NATO, Afghanistan, Russia

On August 1, former Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen takes over from his predecessor, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, as NATO secretary general. Rasmussen will begin work on August 3, and on August 4 he will preside over the first session of the North Atlantic Council at ambassador level in Brussels. Itar-Tass reports that Rasmussen will meet with Russia’s Dmitry Rogozin on August 11. In Heritage Review, Sally McNamara discusses Rasmussen’s priorities, which include Afghanistan, NATO enlargement, and the formulation of a new Strategic Concept. Of the latter, she notes that

If the new strategic concept is unfocused and filled with EU priorities, such as climate change and international development, Rasmussen will have failed to sufficiently concentrate the negotiations on NATO’s core purpose and vision. Instead, the strategic concept must address the new threat environment, as well as the willingness and ability of all alliance members to confront these challenges. A separate internal net assessment may, therefore, be needed to address the capabilities gap and members’ capacity and willingness for action, as well as an external net assessment to better understand emerging threats, such as cyber terrorism, ballistic missile proliferation, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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