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NATO's New Strategic Concept


Many of the threats that NATO now faces have little or no respect for borders.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently spoke about the ongoing development of a new strategic concept for NATO, and how this document will need to address "new technologies, new adversaries, and new ideologies" that "threaten our security."

Many of the threats that NATO now faces have little or no respect for borders. Whether it's battling piracy, or the menace of terrorism, or the prospect of weapons proliferation, the Alliance must be prepared to address new dangers regardless of where they originate. Few of the dangers currently confronting NATO Allies are purely military or purely conventional. Moreover, with some such as cyber attacks, the origins of the threat may be unclear.

Allies need to work together to assure our defense against these and other threats. That's why, to look at one example, the U.S. believes that NATO should develop a missile defense architecture so that it can defend Europe against ballistic missile attack.

Alliance members also need to assess NATO's role in deterring and responding to terrorist attacks and addressing energy security concerns, while working to ensure efficiency and maintaining focus on current operations.

Crafting a new strategic concept is a great challenge and a great opportunity, said Secretary Clinton. "If we are to succeed in our efforts, NATO must remain the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security, yet we also cannot shut our eyes or shut our doors to those challenges that transcend geography and the traditional definitions of security problems. . . .NATO must be part of helping to find the solutions. And as we do so, this alliance will continue enhancing the peace and progress of an interconnected world."

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