DIIS Reports / Danish Institute for International Studies 2009:04
This DIIS Report provides an overview of the political and military issues that are likely to shape the coming discussions about NATO's new Strategic Concept. NATO's current Strategic Concept dates back to 1999 and over the last couple years an increasing number of policy-makers have suggested that it is time to take stock of the transatlantic Alliance. The exercise is significant because the Strategic Concept represents the operational view of the Washington Treaty - the basic text of NATO - and because it will bequeath a new strategic direction to the Alliance. The Report presents three arguments. One is that the Strategic Concept serves several functions: it codifies past decision and existing practices; it provides strategic direction; and it serves as an instrument of public diplomacy. The second argument is that the new Strategic Concept must balance the push and pull of two competing visions of NATO, one being Come home, NATO; the other being Globalize, stupid. The contest between these diverging visions has consequences for a number of issues that the Strategic Concept must address. Lastly, it is argued that although the agenda of globalization is being questioned, NATO will continue down the path of global engagement.