If the doomsayers are to be believed, the Atlantic alliance has been in an almost perpetual state of crisis since its conception in 1949.
Certainly, NATO has had its fair share of crises, from France leaving the integrated military structure in 1966 to the split over the 2003 Iraq War and, most recently, the 2011 intervention in Libya. Yet time and time again, the alliance has not just survived but flourished.
The NATO we see today is unrecognizable from the NATO of 1949. The alliance has swelled to 28 member states from an original twelve, encompassing many of their former Warsaw Pact adversaries. NATO has evolved from a static collective defense alliance into a dynamic, out of area operating entity. With the Soviet nemesis long gone, NATO has taken on a new set of tasks that has led it to retain its relevance in the post-Cold War world.
So why has NATO survived when by all rights its raison d’etre died with the Soviet Union? The answer is simple: NATO is much more than a military alliance. Read more “Alliance Looks East: NATO’s Pacific Future”