The end of the so-called “Cold War” has seen a change in the nature of present threats and with it to the overall role and mission of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact in 1991 also removed the original raison d’etre of the Alliance: the prospect of having to repel a Soviet led attack by the Warsaw Pact on the West through the so called “Fulda gap” in Germany (referring to the German lowlands between Frankfurt am Main and the former East German border, which were regarded as the most likely terrain for an armour led Soviet breakout) was replaced by the recognition of the need to counter new – often hybrid – threats, which have little in common with bygone acts of interstate aggression. These new, modern threats to global peace, prosperity and security seriously threaten the present steady state environment at home (before the backdrop of the ongoing asymmetric conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq) and warrant a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder driven response.
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|Published - 2011