Happy birthday, NATO!


NATO was formed on April 4, 1949 and survived for 60 years (more to come).

That's a great longevity for an alliance, and it's a huge alliance in terms of members plus the biggest of all time in terms of share of global military expenditures (much more than half).

It avoided wars for fifty years and survived the Cold War; the most terrifying phase of tensions ever experienced by mankind.

NATO's greatest feat was to prevent war among its members. 60 years of peace for Western and Southern Europe is a great track record, and probably the greatest motivator for a continuation of cooperative policies in Europe.
The European strategy to keep NATO together and not to rely on (W)EU for defence is based on the insight that Europe and North America would sooner or later have tensions and counterproductive rivalry without the alliance.

I personally dislike NATO's new-found area of occupation; expeditionary warfare.

NATO's expansion during the 90's into the Baltics was of questionable wisdom as well.
It becomes clear that NATO will evolve into "Europe plus Turkey plus North America minus Russian sphere of influence and some die-hard neutrals", probably taking even Yugoslavia on board.

The great future topics should be the Ukraine, the relations to Arab nations and the unsettling neighbourhood of NATO member Turkey.
Terrorism is a topic for police forces and intelligence services in my opinion. The interest in a military treatment of the problem needs to and will fade away over time.


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