NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) General Denis Mercier participated in a seminar focusing on the future of NATO as part of the Alliance Revitalized Project (ARP) held April 27 at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C.
The three-hour seminar themed NATO’s Future: Bigger and Better or Tired and Torn? was organised as a follow up to the release of a final report called Alliance Revitalized: NATO for a New Era. This report was prepared by staff at The Center for Transatlantic Relations at JHU. The release of this report serves to support and shape deliberations within the Nations ahead of the Warsaw Summit in Poland coming this summer.
General Mercier was invited to provide comments on the report’s conclusions as they relate to the long-term transformation of the Alliance. He also took questions from members of the audience, which included students from SAIS and National Defense University, also located in Washington, D.C.
While some critics may paint a gloomy picture stating the NATO Alliance faces an array of concurrent dangers at a time when Europe’s unity is being tested and while some American political figures are questioning the need for NATO, General Mercier emphasized how the Alliance would successfully move forward into the future.
General Mercier stressed that NATO must show itself as “one NATO” alliance that can face all challenges including state and non-state actors. He also said NATO must “demonstrate that we can continue to innovate and be ready for the future because we always have this tendency to focus on the present and we must prepare for the future.”
The ARP is a collaboration between four influential Washington, DC think tanks, which are The Center for Transatlantic Relations, The Atlantic Council, The Center for a New American Security and The German Marshall Fund of the United States.