From the Editor's Desk
Dear Reader of Atlantica,
The world has changed much within NATO’s 70 years of existence. Although we, as members of the Atlantic Forum (ages 18–35), have only been around for roughly half to one-quarter of NATO’s transatlantic odyssey, we cannot forget the political, military, and security challenges and solutions we have faced in this time: from the fall of the Berlin Wall to a united Germany leading the EU; from the breakup of Yugoslavia and war within its borders to several Balkan countries becoming NATO member states (with Northern Macedonia slated to become the next NATO member); from the 9/11 attacks to NATO’s ongoing operations in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. The challenges in our lifetime have been enough to display the need for a collective security alliance based on shared democratic values.
As our first issue of Atlantica celebrates NATO’s 70-year milestone, we seek how we, as the future of the transatlantic community, can build a brighter, more prosperous alliance in the next seven decades. While looking back at the Atlantic Charter in 1949, it is remarkable that 29 diverse geographies have turned into 29 like-minded member states that remain united in such a tumultuous world. However, moving forward, as new generations confront far different challenges, it is incumbent upon NATO to continue to confront these challenges head on, and for NATO to continue to reach out to governments and citizens of member states to promote political and military cooperation.
This sentiment is noted in the first article of our issue by Borjana Filipovska. In order to move forward, she argues, NATO’s past successes alone cannot carry forth its mission for peace and security. NATO must adapt to the present political and security landscape, including confronting challenges such as cyber security, migration, and climate change, which is far different from that of the post-war era in 1949. As Atlantic Forum Director John Jacobs explains in his article, NATO must clarify the objectives of its missions and operations, particularly in Afghanistan, to citizens of member states as well as partners. Eighteen years after the 9/11 terror attacks and the evocation of Article 5, it should be clear what NATO’s mission in Afghanistan seeks to accomplish—especially to younger generations having been born during or after 2001.
While NATO’s future has been seriously questioned by powers both within and outside the Alliance, particularly over the past three years of the Trump administration, we at the Atlantic Forum are confident that the transatlantic alliance has emerged as strong as ever before. With four ongoing operations, around 40 partners across the world, and dozens of regular training exercises each year, NATO is increasingly more prepared and more integrated with both member and non-member states. It is now up to future generations to perpetuate this success and carry forward NATO’s mission toward a secure, democratic future. This being said, it is necessary for the current generation in power to listen to the voices of young students and professionals focused on transatlantic issues. This is why we, as Atlantica and the Atlantic Forum, have taken this as our mission: to promote the ideas of young people in order to merge the past with the present toward a brighter, more prosperous future. We hope that with every issue our readers come away with a better idea of how to identify and tackle the political and military problems of the present and future to build a stronger Alliance.
Atlantica Volume I, Issue I