Past eventInvitation OnlyParliamentary Briefing

The Future of NATO: Challenges at the 2008 Bucharest Summit

18 March 2008 - 12:00am

Chatham House, London


Dr Paul Cornish, Head, International Security Programme and Carrington Chair in International Security, Chatham House; formerly Director, Centre for Defence Studies, King's College London, and Lecturer in International Security, University of Cambridge
Robin Shepherd, Senior Research Fellow Europe, Chatham House; formerly Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States and Moscow Bureau Chief, The Times



This briefing will consider the key challenges facing NATO at the Bucharest Summit on 2-4 April. This is a vitally important year for NATO and if the wrong decisions are taken at Bucharest - or if decisions are simply not taken - then the Alliance will face not only deep internal disagreement, but also questions over its future role and relevance.

  • Strategic Concept - should NATO revise and modernize its Strategic Concept, and if so should this process be guided by some grand vision or driven 'bottom up' by incremental, practical steps?
  • Enlargement and Outreach - the briefing will consider the possible membership of countries of the Balkans and the Caucasus, as well as outreach and co-operation with NATO's global partners.
  • Operational Issues - is NATO's operational effectiveness fundamentally undermined by internal differences over the purpose of current commitments and by an unwillingness to share both burden and risk? How well has NATO adapted to new types of mission, such as counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan?
  • Missile Defence - both the cost and credibility of Missile Defence will be discussed, as well as the likely longer-term geopolitical consequences, including relations with Russia.

The speakers are joint authors of a forthcoming paper, 'NATO: pro-democracy or anti-Russia?', which will be launched at The Bucharest Conference, organized by the German Marshall Fund in partnership with Chatham House and the Romanian Foreign Ministry, alongside the NATO Summit.

Please note these Briefings are for MPs and peers only.