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.

  • 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

    Feb 21, 2018

    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?

Explore North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • NATO Chiefs of Defense meet during the NATO Military Committee Conference at Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, September 28, 2018

    Commentary

    NATO Needs a European Level of Ambition

    As NATO finalizes its new political guidance designed to shape future military forces, it has the chance to both strengthen Europe’s commitment to burden-sharing and relieve American concern about the creation of a new European Army. Building an enhanced European capacity within NATO entails some risk, but the benefits may outweigh concerns.

    Dec 10, 2018

  • A Russian cargo ship beneath a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula after three Ukrainian navy vessels were stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, Crimea, November 25, 2018

    Commentary

    No Russian Let-Up on Ukraine

    Moscow's seizure of Crimea and war in eastern Ukraine have led the West to sanction Russians and expand aid to Ukraine, and NATO to shift land and air forces eastward. Expanded Russian coercion may draw more NATO naval power closer to Russia’s shores and lead to tougher sanctions.

    Dec 7, 2018

  • Report

    Building Partner-Nation Capacity Through the Defense Education Enhancement Program

    This document reviews the Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP) by defining the program, its functions, and why it is valuable to participating nations.

    Dec 4, 2018

  • Journal Article

    NATO's Return to the North Atlantic: Implications for the Defense of Northern Europe

    NATO allies and partners are refocusing on the maritime dimension of deterrence in the North Atlantic and Northern Europe in response to Russian assertiveness and deployment of new naval capabilities. They need to better integrate defense plans.

    Nov 9, 2018

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a session at the lower house of parliament in Berlin, October 17, 2018

    Commentary

    Merkel's Departure: A Star Begins to Dim

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to not seek re-election may signal an end to two key features of post-WWII Europe.

    Oct 31, 2018

  • NATO helicopters land at Afghan and U.S. Special Forces base in Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, July 7, 2018

    Commentary

    Lives on the Line: The A2AD Challenge to Combat Casualty Care

    Countries such as Russia and China continue to develop and expand the ability to integrate long-range strike, anti-ship, anti-air, space and cyber abilities. Provision of medical support could be a worthy priority for NATO planners when considering deterrence of and defense against near-peer or peer adversaries.

    Jul 31, 2018

  • Bridge stretching across the Vistula River during the joint NATO exercise Anakonda 2016, near Chelmno, Poland, June 7-17, 2016

    Commentary

    Exploring the Allied Decisions on Military Mobility in Europe

    Debates about defense expenditure and concerns over NATO unity overshadowed decisions on defense and deterrence in Europe made during the recent NATO summit and European Council meetings. Both events brought significant and tangible conclusions with potential impacts on defense, deterrence, and readiness in Europe.

    Jul 27, 2018

  • Heads of state ahead of the opening ceremony of the NATO summit, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018

    Commentary

    A Look at NATO Funding

    European defense spending has been rising since 2014. NATO's two percent of GDP target for defense spending is a goal, not a commitment, and indeed a goal to be reached by 2024, not a standard allies have already failed to meet.

    Jul 13, 2018

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin walks before an inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, May 7, 2018

    Commentary

    Western Unity Is Best for Russian Summitry

    In preparing for his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump could benefit from a coordinated Western approach toward Moscow as a prelude. Absent this, his hand will be seriously weakened.

    Jul 5, 2018

  • A U.S. Army Soldier guides an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, off the ramp of the ARC vessel Endurance May 20 at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, May 20, 2018

    Commentary

    Military Mobility Returns to the Forefront in Europe

    The importance of military mobility has returned only recently to the international high-level agenda, specifically NATO and the European Union. The EU is expected to tackle the issue of military mobility during a European Council meeting in late June, and NATO will convene a summit in July.

    Jun 25, 2018

  • 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 the city of Suwalki, Poland, during 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