Larsen, Henrik. “NATO in and Illiberal World.” The RUSI Journal 166, no. 3 (2021): 84-92.
Partnerships remain NATO’s only external policy instrument in an illiberal world. However, NATO needs to differentiate more clearly between its partners and intensify security cooperation with like-minded states to mitigate the threats posed by Russia and China. Henrik Larsen proposes the following differentiation: ‘Advanced Partners’ in Western Europe and the EU, stressing the benefits of their technological strengths and shared values to bolster joint resilience capacity; ‘Enhanced Partners’ in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe, focusing on the need to improve governance and resilience vis-à-vis illiberal powers; and ‘Worldwide Partners’, prioritising both NATO’s southern periphery, to manage regional instability, and the Asia-Pacific, to counter threats posed by the rise of China. Partnership reform should accompany a reflection about the role of resilience in NATO’s security and defence portfolio.