The message NATO needs to hear


With Russia engaged in political warfare against Western democracies and the liberal world order itself under threat, the forthcoming NATO summit needs to hear a ringing affirmation of democratic values, observers suggest.

Troops, tanks, ships, and planes are not the core of NATO’s strength, argues Douglas Lute, U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2013 to 2017. At the core of the strongest, most durable, most successful alliance in history are its common values — democracy, individual liberty, and rule of law, he writes for Foreign Policy.

“Values are the glue that binds NATO’s 28 diverse nations together. Today these values are being challenged from multiple directions, including from the inside,” adds Lute, a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. “Protecting these values is vital to America’s security and it’s a process that begins at home — in all 28 member capitals.” RTWT

The outpouring of anti-globalist sentiments from both right and left in many western democracies is teaching those of us who support a global economic architecture many valuable lessons on how we should look toward reforming our international institutions of trade and finance, argues Andrew Wilson (right, center), the Managing Director of the Center for International Private Enterprise [a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy]. 

What then can we learn from the trends we are observing today? I would suggest two points, he writes:

  • Firstly, the institutions of trade, commerce, and governance, both regional and global, must be seen to deliver the goods to a wider community of people and be more democratic in their actions, and they must apply the principles of good governance – fairness, accountability, trust, and responsibility – when designing their functionality. For example, the rise of nationalist politics in Central Europe is not a wholesale rejection of European values, most citizens of the region appreciate the democracy, rule of law, and prosperity that the EU has provided. Rather, they feel disheartened by a system that discounts citizen participation in the setting of norms and regulations in a distant capital. Institutions that govern global trade are similarly seen by have-nots around the world as out of touch with local conditions. The EU needs to figure out how to be more democratic and responsive in its policy setting, and the way in which the world negotiates trade deals needs to be more transparent, accountable, and inclusive.
  • Secondly, globalization itself must also democratize in a way that enables more to access its benefits. Micro, small, and medium business are learning to trade across borders via e-commerce, we need to fast-track our rule setting to ensure that this sector can grow and compete. Governments must put in place the physical infrastructure to speed its adoption, but also the legal infrastructure to guarantee a level playing field, protect data, and ensure a reliable and free internet…..RTWT
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