North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

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As a military alliance with roots in the Cold War, NATO's strategy and purpose have had to shift since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. RAND has assisted U.S. and European defense establishments by recommending expansion strategies; analyzing activities in the Balkans and Afghanistan, areas outside NATO's traditional focus; and advising decisionmakers on issues critical to NATO's mission and the interests of its member nations.

  • NATO defense ministers attend a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 26, 2016

    Report

    European Relations with Russia in the Wake of the Ukrainian Crisis

    Apr 13, 2017

    Perceptions of Russia as a military threat differ sharply across Europe. But European leaders generally agree that relations with Russia have changed irreparably, tensions are unlikely to recede anytime soon, and future actions toward Russia will depend on Moscow's behavior.

  • U.S. Army soldiers, deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, use a rooftop as an observation post in Mosul, Iraq, March 7, 2017

    Commentary

    NATO's Role in Post-Caliphate Stability Operations

    May 2, 2017

    Steps are needed to fill the vacuum left as the caliphate collapses, lest forces on the ground turn on each other to gain control. The answer is for NATO to act under U.S. leadership. The alternative is either chaos or Iran — backed by Russia — filling the void.

Explore North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Report

    Rethinking the Regional Order for Post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia

    This Perspective proposes a new approach to the regional order in post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia that would foster greater stability in the region and reduce dangerous tensions in Russia-West relations.

    Jun 13, 2018

  • Report

    Lessons from Others for Future U.S. Army Operations in and Through the Information Environment

    An examination of the evolution of both allied and adversary use of information power, alongside a comparative analysis of capability areas in which these others excel, can guide future U.S. Army force planning.

    Jun 7, 2018

  • Report

    Lessons from Others for Future U.S. Army Operations in and Through the Information Environment: Case Studies

    Twelve detailed case studies examine of the activities and strategic goals of allies, adversaries, and potential adversaries in and through the information environment, highlighting insights for U.S. Army planning.

    Jun 7, 2018

  • Members of Battle Group Poland stage their vehicles upon arriving at Suwalki, Poland, during a tactical road march to Lithuania as part of an exercise to enhance NATO throughout the Baltic region and Poland, June 17, 2017

    Report

    The Russian Challenge: Deterring Aggression in the Baltics

    The risk of Russian aggression in the Baltics can no longer be ignored. To successfully deter Moscow, the United States and its European allies should invest in NATO's ability to defend its eastern boundary.

    Jun 4, 2018

  • Group photo of EU leaders on the launching of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) during a EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, December 14, 2017

    Commentary

    European Defense Cooperation: Headed in the Right Direction?

    In late December, all but three European Union nations agreed to activate Europe's latest, and perhaps most promising, effort to coordinate their defense investments. U.S. officials should let this effort run its course while encouraging and helping to lay the groundwork for continued collaboration.

    May 14, 2018

  • Vladimir Putin is sworn in as president during an inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2018

    Commentary

    How Russia's Blunders Abroad Have Galvanized Europe

    Russia overrates the efficacy of the military and underrates political and economic assets. Through this outdated prism the Kremlin sees Europe as America's weak sister. This miscalculation has led Russia repeatedly to err, as shown by decades of frustrated efforts to divide Europeans and split them from the U.S.

    May 10, 2018

  • Report

    Getting Out from "In-Between": Perspectives on the Regional Order in Post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia

    The perspectives collected in these conference proceedings explore alternatives to the current approaches to the regional order for the states "in between" the West and Russia -- Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

    Mar 8, 2018

  • Report

    Strategic Warning on NATO's Eastern Flank: Pitfalls, Prospects, and Limits

    Russian military modernization raises concerns about the Intelligence Community's (IC's) ability to warn of Russian aggression, particularly on NATO's eastern flank. Using themes from past events, the report makes recommendations to improve warning.

    Mar 7, 2018

  • european flags on poles

    Project

    RAND Europe Improves Policy and Decision Making in Europe and Around the World

    RAND Europe is an independent not-for-profit research institute with offices in the UK and Belgium. Its research portfolio complements RAND's and also includes choice modeling, evaluation and performance management, innovation and technology, and much more.

    Mar 1, 2018

  • An M1A1 Abrams tank from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division rolls out of a motor pool during a convoy operation during exercise Allied Spirit VIII at the U.S. Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 25, 2018

    Commentary

    Why Military Mobility Should Be at the Top of NATO's Agenda

    Improving military mobility in Europe has recently gathered momentum. But due to the complexity of the issue, it remains to be seen what specific progress will be made by the NATO summit in July. The same goes for how new EU initiatives will complement NATO requirements.

    Feb 26, 2018

  • German troops cross the Neris River during the 2017 Iron Wolf exercise in Stasenai, Lithuania, June 20, 2017

    Commentary

    A 'Glass Half-Full': Next Steps for Enhancing Deterrence on NATO's Eastern Flank

    The United States and key allies have taken steps toward redressing the imbalance in military power between NATO and Russia in Northeastern Europe. But NATO's defense planners must be clear-eyed about what remains to be done.

