NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election


Following the launch of the Atlantic Council's NATO 20/2020 essay volume, this podcast will explore the ideas presented in each of the 20 essays. Each episode features an essay's author/s in a discussion with guest interviewer Teri Schultz, to discuss their proposal in more detail and what it means for the future of the NATO Alliance.

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  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Listen to Women


    United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) recognized the disproportionate impact of violent conflict on women and girls and the critical role that women play in peace and security processes. Passed in October 2000, UNSCR 1325 called for strategies to protect women and girls in conflict, and to engage women in all mechanisms, at all levels, and in all stages of conflict.  Today, the WPS Agenda is a legal and political framework for gender in international security that is based on four pillars for policy-making: prevention, protection, participation, and relief and recovery. Implementation is usually measured in each of these four pillars. The United Nations Security Council has passed nine additional resolutions since 2000, which have updated WPS’s concepts and definitions, and reinforced the continuing importance of UNSCR 1325. Together, these resolutions and an emerging set of global norms guide the work of security organizations like NATO, steering them toward gender equality and the promotion of women’s participation, protection, and equal rights under law. On this episode of the NATO 20/2020 podcast, Ms. Cori Lynne Fleser, a National Security Policy Analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton, joins to discuss ongoing efforts to implement the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, what progress has been made, and what challenges remain. Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 1:23 Teri summarizes the Security Council resolution 1325, what it is, when it was passed and reasons why it was created  2:36 Cori talks about where people thought we would be now after resolution 1325 was passed 21 years ago and where we are now  4:19 Cori talks about the progress has been made and what has changed since 2000 after the resolution 1325 was passed  6:56 Cori talks about security sector institutions and what Women, Peace and Security is advocating for especially in these institutions  9:14 Cori talks about the importance of having women in the decision making team of an institution and how they can help solve the problem for women in conflict and how Women, Peace and Security agenda helps  10:42 Cori explains if the implementation of awareness about women and the need of women on the institutional side has made any difference on women as the main victims of conflict 13:25 Cori talks about how receptive the defense institutions are to the Women, Peace and Security agenda and what has changed in the past 21 years after the resolution 1325  16:07 Cori talks about how some people are beginning to understand the importance of having a more diverse team of both men and women and the rate of success of these kind of teams  17:21 Cori also talks about if the Trump administration was in support of Women, Peace and Security agenda or if it caused a setback in having diverse teams especially in the security institutions  19:36 Cori talks about why Trumps administration needed to focus more on Women, Peace and Security than the women's participation like it did 21:24 Cori explains if the Afghanistan case is going to be one of the examples brought up as a semi failure with Women, Peace and Security agenda  24:29 Cori explains why there should be women leaders in the military in Afghanistan even is countries with high levels of gender equality don’t have women leaders in military  27:49 Cori also explains what NATO should do to have more women in high ranking positions as a role model  Shows Mentioned:  Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation is the parent of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., an American management and information technology consulting firm, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, in Greater Washington, D.C., with 80 other offices around the globe. Resolution 1325 urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts.  The International Security Assistance Force was a NATO-led military mission in Afghanistan, established by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001 by Resolution 1386, as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement. The Taliban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, are a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war within that country.  Quotes Mentioned: “NATO militaries around the world are hierarchical organizations that are really top down driven.” “Diversity of teams helps create different innovative ways to addressing conflict or addressing national security challenges.” “Having more women as well allows us to tailor teams so that we can have appropriate engagement with women that is reflective of some of the constraints on the ground from a cultural perspective.” “Lessons learned are the ones that you can really take and reapply it to other context.” “Having civil military teams that are mixed teams of men and women have proven to be slightly more successful.” “Gender equality is the direction that we're moving as a global community and the security sector plays a role in that.” “Women, Peace and Security uniquely highlight gender as this key component for understanding security.” “It was the Trump administration that signed the Women, Peace and Security legislation from a US perspective.” “Afghanistan is one of the most challenging places to be as a woman or a girl.” “Everybody kind of tackles Women, Peace and Security a little bit more differently based on their own politics and their own socio-cultural context.” “Implementation is everything.” Guests Social Media Links: LinkedIn:  Twitter:  Website:  Website:  Facebook:  Disclaimer: This guest is speaking in her personal capacity. Her views do not reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense or Booz Allen Hamilton.
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Digitalize the Enterprise


