Redefining Security: NATO's Role in the 21st Century
Puckett, Jessica Dawn
Tong, Yu Ling
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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is now an alliance without a purpose. Formed by the Western Allies after the end of World War II its original objective was to defend Europe against Communism and the Soviet threat. Communism has now been discredited and the Soviet Union has ceased to exist. NATO has always viewed itself as having three primary responsibilities, collective defense, crisis management, and collective security. Of these collective defense, as personified in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, has been the most important. However, in recent history NATO has begun to take on more crisis management responsibilities, mainly in the Balkans and Afghanistan. Since the end of the Cold War there has also been a shift in the total defense spending of the various NATO members, with the United States increasingly being the only country able to respond to distant threats. NATO has also begun to have trouble thanks to the rise in power of non-state actors thanks to the fact that it has kept its focus on collective defense despite the lack of a nation-state threat to the Alliance. The Asia-Pacific region has also seen a gain in power and influence, which NATO is not well positioned to interact with.
- SIS 495 Task Force