The Streit Council supports a larger role for NATO in maintaining international security outside of its traditional geographic scope. With ongoing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, the Gulf of Aden, Kosovo, and the Mediterranean, NATO plays a key role in combating a wide range of threats to its members and partners. Through a closer working relationship with the United Nations, the two organizations can better complement each other’s efforts to enforce international law and ensure the security of international community.
NATO must also play a larger role in integrating the defenses of democratic states. While it has now extended cooperation to democracies outside the Euro-Atlantic area, it should also work to liberalize the defense markets of these states. Doing so would improve the effectiveness of members'/partners’ defenses and reduce the cost of maintaining those capabilities – a prospect recently recognized by the United States. As many democracies face defense budget cuts in the wake of the global economic crisis, they have also recognized that pooling capabilities is more cost-effective. As the principal institution responsible for the defense of the democratic community, NATO should play a prominent role in advancing these two processes.