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Where is NATO Going?

  • Mark Webber
  • James Sperling
  • Martin A. Smith
Chapter
Part of the New Security Challenges Series book series (NSECH)

Abstract

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been described and occasionally eulogized as the ‘most successful alliance in history’.1 To its supporters, NATO was instrumental in bringing about the end of the Cold War and, having faced down the Soviet threat, in undertaking a far-reaching process of adaptation to the post-Cold War security environment.2 The Alliance, according to its former Secretary General Lord Robertson, has ‘retooled first to help spread security and stability Eastwards across Europe, then to use its unique multinational military capabilities to bring peace to Europe’s bloody and chaotic Balkan backyard, and [then] to confront the new threats of our post-9/11 world’.3 NATO, the US Ambassador to the Alliance noted in July 2010, ‘is busier than ever’ — undertaking missions in Afghanistan, the Balkans and off the coast of Somalia.4 In conjunction with a significant enlargement of its membership and the fashioning of a variety of partnerships, it would be easy to take the view that NATO has demonstrated its staying power and continuing relevance: its security ‘umbrella’ is, according to Robertson’s successor Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, ‘needed more than ever in this very challenging new century’.5

Keywords

European Union Security Council Secretary General North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Council Resolution 
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Notes and References

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    This is a common refrain among politicians in NATO states. See, for instance, remarks of US President G. W. Bush at ‘Presentation of the Medal of Freedom to Lord Robertson’, 12 November 2003, at www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/11/20031112-1.html; and B. Obama, ‘Europe and America, Aligned for the Future’, International Herald Tribune, 19 November 2010.
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Copyright information

© Mark Webber, James Sperling and Martin A. Smith 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Webber
    • 1
  • James Sperling
    • 2
  • Martin A. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Government and SocietyUniversity of BirminghamUK
  2. 2.University of AkronUSA
  3. 3.Defence and International AffairsRoyal Military AcademySandhurstUK

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