Promoting NATO values and the value of NATO

ATA UK aims to raise awareness and understanding of the benefits and obligations of the UK’s membership of NATO.  It provides education programmes, analysis and comment on international security issues in an era of strategic competition.


Military support for Ukraine and the lessons for defence procurement

Ukraine’s supporters are struggling to keep Ukraine supplied with the arms and munitions it needs to defend itself and reclaim the territory which Russia has illegally occupied.  Stockpiles are dwindling, and defence industries are hard pressed to produce replacements fast enough to keep up with battlefield attrition and consumption.

This raises the awkward question about how they would cope with a larger conflict in which their own forces were directly involved.

Read more in “Military support for Ukraine and the lessons for defence procurement” in  the German Atlantic Treaty Association’s “Opinions on Security”.

Read the full article here

Workshops on Disinformation off to flying start

Thanks to generous support from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, our “Promoting NATO to Youth” project got off to a flying start before the summer break with five workshops on disinformation at sixth-form colleges in Leicester.

The workshops began by exploring information, misinformation, and disinformation before taking a “deeper dive” into disinformation.

This showed that some forms of disinformation can be harmless, and even entertaining. Many sports and games, for instance, involve misleading or deceiving other players. But disinformation can also be used in situations where the stakes are much higher, and it can make the difference between victory and defeat, or even life and death.

After that scene-setting introduction, students are invited to play “The Disinformation Game”, where they work in groups to come up with ways of using disinformation to undermine a fictional story circulating on social media.

Students usually show impressive – and disconcerting – creativity when asked to be “the bad guys”, trying to discredit the story and its sources, and using fake narratives to create doubt and confusion.

They then compare their messages and ideas with those that were used in a well-documented disinformation campaign relating to a real, high-profile news story.

Time permitting, the workshops end with students learning about several other real-life disinformation campaigns – some humorous, and some deadly serious.

The workshops makes students more aware of the pervasive nature of disinformation and alert to its potential dangers. They are encouraged to consider the credibility of different sources of information and their possible motives and biases.

These first workshops have been well received, and we will be running more of these for different classes at the same colleges in the new academic year.  We will also be holding introductory sessions on NATO and workshops on disinformation in additional colleges.


One of three disinformation workshops at Gateway College, May 2023
One of two disinformation workshops at Wyggeston Queen Elizabeth I College, June 2023

Introduction to NATO for sixth-formers

In addition to workshops on disinformation, as the school year drew to a close, we were able to provide an overview of NATO to six-form students at Harington School in Oakham.

Coincidentally, this event took place in a classroom that was being used to teach a course on the history of the Soviet Union, so the decor provided many interesting points of reference for the explanation of NATO’s origins and role during the Cold War.

Images and text from Harington School on Facebook and Instagram

Harington students recently enjoyed a visit from David Hobbs, former Secretary General Emeritus of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, who delivered a talk on NATO, its origins and purpose, the challenges it faces in the modern world and the impact the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had on the alliance and its member states. This was of particular use for those students in the audience who are considering university courses in history, politics and international relations and was certainly very thought provoking and informative. The session culminated in a question and answer discussion with some really insightful and perceptive questions posed by our students, particularly on the immediate challenges facing NATO. We hope to welcome David back to Harington in the near future to deliver more sessions.

Harington School, June 2023

An ATA Webinar

One Year after the Adoption of NATO's New Strategic Concept

On 29 June 2022, NATO adopted its long-awaited New Strategic Concept.  This outlines the Alliance’s view of the strategic environment, restates the Alliance’s purpose and principles, and describes its core tasks.

The previous Strategic Concept – adopted in 2010 – remained hopeful for the partnership with Russia and made no reference at all to China.  In contrast, the current version describes the Russian Federation as the “most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security” and observes that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values”.

But the Alliance’s core tasks remain; deterrence and defence; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.

