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New RD Publication - It’s that time of the decade again: some considerations for NATO’s eighth Strategic Concept

  • 22 Jan. 2020
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  • Last updated: 23 Jan. 2020 07:48

NDC Policy Brief 02-20


In the Declaration that emerged from the December 2019 London Leaders Meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was tasked to present Foreign Ministers with “a forward-looking reflection process under his auspices, drawing on relevant expertise, to further strengthen NATO’s political dimension including consultation”.1 This new tasking has been largely attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron’s remark the previous month that the Alliance was suffering from “brain death”.2 Speaking at a press conference alongside Stoltenberg, Macron elaborated on his comment, complaining the Alliance was overly focused on “cost-sharing or burden-sharing” whereas too little attention was being placed on major policy issues such as “peace in Europe, the post-INF, the relationship with Russia, the issue of Turkey, who is the enemy?” 3

* (back) Visiting Research Fellow, Department of War Studies, King’s College London.
1 (back) London Declaration issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in London, 3-4 December 2019, Press Release (2019) 115, 4 December 2019.
2 (back) R. Gottemoeller, “NATO is not brain dead”, Foreign Affairs, 19 December 2019.
3 (back) Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of France Emmanuel Macron, Paris, 28 November 2019.

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