    NATO is party to the turbulent birth of a new era, one that began when the use of computer power, algorithm sophistication, and very large data sets converged to make digital technology the defining feature of the coming decade. It affects almost every aspect of human endeavor, and it underpins the future of warfare and non-military competition among state and non-state actors vying for influence, markets, and power. For NATO to carry out its enduring mission to protect the populations, territories, and forces of allied states, it must reconcile conventional diplomatic and military power with data as a strategic capability. It needs a strategy for digitalization to compete and win the conflicts of tomorrow.   Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 2:03 Jeffrey talks about where he thinks that the Alliance is falling short when it comes to digitalization and where it needs to change  4:48 Barry talks about what he means by digitalizing the Alliance and what it's not doing already that needs digitalization 6:54 Barry also shares some examples of what China's military can do with digitalization that NATO's 30 militaries can't do 9:07 Barry tries to simplify the example that he just shared of what China’s military can do with digitalization that NATO’S 30 militaries can’t do  9:54 Jeffrey explains in detail why digitization strategy and harnessing improved technologies for NATO actually gives it more awareness to make better decisions 12:13 Barry explains why NATO needs to have strategies so as to make decisions quickly especially when in crisis  13:56 Jeffrey explains the difference between what they're talking about now and what he would describe as disruptive digitalization 15:33 Jeffrey and Barry also explain if they have seen any improvement with the centers of excellence that are often in cooperation with the EU 18:05 Jeffrey talks about game changer one, artificial intelligence and machine learning, how to integrate it to what NATO is doing and where it’s more useful  19:25 Jeffrey talks about game changer two, data factory and how NATO can be using it as a weapon and as information  20:33 Jeffrey talks about the game changer four, staff and culture and having the experts on staff to be able to sift through and make operational use of data and how it ties in to game changer two  22:15 Jeffrey also talks about why NATO needs to hire the younger generation too and the benefits that it gets from doing so  23:05 Jeffrey talks about game changer three, footprint and reach, what it means and why NATO needs to think about it  24:25 Jeffrey also explains how NATO can take advantage of a digitalization strategy so as to be closer to the action or countries that are not allies  24:58 Jeffrey also explain the game changer five, a new ish way of war and how he suggests it can be used in NATO  Shows Mentioned:, Inc. is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington, which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. Brick and mortar refers to a physical presence of an organization or business in a building or other structure. The term brick-and-mortar business is often used to refer to a company that possesses or leases retail shops, factory production facilities, or warehouses for its operations.  The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Sequoia Capital is an American venture capital firm. The firm is headquartered in Menlo Park, California and mainly focuses on the technology industry. It has backed companies that now control $1.4 trillion of combined stock market value. Research and development, known in Europe as research and technological development, is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products and improving existing ones. The North Atlantic Council is the principal political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, consisting of Permanent Representatives from its member countries. Quotes Mentioned: “The NATO 2030 document, which looks just a little bit beyond this, identifies emerging technologies as a key strategic challenge for the Alliance.” “NATO is basically a 70 year old and not a millennial.” “The key to AI is volume of high quality data.” “If NATO's late to a war, it doesn't matter how effective that would be in a war.” “Data is the foundation, data management and a data culture is the foundation.” “NATO needs to redesign its structures to maximize the utility of data, both as information and as a weapon.” “Not everybody wants to be in Brussels.” “You can work wherever.”  “NATO can either shape the security environment or it can be shaped by it.” Guests Social Media Links: Jeffrey Lightfoot: Website:  Twitter:  LinkedIn:  Barry Pavel: Website:  LinkedIn:  Twitter: 
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

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  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Design a Digital Marshall Plan


