What is NATO’s Future?

Canadian defense minister Peter MacKay argues that NATO faces an existential crisis in Afghanistan and it’s time for “a frank discussion” about the future of the alliance.

In my New Atlanticist essay, “Canada: Time for ‘Frank Discussion’ About NATO Future,” I challenge his premise while agreeing with his conclusion:

Countries routinely go to war, fail to achieve the objectives they sought, and withdraw without permanent damage to their prestige. The United States, certainly, has done it more than once and appears set to do so again in Iraq. Why should alliances be any different? Clearly, most members of the alliance don’t see failure in Afghanistan as an existential crisis to their own country’s security; why, then, is it an existential crisis for the alliance?

Much more at the link.

AP Photo by Christof Stache.

FILED UNDER: General, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. tom p says:

    what is NATO for?”

    That is indeed the question.

    the question indeed.

    a “club” to which emerging democracies can aspire.

    “We are all Georgians now.”

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    Clearly, most members of the alliance don’t see failure in Afghanistan as an existential crisis to their own country’s security; why, then, is it an existential crisis for the alliance?

    Come on!
    Cut the damn psycho mumbo-jumbo.
    You and your fellow countrymen, if threatened tomorrow, would get down on your cowardly knees and pray that the United States would protect you. You sit there in your smugness and ignorance and proclaim that a country who has spent vast portions of its national treasure and human resources is suddenly something you can do without.

    Maybe, we can do without you.

  3. tom p says:

    Maybe, we can do without you.

    While I have a certain sympathy with your pt of view EB, the question becomes, “Do what?”

  4. Eneils Bailey says:

    While I have a certain sympathy with your pt of view EB, the question becomes, “Do what?”

    Do what we have always done…Assume responsibility for ourselves and most of the people in the Free World.

    It ain’t hard to figure, we have assumed responsibility for protecting the free world for the last five or six decades.

  5. tom p says:

    Do what we have always done…Assume responsibility for ourselves and most of the people in the Free World.

    Why, and what has it gotten us?

    (I assume you see the contradiction in your statements… I only want to know what you really mean.)