As the war in Ukraine pushes past the six-month mark, NATO stands at a critical juncture. In the face of renewed great-power competition in Europe, the alliance has proved to be an irreplaceable guarantor of transatlantic security through its support of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Finnish and Swedish NATO accession promise to build a stronger alliance to match the complexity of future challenges. CNAS experts are sharpening the conversation around NATO’s pivotal role in Ukraine and the alliance’s promotion of transatlantic security interests against threats from autocratic aggressors. Continue reading this edition of Sharper to explore their analysis, commentary, and recommendations
Russia in the Arctic: Gauging How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Will Alter Regional Dynamics
Russia’s reinvasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is producing ripple effects that will reverberate far beyond Ukraine for years to come, affecting issue areas and regions where the United States and Europe must manage relations with Moscow. Such effects will certainly be felt in the Arctic. Already, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has compelled Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership, altering the region’s security architecture. Amid the changes that are unfolding, it is critical that analysts and policymakers reexamine long-standing assessments and assumptions about Russia. To that end, this paper reexamines Russia’s approach to the Arctic in light of events in Ukraine.
The 2022 Madrid NATO Summit, with Ivo Daalder and Doug Lute
What are the most important takeaways from this week’s NATO summit in Madrid? Ivo Daalder and Doug Lute join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss how the alliance is adapting to meet the challenges of a new era. Ivo Daalder is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as the U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013. Doug Lute served as the United States Ambassador to NATO from 2013 to 2017.
Enlisting NATO to Address the China Challenge
Europe has grown more sober in its assessment of China, and a report argues the DoD should enlist NATO in efforts to address the China challenge. As a first step, the United States should work to foster a shared transatlantic assessment of the challenges China poses. Aside from playing a bigger role in the Arctic, Africa, and cyberspace, China is making investments in new infrastructure and weapon systems. Its growing footprint and influence in Europe, as well as its deepening cooperation with Russia, create new challenges for NATO.
Brussels Sprouts Live with Julianne Smith, U.S. Ambassador to NATO
On June 21, 2022, CNAS hosted a live recording of Brussels Sprouts, one of the organization’s flagship podcasts offering small bites on transatlantic security, NATO, the EU, Russia, and all things Europe. Julianne Smith, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, joined Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend in conversation about Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Then Andrea and Jim were joined by Steven Erlanger and David Sanger of the New York Times to continue the conversation.
Virtual Fireside Chat with Ms. Eva-Maria Liimets, Foreign Minister of Estonia
Estonia is a crucial NATO ally in the midst of this conflict, given its pivotal position as a Baltic nation bordering Russia, as well as its history as a former Soviet state. On Wednesday, February 16, the Center for a New American Security hosted a virtual fireside chat with Ms. Eva-Maria Liimets, Foreign Minister of Estonia, to discuss the current conflict in conversation with Andrea Kendall-Taylor. As the United States and NATO work together to de-escalate, the discussion provided fresh insight into the conflict from the Estonian perspective.
NATO’s Madrid Summit: A Missed Opportunity for European Strategic Responsibility
"Greater European strategic responsibility is vital for the future of NATO. While tensions around unequal burden-sharing are a long-standing element of the transatlantic relationship, recent years have highlighted the urgent problems that the status quo poses to both the United States and Europe," wrote Nicholas Lokker in Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. "Washington increasingly focuses on both domestic issues and the challenges posed by China in the Indo-Pacific. This shift in priorities casts doubt on the sustainability of massive military commitments to Europe. European leaders at both the national and E.U. levels, meanwhile, have stressed that Europe needs greater strategic autonomy to become a stronger geopolitical actor in a more turbulent international environment."
In the News
Featuring commentary from Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Carisa Nietsche, Jim Townsend, Heli Hautala, and Maria Snegovaya.
About the Sharper Series
The CNAS Sharper series features curated analysis and commentary from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges in U.S. foreign policy. From the future of America's relationship with China to the state of U.S. sanctions policy and more, each collection draws on the reports, interviews, and other commentaries produced by experts across the Center to explore how America can strengthen its competitive edge.
Sign up to receive the latest analysis from the CNAS expert community on the most important issues facing America's national security.
More from CNAS
Taking on China and Russia
Today Washington has chosen, perhaps by default, to compete with—and if necessary, confront—both Russia and China simultaneously and indefinitely....
By Richard Fontaine
Russia’s Withdrawal from Kherson, with Mike Kofman and Mick Ryan
Last week, Kiev reached an important milestone when Russian troops withdrew from the city of Kherson. This retreat has both strategic and symbolic significance, given that Khe...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Michael Kofman & Mick Ryan
Sharper: The Future of Russia Relations
While the recently released U.S. National Defense Strategy names the People's Republic of China as the greatest pacing threat facing the United States, Russia poses the most i...
By Anna Pederson
Sharper: The State of AI
The U.S. government's recent chip export controls are the latest salvo in the U.S.–China rivalry in artificial intelligence. Semiconductors are a key input for AI systems and ...
By Anna Pederson