Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

Missile Defense: Challenges and Opportunities for NATO

Stephan Fruhling Svenja Sinjen;

July 2010

NATO Defense College


In November 2010, NATO will adopt a new strategic concept at its summit in Lisbon. Finding agreement about the Alliance's purposes, strategies and required capabilities will not be an easy task. In the lead-up, the allies appointed a Group of Experts led by Medeleine Albright to make recommendations for the new concept, and which published its report in May 2010. One of the core recommendations of the Group is that "NATO should recognize territorial missile defense as an essential mission of the Alliance." NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had also put Alliance missile defense on the agenda of the recent meeting of NATO foreign ministers in April. Hence, missile defense is shaping up as a core practical issue where NATO will have to agree on a new, coherent and meaningful policy at the Lisbon summit.