July 9, 2018

WIIS Brussels asks ahead of the NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue!

On July 11-12, heads of state and government, military leaders, and senior officials gather at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels. In partnership with NATO, the Atlantic Council, the German Marshall Fund (GMF), and the Munich Security Conference (MSC), we – Women In International Security (WIIS) Brussels are organizing the official high-profile outreach event alongside the official Summit.

In the run up to this event we asked the broader WIIS community to pitch in and provide various new views on actionable outcomes ahead of the NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue event. Check out the most convincing pieces we selected below.

Follow us on @WIIS Brussels and #NATOEngages as the countdown to the most important transatlantic event of the year has begun.

Beyond the Liberal Order: How to Deal with Russia?

Russia is trying to portray itself as a great power and uses propaganda and “New Cold War” narratives to support its claim. While doing this, Moscow also strongly advocates for a shift toward a multipolar order. The concept of a “New Cold War” is favouring Russia’s goals and forcing the West to accept Moscow’s redrawing of the international system into zones of privileged influence.

There is no realistic “New Cold War” scenario between NATO and Russia. Except for its nuclear capabilities, Kremlin does not possess the economic, hard or soft power resources to be considered an equal opponent. The Allies should avoid reinforcing such narratives which place Russia on the same strategic footing as the most successful Alliance in history, increase Moscow’s sense of victimhood, and inject disinformation into polities across Europe.

At the Brussels Summit, NATO will have to challenge this narrative by defending the consensus and rule-based system (multilateralism) and create new policies to suit the realities of a world in which Russia is using more asymmetrical than conventional threats. Allies should not accept the reappearance of a great-powers system in which Kremlin is attempting to reinstate a Cold War mentality.

By Ionela Maria Ciolan, Researcher and Teaching Assistant at The National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Bucharest, Romania) & Fulbright Visiting Researcher at the University of California (2017-2018), Berkeley (USA)

Win-Win: Is the Future of European Defence with NATO?

Intensified European Union defence cooperation is a win-win for the EU, for NATO, for individual countries and for wider transatlantic relations. The EU’s defence momentum and the political will committed should only encourage NATO as this will reinforce a key partner in a shared mission: protecting Europe. Resilience and stability in the theatre of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) will allow NATO to double-down on its own military objectives.

The EU and NATO need each other now more than ever before. Isolation would weaken both and strengthen common adversaries. If successful, the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) will mean better coordination, better deals for the defence sector, and improved European military capabilities. In turn, this will mean more deployable and interoperable assets for NATO.

History and geography shape different strategic cultures. This is why NATO-EU cooperation should prioritize threats which are transnational and multidimensional, which involve a variety of actors and can undermine the rules-based order in which NATO and the EU thrive. Cooperation for stability in the Balkans would also be a win for both. As to what future lies ahead, achieving military mobility will demonstrate the added value of enhanced EU defence for NATO and consolidate trust. This will also solidify cooperation on hybrid and cyber. When stars align, mentalities will adapt and transatlantic solidarity will emerge victorious.

By Tania Latici, Information Specialist – External Policies of the Union at the European Parliament (EPRS)

(In)Stability in NATO’s Neighbourhood, why should NATO be involved?

“With armed extremist groups placing the subordination of women at the top of their agenda, we must put women’s leadership and the protection of women’s rights at the top of ours”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, 14 October 2015.

“No peace without women” is a statement that we can all agree with. When it comes to the fight against terrorism, the role of women in countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts is still unexplored in many cases. Women are becoming a vital resource for terrorist organisations and their propaganda is increasingly directed to target and inspire women. In conservative societies, terrorism, is also becoming for women (and youth) a powerful form of empowerment.

As NATO approaches the 11-12 July 2018 Summit and defines its strategic approach to the threats arising from the South, it must integrate the role of women in the fight against terrorism through targeted capacity building activities focused on the Middle East and North Africa region and beyond, such as Defence Capacity Building (DCB) within the framework of NATO’s partnerships. Hence, linking the Projecting Stability and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda as the cornerstones of an inclusive approach to security is paramount if NATO aims at tackling terrorism effectively both internally and externally.

By Diana De Vivo, researcher on counter-terrorism and the role of women in countering violent extremism. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Politics and is currently working in the Executive Management for the NATO Communications and Information Agency at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The Blessings and Curses of Technology, how can NATO stay ahead in a digital age?

The defence and security sectors are grappling to keep up with the rapid changes that the digital transformation is having on societies. By 2030, people will have access to unprecedented volumes of information available through networks across the globe. Enhanced connectivity will expose both civil and military networks to threats at a pace never seen before. Threats and challenges associated with the digital change of Big Data, the Internet of Things or disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence continue to make current headlines. Increasing partnerships between civil and military societies in the digital era will help mitigate the misuse of technology while fully harnessing its opportunities.

As we move into a new era where information and hybrid warfare will continue to prevail, digital ecosystems of civil-military partnerships will prove valuable for the long term. Building on the public-private transatlantic forum such as the NATO Industrial Advisory Group by tapping into the full potential across the Alliance, will help ensure NATO stays ahead of the technology curve. Or following the example of subnational diplomacy by Denmark who is building bridges between Europe and the United States through the appointment of the world’s first “Tech Ambassador” stationed in Silicon Valley. A much-needed diplomacy in bringing public-private partnerships into the digital era and keep pace with the challenges of digital transformation.

By Nadja EL Fertasi, Stakeholder Engagement Senior Executive Coordinator at the NATO Communications and Information Agency/ German Marshall Fund Marshall Memorial Fellow 2018/ Steering Committee Member Women In International Security Brussels.

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