The Three Faces of NATO

One must wonder why, with the end of the cold war, NATO did not dissolve. How do we explain the organization's transformation and vitality at the end of the twentieth century?

Issue: Mar-Apr 2009

THE NORTH Atlantic Treaty Organization is one of the most successful alliances of all time, but after the cold war and the successful completion of its mission, NATO suffered an identity crisis. It now has three main functions and self-images that compete with each other. The first persona is the enforcer, the pacifier of conflicts beyond the region's borders; the second is the gentlemen's club for liberal and liberalizing countries of the West; and the third is the residual function of an anti-Russia alliance.

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