Your Chance to Query NATO and World Leaders

I publish this post on behalf of Mantle contributor and Advisor, Marie Mainil. She writes:

Dear Mantle Readers,

I am on my way to Lisbon, where the 2010 NATO Summit is about to take place. With other peers from many different countries, we have a parallel summit, and we will have the opportunity to meet and question leaders such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and General David Petraeus. For more information about the program, join us on Facebook here and view the Young Atlanticists Summit website here.

But first, I have to actually make it to the summit. Between work schedule and the security in Lisbon, tonight I am taking 5 different modes of transportation to make it to Lisbon on time, and it’s real tight!

More seriously now, I have high expectations for our young group: I hope to find some serious answers to the following questions/challenges facing NATO, and would also like to invite you to submit your questions and/or comments on mine. I hold Mantle readers in very high regards and would very much like to carry your questions and comments in my discussions with peers and senior leaders. I will, of course, also report to you through The Mantle.

** Oil money is funding terrorists around the world. We can’t drill our way out of our dependence on foreign oil. It is like bailing out the Titanic with buckets. It's time to unleash climate solutions. What is NATO doing, or what is NATO’s plan, in this regard?

** Whatever stabilizing impact nuclear weapons may have had during the Cold War, any residual benefits of these arsenals are now overshadowed by the growing risks of proliferation and the related risk of nuclear terrorism. In April of this year, Presidents Obama and Medvedev jointly declared their commitment to “achieving a nuclear free world.”  As these two presidents and other leaders begin to pursue the important near-term measures presented in London and Prague, nations will confront profound and complex political and security issues. Will this NATO summit provide any progress towards a nuclear-free world? Can the youth representatives convince (or guilt-trip) a few more leaders to work towards those goals?

** Realizing peace and security in Afghanistan and Pakistan is essential to the prevention of international terrorism. Much remains to improve in Afghanistan. Afghan corruption complicates efforts to protect people and train Afghan security forces to take over, yet denying al Qaeda and its sympathizers a training base is essential. Negotiating with the Taliban is controversial—but may help reduce the insurgents we are fighting. Pakistan is key to solving the war in Afghanistan-if Pakistan isn’t on board, the ship could go down. Flooding in Pakistan complicates efforts. What will this summit bring to the table regarding these issues?

** The failure to act in the face of mass killings of civilians is not simply a function of political will or legal authority; the failure also reflects a lack of thinking about how military forces might respond. States and regional and international organizations must better understand and prepare for the unique operational and moral challenges that military forces would face in a Mass Atrocity Response Operation. What’s NATO’s plan?

**One of the panels will examine the impact of the shift of global wealth and power towards the East and South on the security and prosperity of NATO nations and partners. One of the questions considered will be “Should new partnerships be developed?” I would like to add: Should new partnerships be developed and in what kind of global economy?

The floor is yours,

Hope to hear from you, and ‘til soon,

- Marie

Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, Economy, Humanitarian Aid, NATO, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Pakistan, Peace