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The Slow Unraveling of NATO

June 22, 2016 As NATO members’ interests disperse, the alliance’s relevance wanes.

NATO is generally thought of as a Cold War institution. It is better understood as a continuation of the World War II alliance that defeated Germany, although expanded and focused on a former ally, the Soviet Union. Looked at in that way, it was a response to the Munich Agreement, which symbolized the failure of Europe to prepare for war and deal decisively with Nazi Germany. NATO’s culture can be understood by thinking of how history might have changed had the British and French been prepared and proactive in dealing with Hitler.

NATO was c...

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