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February 13, 2016

Advice for the New NATO Chief

As President Barack Obama preps for a visit this week to a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Wales, and as Russia readies a revised military doctrine in response to NATO, a think tank is offering advice to incoming secretary general Jens Stoltenberg of Norway.

The Center for a New American Security policy brief, released Tuesday, includes steps for the new NATO chief in reckoning with Russia and the group widely known as ISIS.

Stoltenberg will take over Oct. 1.

“As the next NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg will confront a fundamentally different situation than his predecessor,” the brief states. “As the alliance ends most of its operations in Afghanistan, it is facing a number of urgent internal and external issues competing for alliance attention and resources.”

Russia naturally figures into the Democrat-oriented think tank’s advice. The recommendations include bolstering military exercises with countries like Moldova and Georgia, as well as coming up with options for dealing with acts of aggression that fall below the NATO threshold for when member states come to another’s military defense.

The group that calls itself the Islamic State, more widely known as ISIS or ISIL,  is another focus. The think tank recommends that the secretary general prepare to help Turkey deal with threats from ISIS, including expanded intelligence and surveillance to track any spillover of terrorists from Syria and Iraq.

The policy brief also addresses the Arctic, Afghanistan, cybersecurity and Iran.

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