COVID-19 AND NATO: NO GAME-CHANGER BUT ACCELERATION OF PREEXISTING TRENDS
Contribution to the series "The World HandCOV'd"
The full scale of the destructive effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on
virtually all aspects of life is not yet fully clear. However, it is evident that the pandemic
already had profound consequences for international affairs in general and security
policy more specifically. These developments, in turn, have also affected a cornerstone
of Euro-Atlantic security, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Although
infectious diseases are hardly a chief concern for the organisation, heads of the member
states and senior decision-makers within NATO have underlined that the spread of
COVID-19 at least bears indirect consequences for the alliance. In order to measure the
effect of COVID-19 on NATO, the following analysis will first describe the status quo
within NATO before the spread of the disease. Secondly, it will examine the direct effects
the virus has had on NATO. Lastly, this analysis will look at the extent to which the virus
has altered transformation processes in the political and security environments and thus
has had an indirect effect on the alliance.