NATO Expanding its Theater With China in its Sights

The U.K.’s Royal Air Force aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, performing over Kuala Lumpur during a series of flypasts in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions in 2016. (Defence Images, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

During the March 23-24 meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) council, Anthony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, encouraged NATO members to join the U.S. in viewing China as an economic and security threat to the U.S. as well as to NATO countries, thereby expanding NATO’s areas of focus to include the Pacific. This is a dangerous move that must be challenged.

To gain insight into what transpired at the March NATO meeting, we can look to a roadmap for NATO’s future, which was released last fall. The report, entitled “NATO 2030: United for a New Era,” is intended to be a guide for the military alliance in meeting the challenges it will face in the next decade. In the report, released in November, the “independent group” of five advisers from 10 NATO countries identified 13 challenges and threats to NATO in the next decade. 

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