Russia’s aggressive annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its ongoing military support for Ukrainian separatists dramatically altered the strategic environment and called into question the liberal European security order. States bordering Russia, many of which are now NATO members, are worried, and the alliance is divided over assessments of Russia’s behavior. Against the backdrop of Russia’s new assertiveness, an international group of scholars examines a broad range of issues in the interest of not only explaining recent alliance developments but also making recommendations about critical choices confronting the NATO allies. While a renewed emphasis on collective defense is clearly a priority, this volume’s contributors caution against an overcorrection, which would leave the alliance too inwardly focused, play into Russia’s hand, and exacerbate regional fault lines always just below the surface at NATO. This volume places rapid-fire events in theoretical perspective and will be useful to foreign policy students, scholars, and practitioners alike.
Rebecca R. Moore is a professor of political science at Concordia College. She is the author of NATO’s New Mission: Projecting Stability in a Post–Cold War World and coeditor of NATO in Search of a Vision.
Damon Coletta is a professor of political science at the US Air Force Academy. He coedited American Defense Policy, 8th Edition, authored Trusted Guardian: Information Sharing and the Future of the Atlantic Alliance, and is editor of the journal Space & Defense.
Moore argues that a careful analysis of NATO's new, more global focus suggests that it's not the nature of NATO's mission that has changed, but rather its scope. NATO is approaching its new out of area missions with the political tools developed after the Soviet threat faded in the early 1990s when the Allies agreed that, rather than merely defend an old order, they would now create a new one grounded in liberal democratic values, including individual liberty and the rule of law. Indeed, the mission of projecting stability eastward was understood to be inextricable from the promotion of these values.
This new mission required that NATO devote greater attention to its political dimension. In fact, as the United States turned to promoting democracy around the world in the wake of September 11, it ultimately sought to enlist NATO in its mission of extending democracy beyond Europe to Central Asia and the Middle East. As Moore demonstrates in her attempt to provide a full and comprehensive understanding of the new NATO, while divisions within the Alliance persist as to just how global NATO should be, the post-September 11 security environment ensures that NATO's survival depends upon its willingness to project security beyond Europe. That mission will be as much political as it is military.