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Policy brief | 20 February 2012

NATO’s Deterrence and Defence Posture Review: A Status Report

Deterrence NATO Euro-Atlantic Security

NATO is undergoing a Deterrence and Defence Posture Review (DDPR) that has been characterised by divisions and disagreements among members from the outset.

Despite its potential significance, the review is proceeding with little real political engagement from national capitals and with almost no reference to the wider conditions of economic crisis and reduced defence resources. There is a significant danger that it will fail to address the new economic and political realities faced by the Alliance as a result.

This paper outlines the review process and current state of play, the national positions being taken up in the debate, and the issues at stake. It argues that without the injection of political interest and leadership there is a risk the opportunity for a comprehensive re-think of required NATO capabilities in new circumstances is being missed along with a vital opportunity to identify new avenues for productive dialogue with Russia. Prospects for the Chicago Summit in May are consequently uncertain at best. NATO cohesion and effectiveness, along with the overall security climate in Europe, may suffer as a result.


The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or any of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security challenges of our time.