Due to the fact that I was unable to participate in a student organization meeting or a final peer mentor blog post, I will be writing one of the following papers to receive credit for the International Affairs at NU course. The following are the instructions directly from Professor Rasanen:
For each blog post you couldn’t complete, write a 2-page paper, double spaced, on an issue in International Affairs. It may NOT be the same issue you write about in your final paper (a comprehensive list may be found on this site: http://www.cfr.org/issue/). Your paper should answer the following questions:
1) Why is this an important issue within International Affairs? Why did you pick it?
2) What faculty or courses at Northeastern are related to this topic and why?
3) Write a paragraph or two about a couple of current conflicts surrounding this issue
Defense and Security: NATO
The rich history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the context of the international communities policy on defense and security is interesting and still influences today’s policies and politics. NATO has both political and military implications and the members of the agreement must abide by them. Politically, NATO “promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defense and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict” (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Militarily, NATO “is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes” (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). However, “if diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis-management operations” (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). NATO is an ever increasing important issue in international affairs for a variety of reasons. Historically, NATO was a tool used by Western countries, although spearheaded by the United States of America, to protect democracy and capitalism and keep struggling European states from falling to the Soviet Union and communism. I chose this specific issue in the category of defense and security due to personal interest in the subject as well as how there has been turmoil regarding the subject under the new Trump Administration in the White House.
There are a variety of classes at Northeastern that are related to NATO and its creation and implementation. Some of these courses include The World Since 1945, History of Espionage, Approaches to World History, and The Global Cold War. These courses are most likely excellent resources for any student wishing to expand their knowledge on the Cold War and the creation of NATO.
Although there are not many current conflicts in regards to NATO, there are plenty of current events and updates in the international community regarding it. On April 13th, 2017, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid the United States a visit to meet President Donald Trump at the White House. Together, they discussed NATO’s importance and its duty to protect both North America and Europe (Secretary General: NATO is a bedrock of security for both Europe and North America). Specifically, “Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed the very strong commitment of the United States to the security of Europe, and underlined the importance of the transatlantic bond. He said: ‘In a more dangerous and more unpredictable world, it’s important to have friends and Allies. And in NATO, America has the best friends and the best Allies in the world.’ ” (Secretary General: NATO is a bedrock of security for both Europe and North America).
Another current event happing in the world of NATO is that NATO has recently openly welcomed the opening of a European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats (NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats). It has been said that “several NATO Allies and European Union members came together in Helsinki on Tuesday (11 April 2017), formally agreeing to establish a European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in the Finnish capital” (NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats). NATO has expressed how “countering hybrid threats is a priority for NATO, as they blur the line between war and peace – combining military aggression with political, diplomatic, economic, cyber and disinformation measures” (NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats).
All in all, NATO is of an extreme importance to keeping the international community stable and secure. The United States has been a critical member of NATO and I am personally interested in watching how the new Trump Administration handles their policy on NATO.
“NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats.” NATO. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
“North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” NATO. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. <http:// http://www.nato.int>
“Secretary General: NATO is a bedrock of security for both Europe and North America.” NATO. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.