Colin Powell Looks Back — and Ahead


From the Atlantic Council: In this new world, what’s the role of NATO? Of military power?

It’s hard to close down a club when people keep asking for membership applications. I’m a big Atlanticist. I’m a supporter of NATO, but NATO has to adapt to the times. It will also be difficult to guide because it is a group of democracies. Yet it’s given us a level of interoperability that other groups of countries lack that we can use when we want to act together. When we wanted to help the Kurds in northern Iraq, we could work off the same maps and use the same procedures. The same was true when we fought the Gulf War. We didn’t have to train anybody to a new system of command and control because we took the European war and brought it to the desert. Desert Storm was nothing more than the battle we were planning to fight with the Soviets, except with no trees and no hills.

Except from interview with former Secretary of State Colin Powell by Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. (photo: Etienne Ansotte/AFP)

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