From Zbigniew Brzezinski in the New York Times: But to remain relevant, NATO cannot — as some have urged — simply expand itself into a global alliance or transform itself into a global alliance of democracies. A global NATO would dilute the centrality of the U.S.-European connection, and none of the rising powers would be likely to accept membership in a globally expanded NATO. Furthermore, an ideologically defined global alliance of democracies would face serious difficulties in determining whom to exclude and in striking a reasonable balance between its doctrinal and strategic purposes.

NATO, however, has the experience, the institutions and the means to become the hub of a globe-spanning web of various regional cooperative-security undertakings among states with the growing power to act. In pursuing that strategic mission, NATO would not only be preserving trans-Atlantic political unity; it would also be responding to the 21st century’s increasingly urgent security agenda. (photo: Mindaugas Kulbis/AP)