70th anniversary of NATO
The Atlantic Alliance has distinguished due to its ability to adapt to major strategic changes, keeping its main pillar fixed, the collective defense of its current 30 members.
On 2019, when the 70th anniversary was celebrated, the Alliance had become a global actor for crisis management outside the area initially assigned in its article 5, after the wars in the Balkans and Afghanistan. Before that NATO - which is both a diplomatic and a military alliance played a key role in establishing new democracies in Europe, from the Baltic to the Balkans. Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, himself describes this process as a "historic success" the alliance help on the spread of democracy and the rule of law.
Looking to the future, the alliance needs to adapt to internal, and above all, to external changes.
THE ALLIANCE: Past, present & future
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was established with the signature of the Washington Treaty back in April 4th, 1949. Based on the values of solidarity, cohesion and shared responsibilities and military capacities among member states, the alliance embodies the principle of collective defence.
NATO is the most successful military alliance in history. In its foundation the alliance linked the security of the United States with that of its European allies and against the then Soviet Union.
In the modern age NATO has sought to adapt its priorities in the fields of peace and security. With the beginning of the 20th century and the 9/11 attacks against the United States, the look of NATO’s interests turned over to the threat of transnational terrorism. The horrendous attack perpetrated forced the activation of Article 5 on collective defence of the Washington Treaty, for the first and only time.
At the time this is being written NATO is interested in its relations with Russia, a country that has seen part of its geopolitical preoccupation, partially lessened by the organization’s expansion towards the East. Which has consequently, been perceived by Russia as a strategic blockage to the Mediterranean, a persistent feeling since the adhesion of Greece and Turkey, setting a clear frontier in relation to the unified member states.
To face future challenges, NATO needs stay true to its founding principles and keep bringing all its members in unison in a united front of democratic and free countries.