The international rules-based world order, as established at the end of the Second World War, is currently undergoing a series of unprecedented challenges that are impacting NATO and its twenty-nine constituent members. NATO defense-resource goals and commitments, as outlined at the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales, are unavoidably interconnected with the broader emerging international security environment. These emerging security challenges have already begun to impact NATO defense planning, and promise to decisively impact the Alliance’s future approach to defense-resource management and its ability to fill critical defense-capability gaps as expeditiously as possible.
Only two years ago, discussion of “adversaries” at political levels within NATO headquarters (HQ) was considered unacceptable. There was little appetite for adjusting the language of the NATO 2010 Strategic Concept (“… the Euro-Atlantic area is at peace, and the threat of a conventional attack against NATO is low”). Discussion of the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent was resisted. This situation is now changing.