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NATO’s New Strategic Concept

Blueprint for the Next Decade

July 2011, Number 02.03

“How well does NATO’s New Strategic Concept succeed in ascertaining a modern definition of the purpose, character and role of the 60-year-old Alliance in the 21st century? Does it recommit and reassure all Allies and answer today’s and tomorrow’s security challenges while establishing concrete goals for continuing reform and renewing public support?

NATO’s founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949, finds its concretization in the Alliance’s Strategic Concept, which is constantly reviewed and periodically updated. The Treaty itself remains valid, as does its commitment to international peace, security and justice. Based on a common heritage of freedom and founded upon the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law, the treaty embraces the purposes and principles of the United Nations and supports the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Washington Treaty’s main provisions endure: consultation (Article 4), mutual assistance in the case of armed attack (Article 5) and openness to new members (Article 10)...”

Excerpt from Klaus Wittmann, “Blueprint for the Next Decade,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 2, No. 3, 2011: 16-23.

Dr. Klaus Wittmann is a retired brigadier general who served 42 years with the German Bundeswehr. His military career included troop command of a rocket artillery battalion and armored brigade and academic studies in history and political science. He served as a political-military expert in the German Ministry of Defense and at NATO Headquarters, and as the director of faculty at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr in Hamburg. His last military assignment was as director of academic planning and policy at the NATO Defense College, Rome. He was closely involved in the creation of NATO’s 1991 and 1999 Strategic Concepts. He has published “Towards a new Strategic Concept for NATO” (NATO Defense College, Forum Paper 10, September 2009), and “NATO’s new Strategic Concept - An Illustrative Draft” (NATO Watch, September 2010). He is a Senior Fellow of the Aspen Institute Germany.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.