    The hard power of the United States and its NATO allies is a deterrent of last resort against very real military threats in Europe and well beyond it. But a growing concern is the creeping, quiet influence of China on democratic societies, especially with respect to critical 5G infrastructure under development across the world.   The transatlantic community is rightly concerned about the threat that Chinese investment in critical infrastructure poses to our nations. At NATO’s London Summit in December 2019, allied leaders for the first time recognized the challenges posed by China and the need for secure and resilient 5G communications systems.  As Representatives on the House Armed Services Committee, we have warned for years that Chinese investment leads to undue influence in democracies around the world, whether through political and economic leverage and subversion or technological espionage and trade secret theft. In other words, China isn’t selling—it’s buying. In response, the transatlantic community, led by the United States, needs to create a Digital Marshall Plan to secure its communications in a modern, free ecosystem.    Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 1:40 Ruben shares a little bit of an elevator pitch on how they came up with the idea to write their recommendation  3:47 Ruben talks about what it could mean to NATO allies if the Alliance agreed to come up with the Digital Marshall Plan 7:19 Ruben explains how the Alliance could deal with allies that don’t want to ban Huawei in their countries and why they need to think about it 8:58 Ruben shares some of the reasons why other allies are not investing in their own systems like China invested in Huawei  10:10 Ruben talks about the price that allies will have to pay when they decide to ban the use of Huawei products  11:27 Ruben talks about teaming the allies with vulnerable networks with ones with cutting edge to determine the risks of the fight of the Chinese 5G infrastructure and if it applies outside NATO 13:19 Ruben explains how the idea of stronger allies working with the weaker allies work and the structure they would add on this for it to work  14:41 Ruben also explains how they are going to reinforce allies working together to discover their vulnerabilities in regards to Chinese technology without repeating things that have been done in the EU  16:29 Ruben also explains if they took into account that there have been some investment agreements signed with China when they were coming up with this recommendation  17:45 Ruben explains if he would agree with the threat to cut off information sharing with countries that continue to use Huawei technology because China could get the information 18:50 Ruben talks about how their recommendation would mesh with the Alliance where the US was trying to get countries to sign on to a pledge not to use this kind of technology  19:45 Ruben shares if their recommendation is a question about money for it to go through and be accepted by other allies  21:19 Ruben talks about how frustrating it has been in a bipartisan way how slow Europe has been to see the threat from China, the potential leakage of information, seizure of information in a way the US does  22:36 Ruben talks about their moves of advancing their concept in the next Congress to try to get more attention for this idea, to push it forward and to present it to the European allies Shows Mentioned: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. is a Chinese multinational technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It designs, develops, and sells telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics. The company was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former Deputy Regimental Chief in the People's Liberation Army. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, commonly known as Ericsson, is a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company headquartered in Stockholm. Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology, and consumer electronics company, founded in 1865. Nokia's headquarters are in Espoo, Finland, in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area. The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous affiliated businesses; most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest South Korean chaebol (business conglomerate). The European Union is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km² and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, commonly known as the House Armed Services Committee or HASC, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Quotes Mentioned: “China operates on a whole of government approach, which means that even private businesses aren't really private and they all have a responsibility to the state.” “5G really can get into so many areas that are just both in the civilian as well as the intelligence as well as the military side.” “Where we find vulnerabilities, we're going to have to also, of course, reinforce our own networks within those areas.” “We can't treat every interaction as a threat.” “It's one thing to sign something and say we're not going to do it, but another thing to actually give the incentives and the tools to actually do it.” Guests Social Media Links: Website:  Twitter:  Facebook:  Instagram: 
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Revitalize NATO's Grand Strategy


