This report proposes that NATO adopt a new strategy called “stability generation,” built on the concept of ensuring stability in the NATO region and reducing the threat of significant conflicts in and around NATO’s adjacent areas in the East and South. To accomplish this, NATO must add resilience as a core task to its existing tasks of collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security. NATO must also enhance capabilities in the East against conventional and hybrid conflicts, in the South against instability arising from conflicts and extremism in neighboring countries, and across the Alliance to decrease vulnerabilities and enhance resilience, particularly with respect to cybersecurity.
The strategy of stability generation crystallizes many of the efforts NATO is already undertaking, while also harmonizing and extending strategic ends, ways, and means. The strategy can be further broken down into three
• first, to assure that the threat of significant conflicts that directly impact NATO nations can be deterred or responded to in a fashion that terminates the threat or ends the conflict advantageously to the Alliance and its members;
• second, that the Alliance will position itself to respond outside the NATO area when violent means impact significant interests of the Alliance; and
• third, to ensure that the Alliance and its nation states have sufficient resilient capacity to prevent and dissuade threats to the critical functions of allied societies; where practicable, assist in developing resilience for partners who seek support; and if conflict occurs, to prevail and to limit damage to the integrity of the Alliance’s nation states and their populations.
In sum, as part of an overall Western strategy, NATO’s objectives should be to deter, contain, respond, and remain resilient to the violent, disruptive, or military efforts of
The new strategy is built on four pillars: the traditional three pillars of collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security, all outlined in NATO’s Strategic Concept, and a new fourth pillar of resilience, which is crucial in today’s globally interconnected world. The requirement for resilience arises because hybrid war, including the capacity for cyberattacks, has changed the landscape of conflict. When war changes, so must defense. New efforts are urgently needed to extend the traditional activities directed at territorial protection and deterrence, to incorporate modern approaches to building a society’s capacity to anticipate and resolve disruptive challenges to its critical functions, and to prevail against direct attacks if necessary. The strategy recognizes that, especially in a globalized world, NATO must 1) take into account the impact on stability of areas adjacent to NATO and 2) be a part of overall Western strategy by working with other institutions and corresponding national efforts of critical importance to facilitate a combined multifactor approach. Accomplishing the new strategy will require sufficient military capabilities for both conventional collective defense and hybrid conflict; increased agility to enhance quicker and more effective responses; and structural changes encompassing cooperative actions and a strategy for resilience with civil government institutions and the private sector that tilt the security environment in NATO’s favor. To build stability and resilience, NATO must undertake the following steps:
A. For Russia and the East
1. Develop a substantial collective defense by enhancing the current framework nation approach to focus on operational requirements, especially through prepositioning, developing reception and other logistics requirements, and establishing an additional maritime framework for the Baltic region;
2. Permanent or consistently persistent stationing of forces in NATO’s Eastern countries, including forces from multiple NATO nations (some of which could be deployed on a rotational basis);
3. Authorize the Secretary General and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) to move forces under designated circumstances where a NATO member is under significant threat and has requested such action without
prior North Atlantic Council (NAC) approval; and
4. Encourage Sweden and Finland to join NATO, which would be a major geopolitical change, and until that occurs, enhance cooperation taking into account the overlaps among NATO’s Article 5, the European Union’s (EU) Mutual Defense and Solidarity Clauses, the Nordic declaration on solidarity, the recent agreements between Sweden and Finland, and the memoranda of understanding between each country and NATO.
B. For the South, including the Mediterranean and Sahel, and the Levant and Iraq
5. Substantially develop the framework nation approach, especially through developing stabilization and reconstruction, humanitarian, and counter-insurgency capabilities, including the capacity to deal with migration;
6. Provide support to Turkey as appropriate under Article 4 and Article 5 of the NATO treaty;
7. Expand partnerships and partner capacity, especially with Jordan, the Gulf States, and Egypt; and
8. Offer NATO membership to Montenegro if it meets the required criteria, as part of a broader effort to use the open door policy to enhance stability in NATO’s Southeast.
C. As part of an effective resilience approach throughout the Alliance:
9. Create NATO civilian-military task forces— called “NATO Resilience Support Teams”—to cooperate with civil governmental and private institutions and entities on key security issues in order to establish the necessary degree of resilience;
10. Encourage relevant nations to establish working group-type secretariats to coordinate defense activities with overlapping civil authority and private sector key critical infrastructure functions, which could be called “National Resilience Working Groups,” and which could coordinate with the NATO Resilience Support Team
• in the East, which would be focused on the development of resilience and response to hybrid threats;
• in the South, which would be focused on resilience and humanitarian requirements; and
• throughout the Alliance, which would be focused on cyber and particularly its support to the electric grid and finance.
D. Meet key risks facing NATO in the information, burden sharing, technical and budgetary, and multifactor strategic arenas by
11. Creating a better understanding of critical new challenges by establishing an open source intelligence center with an initial focus on a) cyber threats and b) violent extremism;
12. Enhancing burden sharing by ensuring that Europeans provide sufficient framework capabilities, including forces for the East;
13. Meeting technological and budgetary risk by expanding Alliance technological investment budgets, including focusing on disruptive technologies; and
14. Ensuring an effective multifactor strategy by coordinating any NATO operational military efforts with an Alliance-wide working group focused on diplomatic, financial/economic, and informational requirements.
Read NATO’s report here.