2022 - RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE: IMPLICATIONS FOR ALLIED COLLECTIVE DEFENCE AND IMPERATIVES FOR THE NEW STRATEGIC CONCEPT

Cédric PERRIN (France) - PRELIMINARY DRAFT GENERAL REPORT

19 May 2022

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 center 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 to WMD, 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.

The new Strategic Concept to be adopted at the Madrid Summit in June presents an opportunity to signal Allied unity of purpose to defend a common set of values and principles at stake in a new era of escalating threat and strategic competition across all domains. In view of the heightened security environment in Europe and the increasing complexity of the global security environment, Allies will need a strong and forward-looking Strategic Concept capable of signalling Allies unified resolve to protect their territories, interests, and common values. While it is essential to maintain the three core tasks of collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security to achieve this aim, collective defence must be significantly reinforced and clearly the primus inter pares. Undergirding these tasks must be a new whole-of-Alliance approach to resilience. 

Prior to the invasion, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s contribution to the Strategic Concept consultation process stressed the need for a strong focus on strengthening the Alliance’s focus on collective defence and security – this report, as well as resolutions adopted since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, both echo and amplify this call. NATO Parliaments have a key role in funding and sustaining the significant Alliance adaptations necessary to handle the challenges of the complex international security environment facing Allies today. 


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