The Naval Alliance: Preparing NATO for a Maritime Century

The Naval Alliance: Preparing NATO for a Maritime Century

  • 20
    Ports of global significance operated by NATO countries

For more than a decade, NATO has been engaged in expeditionary ground-centric operations that have shaped the strategic thinking, capabilities, and planning of the Alliance and its members. But moving forward, NATO must also consider its role in the global maritime domain as it relates to transatlantic security and interests, as well as NATO operations. The maritime domain is increasingly competitive and contested, and the return of geopolitical competition has important maritime dimensions. Russian aggression to the east and Mediterranean turbulence to the south present unique maritime challenges for European security.

As international super-highways, the seas are vital to transatlantic and global trade, and any disruptions would seriously imperil economic security. Furthermore, emerging powers in Asia and elsewhere are expressing their broadened ambitions and interests through sea power. While NATO is not a global Alliance, it must contend with an increasingly competitive global maritime domain.

The report The Naval Alliance: Preparing NATO for a Maritime Century lays out the transatlantic Alliance’s interests and priorities in the maritime domain, describes the rapidly changing strategic environment at sea, and provides actionable recommendations for how NATO can best prepare strategically and operationally for its maritime future.


  • Magnus Nordenman

    6 Articles Written

    Magnus Nordenman is a Director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.