Transatlantic Forum: Rebalancing and Reinforcing the Transatlantic Bond

Conference Proceedings

In January 2014, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), with sponsorship from NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), hosted a Transatlantic Forum to advance solutions to critical issues facing the alliance.  Entitled “Rebalancing and Reinforcing the Transatlantic Bond,” the Forum solicited candid perspectives and generated innovative ideas to assist NATO in preparing for the September 2014 Wales Summit.  This CSIS report outlines the key findings from this event.

The two-day conference kicked off with a public, bipartisan keynote discussion on the challenges that lie ahead for the transatlantic security relationship.  The January 27 discussion featured U.S. Senators Christopher Murphy (D-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ) and was moderated by Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks, Senior Vice President, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, and Director of the International Security Program at CSIS, and Heather Conley, Senior Fellow and Director of the CSIS Europe Program.  The senators highlighted the importance of a strong and vibrant NATO.

CSIS and ACT then convened an in-depth, not-for attribution workshop on January 28.  The day-long workshop was co-chaired by Dr. Hicks and General Jean-Paul Paloméros, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and included 35 experts from the United States, Canada, and Europe representing a diverse range of viewpoints.  Discussions revolved primarily around four topics:  

  •  Implications for Europe of the U.S. Rebalance to the Pacific
  • Washington Perceptions of European Security Contributions
  • 21st Century Challenges and Associated NATO Capabilities
  • The Future of NATO in an Age of Austerity

Each topic was framed in a panel discussion led by a CSIS-affiliated moderator and featuring both an American and European presenter.

General Paloméros concluded the Transatlantic Forum by reflecting on how its findings will shape the agenda of the April 2014 SACT Seminar and, ultimately, the September NATO Summit.  The Wales Summit comes at a critical inflection point as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan winds down and allies prepare to meet the many internal and external challenges that NATO member states must be ready to meet now and into the future.


Kathleen H. Hicks

T.J. Cipoletti