Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 476–492 | Cite as

The structural and political crisis of NATO transformation

  • Andrew T. WolffEmail author


Under the moniker of transformation, NATO members initiated reforms that have greatly expanded alliance responsibilities. These reforms have redefined security concerns to encompass terrorism, nuclear-proliferation, and energy security and have enlarged the geographic reach of Article V guarantees by extending membership to 12 East European states. Also, NATO has added two new responsibilities to its mandate: democratisation tasks and global peacekeeping operations. Evidence suggests these ambitious transformation policies are creating instabilities within the alliance. The three transformation spheres of responsibilities — security guarantor, democracy promoter, and global interventionist — structurally conflict with one another in NATO operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans. There is a lack of political support for NATO’s broadened responsibilities and this threatens alliance credibility. Only by diminishing the transformation mission set or increasing coordinated political support can NATO remedy the structural and political crises caused by NATO transformation.


NATO transformation security international organization Afghanistan Kosovo 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dickinson CollegeCarlisleUSA

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