An Alliance of Equals

As the recent NATO summit in Strasbourg showed, the inability to discuss, clearly and forthrightly, strategic doctrine continues to hamper the Alliance. The key questions are whether NATO’s doctrine of common defense is currently directed at one country in particular, and whether nuclear force remains the Alliance’s major defensive tool.

PARIS – During NATO’s recent 60th anniversary ceremony in Strasbourg, the Alliance welcomed two new members, Albania and Croatia, bringing its total membership to 28. This expansion is a good thing, for history has tormented these two countries. Being welcomed within the great international family of the West will reassure them, stabilize them, and contribute to their political, cultural, and economic development.

But the good news was limited, because NATO addressed only a routine agenda. No core problem was really tackled.

The controversy that arose in France over the country’s return to NATO’s unified military command makes this abundantly clear. Was France losing its autonomy, perhaps even its sovereignty? Was it capitulating to American hegemony? These are real questions, yet at the NATO summit people spoke of them more in terms of symbols than as realities.

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