The United States and Multilateralism

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


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) evolution and persistence in the post-Cold War period is demonstrated by the four cases presented in this volume. Whereas previous analyses tend to treat these cases as separate watershed moments, I also posit the importance of examining the inter-conflict periods. A more complete understanding of NATO’s evolution reveals an understated element in the existing explanations of the alliance’s persistence: the role of the United States. Because the United States believed the alliance was valuable to its security and defense interests, it continued to invest in NATO, despite declining investments from the European allies and divergent attitudes regarding collective security and defense. This chapter provides a more comprehensive explanation of the incentives for the United States’ continued participation in NATO, as demonstrated in the four cases: the 1999 Kosovo intervention, the 2001 war in Afghanistan, the 2003 Iraq War, and the 2009 Libya operation. The United States pursued NATO for legitimacy enhancement and to project an image of adherence to international norms regarding international intervention. Despite its military dominance, the United States also benefitted from the military contributions of the allies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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