From the Christian Science Monitor: What has happened to the great alliance of democracies that won the cold war? NATO has yet to fully mobilize and exhibits no sense of urgency concerning the extremist threat.

NATO is fighting for its life – it had better start acting like it…

In the United States, there is a growing perception that our European allies are becoming security consumers and not security providers. Waiting for the release of the strategic concept will undermine any immediate reform. Failure in Afghanistan will break the transatlantic alliance, hastening the rise of “the Pacific century” and the inevitable shift of US attention toward Asia.

Along with his European counterparts, Obama must call an emergency NATO heads-of-government meeting aimed at addressing these disconnects and building public support for the mission. Mr. Rasmussen appears to be a willing partner in such an endeavor. Only heads of government, not NATO bureaucrats, can mobilize NATO to overcome these debilitating disconnects.

By David M. Abshire, president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and former ambassador to NATO. (photo: Canadian Defense Ministry)