Skip to content
Opinion
James Stavridis

What to Expect From NATO’s New Strategic Concept

In 2010, the alliance came out with a long-term plan that got many things right and one very wrong: dealing with Russia. 

Video player cover image
Sweden, Finland to Join NATO by Fall, Stavridis Says
Corrected

As the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations prepare to meet this week in Madrid, I’m reminded of a call I received shortly after I became supreme allied commander at the alliance in 2009. It was from Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and with the directness for which he was famous, he said: “Jim, I want you to work with Madeleine Albright on our new NATO Strategic Concept. We are on a short timeline, and it must be done right. Get in touch with her and give her all your support.” 

I didn’t know Albright, who had been US secretary of state from 1997 to 2001, well. But, like pretty much everyone who did, I was in awe of her energy, good humor and drive. We contacted her team and set up an introductory call, and for the next year I was privileged to be part of her team creating a long-term strategy for the alliance, the first of the 21st century.