Conference Report: 'Intra-Alliance Diplomacy and the 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit: The Goals and Tactics of European Allies’

On December 12th, the Changing Character of War Centre (CCW) was delighted to host the conference, ‘Intra-Alliance Diplomacy and the 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit: The Goals and Tactics of European Allies’. This marked an important discussion in the wake of the alliance’s decision to establish greater forward presence in the Baltic States and Poland, to reinforce the Black Sea Region, and also given the numerous disagreements between its members over the nature of the Russian threat. Aimed at the publication of an edited volume, the conference sought to provide an in-depth examination of five European NATO members, their policy goals, and their level of success and failure.

            The day began with opening remarks by CCW Director Dr Rob Johnson and CCW Visiting Research Fellow Dr Jeffrey Michaels. Presentations were then given by Dr Naomi Konda, who discussed small states and their influence; by Professor Isabelle Duyvesteyn, who examined the role of US policy; and by Dr Tsuneo Watanabe. Following this, the positions, motivations and successes of five European NATO members were scrutinised and debated. Firstly, Dr Joseph Devanny, Dr Yuichi Hosoya, Dr Chihaya Kokubo, and Dr Thomas Flichy de la Neuville discussed the postures of the United Kingdom and France. Secondly, Dr Yuichi Morii and Mr Frederic Ischebeck-Baum examined Germany’s position. Thirdly, Dr Lukas Milevski, Dr Shigeo Mutsushika, and Dr Samir Puri presented the roles of Poland and Romania. Their presentations spurred a lively debate with the audience, before concluding remarks by Dr Michaels and a speech by Sir Lawrence Freedman on the influence of US policy.

            In all, we would like to thank all those who attended and contributed to the conference’s success, the speakers who participated in the panel discussions, and especially the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) for their invaluable support in organising the event. 

By Callum Maxwell