What the Evolution of NATO’s Missions Means for the Future, nationalinterest.org

Ted Galen Carpenter, senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute

Washington is pushing the Alliance to adopt an increasingly offensive focus, and the allies could be making a major, self-destructive blunder to follow its lead. […]

Unfortunately, post-Cold War NATO’s image as a collection of democracies pursuing defensive objectives corresponds less and less to reality. Robert W. Merry, former editor of Congressional Quarterly, the National Interest , and the American Conservative , aptly observes that instead of appreciating how the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union was a boon to the security of the West, U.S. and NATO leaders “turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own.” He concludes that NATO today is “a danger, not a guarantor of peace.”

Avoidance of offensive actions and objectives disappeared early in the post–Cold War era. The interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo emphatically transformed NATO from a defensive alliance designed to deter or repel an attack on its members into an organization with an offensive orientation. Läs artikel