Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 61–76 | Cite as

How NATO survived George W. Bush: an institutionalist perspective

  • Martin A. SmithEmail author


This article challenges the conventional wisdom that the cohesion and institutional health of NATO was seriously threatened by the policies pursued by the George W. Bush administration in the US during its first term. On the basis of case studies of decisions made in 2001–2003 regarding the Balkans, the response to 9/ 11, and defending Turkish airspace in the build-up to the war with Iraq, it argues that NATO’s status as a robust and mature international institution helped it to effectively channel and blunt potentially serious challenges to its cohesion and effectiveness; both from the Bush administration and from European governments sceptical about aspects of Bush’s approach. Consequently, NATO was not seriously or lastingly damaged by the disputes that did arise during this period.


NATO international institutions George W. Bush Balkans Iraq 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Defence and International AffairsRoyal Military Academy SandhurstCamberleyUK

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