Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

Securing the Commons: Towards NATO's New Maritime Strategy

Brooke Smith-Windsor

September 2009

NATO Defense College


Reminiscent of the late Cold War period, in recent years debate in official circles surrounding the purpose of Allied naval forces in transatlantic security policy has increasingly come to the fore. While in the mid-1980s preparations for the land campaign on the European Central Front dominated NATO military planning, the Soviet Union's emergent interest in becoming a powerful ocean-going nation with global reach cast new attention on the importance of securing the Alliance's maritime flanks in the event of conflict - notable the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.