    Feb 12, 2018

  • Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian soldiers stand in formation for the closing ceremony of exercise Silver Arrow in Adazi, Latvia, October 31, 2016

    Report

    Assessing the Imbalance of Military Power in Europe

    Since 2008 Russia has been expanding and refining its readiness for conventional warfare. These improvements have reduced the qualitative and technological gaps between Russia and NATO. What do recent trends imply for the balance of capabilities in NATO member states in the Baltic Sea region?

    Feb 5, 2018

  • U.S. Navy amphibious assault vehicles enter the sea during BALTOPS, an annual NATO exercise, near Ventspils, Latvia, June 6, 2017

    Blog

    Amphibious Plans and Posture in Support of NATO Event Held at RAND

    A RAND workshop focused on the importance of amphibious and maritime forces working together within NATO. This provided a venue for dialogue and idea exchange about maritime and amphibious challenges and opportunities in Europe.

    Jan 19, 2018

  • Polish Army PT-91 tank is seen during Silver Arrow 2017, the multinational military drills involving eleven NATO member countries in Adazi, Latvia October 29, 2017

    Commentary

    How NATO Could Accidentally Trigger a War with Russia

    An increased NATO presence in the Baltics could motivate Russia for an invasion. U.S. and NATO deployments in the region should take seriously Russian beliefs about NATO capabilities in planning future deployments, and by pursuing transparency and negotiation in future deployments in the Baltic region.

    Nov 13, 2017

  • Spanish Army soldiers run during the Silver Arrow 2017, the multinational military drills involving eleven NATO member countries in Adazi, Latvia October 29, 2017

    Commentary

    Deterring the Unthinkable: NATO's Role Along the Eastern Flank

    As NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to set the stage for the 2018 NATO summit, key issues will include defense burden-sharing and NATO’s role to the south in counterterrorism and refugee management. But strengthening deterrence to the East must remain the top priority for the alliance.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles arrive at Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania, where USAF will assume control of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from the Polish air force on August 30, 2017

    Report

    How Might Russia Respond to U.S. and NATO Posture Changes?

    The escalation in tensions between Russia and NATO since 2014 has led to numerous proposals to enhance U.S. and NATO posture on the Alliance's eastern flank. Assessing Russia's possible reactions is vital to any analysis of which posture and capability enhancements the U.S. and NATO should pursue.

    Oct 10, 2017

  • Headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

    Report

    Measuring the Health of the International Order

    The liberal international order that has been in place since 1945 is relatively stable. But the order is threatened by geopolitical and domestic socioeconomic trends that call into question its assumptions. U.S. support and engagement over the coming decade will be essential.

    Sep 5, 2017

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks to journalists following a live nationwide broadcast in Moscow, June 15, 2017

    Report

    Strengthening Strategic Stability with Russia

    Strategic stability between the United States and Russia is eroding, but the two countries still share a deep interest in avoiding nuclear war. Strengthening stability will be challenging. Meaningful progress will require courage and sacrifices on both sides.

    Jul 7, 2017

  • Exercise Anakonda 2016, Exercise Anakonda 16, Anakonda 16, AK16, AN16, Poland, MTA Drawsko Pomorski, DPTA, MTA Chelmno, MTA Wedryzn, MTA Krosno Odrzanskie, MTA Nowa Deba, Jaworze Training Area, Gdynia Training Area, Ustka, U.S. Army Europe, USAREUR, U.S. European Command, EUCOM, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 364th ESC, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment, Command, 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 412th Theater Engineer Command, 469th Combat Support, 483rd Quartermaster Company, 328th Adjutant General Company, 236th Transportation Company, 592nd Ordnance Company, 716th Quartermaster Company, 129th Transportation Company, 361st Engineer Company, 380th Transportation Element, 3d Infantry Division, 3d ID, Fort Stewart, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, airborne, paratrooper, Stryker, ordnance, ammunition supply, engineer, transportation, quartermaster, petroleum, adjutant general, multi-role bridge, inland cargo, movement control teams, combat service support, combat sustainment, maintenance support, 2X Citizen, U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Army Reserve Command, U.S. Army Reserve photo, U.S. Army Reserve photograph, U.S. Army Reserve photographer, U.S. Army Reserve photojournalism, Army photo, Army photographer, Army photojournalism, Army picture, Federal Reserve, Operational Reserve, Twice the Citizen, U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Army Reserve Command, USARC, Warrior-Citizen, military photograph, military photography, military photojournalism, military picture, reserve component, Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, U.S., U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Army National Guard, 4th ID, 4th Infantry Division

    Report

    Emerging Opportunities for Engagement on NATO's Northeastern Flank

    Will renewed tension between NATO and Russia prevent key U.S. allies and partners in Europe from being able to contribute to U.S. regional defense objectives? What can the U.S. do to strengthen its European partnerships?

    Jun 20, 2017

  • Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer visits the Bemowo Piskie Training Area near Orzysz, Poland, where U.S., U.K., and Romanian soldiers support NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence, May 5, 2017

    Commentary

    NATO: Prepared for Countering Disinformation Operations in the Baltic States?

    NATO alliance countries deploying to the Baltics should prepare to deal with increasing levels of disinformation. An open and robust communication strategy could be crucial in tackling a sophisticated Russian disinformation campaign aimed at disrupting support for these deployments.

    Jun 7, 2017