    NATO needs “a grand strategy” that draws on “all the tools at its disposal—economic, political, diplomatic as well as military” to counter emerging security threats, NATO’s deputy supreme allied commander, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, told the BBC months before he stepped down from his role in 2017.1 Three years later, the problem has gotten worse as a global pandemic challenges nearly every aspect of our societies, Russia has become even more belligerent, and China has emerged as a competitor in a number of areas. Allies still lack, but badly need, a grand strategy to address current and emerging challenges together. While all allies acknowledge this gap in theory, they see the development of a collective grand strategy as politically risky in practice. Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 2:23 Timo explains what NATO is doing now that does not qualify as a grand strategy to counter emerging security threats 3:59 Timo also explains why their recommendation qualify as a blueprint for a grand strategy and if some of other recommendations chime with theirs  4:40 Ivanka also talks about the purpose of the recommendation that they wrote with Timo and the importance it would have on countering the emerging security threats 6:51 Timo talks about if the secretary general would update the strategic concept and also talks about why it’s time to update it  9:25 Ivanka also explains how Wargaming and some of the other methods that she’s talking about help NATO come to decisions as allies are not confronting their political differences 12:35 Timo explains how the Alliance to get allies, big or small, to not think first about their own national interest and things that make reaching conclusions at NATO difficult 15:00 Timo and Ivanka talks about the importance of having an extra tool that helps in getting the right data to help in decision making in the Alliance 19:13 Timo talks about looking at things that have a pretty slow timeline that you can have the time to add this extra layer of analysis, negotiation and compromising 22:17 Timo explains how they would apply their recommendation and move military mobility as fast as it needs to be moved 23:57 Ivanka talks about ways in which they used Wargaming and the potential courses of action and outcomes that might produce and why NATO needs to be better at defining strategic objectives 26:13 Ivanka also talks about the objectives that NATO said it had in Ukraine that it achieved 27:58 Timo and Ivanka talks about if NATO integrates the information of Wargaming into policy planning since it has been using Wargaming for years and why NATO should compete with China on high seas, maritime chokepoints, the Arctic and cyberspace 33:34 Ivanka and Timo explain if the process in their recommendation will be adopted and adapted by the other NATO allies and why  35:46 Timo also explains why NATO doesn’t need to wait for a strategic concept to start using the kind of tools they are proposing Shows Mentioned: The National Defense Strategy (NDS) provides a clear road map for the Department of Defense to meet the challenges posed by a re-emergence of long-term strategic competition with China and Russia. The United States Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment was created in 1973 by Richard Nixon to serve as the Pentagon's "internal think tank" that "looks 20 to 30 years into the military's future, often with the assistance of outside contractors, and produces reports on the results of its research". The 2014 Wales Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, held in Newport, Wales on 4 and 5 September 2014. The Crimean Peninsula, north of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe, was annexed by the Russian Federation between February and March 2014 and since then has been administered as two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The 2016 Warsaw Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was the 27th formal meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, held at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, on 8 and 9 July 2016. The North Atlantic Council is the principal political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, consisting of Permanent Representatives from its member countries. Quotes Mentioned: “With the enlargement of NATO, it has become more difficult to reach agreement on what that grand strategy should be about.” “NATO needs to use Wargaming to come to understanding and decision making about what its priorities are in terms of responses to all those new challenges that we see in the world around us.” “It's about time to update the strategic concept because some of the new challenges are lacking as some of the old challenges have changed.” “Many small allies lack the necessary capacity and capability to do strategic analysis.” “You need to be thinking about the long term.” “There’s no single theory.” “Military mobility in itself has a lot of facets.” “NATO is not always very clear about what its objectives are.” “Ungoverned spaces breed terrorism, proliferation of mass destruction, weapons of mass destruction and migrants trafficking.” Guests Social Media Links: Ivanka Barzashka: Website:  Email:  Twitter:  Ambassador Timo Koster: Website:  Twitter: 
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Set NATO's Sights on the High North


