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Gates Talks NATO Changes

Photo: nato.int

When NATO meets next month in Lisbon, Portugal, members will consider the strategic concept of the organization itself, with an eye to making the alliance, born out of the security needs of the Cold War following World War II, more efficient for the 21st century.

The last time the strategic concept was amended was 1999 – before 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and an increasingly global and cyber-connected world.

Last week, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other defense ministers of NATO allies met in Belgium to discuss the changes to the strategic concept ahead of the main meeting next month.

Not least among the issues to be addressed at the NATO summit is streamlining the organization itself.

Gates drew comparisons to his own round of efficiencies at the Pentagon.

“With all these reform efforts and efforts to bring efficiencies, our position, of course, will be — just like we’re doing in Washington –- that any savings realized as a result of these efficiencies be plowed back into these critical capabilities that I talked about,” he said.

The Cutting Edge News draws contrasts between the present and NATO’s increasingly distant past.

The Cold War was a “dangerous but simple era,” according to the website.

Now, Cutting Edge writes, the current security era is defined by “disparate threats and interests.” And the question to ask, as NATO seeks to restructure its mission is: “what underlying threat will unify NATO in the decade ahead,” to lead to those changes?

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