From Ivo H. Daalder, the International Herald Tribune: Today, more than 150,000 troops participate in six NATO operations on three continents. . . .
Today’s NATO is an alliance that is busier than ever, an alliance that works with more partners than ever, and an alliance that is more needed by more people than ever. . . .
The reasons are clear. We live in a world of complex and unpredictable challenges and threats to security. In this world, the local has gone global. Cyberattacks transit time zones in nanoseconds — disrupting bank operations, government activities and even teenage gaming. Weapons of mass destruction and the means to make and deliver them are proliferating wide and far. Instability in distant countries enables transnational terrorist groups to find safe havens and launch attacks close to home.
In such a world, we need strong alliances and partnerships — and none is stronger and more needed than today’s NATO. That is why it is so important that all of the alliance’s members invest in and possess the defense capabilities necessary to meet our collective responsibilities.
As Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during his visit to Brussels last week, this should include serious efforts to protect defense budgets, coordinate procurement decisions, and follow through on our commitments to NATO and each other.
Which brings us back to Mr. Wheatcroft’s question. Although the Cold War is definitely over, we all still need NATO.
Ivo H. Daalder is the U.S. permanent representative to NATO. (photo: U.S. State Department)