    Sun Tzu, the Chinese military strategist from the sixth century BC, in his classic work The Art of War emphasized the importance of securing the “precipitous heights” before one’s adversary, due to the advantages elevated positions afforded a defending army. There is no “higher ground” on Earth than the Arctic. The Arctic is rapidly changing as it experiences climate change at a rate greater than twice the global average and polar sea ice recedes and thins.1 The first ice-free Arctic summer, under a high-emissions scenario, could occur as soon as 2042.2 These changes are resulting in increased human activity in the region as global actors explore opportunities to exploit its natural resources and strategic geographic location. Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 2:00 Jim talks about why he believes that NATO is not doing much in the Arctic as opposed to other parts  4:13 Marisol explains if the Alliance feels like it is behind in times when it comes to its presence in the Arctic and why it should be in the region  7:17 Marisol also explains what is hindering the Alliance from doing anything in the Arctic region and the challenges it faces  9:18 Jim explains why the strategy on China is being formulated but not a strategy on the Arctic, which is on the territory of NATO  13:14 Jim also talks about NATO increasing its attention in the Arctic now that the Russians started to move into the region and if the Alliance is late   16:29 Jim and Marisol talk about if it is more expensive for the US to move back to Iceland as compared to if they had stayed there and why they regret ever moving out of Iceland  21:09 Jim also talks about why NATO needs to move forward in terms of reaffirming the rules-based order in the Arctic and focus on deterrence 24:02 Jim also explains if there’s a big appetite for moving into another multinational agreement between Russia and the US since it’s pulling out of agreements with Russia 26:09 Marisol explains the purpose of their paper and how the Russian would feel if it were to be considered by NATO and what would be the consequences  29:21 Jim also talks about if the Secretary General of the Alliance support their recommendation and what he says about it  32:24 Marisol and Jim talk about China and it presence in the Arctic and how that will push NATO to also increase its presence there and why  34:56 Marisol also talks about the unique governance structure of Svalbard and why it could be an area of concern  Shows Mentioned: The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. As the White Paper makes clear, the Polar Silk Road essentially refers to the shipping routes comprising the Northeast Passage, Northwest Passage and Central Passage that cross the Arctic Circle and connects the three economic centers of North America, East Asia and Western Europe Crimea is a peninsula located on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. The status of Crimea is disputed. The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) was established as a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building, cooperation, joint decision and joint action. Within the NRC, the individual NATO member states and Russia have worked as equal partners on a wide spectrum of security issues of common interest. The Munich Security Conference is an annual conference on international security policy that has taken place in Munich, Bavaria since 1963. Former names are Wehrkundetagung and Münchner Konferenz für Sicherheitspolitik. It is the world's largest gathering of its kind. The South China Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean. It is bounded in the north by the shores of South China, in the west by the Indochinese Peninsula, in the east by the islands of Taiwan. Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. One of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, it's known for its rugged, remote terrain of glaciers and frozen tundra sheltering polar bears. Quotes Mentioned: “Arctic will be the terrestrial domain of consequence for the 21st century and if not, we should act as if it will be.” “NATO is a consensus based organization and some actors within NATO just aren't thinking about the Arctic because they have more immediate concerns in other parts of the world.” “Russia is on a trajectory of wanting to be the dominant Arctic power in the 21st century.” “NATO shows that it can operate effectively and have a persistent presence in the Arctic, nothing it wants to do or steer the debate or influence countries regarding the Arctic are going to matter at all.” Guests Social Media Links: Jim Danoy:  Website:  LinkedIn:  Company Website:  Marisol Maddox:  LinkedIn:  Twitter:  Instagram:  Website: 
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Put NATO Back in the Narrative


