In an interview with a Dutch newspaper, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder offers perhaps the strongest commitment to the defense of new alliance members articulated to date. Yet, his statements also reveal that some NATO members do not agree. Is this an issue where the alliance can afford to lack cohesion? What does it portend for the value of alliance commitment/membership to new applicants such as Georgia and Ukraine?

From NRC Handelsblad: “That is one of the most important issues we face: to reassure the new allies that we take their security as seriously as the security of countries that have been part of Nato for sixty years. The first day I arrived at Nato, I invited the representatives of the three Baltic states and Poland and the Czech Republic. I told them: ‘I just want you to know that your security is as important to us as our security.

The president, when he was told that there were no contingency plans in Nato to defend the Baltic states, he objected. If there is a contingency plan for the defence of the Netherlands, why not for the Baltic states or Poland? Now some allies don’t agree, they think it would be provocative. Let me tell you: those allies hear from me every day. I think this is totally fundamental.” (photo: NRC/Bart Dewaele)