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NATO After Brexit

Will Security Cooperation Work?

U.S. army personal take part in the "Saber Strike" NATO military exercise in Adazi, Latvia, June 13, 2016. Ints Kalnins / Reuters

Commentators have rushed to weigh in on the political and economic implications of the Brexit referendum. But the potential security effects are just as important. At risk are operational matters such as data and intelligence sharing. But also in question is something more fundamental: the relationships that allow security services to live and breathe. The United Kingdom, EU, and other partners will now have to redefine their security and intelligence relationships.

Such negotiations will take time. And before taking a seat at the table, all parties would be well served to think carefully through some of the critical strategic and tactical questions that will have to be addressed, even as they bear in mind that fissures among EU member states’ law enforcement and intelligence communities predate the referendum and that adversaries are likely to seize any fragmentation as an opportunity to test resolve.

Europe’s fracturing gives Russia a chance

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