Reshaping the Security Environment in Southeastern Europe
In the lead up to the 2018 NATO summit in Brussels, CEPA held an expert roundtable in cooperation with the Presidential Administration of Romania. The event featured insight from Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, CEPA President Peter B. Doran, and CEPA Pershing Chair Ben Hodges. Participants discussed how to strengthening the Eastern Flank and Romania’s contribution to collective defense, Romania’s agenda for Black Sea security, its leadership of and participation in regional security initiatives, its goals and expectations in view of the 2018 NATO summit, as well as its contribution to the transatlantic cooperation.
Challenges to NATO frontline states are multiple and complex. In particular, an increasingly-resurgent Russia and its use of both military means and hybrid warfare across the CEE region make the security of the Eastern Flank a top priority for NATO efforts in consolidating its deterrence and defense capabilities. Such efforts also require increased burden sharing from allies, a strategic emphasis on collective security, reinforcement of the transatlantic relationship, and increased U.S. presence on NATO ally territory. By showing steady political will with regard to defense spending commitments and military modernization, Romania is becoming an essential contributor to regional security, in particular in the extended Black Sea area. But challenges still remain in fully implementing the security commitments of NATO allies, ensuring a consistent approach to threats across the entire alliance, and creating long-term moorings for the U.S. presence in the CEE region.