Panelists engaged in a spirited discussion around the future of NATO, giving consideration to its leadership role in the Libyan mission, and paying attention to the issue of how non-contributing members view the alliance. They also spoke the organization’s value to the world.
Panelists also discussed some of the big questions and important issues that will need to be addressed at the 2012 summit in Chicago—especially around the cooperation of established and emerging democracies, and their dedication to the alliance.
“What Libya showed us is that when it comes to commanding an operation of that size, there is no other door to knock on. [Libya has shown us] that the balance of leadership in the organization is evolving.”
“It can’t be left to the ‘hard-core’ nations to bear the weight…It will be a major challenge, above all else, to get the commitment of all the members to play their part, and not rely disproportionately on other members.”
“In Chicago, we have to talk about succession planning—the next Secretary General must have huge budgetary confidence. We have to have an eventful and substantive summit.”
Closing out this year’s Forum, panelists shared their thoughts on what the emergence of new and growing democracies means for the international community. Rising powers such as Brazil, India and Japan, among others, can be seen as new and exciting allies of Western leaders, but questions were raised about how much these countries would be willing to contribute to international security.
A dominating theme of the discussion was how emerging and established democracies might gain a better understanding of each other’s roles and abilities in creating a more secure world.
“We have started preparation for sending troops to South Sudan as part of peace keeping operations…and we will soon send about 300 construction units. That is what a country like Japan can do. Those missions need divisions of labor, and that is where I think rising powers can and do contribute.”
…Some numbers about Brazil: 80.5 million square kilometers, 190 million people, we’re the fifth largest country in the world, and we must now realize that we are in the world scenario, acting as an emergent power. Our areas and field of interest are South America and Africa, and we continue to consider what Brazil’s role in the world will be…We have spent $100 million in development both inside Brazil and outside of Brazil.”
“Strategic partnerships are not built on the basis of common friendships, it are build on the basis of common enemies…India just signed strategic partnerships with Japan, Vietnam—our relationship with Australia has taken a quantum leap—and a treaty partnership with Afghanistan—all within the last four months. In terms of India playing actively in both the East and West regions, in harmony with America, it is an era that is just beginning.”