The US commitment to NATO in the post-Cold War period — a case study on Libya
The recent history of the US commitment to NATO has been dominated by economic pressures, squabbles over NATO’s military performance in Afghanistan, and the apparent American preference for ‘leading from behind’ in Libya. The case study on Libya is especially important in exploring the Obama administration’s understanding of the purpose of NATO in the context of current economic pressures, domestic US debates about post-War on Terror interventions, and of increasing American preoccupation with Pacific (rather than European) security. In the case of Libya, the US apparently hesitated to unfold military operations against Libyan military targets. It seems to be the first time that the US followed rather than led its European allies to a campaign. The reason why the US was reluctant to intervene in Libya at the very beginning; why it changed its mind to join the operation later; and why it transferred the Libyan mission to NATO and adopted the strategy of ‘leading from behind’, reflected on not only the redefinition of American way of war’, but also the future of NATO.
KeywordsUS foreign policy Obama administration NATO Libya Syria
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