chapter  5
18 Pages

NATO’s future in an age of new threats

Already after 11 September 2001, experts gathered at London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs concluded that “NATO needed to decide urgently what it wanted to be.”1 The Iraq crisis raised the question of NATO’s future in starker and more dramatic terms. Divisions over Iraq shook US-European relations and the alliance to a perhaps unprecedented degree. Committed Atlanticists felt driven to speak outright of “the collapse of the Atlantic alliance,” the “end of Atlanticism,” and the necessity of “striking a new transatlantic bargain” or “salvaging transatlantic relations.”2 Others painted the Iraq controversy as just another sign that NATO and the other Cold War-era alliances central to US foreign and security policy had seen their day and were headed inevitably toward extinction, precisely because they had been successful in their original intent.3