    NATO is vitally important; but unless you work there, or at the Atlantic Council, you wouldn’t necessarily know that. For those who don’t work for NATO or follow it closely, the organization can seem like an indecipherable blob of bureaucracy and acronyms, a mysterious realm of complicated elite politics, or a major strain on national budgets. The Alliance has a strong and active presence on the European continent. But it has become a political punching bag for the Trump administration, and the misunderstandings about NATO, its mission, and its role in today’s world run deeper than campaign rally rhetoric. To secure its future, NATO must speak to its future—both in terms of its mission and its audience.   Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 1:25 Bridget shares their elevator pitch on why they think that NATO needs to be back in the narrative 4:05 Livia and Bridget talk about the dearth of information about the Alliance among people and why it needs to tell its story and not rely on others talking about it because it might be negative  6:16 Bridget talks about the SNL NATO Cafeteria Cold Open and how people would see the Alliance especially people who knew nothing about it 7:53 Livia also talks how it was a missed opportunities to provide a more complete picture of NATO by the Secretary General Stoltenberg to correct President Trump on negative comments about the Alliance  9:47 Livia and Bridget also talk about the generational divide in their paper and why they think that NATO should learn how to communicate with people about its story  12:06 Livia explains why there is a need for the right information about the Alliance to the young generation  14:06 Livia also talks about why people now don’t see military focused public relations campaign as effective since it not the only method of security anymore 15:02 Livia and Bridget explain why NATO should target more on people who are not NATO nerds as their audience to tell its story and learn the modern storytelling methods to use  17:29 Livia and Bridget also explains if NATO really needs to connect with those young audiences with no information about it and why 20:12 Livia talks about the Alliance as being a proactive and adaptive organization as why it should target this audience as opposed to saying that the enemy idea gets people coalescing 21:50 Bridget also talks about why NATO should change its headline of calm and say that it is not as calm as people think, and also the audience it should target  24:18 Livia explains if NATO should really be promoting itself as one of the leaders in managing climate change 26:04 Bridget talks about if NATO deciding to make climate change a major security issue will draw in more young people 28:19 Livia and Bridget explain if getting the story right and having different storytellers that draw in all kinds of different people to tell this story will work for the Alliance  31:34 Livia and Bridget talks about if the campaign to put NATO back in the narrative will serve all allies or if it only applies to the United States  34:29 Bridget and Livia share their thoughts if NATO has the creative bandwidth or people who think differently and agree to go ahead with their recommendation  35:50 Livia explains if NATO’s story will have resonance with generations that didn't have the Russians to fear 37:17 Bridget also talks about more young people showing that they care about NATO’s issues when they have access to the information  Shows Mentioned:  The 2019 London Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was the 30th formal meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It was held in The Grove, Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, on 3 and 4 December 2019.  The Republican Party, sometimes also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main, historic rival, the Democratic Party.   The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. The European Union is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km² and an estimated total population of about 447 million. The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a Centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. Quotes Mentioned: “Young Americans in particular are largely unaware of the impact the Alliance has on their daily lives.” “NATO should design a long term, sustainable campaign to tell its story of success, of what the organization is, what it stands for, and why it's relevant today in the 21st century.” “NATO doesn't talk as much as it used to.” “It’s better that they're talking about you, don't worry so much about what they say.” “Nothing is guaranteed anymore.” “Climate change is an everybody’s problem.” “If NATO is serious about reaching the next generation and reaching everyone, they need to make sure that their staffs reflect the population that is representing.” Guests Social Media Links: Bridget Corna: LinkedIn:  Twitter:  Livia Godaert:  LinkedIn:  Twitter: 
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Reimagine the Washington Treaty


