NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the U.S. Congress last week. His remarks were full of proclamations of NATO’s ongoing importance and the commitment of all and sundry to its existence. But my view, quietly shared by many but uttered by few, is that NATO is in fact the wrong alliance at the wrong time, and as a result, it will be replaced by a new structure.
But this won’t happen anytime soon. During times of general peace and prosperity, NATO’s member states will be satisfied to keep the organization as it is. The motivation to replace it with something more useful will come from an international crisis so intense that institutions like NATO will disappear overnight and be succeeded by something that can better deal with the crisis. Since such an event won’t arise in the foreseeable future, NATO’s outdated structure will remain in place for now – and it will continue to squander scarce resources on sustaining itself and to evade questions over its useful