NATO eyes post-Trump reset as internal challenges loom
NATO’s defence ministers on Wednesday (17 February) for the first time discussed Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s reform proposals. Some members, however, let show they were rather sceptical of the submission.
NATO’s new reform report, compiled by a panel of experts and presented in December, has drawn up recommendations on how the military alliance should tackle new challenges in its backyard.
The proposals include updating NATO’s official master strategy document, its “Strategic Concept”, which could consider growing Chinese military capabilities and Russian strategic competition.
Three particularly stand out: curbing single-country blockages, ‘Coalitions of the Willing’ and more mediation powers for the Secretary-General.
Among other things, it also includes the proposal to fund deterrence and defence measures at least partially from a community budget.
“Strengthening our commitment to deterrence and defence, by providing incentives to Allies to contribute more capabilities, and ensure fairer burden sharing,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.
Alliance members would no longer have to bear all the costs themselves if, for example, they participate in the stationing of troops in the Baltic States or air surveillance missions.
The reform proposals, which NATO leaders are expected to consider at a summit in Brussels planned for later this year, potentially June, aim to convince Trump’s successor Joe Biden to strongly back NATO and to mollify allies frustrated with what they say is the alliance’s failure to coordinate at the political level.