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How Does NATO Apply Instruments of Power as it Prepares for the Possibility of Conventional Warfare Against a Peer Adversary? Applying a ‘DIMEFIL’ analysis.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Military History and Defence Studies
Issue number1
Accepted/In press2 Nov 2021
Published19 Nov 2021


King's Authors


This article examines the question of how NATO employs instruments of power as it prepares for a possible defence against aggression from a potential adversary. It will attempt to answer this question by applying the various instruments of national power to form a qualitative assessment of the degree to which NATO exerts itself in these those power domains and how effectively these prepare NATO for conventional warfare. The article will consider how these instruments of national power, as represented by the ‘DIMEFIL’ acronym, can be applied and quantified as NATO’s own ‘supranational’ power parameters. Notwithstanding the obvious fact that NATO cannot be considered as a ‘national’ entity, nevertheless this article argues that such an analysis provides sufficient validity to produce observations and derive reliable conclusions. Whether such an analysis can shed light on NATO’s level of preparedness in fighting- and winning- a conventional European land conflict is the principal consideration of this article.

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