If one draws links radiating outward from NATO to all of these different countries and organisations, the result is a security network that has multiple hubs and clusters much like a map of the Internet or of planets and galaxies. This world is no longer unipolar, bipolar, or even multipolar, because the actors that matter are not single states but groups of states that are more or less densely connected. It is a multi-hub security network, in which the hubs are regional organisations of different sizes and strengths.
This structural shift has enormous practical significance. For starters, it means that not only NATO’s military resources, but also its human capital and practical knowledge in combating many different kinds of threats are available globally. NATO has created a Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Center that brings together civilian and military expertise on crisis identification, planning, operations, reconstruction, and stabilisation capabilities in ways that are explicitly designed to connect NATO headquarters in Europe to “the networked world.”
Phantom Report Notes:
NATO cluster fuck operations are nothing more than a aggregate of son’s of bitches out to kill innocent people caught in the middle of the war zone, decimate established infrastructure, send in a conglomerate of carpetbaggers and devastate the nations economic and finance sectors. Those nations who disagree with NATO policies will pay the price.
Second, NATO’s own identity is becoming that of an alliance that exists to empower to offer assistance and partnership as much as to overpower. NATO is no longer just a hammer; it is an entire toolbox of security options. These options include developing counter-networks to meet networked security threats such as terrorism and proliferation of nuclear, chemical, or biological materials, as well as highly decentralised threats such as piracy.
As a result, when a crisis like the war in East Timor in 1999 or last year’s political stalemate in C”te d’Ivoire arises, NATO can backstop whichever country or group of countries chooses to take the lead in carrying out a UN mandate.
NATO members themselves also have much more flexibility to draw on NATO’s collective assets. Even sceptics of NATO expansion and operations like the intervention in Libya now recognise that joint operations by member countries, operating under a UN mandate and in conjunction with regional partners, is likely to be a model for the future.
As General Brent Scowcroft, National Security Adviser for President George H.W. Bush, observed recently, the UN Charter originally envisioned a standing military force to enforce Security Council resolutions a vision that the NATO partner model might ultimately realise.
Power in a network flows from connectedness, or what network theorists call “centrality.” The most powerful member of a network is the node that has the most connections to others, which means that a node can increase its power not only by adding connections directly, but also by increasing the connectedness of nearby nodes.
In other words, the US can increase its own power both by connecting to other NATO members (and then ensuring that NATO is connected to as many other countries and organisations as possible) and by increasing the connectedness of those other countries and organisations. If NATO connects with the African Union, for example, and increases the AU’s connectedness, then both NATO and the AU become more central to the network and hence more powerful in terms of their ability to exercise influence and marshal resources.
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