NATO Review is a free online magazine offering expert opinion, analysis and debate on a broad range of security issues.
It looks at different aspects of NATO’s role in today’s fast-changing and unpredictable security environment. It also covers wider challenges, such as cyberattacks, hybrid warfare, the impact of social media, the security implications of climate change and scarcity of resources, and the need to strengthen the role of women in peace and security.
It is important to note that what is published in NATO Review does not constitute the official position or policy of NATO or member governments. NATO Review seeks to inform and promote debate on security issues. The views expressed by authors are their own.
This magazine has existed for 70 years and still upholds the task it was given all those years ago: to 'contribute to a constructive discussion of Euro-Atlantic security issues’.
NATO Review: Protection of Civilians: a constant in the changing security environment
Protecting civilians is an ethical and strategic imperative and a crucial factor in the planning, conduct and assessment of military operations. NATO’s strategy and planning for the future needs to reflect that reality.
NATO Review: The Madrid Strategic Concept and the Future of NATO
At the Brussels Summit in June 2021, NATO leaders agreed to begin work on a new Strategic Concept, which will be adopted at the upcoming Summit in Madrid in June 2022. The last such Concept was agreed back in 2010 when the world was a different place.
NATO Review: Moving towards security: preparing NATO for climate-related migration
If global warming continues unabated, the World Bank estimates that by 2050, 216 million people will migrate within their countries in search of employment, food, and water security. Already, UNHCR data shows that, over the last decade, weather-related crises created twice as much displacement as conflict. Though such displacement often initially occurs within states– from rural to urban areas–as urban areas become more stressed, people are increasingly likely to move across international borders. Globally, most states and international institutions are unprepared for the coming magnitude of climate-related migration.
NATO Review: 70 years of NATO Review, 2nd edition
In 2022, we celebrate 70 years of NATO Review (formerly NATO Letter). Over the past seven decades, NATO Review has been offering expert opinion and analysis on a wide range of Euro-Atlantic security issues in articles that have sometimes been reflective, sometimes predictive, but always at the front line of debate. To commemorate this long legacy, over the course of 2022 we will be re-publishing a selection of NATO Review articles from throughout the history of the magazine.
This article, written in 1976 by then-Secretary General Joseph Luns, may evoke the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The 1970s saw a period of détente, or the easing of tensions, between the “West” (NATO) and the “East” (the Warsaw Pact, led by the Soviet Union). Despite warming relations and plenty of good-faith diplomacy, there were still concerns that the Soviet Union would continue its attempts to expand its sphere of influence through unpredictable actions, ideological conflict and even open hostility. NATO Allies maintained a collective hope of ending enmity and finding common ground with Russia. But they also recognised that stability and security come from strength, and stood firmly behind their prime responsibility: to ensure collective defence for each other, including by deterring aggression from a belligerent neighbour.
In 1976, the strategic conflict was between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. However, since the end of the Cold War, eleven countries of the former communist bloc have joined NATO. These Allies exercised their sovereign right to choose their own path and shape their own future – a right which must be respected. NATO’s Open Door policy has helped spread freedom, democracy and prosperity across Europe. It has never been directed against Russia or any other country.
The door continues to remain open to any European country in a position to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership, and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area.
NATO Review: Risk, Uncertainty and Innovation
The Alliance faces significant challenges from disruptive technologies and innovations in both conventional and hybrid methods of war. Distinguishing between uncertainty and risk can help to better prepare for emerging threats and to direct innovative initiatives to counter them.
NATO Review: Extending NATO: retirement plan not required
Ups and downs in NATO’s fortunes are nothing new, and predictions of NATO’s demise are almost as old as the Alliance itself. What is remarkable is not the Alliance’s decline but its longevity. NATO has outlasted the Warsaw Pact by some three decades. Other Cold War alliances – the South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) - passed into history in the late 1970s. All of which begs the question: why has NATO persisted when other alliances have fallen by the wayside? There is already some excellent scholarship that addresses this issue. As NATO approaches another milestone – the adoption of its fourth post-Cold War Strategic Concept – it is worth examining the question once more.