President Trump and his “bull in a China shop” approach took center stage at a NATO leaders’ conference last week, as allied leaders cringed, side-stepped, and mocked their way through the meetings. Lost in much of the reporting on the talks was what the group had come to celebrate: NATO’s 70th anniversary.
While it is important to discuss the “Trump effect” upon NATO, it is also worth highlighting the success and longevity of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Formed in 1949 to combat the rising threat of the Soviet Union, the alliance has become the most longstanding and successful alliance in history. The great bulk of alliances, formed out of wartime contingencies, barely survive the silencing of the guns of war. Thankfully, NATO never had to face its Soviet nemesis on the battlefield. It was also unique in that it was more than a military alliance, it was, and at least extensibly still is, a political grouping of like-minded nations. [Read More]