The Evolution and Persistence of NATO

  • Julie GareyEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations book series (PSIR)


NATO’s participation in the four conflicts analyzed in the preceding chapters revealed the major strengths and weaknesses of the alliance in combat, as well as the advantages to the United States’ efforts to engage NATO. Despite an almost across-the-board reduction in domestic resources, the allies undertook several new initiatives in the inter-conflict periods to improve the alliance’s political and military infrastructure. Some of these efforts to streamline NATO resources reflected the defense budget cuts of many of the European allies and changing domestic and international priorities. Other changes resulted from the recognition of a new security environment and the need for a modernization of capabilities. NATO’s reforms of existing programs, establishment of new initiatives, expanding membership and non-NATO state partnerships, and summit declarations further reflected the alliance’s attempts to evolve and persist in the post-Cold War environment. This chapter analyzes the ways in which the alliance responded to these watershed moments in the inter-conflict periods. In addition to exercising a substantial influence during the four conflicts, the United States significantly impacted the inter-conflict development of the alliance. This allows for a more complete understanding of NATO’s evolution and fills important gaps in the existing perspectives on alliance persistence.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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