Future of NATO

Is the transatlantic alliance obsolete?

  • By:Roland Flamini
  • Content Type: Report
  • Publisher: CQ Press
    • Publication year: 2009
    • Online pub date:
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/cqrglobal20090100


During the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was the West's line of defense against possible Soviet aggression. But the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the disappearance of NATO's communist equivalent — the Warsaw Pact — raised doubts about NATO's relevance. Nearly 20 years later, the specter of obsolescence still hangs over the venerable 26-nation alliance. So-called "Atlanticists" in both the United States and Europe say NATO's role in keeping the United States tied strategically to Europe justifies the alliance's continued existence. Moreover, NATO makes Moscow uneasy, and that's a good thing, they say. Others feel NATO should "earn its keep" by assuming new military responsibilities, such as protecting global energy-supply routes. But one thing is certain: It's not your ...

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