Accession Number:



Whither NATO? Defining NATO's Security Role for the Mid-21st Century

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



NATO can look back on seventy years of history. While often challenged, NATO manages to adapt and overcome obstacles and challenges. It has evolved into an international organization, with shared values among its thirty member states, and remains committed to establishing a broad basis for multi-lateral cooperation. Today, NATO is much more than a military alliance. NATO currently faces a multitude of complex and dynamic challenges. To provide security for its members, NATO is required to handle security threats that range from disrupted societies, civil war, and the impacts of climate change on its southern flank, to Russian hybrid actions and classic conventional threats against Western democracies. In addition, China is attempting to divide the West by malign and hybrid activities hidden within economic cooperation. Chinese and Russian actions and authoritarian tendencies in NATO member states threaten the core of NATO, its cohesion based on shared democratic principles. By analyzing NATOs character and its inner mechanisms, this monograph describes what NATO must do to adapt and successfully counter the threats it is facing. NATO must revise its strategy by realigning ends, ways, means, and resources. As such, a new strategy gives the guidance required to develop the capabilities needed in a fair and sustainable way through burden sharing. The key is a new strategic concept to outline the strategy and to recommit NATO and the allies to democratic values.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]