international security.


New Direction hosted a seminar on the need to strengthen NATO, particularly in the light of the current crisis in Eastern Europe and other threats to international security in the Middle East and Africa.

Speakers included Jamie Shea (NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges), Robert G. Bell (Senior Civilian Representative of the US Secretary of Defense in Europe), Michael Clarke (Director-General of RUSI), Jan Techau (Director of Carnegie Europe), Professor Ufuk Ulutas (Director of Foreign Policy Research, SETA Foundation), Witold Waszczykowski MP, former Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, and Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, President of New Direction.

The seminar concluded that the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy adds nothing to military capabilities. Rather, it should be seen for what it is - part of the process of European political integration, intruding into the most sensitive areas of national sovereignty, undermining NATO and widening the gap between the U.S. and Europe.

Instead of acquiescing to the EU's military ambitions, speakers argued that European governments must renew their commitment to NATO. It was also stressed that it would be disastrous for Europeans and Americans to have competing strategic visions or two separate defence organisations, with overlapping membership, making competing claims on the same limited military resources.

New Direction President Geoffrey van Orden argued that the risks of this duplication and division are threefold. Firstly, different political signals are transmitted to potential adversaries, offering scope for exploitation of divergences. Secondly, European Member States' commitment to NATO is weakened because the EU offers the outward appearance of an alternative structure. Thirdly, competitive deployments into the same theatre of operations are wasteful and potentially dangerous.


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