The new US administration represents a political opportunity to better address the Alliance’s needs, also through the elaboration of a new Strategic Concept. NATO needs to adapt to an international security environment marked by “aggressive multipolarity”, which may lean over time towards a bipolar confrontation between the US and China. The latter is indeed a peer competitor to deal with, while deterrence and dialogue should be maintained towards Russia in light of its importance to Eurasia but also its relative weakness. Transatlantic burden sharing has to adapt accordingly, and NATO-EU partnership should make a breakthrough also through an appropriate level of European strategic autonomy. As a result, NATO priorities with a view to 2030 can be grouped into three baskets: the cornerstone of collective defence and deterrence with greater political consultation; a new focus on Allies’ resilience; a renewed outlook towards both Europe’s unstable neighbourhood as well as the Asia-Pacific that is increasingly becoming the focus of US strategic commitments. NATO remains the most powerful alliance in the world and a fundamental pillar of stability and prosperity for the Euro-American community. One of its major strengths has always been its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. In light of the various global transformations currently underway, the Alliance needs to prove, once again, its resilience.
Paper prepared by Aspen Institute Italia and IAI for a webinar entitled “The New American Administration and Transatlantic Relations: A Renewed NATO?”, held on 25 November 2020 in partnership with Real Istituto Elcano and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with the support of Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo.
The Biden administration: a political opportunity to better address the Alliance’s needs
NATO’s adaptation to “aggressive multipolarity”– and beyond
Russia: new partnerships, old resentments
China: a peer competitor that continues to grow in size and influence
NATO and the EU: no space for misunderstandings
The role of Turkey
Towards 2030: NATO priorities