NATO HQ Members Meet with IR StudentsThe Department of International Relations welcomed NATO HQ Strategic Research Center staff members to Prof. YÃ¼ksel Ä°nan's International Organizations class on October 17. Stephanie Babst, who is head of the Strategic Research Center, and expert Gabriele Cascone were guest speakers on the topic of "NATO's New Security Perspectives." Ms. Babst began her discussion of the subject by highlighting the continuing importance of NATO vis-Ã -vis states' national agendas. She pointed out that there are three main trends that increase the importance of multilateral organizations such as NATO in today's world: globalized insecurity, a growing number of actors within the decision-making process and geopolitical shifts. As a result, multilateral organizations must deal with more issues than they did 20-25 years ago.
Additionally, Ms. Babst listed three factors that bind nations together in a multilateral organization such as NATO. First of all, NATO is essentially working as an insurance company in a world where the possibility of cyber attacks and transnational threats is increasing. The second factor is NATO's connectivity with other global actors, states and organizations. Finally, crisis management operations for peacekeeping link a number of nations, including non-members, to NATO. She concluded by stating that NATO is crucial because it is able to come up with new responses and approaches that contribute to solving challenges.
After the lecture, the floor was opened to students' questions. Many had to do with topics concerning the role and functioning of NATO, such as the equality of member states, NATO's decision to pull back from Afghanistan and NATO's role in combating global insecurity. Other questions related to current issues on the national and international agenda, such as the situation in Syria, Turkish-Syrian relations and the possible reaction of NATO.