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Vol. 11 No. 1 | 2024 Edition

Violet Geinger

NATO’s “Back to the Future”:
A Conversation with Dr. Benedetta Berti 

Dr. Benedetta Berti

"In 2022, the [Strategic] Concept was written right in the middle of Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. All of those assumptions that we had in 2010 simply don’t work. The potential of conventional war cannot be dismissed. The notion that the Euro-Atlantic area is an area of stability and predictability—well, the reality is that those tools that provide for predictability and stability are all under tremendous pressure. So this Concept starts by saying: unfortunately, our security environment is the most complex that we’ve had for generations, and we need to act and prepare accordingly. One of the priorities is to rebuild the ability to ensure the territorial defense of Allies and to rebuild our deterrence and defense posture in a way that is credible for what is essentially a much more competitive world.


So that’s a big change. It’s just beyond words. If you accept that assessment, it requires a significantly more robust investment in defense, in rebuilding our militaries, in investing in the right capabilities, and in rebuilding our defense industry. So, it is a generational shift."


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Dr. Benedetta Berti is Head of Policy Planning in the Office of the Secretary General at NATO. She is also Associate Researcher at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy at Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. An Eisenhower Global Fellow and a TED Senior Fellow, in the past decade Benedetta has held research and teaching positions at West Point, The Institute for National Security Studies and Tel Aviv University, among others. Dr. Berti is the author of four books, including “Armed Political Organizations. From Conflict to Integration” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Her work and research have appeared, among others, in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times; as well as in Civil Wars, Democratization, Government & Opposition, Mediterranean Politics, the Middle East Journal, Parameters, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence. She holds a BA in Oriental Studies from the University of Bologna, and a MA and PhD in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

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