Today’s announcement that Britain is to host the 2014 NATO summit has been strongly welcomed by the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), which believes the crucial meeting of world leaders represents a watershed moment in cementing Britain’s future as an outward-looking power in global governance.
The think tank has commended the Government for its role in bringing the 2014 NATO summit to the UK, in what it sees as a clear commitment to maintaining Britain’s pro-democratic role in the international community.
The importance of a strong international alliance through NATO has long been a cornerstone of the HJS’s statement of principles, and the group believes Britain must have a central role in its leadership and direction.
HJS’s Excutive Director Dr Alan Mendoza welcomed today’s announcement and warned the stakes would be high for Britain.
He said: “By bringing the summit to the UK, the Prime Minister has clearly demonstrated that his commitment to Britain’s role in the world is unshaken, despite recent political difficulties over Syria.
“Hosting the summit is a clear signal that the Prime Minister and his Government fully intend to ensure Britain carries the burden of defending our values in a multipolar world, where those who do not share them are in the ascendancy.
“This is a vital summit, the stakes for which are very high. It will allow Britain to host what may well turn out to be the most crucial NATO summit since the Cold War.
“Not only will it determine the exact constellation of the relationship between NATO and Afghanistan at the conclusion of the ISAF mission, but moreover it will be a major moment in determining alliance direction and making it fit for a 21st Century that has already proven dangerous.”
Al Qaeda’s resurgence on the global stage, as displayed by recent horrific events in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall and with the closure of Western embassies in the Middle East earlier in the year, is an essential topic which will be high on the agenda at the 2014 summit.
And bringing NATO’s 2014 summit to the UK also throws into sharp relief the debate around Scottish independence. An independent Scotland would not automatically be granted NATO membership, and with the referendum also due in September next year the vote could take place within weeks of the NATO summit.
Nuclear deterrence is at the heart of NATO’s strategy. The HJS believes that if an independent Scotland persisted in its demand for nuclear weapons to be removed it could well be left out in the cold and excluded from this vital alliance.
This summit also highlights the need for a full commitment to renewing Trident. The HJS has long argued that only a continuous at-sea deterrent can ensure this ultimate protection and is essential to our national security, as well as our leading role in NATO.