April 07, 2019

From Truman to Trump, why Kansas City matters to NATO

By Derek Chollet and Richard Fontaine

Last week in Washington, D.C., representatives from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 29 member states marked the 70th anniversary of the transatlantic alliance. They celebrated the stability it has fostered and the shared democratic values so important to its membership. It was a time to reflect on NATO’s successes, but also its future and the new questions that animate debate on both sides of the Atlantic.

All this might seem quite removed from Kansas City and its environs, but to conclude so would be to ignore history. Winston Churchill gave his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri, presaging the descent of the United States and Europe into Cold War. The Kansas City suburb of Independence was home to Harry Truman, and just a two-hour drive away is the birthplace of Dwight D. Eisenhower in Abilene, Kansas. These leaders understood the dangers facing the transatlantic democracies and the need to exercise allied leadership in their defense. NATO today stands among their greatest accomplishments.

We lead two Washington-based national security think tanks keenly interested in the discussion among Americans about their country’s foreign policy. Our institutions, the Center for a New American Security and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, have teamed up to get “outside the Beltway,” to talk, in this case, with Missourians about the broad questions attending America’s role in a rapidly changing world. This week we will hold a free public session, “NATO at 70,” Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Truman Library. We will also have private meetings with an array of local officials and others, including several visiting European officials.

We aim to speak, to discuss and to listen. The transatlantic alliance will be among the chief topics on which we hope to focus.

Read the full article in The Kansas City Star.

  • Podcast
    • April 11, 2022
    Inching Closer Toward NATO with Mika Aaltola and Anna Wieslander

    Will Finland and Sweden join NATO? Since Russia launched its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine in late February, European political and security dynamics have chang...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Mika Aaltola & Anna Wieslander

  • Podcast
    • April 6, 2022
    Orbán’s Grip On Power with Dan Kelemen

    What does Viktor Orbán’s win in Hungary mean for the future of Europe? On April 3rd, voters in Hungary went to the polls for national parliamentary elections. Despite efforts ...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Dan Kelemen

  • Podcast
    • February 3, 2022
    Flash Release: Christoph Heusgen Reacts to Evolving Ukraine Crisis

    Vladimir Putin recently spoke about Ukraine for the first time since December—a speech in which he conveyed mixed messages about his intentions. On the one hand, he noted that...

    By Christoph Heusgen

  • Podcast
    • July 2, 2021
    President Biden’s Trip to Europe, with Jeremy Shapiro and Amy Mackinnon

    What concrete outcomes were achieved during President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Europe? Jeremy Shapiro and Amy Mackinnon join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discus...

    By Jeremy Shapiro, Amy MacKinnon, Andrea Kendall-Taylor & Jim Townsend

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia