Warsaw Summit 2016 and the Evolution of NATO's Role in Euro-Atlantic Counter-Terrorism Cooperation (1)


The very essence of NATO’s role in Euro-Atlantic counter-terrorism (CT) is to protect Allied nations and their citizens from terrorist threat. In the New Strategic Concept (NSC), which was adopted at Lisbon Summit (2010) CT was recognized as a mission by NATO....

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Giray SADIK
Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University

Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University

1. Introduction

The very essence of NATO’s role in Euro-Atlantic counter-terrorism (CT) is to protect Allied nations and their citizens from terrorist threat. In the New Strategic Concept (NSC), which was adopted at Lisbon Summit (2010) CT was recognized as a mission by NATO. The NSC specifies terrorism as a direct threat to the security of the Allies (2). In this regard, Lisbon gave a momentum for further improvement in CT and thus followed by Chicago Summit (2012) in which NATO leaders confirmed the new policy guidelines on counter-terrorism titled ‘Aware, Capable and Engaged for a Safer Future’ (3). The new policy guidelines introduced new developments into NATO’s CT agenda. Since then, NATO’s role in Euro-Atlantic CT cooperation (CTC) has been evolving particularly by establishing new units in intelligence sharing (IS), enhancing the capacity to deter and defend against terrorism and enhancing cooperation with partners and other international organizations (IOs). Although the steps taken were in the right direction, effectiveness of NATO’s contribution to Euro-Atlantic CTC is still a matter of debate in the literature. As recent terrorist attacks in Europe have demonstrated, NATO needs to do more in Euro-Atlantic CTC to protect its members.
NATO’s effective contribution to CTC matters for its strategic relevance. This argument had been emphasized by many authors including Gordon who states: “while the anti-terrorism campaign changes NATO’s character and carries many risks, it also demonstrates NATO’s continued utility and provides an opportunity to renovate and give new life to an alliance whose future was uncertain (4)“. Similarly, Lugar acknowledges the role of an effective counterterrorism strategy regarding the strategic relevance of NATO (5). As Bennett argues, NATO’s strategic relevance is increasingly measured by its contribution to the fight against terrorism (6). Additionally, effective CT strategy requires cooperation.
In other words, cooperation is a sine qua non for an effective counter-terrorism strategy (7). In addition to its vitality for an effective CT strategy, cooperation is also crucial for NATO to remain strategically relevant. Although the importance of CTC has been widely accepted within the literature, importance of intra-alliance cooperation regarding NATO and its strategic relevance has been underemphasized.
Noting that “…effective Transatlantic counter-terrorism cooperation among the Allies is the key to maintaining NATO as a strategically relevant organization for their security…8“, Sadık observed the relationship between the intra-alliance cooperation and NATO’s strategic relevance. Thus, this research, by acknowledging the argument above, argues that CTC among the Allies is essential not only because it is an end itself but also means to an end to achieve an effective CT strategy. In a broader context, as long as terrorism continues to be a threat to the security of the Allies, NATO needs to do more to enhance intra-alliance cooperation against terrorism for the sake of its strategic relevance. In other words, If, NATO, as an alliance in charge with protecting its members, cannot assure the security of its members, it would become strategically irrelevant. Additionally, enhancing intra-alliance counter-terrorism cooperation is crucial to keep NATO as a cohesive alliance.

(1) An earlier version of this research was presented at EISA PEC2017 Conference, Barcelona.
(2) Active Engagement, Modern Defence, Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 19-20 November 2010, http://www.nato.int/strategic-concept/pdf/Strat_Concept_web_en.pdf (accessed 12 August 2017).
(3) “NATO’s policy guidelines on counter-terrorism - Aware, Capable and Engaged for a Safer Future“, 21 May 2012, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_87905.htm?(accessed 12 August 2017).4 Philip Gordon, “NATO After September 11“, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 43, no:4
(2001):89, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00396330112331343145
(5) Richard G. Lugar, “Redefining NATO’s Mission- Preventing WMD Terrorism“, Washington
Quarterly 25,(2002): 13.
(6) Christopher Bennett, “Combatting Terrorism“, NATO Review, 5-7, www. nato.int/review
(accessed 12 August 2017).
(7) Sascha Dov Bachmann and Hakan Gunneriusson, “Hybrid Wars: The 21st Century’s New
Threats to Global Peace and Security“, Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military
Studies, 43 (2015): 77- 98.
(8) Giray Sadık, “How Can Counter-terrorism Cooperation Contribute to NATO’s Strategic
Concept“, (Selected Papers Terrorism Experts Conference), (2016): 114-128

Link to the related book: New Security Ecosystem and Multilateral Cost


This content is protected by Copyright under the Trademark Certificate. It may be partially quoted, provided that the source is cited, its link is given and the name and title of the editor/author (if any) is mentioned exactly the same. When these conditions are fulfilled, there is no need for additional permission. However, if the content is to be used entirely, it is absolutely necessary to obtain written permission from TASAM.


Continents ( 5 Fields )
 Contents ( 464 ) Actiivities ( 218 )
Africa 0 148
Asia 0 234
Europe 0 39
Latin America & Carribean 0 34
North America 0 9
Regions ( 4 Fields )
 Contents ( 176 ) Actiivities ( 52 )
Balkans 0 93
Middle East 0 61
Black Sea and Caucasus 0 16
Mediterranean 0 6
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
 Contents ( 176 ) Actiivities ( 74 )
Islamic World 0 147
Turkish World 0 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
 Contents ( 220 ) Actiivities ( 59 )
Turkey 0 220

Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the three Caucasian countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia underwent an eventful process of democratization. Of the three, Georgia’s journey to Western-style democracy has witnessed civil uprisings, revolution, corruption, judicial reforms, and mil...;

As it was firstly held in Türkiye in 2015, the 9th of Istanbul Security Conference with the main theme of "Strategic Transformation in the Ecosystem: Climate, Nourishment, Demography, Meritocracy, Economy, Health, Education, Employment, Family-Youth and City Security" will be held by TASAM National ...;

As the West uses the issue of representation of Africa in international organizations as a tool to strengthen their relations with states in the continent, the sparks of global challenges spread to the U.N., G-20 and BRICS.;

Belt and Road Initiative; US-China competition; Biden-Xi talks; peacebuilding; Middle East;

Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) and the Institute for Strategic Studies of National Security Council of Mongolia (ISS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement. ;

ECOWAS is a regional group of fifteen countries, founded in 1975. Its mission is to promote economic integration in “all fields of economic activity, particularly industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial questions, social and c...;

Issues related to maritime claims, access, and the quest for energy resources have always been considered as significant aspects of sea power, strategy and security. The Eastern Mediterranean at the turn of the 21st century is not an exception to that, particularly in the light of recent hydrocarbon...;

Information is power when kept properly and may be cause of failure if it is not conducted and managed in the right way. Today information technologies and global networks enable risk factors to spread easier compare to previous eras of human history.;

Istanbul Cyber-Security Forum

The rapid development of information technologies has brought security problems of the same magnitude. In the early years of the Internet, "accessibility" came to the fore among the three important components of information security, "accessibility, confidentiality, and integrity"; First, the development and operation of the Internet were considered, and "confidentiality and integrity" remained in the background.

  • 03 Nov 2022 - 03 Nov 2022
  • Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham İstanbul Merter -
  • İstanbul - Turkey

6th Türkiye - Gulf Defence And Securıty Forum

  • 04 Nov 2022 - 04 Nov 2022
  • Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham İstanbul Merter -
  • İstanbul - Türkiye

5th Türkiye - Africa Defence Security and Aerospace Forum

  • 04 Nov 2022 - 04 Nov 2022
  • Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham İstanbul Merter -
  • İstanbul - Türkiye

4th Marine and Maritıme Security Forum 2022

  • 03 Nov 2022 - 03 Nov 2022
  • Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham İstanbul Merter -
  • İstanbul - Türkiye