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#Nato at 70 — what has it been good for? Thread.
NATO is an institution that facilitates geopolitical and security cooperation among its members, North America and European states. It can't change fundamental decisions but it does influence the political thinking and provides platforms for joint decision-making and action. /1
There are four geopolitical developments to which NATO — a pillar of the US-led „liberal international order“ — has been important or even crucial (depends on what your favorite counter-factual scenarios are): /2
1) America has, against the expectation of many, not disengaged from Europe after WWII and after the Cold War (unlike after WWI). Instead it has used the organisation to play its role of a strategic leader and security guarantor for Europe;
2) Germany has not, against the expectation of many, developed hegemonic ambitions again. Instead it has become largely „vegetarian“, even too much so in the view of many of its allies who want it to become a bolder military partner (as long as it follows their agenda); /2
3) The Soviet Union wasn’t able to keep what it had conquered since 1921 (South Caucasus), the Hitler-Stalin Pact (Baltic States) and WW II, and didn’t use its overwhelming conventional power to attack Western Europe, it failed to compete with the „free West“ and fell apart; /3
4) Central Europe after the implosion of the Soviet Empire did not become a gray zone of security, instead it quickly moved towards Western integration, with the exception of the Balkans where the NATO allies, after hesitation, had to fight wars before the region got on track. /4
These are four major achievements to which NATO as an organisation has greatly contributed. The biggest challenge for the next years will be to keep transatlantic cohesion, on which NATO is based, and to adapt to the new strategic environment of a „great power competition“. /5
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