NATO’s reflection process (NATO 2030): will it address the twin elephants in the room (American exceptionalism and militarism)?

NATO Watch Briefing No. 77        16 June 2020

On the 8 June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg launched his outline for NATO 2030 in an online conversation with two US think-tanks, the Atlantic Council and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “This is an opportunity to reflect on where we see our alliance ten years from now, and how it will continue to keep us safe in a more uncertain world” the Secretary General said.

‘NATO 2030’ is the label given by the Secretary General to the task he was given at the December 2019 NATO Leaders meeting in London to lead a forward-looking reflection process to strengthen NATO's political dimension. A group of ten experts have been appointed to assist him in this process over the coming months, which is also expected to see NATO engage with “allies, public and private sector experts, and young leaders to provide fresh thinking on how to make sure NATO remains ready today to face tomorrow’s challenges”.

However, the NATO Secretary General’s launch event and the make-up of the Reflection Group suggest that this reflection process will not be challenging the position of the United States as the key determinant of strategic processes within the alliance.

For further details, please read the attached pdf.