In an early morning video conference with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels, Josef Korbel School students learned what would be discussed at the upcoming Summit Meeting in Chicago, including the transition out of Afghanistan.
“Chicago is all about continuing the work that we started in Lisbon,” said Public Diplomacy Officer Allison Hart, referencing the strategic concept developed at the 2010 Summit.
Outlining the “smart defense” concept, Hart highlighted NATO members’ needs to prioritize, specialize and focus on multi-national solutions. Those solutions included partnerships with non-members, many forged in Afghanistan.
“Chicago is not an enlargement summit, but NATO does have an open door policy,” said Hart, addressing a question about Russia’s forceful rhetoric over NATO’s eastward expansion. Only a few weeks after Russia’s Ambassador to the UN visited the Josef Korbel School, students were able to see both sides of the cooperative, albeit tense relationship.
Discussing a basic background of NATO’s role, it was clear that the organization is putting more effort into public diplomacy and engagement. Though at its core a security alliance, Hart emphasized both the military and political role NATO plays in cooperative security, with a trend towards crisis management operations like the recent deployment in Libya.
- Sarah Crozier, MA Candidate, International Development
Josef Korbel School of International Studies