NATO Works Transformation

Victoria Nuland told reporters Wednesday that NATO is moving with deliberate speed to transform the Cold War-born alliance into a more relevant force in today’s post-Soviet Union world. “We’ve had a lot of success in increasing budgets and sense of urgency towards more tactical missions,” says Nuland, who became the American permanent representative to the alliance in July 2005. (Read our 2004 article “Shaking Up the Alliance.”) The shift in mood has helped NATO focus on new technology needs, like the Alliance Ground Surveillance system, a mix of manned and unmanned airborne radar platforms. Nuland says NATO see the AGS as a priority—as does the US—but the program has run into inevitable snags in a 26-nation-run acquisition process. Requirements definition process that was on track now isn’t, she admits. NATO has pegged initial operational capability for 2010.