Meeting at the Madrid summit in June, NATO leaders issued their first new “strategic concept” in a decade. As expected, Russia took center stage in the document, and the heads of state declared Moscow a manifest threat to the transatlantic alliance. In a joint statement, they pledged their commitment to Ukraine “for as long as it takes” and committed to spend more on defense.
If it wants to succeed, the United States is going to have to pick its battles carefully.
Russia, however, was not the only major threat identified in the new strategy. For the first time, the allies said China posed “systemic challenges’’ to “Euro-Atlantic security,” and that its ambitions and policies challenge the alliance’s “interests, security and values.” To drive the point home, leaders from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea were on hand to demonstrate unity and resolve.
NATO’s new focus is just one of many indications that a new strategic era has begun. The Biden administration’s national security strategy, for instance, states that “the most pressing strategic challenge” is from “powers that layer authoritarian governance with a revisionist foreign policy.” The new U.S. strategy, which was released in October, labels Russia “an immediate threat to the free and open international system” and China as the only competitor with the intent and power to reshape that system. Today Washington has chosen, perhaps by default, to compete with—and if necessary, confront—both Russia and China simultaneously and indefinitely.
Read the full story from Foreign Affairs.
More from CNAS
The Outlook for Ukraine in 2023
In the latest installment of our “New Year” series, we take stock of where things stand in Ukraine as we head into 2023. Over the past couple of months, the lines of territori...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Michael Kofman & Lawrence D. Freedman
On Ukraine aid, Republicans should follow the leader
A robust foreign policy is critical to saving lives and in turn creating allies....
By Heather Nauert
The Case for Supporting Russian Civil Society, with Jamie Fly and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Since the invasion of Ukraine, the media environment inside Russia has become increasingly restricted. This represents the acceleration of the Putin regime’s crackdown on the ...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Jamie Fly
Opportunities and Challenges for Trade Policy in the Digital Economy
This hearing addresses digital trade, and I will focus my testimony on the national-security problems in this area posed by China – specifically, concerns about China’s open a...
By David Feith