The challenge for the Alliance is to fulfil those tasks in these changed circumstances and ensure – as stated in the document’s preface – that “our Alliance remains fit and resourced for the future”.

As Alliance leaders prepared to meet in Vilnius on 12 and 13 July 2023, the Atlantic Treaty Association held a webinar where Benedetta Berti, Head of Policy and Planning in the Office of the NATO Secretary General, discussed the 2022 Strategic Concept in the light of events in the year since its adoption.


Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

Perspectives and Explainers


Workshops on Disinformation off to flying start

Thanks to generous support from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, our “Promoting NATO to Youth” project got off to a flying start before the summer break with five workshops on disinformation at sixth-form colleges in Leicester. The workshops...

NATO grant for “Promoting NATO to Youth” project

Following ATA UK’s successful “Promoting NATO Across Communities” project last year, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division has awarded a grant to ATA UK’s parent organization – Resilient Futures – for a follow-on project for 2023. “Promoting NATO...

European Defence Sharing Conference and the Second Danube Summit on Geopolitics, Security and Defence

On 30 November 2022, David Hobbs appeared on a panel at the European Defence Sharing Conference in Budapest. This conference was arranged by the Danube Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and Pepperdine School of Public Diplomacy, and the...

Durham Union Panel on the War in Ukraine, 17 November 2022

On 17 November 2022, the University of Durham’s Student Union invited an expert panel to talk about the war in Ukraine. The speakers were: Mary Dejevsky, an Independent columnist on foreign affairs and an authority on Russian politics and diplomatic...

2022 NATO Senior Communicators Conference

NATO Senior Communicators Conference ATA UK was among the many ATA national chapters with representatives at NATO’s Senior Communicators Conference in Brussels in November 2022.  (Some of the ATA representatives appear in the featured...

Oxford Summer Programme

ATA UK among partners in the 2022 Oxford Summer Programme on International Affairs ATA UK was pleased to be one of the partners in the Oxford Diplomacy and Geopolitics Forum’s “Oxford Summer Programme on International Affairs”. This Programme brought...

NATO Across Communities project launched in Leicester

ATA UK’s “NATO across Communities” project launched in Leicester On 30 June 2022, just as NATO’s Madrid Summit was drawing to a close, ATA UK launched an exciting new project titled ‘NATO Across Communities’. The outreach...

The Future of Atlantic Security

On Friday 17 June, as NATO’s Madrid Summit approached, the Francisco University of Vitoria Madrid’s “Global Common Good Center” held an international seminar entitled “NATO after the War in Ukraine: the Future of Euro-Atlantic Security”. The...

Detecting and Countering Hybrid Threats

Hybrid threats have become a fact of life that nations must learn to recognize and attempt to counter. On 11 February 2022, less than two weeks before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, ATA UK held a webinar with Oleksandr Danylyuk on detecting...

Defence in an Era of Strategic Cooperation

On 27 September 2021, ATA UK co-hosted an “ATA Talks” events where General Sir Nick Carter, then Chief of the UK Defence Staff, examined the key features of today’s international security environment and how to address the...

A New Afghanistan Agenda

On 2 September 2021, just two weeks after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan ATA UK held a webinar on “A New Afghanistan Agenda”. On the panel were: Stanislava Mladenova, Jack Segal, Jamie Shea, and Jim Townsend, and guest...

The Nature of Conflict in the 21st Century

From 23 June to 1 July 2021, ATA UK supported the Spanish Atlantic Association and the Institute of International Politics in a series of webinars examining the nature of modern strategic competition and how armed forces and societies can adapt to...

Reflections and Lessons from NATO’s Past: Visions for NATO’s Future

On 2 June 2021, just a few weeks before a NATO Summit in Brussels, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen appeared an “ATA Talks” event where he drew upon his experiences as NATO Secretary General to analyze the issues expected to feature at the...

If you are interested in having ATA UK provide a briefing on NATO in your school or college, contact us using the form below.