NATO At Sixty: Unhappy Returns

This is a lousy time to be hitting sixty; and the candles on the birthday cake are as likely to be lit in response to a power cut as a celebration. Getting older is no more fun for an alliance than for its individual leaders. NATO saw in its fortieth birthday on the verge of triumphant success in the Cold War; its fiftieth as it went into its first shooting war with a minor European country; and its sixtieth at the centre of a second shooting war in a minor Asian country that may turn out to be its last. In the midst of global chaos caused by the collapse of traditional international structures and the major power shifts that the economic crisis is already causing, can NATO honestly look forward to a seventieth birthday in anything other than failing health?

The World Today Updated 14 October 2020 Published 1 April 2009 4 minute READ

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