    A transatlantic alliance became a reality in 1949 only when the promise of the end of war was overshadowed by the threat of communism. The North Atlantic Treaty, also known as the Washington Treaty, was an effective answer to an inflection point in the history of the international order,1 founding an alliance that succeeded in safeguarding the free world. More than seventy years later, the global system sits at another inflection point.2 Increasing challenges from authoritarian regimes, namely Russia and China, combined with democratic erosion, abandonment of norms, and a dramatically changed geopolitical and technological landscape demand a reexamination of the only alliance capable of organizing free nations’ defense and guaranteeing their prosperity. What would the Washington Treaty look like if it were written today? How should NATO meet today’s new and more complex geopolitical challenges while maintaining the elegant simplicity and flexibility of its founding treaty? Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 1:40 Will and Damon explain what the Washington Treaty is, what they meant when they used the word reimagine in their recommendation Reimagine the Washington Treaty  5:15 Damon explains why the reimagined NATO would position the Alliance as the backbone of the free world and not the original Washington treaty 7:17 Will and Damon talk about how allies will be able to recommit to meeting democratic values and principles to free people when they face the same problem themselves  9:10 Damon talks about whether Turkey was adhering to democratic principles when the coup happened and why NATO didn’t deal with it and it’s one of their recommendation 11:07 Damon also explains how their recommendation is different from that of NATO and yet no word is spoken when some allies take part in anti-democratic practices  13:22 Damon also explains how their recommendation is going to help NATO be able to hold its members to account to be able to face of the challenge of authoritarian and autocracies 15:22 Will and Damon explains what the standalone article would look like in ensuring NATO can compete in an era of geo-economics by protecting allies’ economic security in the midst of rapid technological change and great power competition 19:54 Will and Damon explain how their recommendation would help change some of the EU governments strategic thinking so as to stop signing some deals with China to make them understand that this can also pose a geostrategic risk in the long term 24:24 Damon explains how to use NATO to help bring disparate actors on board while thinking about some of the big global challenges and develop common strategies and approaches  28:05 Will talks about having other small pieces linked to NATO’s network handling some of the global issues more specifically in order to create global stability and prosperity  31:23 Damon also shares his thoughts on having other parties within the network of the Alliance dealing with some of the global issues since NATO has a lot on its plate 33:31 Will shares his thoughts if NATO needs a new treaty or if it needs to talk about the old treaty more and talk about how it can be enlivened 34:45 Damon also shares his thoughts on what NATO should do, if it should have a new treaty or revise the old one  37:53 Damon explains if their recommendation is something that the Alliance would be willing to do to Reimagine the Washington Treaty  Shows Mentioned: The North Atlantic Council is the principal political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, consisting of Permanent Representatives from its member countries. The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium is a 750-seat historic neoclassical auditorium located at 1301 Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. The auditorium, which connects two wings of the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building, is owned by the U.S. government but available for use by the public.  The European Union is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km² and an estimated total population of about 447 million.  Quotes Mentioned: “NATO’s adaptability is one of its strengths.” “In 1949, the Alliance emerged in part out of fear that European democracies couldn't survive in the face of communism and Soviet expansionism.” “Over most of the 70 years since the signing of the original Washington treaty, democratic free societies have made their point by proving that they can bring prosperity and economic opportunity.” “We realize that we can't be dependent on China for certain supplies.” “We need a more coherent approach as allies to this geo-economic competition.” “When the NAC talks about an issue, it shouldn't mean that the NATO bureaucracy goes into action.” Guests Social Media Links: Damon Wilson: Website:  Twitter:  LinkedIn:  Will O’Brien: LinkedIn:  Twitter: 
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Disband the NATO Response Force


    The NRF was launched in November 2002 at the Alliance’s Prague Summit. The brainchild of US defense leaders, the NRF was intended to strengthen NATO’s readiness and responsiveness as well as act as a catalyst for capability development (especially in Europe). As one of its conceptual forebears has written,1 the goal was to create a “real-life force with a C4ISR structure and assigned combat units, not merely a disorganized troop list,” pulled together on an ad hoc basis. The problem is this original defining strength of the NRF has been revealed as its Achilles heel.   Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 1:45 John talks about NATO Response Force, NRF, what it is, when it was formed and what’s its role in NATO 4:32 John shares his thoughts on why he strongly believe that NATO does not require to have the NRF and how multi-nationality has primarily become NATO’s weakness 7:18 John talks about the process of deployment of NRF and who was to be consulted before its deployment  8:51 John also shares some of the examples to show how the NRF is not useful just sitting on the shelves and not being deployed  10:52 John talks about what the NRF would have done if it had been used by NATO in a situation like Crimea  12:22 John also talks about how the NRF could have become the now enhanced forward presence, EFP should it have been used in 2014 14:13 John explains why there was need to disband the NRF after the creation of the EFP since they all fulfill the same purpose  16:57 John talks about the reasons why NRF is slower to respond to crisis and it is termed to be very fast as opposed to EFP such as decision making 19:06 John also explains why NRF takes longer for it to be deployed than the EFP and they are all tools from NATO 21:12 John talks about evolution of decision making in the deployment of NRF and if it would make any difference  23:04 John also talks about the disadvantages of the Alliance having fixed multinational formations or consensus in its decision making 24:33 John talks about how he would convince allies that are wedded to the capabilities of the NRF to consider his suggestion to disband it and also what they would replace it with  27:22 John also talks about whom pays for NRF resources and how that money would go back into preparing the capabilities that the NRF has if it is disband  28:27 John explains if the countries providing the plug and play option would they get the same benefits that they got with the NRF 29:07 John talks about how it would be arranged with the plug and play option for allies to get the help that they need  30:26 John talks about consensus in the plug and play option also and how different it is from the NRF which also requires consensus  32:07 John talks about how disbanding the NRF would be received at the Alliance since there are some allies that are quite fond of the NRF sitting there on its shelf 34:00 John explains the need to push interoperability down lower so allies can get more contributions from across the Alliance 35:05 John talks about why the defense establishments are needed more than ever and not waste resources in any capacity now more than ever 
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Supersize Cyber


