April 02, 2019

NATO Needs Solidarity for Its 70th Birthday

By Julianne Smith

NATO marks its 70th anniversary this week—a remarkable milestone for a military alliance made up of 29 (soon to be 30) separate member states. But the big commemoration, scheduled for April 3 and 4 in Washington, has faced trouble from the start.

Given U.S. President Donald Trump’s past behavior at NATO gatherings (last year, he called allies “delinquent”), the alliance wasn’t even sure hosting an anniversary summit was a good idea. Last fall, it wisely downgraded the event to the foreign minister level. No Trump, no drama, the thinking went. Unfortunately, even without Trump, the gathering is shaping up to be anything but a celebration. As policymakers in NATO capitals draft flowery speeches for their ministers, and caterers in Washington place their orders for just the right vintage of champagne, allies are making a series of decisions that are rapidly eroding alliance unity. Too few members today—the United States included—see a need to prioritize NATO solidarity. That’s weakening members’ collective hand against the alliance’s adversaries and casting a dark shadow over the 70th anniversary.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.

  • 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

  • Podcast
    • May 21, 2021
    A League of Like-Minded Nations

    Will Inboden and Jim Golby sit down with Amb. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former U.S. senator and most recently U.S. ambassador to NATO. They discuss NATO’s future, the challenges...

    By ​Jim Golby

  • Podcast
    • April 23, 2021
    Nordic Defense Policy and Arctic Security, with Janne Kuusela and Svein Efjestad

    Svein Efjestad and Janne Kuusela join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss Nordic defense policy, Arctic security, and more. Janne Kuusela has served as the Depu...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Janne Kuusela & Svein Efjestad

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • April 8, 2021
    It’s Still Hard to Be America’s Ally

    The drive to enshrine a U.S. foreign policy for the American middle class may, in particular, pose new dilemmas for long-term allies....

    By Richard Fontaine

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia