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Global Challenges Absent from New Strategic Concept

22 November 2010

 NATO’s new Strategic Concept seeks to explain how the Alliance will address 21st century security challenges including energy security, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to rogue actors, terrorism, and cyber security. But the document should also have taken into account the dramatic new security challenges that will change the world and will impact the interests of its members.

First, it should have accounted for the impact of rising poles in the international system. Experts agree that the rise of a multipolar system is less stable than the bipolar and unipolar worlds with which we are familiar.

Second, it should have prepared for the security impact of the competition among world powers for scarce resources beyond “the protection on critical energy infrastructure” mentioned in the strategy. In a multipolar world, competition for increasingly scarce resources will have serious consequences for global stability, above all because resource nationalism and protectionism are on the rise.

The Atlantic Council

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Rob de Wijk

Rob de Wijk is the founder and non-executive director of HCSS. He studied Contemporary History and International Relations in Groningen, and wrote his PhD dissertation on NATO’s ‘Flexibility in Response’ strategy at the Political Science Department of Leiden University.

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