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NDC hosts a Seminar of Experts - “NATO@70: The Way Forward” - in Rome on 18-19 March 2019

On 18-19 March 2019, the NATO Defense College hosted a seminar of experts as part of a series of activities organized on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Alliance.

Participants to the Expert Seminar “NATO@70: The Way Forward” at the NATO Defense College

This event, entitled “NATO@70: The Way Forward”, brought together a mix of NATO officials, military officers, scholars, NDC researchers and Faculty advisers to discuss a series of issues in relation to the current and future challenges that NATO is facing. This was done in five successive panels, moderated by Thierry Tardy, Andrea Gilli, Marc Ozawa and Tina Park, from the NDC Research Division.

The first, introductory Panel, looked at the NATO’s current raison d’être, 70 years after its inception. It addressed the following sets of questions:

  • To what extent is NATO adapted to 21st century threats?
  • Have internal threats (internal cohesion, burden-sharing) become as serious as external ones?
  • What are the most likely scenarios of military confrontation involving NATO (article 5 vs. non-article 5)?
  • Can NATO respond to the current threats with the 2010 Strategic Concept? And what would a new Strategic Concept bring that is not already in the Policy Framework?
  • For how long will NATO be able to overlook China as a global competitor?

The second Panel looked at the extent to which NATO is deterring Russia, by looking at the following issues:

  • Is the Deterrence and Defence posture tailored to the needs?
  • Achievements and limitations NATO’s dual-track approach towards Russia should the dialogue track be more strategic?
  • To what extent is the NATO Readiness Initiative filling the gap in NATO’s defence posture?
  • NATO delivering on countering hybrid warfare?
  • Are rotational troop deployments in Eastern Europe sustainable over time?

The third Panel examined the recent achievements and current challenges of the NATO-EU partnership. Issues covered included:

  • Do PESCO and the EDF strengthen or jeopardize the EU-NATO partnership?
  • How can European Strategic Autonomy enhance NATO-EU partnership? Is the European Strategic Autonomy narrative a cause or a consequence of parallel Transatlantic tensions?
  • Is the current European defence momentum a threat to the US defence industry?
  • The NATO-EU partnership: for what strategic effect?

The fourth Panel analysed NATO’s institutional and political adaptation, and also looked at NATO’s nuclear policy. This session addressed the following issues:

  • How does the new NATO Command Structure allow NATO to better address contemporary challenges? What is missing in the current institutional reform process?
  • How has the recent reform improved the NCS’s operability with the NATO Force Structure (NFS)?
  • How can Decision-making be reviewed so as to enhance the Alliance’s response to crises?
  • Is the return of nuclear deterrence inevitable?

Finally, the fifth Panel looked at emerging threats, with a particular focus on cyber defence, and the following questions:

  • What are the political and operational implications of cyber being an operational domain?
  • Should NATO engage in cyber offensive actions?
  • How does the NATO Defence Planning Process take account of cyber capability needs?
  • How can NATO win the technology battle in the digital age?
  • Can NATO promote “industrial” cooperation in the cyber domain?
  • How does the cyber dimension affect coalition operations, inter-operability and intelligence sharing?