NATO Partnerships: Shaking Hands or Shaking the System? Focus stratégique, No. 31, May 2011
The new Strategic Concept takes stock of the past ten years but outlines only modest objectives for the future of NATO. Partnership falls under the third core task, cooperative security. A subsequent partnership policy was unveiled, but has provided little new impetus.
NATO launched the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in 1994 and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) in 2004. They have been designed to ensure that NATO maintains a constant cooperation with its periphery to anticipate emerging threats and to contribute to the stability of its neighborhood. Yet their interest has decreased and NATO faces multiples obstacles that prevent partnerships from moving forward. This paper outlines three scenarios for the future of those cooperative programs to show that they stand today at a crossroads and Allies need to appreciate the moment accordingly.