Q&A

Stefanie Babst

Nato

Brussels

Dr Stefanie Babst is acting deputy assistant secretary general for Public Diplomacy at Nato. Her role focuses on communicating the organisation’s agenda.

** Nato’s brand receive a boost from its successful operations in Libya?**
The press realised we could respond swiftly and decisively. But we want to be clear that Nato’s work does not end after a combat operation. In the Balkans, Nato is still there after 10 years. The same applies for Afghanistan.

And what about Libya, is your work done there?
It depends on the Libyan transitional government. Our door is always open: we are available to assist with military reform, with security sector reform.

Is it difficult to promote the soft power of an organisation known for military operations?
It’s extremely difficult. I’ve been working on Nato’s public diplomacy for 10 years and I still come across the perception that Nato is related to the Cold War.

Is Nato’s credibility vulnerable to the defence budget cuts we’re seeing?
When our American colleagues move their strategic focus to the Asia Pacific region – we must be ready for more responsibilities. There will be many sceptical voices if Europeans do not live up to the challenge.

Monocle 24

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