    NATO should adopt a digital .2 percent policy, whereby member states commit to spend .2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on cybersecurity and digital defense modernization, evoking the existing two percent guideline utilized by the Alliance for traditional defense expenditures. While some NATO members are awash in cybersecurity capabilities, others are not, preventing the Alliance as a whole from most effectively addressing adversaries increasingly focused on digital and information-centered threats. Cyber defense, collective response, adequate protection of current and future weapon systems, digital integration, leveling up Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (JISR)—the debates about burden sharing are missing critical dimensions of digital transformation. NATO is grappling with how to navigate and operate in cyberspace and must follow strategy with resources.   Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 1:18 Simon shares the elevator pitch of what they were recommending the Alliance to do in their paper on adapting a .2% commitment on digital defense  2:09 Simon talks about the three distinct categories in digital spending that they suggested to NATO  3:36 Simon explains why he thinks that now is the right time for NATO to consider the .2% commitment on digital defense and why it didn’t in the past  5:17 Safa talks about if the allies will agree to the financial metrics that they want to add of the .2% while the 2% already gives some allies a headache when they hear it 6:07 Safa also explains about the .2% and what it is for when the allies contribute it to the Alliance  6:51 Safa talks about how NATO will convince other governments to commit the .2%, since it does not have control over the government spending 7:25 Safa also explains why their recommendation didn’t happen even after the NotPetya but they are recommending it now  8:17 Safa talks about what would happen if NATO took ownership to this recommendation and made every member to commit their .2% 9:30 Simon talks about how NATO would make this binding if at all it agreed with this recommendation   10:27 Simon talks about how they would measure it since there are some countries that are behind than others  13:16 Safa talks about if the .2% of the digital defense should go into the 2% of the defense as other countries are suggesting  14:21 Safa talks about how NATO could take a more proactive role in terms of providing guidance and structure to member states in terms of how they spend their money 15:59 Safa talks about if nations are loose in spending on the defense as the US and if the US is the one telling the other nations to also spend and not the Alliance 17:47 Simon also shares other reasons as to why they think member states should invest in the digital defense  18:51 Simon talks about why he thinks it is right adding the financial aspect to the digital defense  21:07 Safa talks about what is unique with what they stated in their paper from the pledges that NATO already has over digital defense  22:05 Safa talks about if they would consider putting that under the review process to see how they're coming along on improving their capabilities 24:55 Simon also talks about how their recommendation would be achieved with the distrust challenge already among the NATO members and how that would increase trust between members 25:58 Safa talks about where they saw lack of trust playing out that made them write this paper  27:43 Simon and Safa talk about timeline where allies would be at the same level to invest in digital defense and to have a much more solid defense inside the cyber world  30:09 Simon talks about the if the new administration and the improved conversation about two percent will provide an opening for a conversation about .2% 31:17 Safa talks about how they came up with the number
  • NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas for the Alliance after the 2020 US election podcast

    Open a Bank


    NATO has a critical capability gap that is hindering its ability to guarantee the security of its member states: its inability to finance defense. If nothing is done, this gap will only grow in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paying for military forces and deployments has traditionally been the responsibility of individual member states, with NATO ensuring those forces are able to fight together as one. But an alliance built on collective defense must do more than just come to the defense of its members. It must also, as Article 2 of the Washington Treaty holds, “encourage economic collaboration.” As such, NATO should create its own bank. 

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