Smartest thing I’ve read on NATO’s future strategic mission, not surprisingly by Zbigniew Brzezinski (via Thomas P.M. Barnett). A longer version of the essay also appears in the new issue of Foreign Affairs. Essentially, NATO uses partnerships with other regional security organizations (CSTO, SCO) to participate in out-of-region security challenges, thereby avoiding gathering mothballs in Europe. The added advantage is that it reduces Russian and Chinese anxiety over NATO encroaching into their neighborhoods when the need — or desire, in the case of Georgia and/or Ukraine — arises. It also allows for NATO involvement in regional security solutions in the principle disputed strategic zones — the Caucasus and Central Asia — while very clearly sharing “ownership” of them with the local sheriff.
Like most “engagement” ideas, easier said than done. But it’s a good start.