Transformation Talk on Hold:

The upcoming NATO summit in Riga, Latvia, will not focus on the alliance’s military transformation efforts, rather discussion will center on operations in Afghanistan and, most likely, the nature of NATO’s roles beyond Europe, according to a new “primer” put together by the US think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies and similar groups in Norway and Netherlands. The 2006 Riga Summit, initially pegged as a venue to advance transformation initiatives, now is being called the “introverted” summit. The primer notes that some member states still are “deeply divided” over NATO’s expanded range and some are reeling from “enlargement fatigue.” The primer offers background and recommendations on likely topics, including the NATO Response Force, Special Operations Forces, and current operations. It also says that military transformation is an “existential imperative,” urging it take its rightful place at the center of the next summit.