The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the world's most successful multilateral alliances and a vital component of the global security architecture. On April 3-4, President Obama will attend NATO's 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany. In a paper titled, "NATO 60th Anniversary Summit: An Agenda for American Leadership" Sally McNamara at The Heritage Foundation argues that President Obama should concentrate his energies on the alliance's most urgent business, including Afghanistan, the appointment of a new NATO Secretary General, and the negotiations for a new Strategic Concept. In another paper, "Principles and Proposals for NATO Reform," she outlined the priorities and rational for a NATO reform agenda. Her proposals included:
(1) Agreeing to a Declaration on Allied Security at the Strasbourg Summit in 2009 that includes a new threat perception restating existing threats as well as new ones, such as cyberterrorism and ballistic missile attack. (2) Follow the U.S. example of explicitly restating NATO's open-door policy and endorsing this message by working closely with Georgia and Ukraine to ensure timely accessions where appropriate. (3) Reaffirming NATO as the cornerstone of the transatlantic alliance and the primary actor in European security. (4) Agreeing to new decision-making rules based on a "coalitions-of-the-willing-and-able" approach, in which contributors to a coalition are authorized to undertake the planning and management of the operation among themselves. (5) Agreeing to new burden-sharing rules. Specifically, the benchmark of spending at least 2 percent of GDP on defense by NATO members should be made an enforced requirement for gaining membership and for retaining full voting rights within the alliance.