ACUK Member Jonathan Boulton recently co-operated in a trans-national venture: YATA Multilateral Briefs, these are a a bi-monthly online series of interview briefs delivered by YATA Hungary with the contribution of fellow YATA Chapters
YATA Chapters. The current issue features contributions from: YATA Germany YATA Netherlands Portuguese Atlantic Youth Association YATA Slovenia Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom
Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom – Jonathan Boulton
Jonathan S. F. Boulton is a member of the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom. He has completed an undergraduate degree in War, Peace and International Relations at the University of Reading and a Masters in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies at Kings College London. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
1) In your opinion what will be the most challenging issue for NATO in 2014?
For NATO redefining its role in a post Afghanistan environment will be one of the most challenging issues in 2014. As national militaries re-orientate from a sustained war fighting operation to a peace time role and as political establishments look to reduce military expenditure as a result maintaining NATO’s relevance and capabilities will become an increasingly important issue for the alliance.
2) In your opinion what will be the most challenging issue for your country regarding defense in 2014?
For the UK cuts to the defense budget and the attempt to reorganize the armed forces, including cutting regular forces and establishing a larger, more integrated, reserve component, will be the predominant defense issues for 2014.
3) In your opinion who will be the most important actor shaping NATO’s agenda in 2014? (person, organization or other)
The shape of NATO’s agenda in 2014 will inevitably be increasingly determined by the electorate of each NATO country, with most voters currently more concerned about economic stability and growth, and less concerned about expenditure on military forces and foreign intervention, they will inevitably play a key role in shaping NATO’s agenda in 2014.
4) What do you identify as the primary threat to the security of NATO members in 2014?
Complacency. There is a tendency in the UK among the political establishment, in the post Afghanistan environment, to argue that the UK will not fight any more wars for the next decade, however as was seen in the 1920’s and 1930’s countries with an ambivalence towards foreign security can precipitate a significant threat in its own right.
5) What do you expect to be the most important result delivered by the 2014 NATO Summit in the United Kingdom?
The key results of the 2014 NATO summit will most likely be decisions on the future direction of NATO and on the increased integration amongst national forces, alongside likely an increased emphasis on new threats such as cyber, drone and economic and the best way to combat them as an alliance.