NATO and the Trans-Atlantic Bargain – conclusion

NATO’s continued relevance has been facilitated by its adaptation to emerging threats and ability to manage challenges it has faced. This paper reviews how NATO has achieved such adaptability and how it has managed the challenges that it faces. Although the original political and strategic environment has shifted profoundly since the inception of NATO, the Trans-Atlantic bargain still provides the foundation and center of the European security framework six decades later. In spite of collapse of the USSR and dissolution of the Warsaw pact, the bargain is still intact. The bargain provided a framework upon which members can share responsibility of defending the members from the threats they face. Such responsibility sharing has been challenged by unequal contribution of member states, but NATO has been able to overcome such challenges by redefining how members contribute to its missions by considering each members GDP. Additionally, NATO has established transparent decision-making approaches, for instance a consensus informed approach where each member must agree to NATO’s mission for it to proceed, thus alleviating cases where member countries would become dissatisfied with any of the mission undertaken. Although the initial threat that NATO was set to safeguard against was alleviated with the dissolution of Soviet Union and end of cold war, current threats to members such as terrorism that require concerted efforts make NATO a relevant outfit even in future.


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