nato_bp_Arne_Immanuel_Bansch_picture_alliance_via_Getty_Images Arne Immanuel Bänsch/picture alliance via Getty Images

NATO at 70

Born in the aftermath of World War II and at the dawn of the Cold War, the North Atlantic alliance has underpinned Europe’s transformation into a zone of peace and prosperity. Yet, like any long-term relationship, NATO’s continued success will require reform and renewed commitment from its members.

In this Big Picture, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen calls on the Alliance to adjust its accession criteria so that Russia no longer wields a de facto veto over Georgian and Ukrainian membership. And Oxford University’s Galap Dalay warns that Turkey’s dealings with Russia have put it and NATO on a collision course.

Given the souring state of the transatlantic relationship, however, German strategist Volker Perthes makes the case for Europe itself to pursue greater “strategic autonomy.” But former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel rejects that goal as a recipe for further division, both between the US and Europe, and within the EU. Bogdan Klich, a former Polish minister of defense, shares those concerns, and points out that despite NATO's challenges, it is conducting more joint operations now than it has in years.

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