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What to Read: NATO - Great Decisions

What to Read: NATO

NATO In Search of a Vision

Gulner Aybet, Rebecca R. Moore (Georgetown University Press) 2010

As the NATO Alliance enters its seventh decade, it finds itself involved in an array of military missions ranging from Afghanistan to Kosovo to Sudan. It also stands at the center of a host of regional and global partnerships. Yet, NATO has still to articulate a grand strategic vision designed to determine how, when, and where its capabilities should be used, the values underpinning its new missions, and its relationship to other international actors such as the European Union and the United Nations.

NATO in Afghanistan: The Liberal Disconnect

Sten Rynning (Stanford Security Studies) 2012

The war in Afghanistan has run for more than a decade, and NATO has become increasingly central to it. In this book, Sten Rynning examines NATO’s role in the campaign and the difficult diplomacy involved in fighting a war by alliance. He explores the history of the war and its changing momentum, and explains how NATO at first faltered but then improved its operations to become a critical enabler for the U.S. surge of 2009. However, he also uncovers a serious and enduring problem for NATO in the shape of a disconnect between high liberal hopes for the new Afghanistan and a lack of realism about the military campaign prosecuted to bring it about.

NATO’s New Mission: Projecting Stability in a Post-Cold War World

Rebecca R. Moore (Praeger) 2007

Reports of NATO’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Characterizations of NATO as a relic of the past do not square with the fact that the Alliance is busier today than at any time in its history. As Europe has become more unified and more democratic, NATO has assumed new layers of significance in the global security environment. In a post-September 11 world, the old 1990s debate about what is in area and what is out of area is a luxury that the Alliance can no longer afford. Decisions made at the 2004 Istanbul summit aimed at enhancing NATO’s partnerships with the states of Central Asia and extending the partnership concept to the Greater Middle East reflect the Alliance’s new, more global presence as do new military missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sudan.

International Security in Practice: The Politics of NATO-Russia Diplomacy

Vincent Pouliot (Cambridge University Press) 2010

How do once bitter enemies move beyond entrenched rivalry at the diplomatic level? In one of the first attempts to apply practice theory to the study of International Relations, Vincent Pouliot builds on Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology to devise a theory of practice of security communities and applies it to post-Cold War security relations between NATO and Russia. Based on dozens of interviews and a thorough analysis of recent history, Pouliot demonstrates that diplomacy has become a normal, though not a self-evident, practice between the two former enemies. He argues that this limited pacification is due to the intense symbolic power struggles that have plagued the relationship ever since NATO began its process of enlargement at the geographical and functional levels. So long as Russia and NATO do not cast each other in the roles that they actually play together, security community development is bound to remain limited.

NATO 2.0: Reboot or Delete?

Sarwar Kashmeri, Amb. Robert E. Hunter (Potomac Books) 2011

NATO today is a shadow of what it used to be—the world’s most formidable military alliance. Its original reason for existence, the Soviet Union, disintegrated years ago, and its dreams of being a world cop are withering in the mountains of Afghanistan. But eliminating NATO is not the answer, argues Sarwar Kashmeri. It is, for Americans and Europeans, still the safety net of last resort. Kashmeri believes NATO’s future usefulness depends on its ability to partner with CSDP, Europe’s increasingly successful security and defense establishment. It is time for NATO 2.0, a new version of NATO, to fit the realities of the twenty-first century.