Cédric PERRIN (France)
10 January 2023
Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine proves that it is not just a threat to, but an active spoiler of European security and stability. Russia, however, is not the only challenge to Euro-Atlantic security, which complicates a longer-term response to Moscow’s reckless assault on the rules-based international order. Allies have acknowledged they are entering an era of global strategic competition with ‘assertive and authoritarian powers’. The impact of China’s rise on Allied interests has moved from the periphery to the centre of the agenda. Terrorism remains the persistent principal asymmetrical challenge. Cyber, hybrid, space, and information space manipulation challenges are being amplified by the arrival of emerging disruptive technologies. Rapid advances in Weapons of Mass Destruction, particularly nuclear forces, are also being magnified by the parallel erosion of the long-standing arms control architecture. Finally, but not least significant, all these rapid developments are happening within a context of climate change, which Allies have recognised as a ‘threat multiplier’ to Allied security concerns.
Faced with such a challenging strategic environment, Allies came to the 28 June NATO Summit in Madrid with a clear-cut two-fold objective: first, to demonstrate a strong and unified response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and immediate threats to broader Euro-Atlantic security; and second, to adopt a Strategic Concept that would serve as a clear roadmap and strong political mandate in support of Allied adaptation and modernisation over the coming decade. Allies delivered on both, with immediate commitments setting a new baseline for deterrence and defence to enable a modern forward defence posture, while the new Strategic Concept serves as a guideline for effective adaptation to defend against the broader range of complex threats and challenges to Allied territories, interests, and common values.
NATO parliaments have a key role in funding and sustaining the outcomes of the Madrid Summit. This report advocates a broad range of actions for immediate and longer-term consideration to achieve these ambitious, but achievable goals.