NATO’s ability to outlive the end of the Cold War has sparked a debate on the causes of the Alliance’s apparent good health. All can agree that NATO has changed since 1989: it has enlarged its membership—in 1999 with three countries, in 2004 with seven; it has enlarged, moreover, its missions to go “out of area” and conduct crisis management and more recently to combat global terrorism; it has also enlarged its partnership functions—offering partnerships for peace (PfP) and consultations to all former Warsaw Pact members and also offering a dialogue with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries; and finally, and in contrast to these enlargements, it is slimming its command and force structures to remain military capable. The debate is not stirred by change, therefore, but the question of whether change signals vigor, including military vigor, or in contrast whether the many changes merely represent the final steps in the unraveling of the Alliance.
KeywordsEurope Defend Stake Sten Iraq
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