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Sep 14, 2018

Hard Lessons from Brussels: The Key Challenges Facing NATO

Analysis by Diána Szőke


The recent NATO summit in Brussels highlighted some of the major internal divisions currently plaguing the alliance, but it would be far too premature to predict the decline of the transatlantic security relationship. This policy brief aims to dispel some of the oft-cited doomsday scenarios regarding the alliance’s future. Instead, it attempts to provide a balanced assessment of five key strategic challenges for NATO on the long term. From an internal perspective, these include restoring solidarity, integrating the diverging security perceptions of member states, as well as addressing the ongoing debate on defense expenditure and fairer burdensharing. On the external front, the main task is to reconcile a renewed focus on territorial defense on NATO’s eastern flank with sufficient attention paid to emerging, non-conventional security challenges.

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