NATO and Russia flags

NATO Strategic Concept in the Shadow of the War

on 21.09.2022

By Marcin Zaborowski.

At the Madrid Summit held on 28-30 June 2022, NATO Allies adopted a new Strategic Concept which aims to define the Alliance’s vision for the coming decade. The 2022 NATO Strategic Concept was drafted during a particular historical moment marked by Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. This being said, the new Concept communicates a clear evolution in the Alliance’s prioritization of its core tasks: defence and deterrence and an end to the illusion of partnership with Russia. GLOBSEC’s Policy Director Marcin Zaborowski contributed to this topic with a chapter for the “NATO’s New Strategic Concept” report by NATO Defense College.

In the chapter titled “NATO Strategic Concept in the Shadow of the War”, he discusses the change in NATO’s approach to Russia since its aggression against Ukraine, the new definition of China, emphasis on hybrid warfare, climate change, and the maintenance of Alliance’s technological edge.

In his words, the tone of the Concept is openly pessimistic – or maybe simply realistic. With a war on the Alliance’s direct periphery and a tangible threat to NATO’s own territory, the current situation is unprecedented in the Alliance’s history. And, as alluded to by the Concept, the emerging axis of autocratic China and Russia, brought together mostly by shared anti-Western or anti-NATO stances, adds up to a historically difficult moment for the Alliance.

With this environment in mind, the Strategic Concept communicates NATO’s resolve and unity. In doing so, a considerable part of the document is focused on NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, including commitments under the Defence Investment Pledge to provide the “full range of required capabilities”.

To learn more, read the full chapter below.