May 12, 2016

CNAS Press Note: The Nordic Summit

Washington, May 12 – As President Obama prepares to host the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden for a summit in Washington, Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Strategy and Statecraft Program Director Julianne Smith has written a new Press Note, “The Nordic Summit.”

The full Press Note is below:

Tomorrow President Obama will host the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as part of a unique “Nordic Summit.”  The meeting will build off a prior meeting of these leaders when President Obama visited Sweden in the fall of 2013. Topics of discussion will include transnational challenges such as climate change, migration, and global health issues as well as countering violent extremism, trade, and nuclear security. 

The Summit will be an opportunity for the President to showcase the many contributions these five Nordic countries have made to peace and security in recent years. It will also allow the transatlantic partners to send a strong signal of unity at a time of considerable uncertainty about the future of the transatlantic partnership. Europe remains consumed with a number of internal and external challenges – the migration crisis, weak economies, the potential exit of the UK from the European Union, a resurgent Russia, and terrorist groups like ISIS. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States is heavily focused on its upcoming election with a number of questions about the value of alliances and partnerships. This Summit will give both sides of the Atlantic a much needed boost, providing ample evidence of the importance of strong partnerships among like-minded allies.

Given all of the challenges around the world today and the innovative approaches these five countries have consistently taken on foreign policy matters, the Nordic partners are more important than ever before. That is especially true in regards to Russia.  CNAS recently ran a table top exercising examining how NATO, the EU, the United States and many partners in Europe (including the Nordic states) would respond to various scenarios stemming from Russia. One of the things that became clear in that exercise, titled, “Assured Resolve,” was the indispensable role that our Nordic allies could and would play in the face of those potential crises. This unique meeting will therefore be both timely and constructive.


Smith is available for interviews. To arrange an interview, please contact Neal Urwitz at or 202-457-9409.


  • Julianne Smith

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy, where she coedits “Shadow Government.” She is also a senior advisor at WestExec Advisors, an adjunct senio...