The Cold War is over. It doesn’t feel like it sometimes, but the likelihood of foreign tanks rolling into North America or Europe has decreased drastically. Instead, NATO must confront challenges ranging from terrorism and nuclear proliferation to piracy and cyberattacks. In this context, should NATO concentrate on traditional defence? Or should the Alliance be more active outside of Member State borders in confronting these threats?
We had a comment from Kroum, pointing out that the Obama administration in the US has placed a greater emphasis on security threats in Asia, primarily in response to what Kroum calls “China’s new assertiveness” on issues such the South China Sea.
The outbreak of war in Asia would have a devastating affect on the global economy. Europe would not be immune. And there certainly seems to be no end of potential conflict flashpoints: from the unpredictable antics of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, to historical grievances between Japan, China, and South Korea, to bitter territorial spats between China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
In the interests of seeing of potential future threats, should NATO also have a stronger focus on Asia? Or is that completely outside its remit? To get a reaction, we spoke to James Mackey, Head of Euro-Atlantic and Global Partnership at NATO. What would he say?
We had a comment from Rui, who wondered how NATO would choose which regional threats to prioritise if it did focus more on tackling threats outside its borders. He agreed that “the USA and NATO are important key allies to keep the global balance, but the Americas are not Europe”, and they face very different geopolitical realities.
What would James Mackey say to Rui?
Should NATO have a stronger focus on Asia? Should NATO concentrate on traditional defence within its own borders? Or should the Alliance be more active outside of Member State borders in confronting these threats? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!