Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 11:44 UK

Nato future strategy set out by expert panel

Madeleine Albright: "Nato cannot let the 21st Century dangers divide leaders"

Reform of Nato is essential if the organisation is to be effective in meeting its responsibilities in the 21st Century, a panel of experts says.

The alliance must retain the ability to act beyond its territorial limits, said the panel, led by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

It also must be better at communicating its achievements, or risk losing public support, the report concluded.

Nato is due to agree on a new strategic concept at a summit in November.

The Afghan war has been Nato's largest and deadliest mission.

NATO's central purpose is to safeguard - by political and military means - the freedom and security of all its members
Nato 2020 report

It has placed a huge strain on the alliance and fuelled tensions on whether its future focus should be on distant missions or closer to home, says the BBC's defence and security correspondent, Nick Childs.

The report underlines the alliance's commitment to Afghanistan, and said it will need to remain able to guard against threats around the world.

"Nato must be versatile and efficient enough to operate far from home," Ms Albright said.

But it must also better inform the public in Europe and North America how they are getting value from the organisation, Ms Albright and Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a press conference on Monday.

New challenges

Ms Albright said the organisation now faces a variety of "new threats from non-state actors", including terrorism, cyber-crime, and maritime piracy.

The alliance also faces internal differences over its relationship with Russia.

While some countries are keen to improve relations with Moscow, some new members from central and eastern Europe have deep-seated suspicions about Russia's plans, our correspondent says.

The report calls for efforts to engage Russia in any plans to deploy missile defence systems in Europe.

Moscow's opposition to a US missile umbrella in Europe has been one of the key sources of tension between the countries in recent years.

"Missile defence is most effective when it is a joint enterprise, and co-operation... between the alliance and its partners - especially Russia - is highly desirable," the report said.

Print Sponsor

Nato plans Afghanistan transfer
23 Apr 10 |  South Asia
Nato chief urges missile shield
27 Mar 10 |  Europe
Nato fails to secure Russian help
17 Dec 09 |  Europe
Afghan priority for new Nato head
03 Aug 09 |  Europe
Timeline: Nato
21 Feb 12 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Financial TimesNato warns states over defence cuts - 11 hrs ago
New York Times NATO Urged to Look Beyond Borders - 16 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! The Albright doctrine: NATO moves towards international security - 19 hrs ago NATO Diplomats Unveil Draft Future Strategy - 21 hrs ago NATO unveils draft of new mission statement - 24 hrs ago
* May require registration

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific