New RD Publication: NATO is doing fine, but the Atlantic Alliance is in trouble
- NDC Policy Brief 8-19: NATO is doing fine, but the Atlantic Alliance is in trouble, by Bruno Tertrais.
Twenty years ago, as the Atlantic Alliance was getting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary, this author published a piece entitled “Will NATO still exist in 2009?”.1 It argued that NATO’s lost sense of mission after the disappearance of the Soviet threat, disagreements over peacekeeping, and a growing US disinterest for Europe legitimately raised the question of the Alliance’s ability to survive ten years from then.
Today NATO’s Article 5 missions are once again taking center stage and the relevance of the Alliance is hardly questioned. But questions are still being raised about its political solidity. Is it more legitimate today to wonder about NATO’s existence ten years from now than it was in 1999? To a point, no. There is no longer a significant debate about NATO’s relevance. However, there are severe tensions in the transatlantic relation, which Russia’s aggressiveness is unlikely to dampen. NATO has remarkably adapted and has even been rejuvenated: but the Atlantic Alliance remains in trouble. And this, in turn, could have consequences on NATO’s ability to deter and act.
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