North Atlantic Treaty Organization
It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to the sixty-sixth session of Harvard National Model United Nations! My name is Bryce Kim and I am a rising sophomore at Harvard University. This year, I am thrilled to be directing a committee that is returning after a number of years to HNMUN: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
My interest in NATO originates from my passion for researching and learning about international security and interstate alliances. At Harvard, I am pursuing a concentration in History with a secondary in French. In 2018, I served as an Assistant Director for the International Monetary Fund at HNMUN and as an Assistant Director of Administration at HMUN (Harvard’s Model UN conference for high schoolers). Currently, I am serving as HMUN’s Director of Administration and International Outreach in addition to my role as the Director of NATO in HNMUN. Outside of the MUN community, I debate in Harvard’s John Adams society, compete with Harvard’s Quiz Bowl team, meet with my fellow members of Harvard’s RUF (Reformed University Fellowship), and train for Army R.O.T.C. I can also be found running along the Charles River listening to Game of Thrones podcasts.
I am greatly looking forward to simulating NATO at conference in January with you all. Our committee structure is unique in the fact that all the member states are from North America and Europe. But NATO’s impact is global due to its status as a global leader in international security efforts. Additionally, in light of the shifts in foreign policy from NATO’s member states in response to various global issues such as the migrant crisis and nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s critical that we examine the function of NATO’s collective defense system and the commitment of each of its member states to its existence.
With the rise of various global threats to both NATO member and non-member states, it’s crucial that NATO is successfully able to adjust to a rapidly changing security landscape and plan for future threats on a multitude of fronts. I look forward to hearing your ideas as we discuss the viability of the world’s most successful collective defense system and the initiatives to continue its progress in global peacekeeping and defense.
All the best,
Director, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Topic Area: NATO Burden-Sharing and Collective Defense
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, many NATO member states reduced their military structure and defense efforts with the threat of Soviet Union significantly reduced. However, with the rise of twenty-first century threats such as terrorism and NATO’s rising prominence internationally, NATO has had to reinvigorate its security efforts. Subsequently, at the 2014 Wales Summit, all member states of NATO pledged to commit at least two percent of their GDP’s towards defense spending. However, by 2018 estimates, only seven of 29 member states have reached that goal. This has been a source of criticism from the U.S. which at 3.39 percent, is spending more than 150 percent of the next country (Greece at 2.22 percent) in terms of percentage of GDP spent on defense spending. Similarly, many of NATO’s European members have criticized the U.S. attempt to use NATO’s Article V clause on collective defense as a mechanism to drag the other 28 members into conflicts caused by U.S. overextension of its military strategy. As threats from a multitude of sectors, from Russian interference in Eastern Europe and the Arctic to the development of cyber-attacks, continue to rise, how should NATO address the question of an equitable goal for defense spending amongst its member states while maintaining an impartial stance on addressing the diverse threats to its member states?