A United NATO Still Has a Lot to Figure Out

A United NATO Still Has a Lot to Figure Out
President Joe Biden at the NATO summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 14, 2021 (AP photo by Patrick Semansky).

Leaders from NATO are gathering in Washington this week for the 75-year-old alliance’s annual summit, which begins tonight. Leaders are expected to once again renew their commitment to defending Ukraine from Russia’s invasion, as well as discuss competition with China, with representatives from several Indo-Pacific partners in attendance. (New York Times)

Our Take

Two years ago, after decades in which NATO had primarily become a political alliance with military characteristics, it seemed like the alliance had returned to its original explicit mission of collective defense. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 had already given the alliance a renewed sense of purpose. The full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 heightened the urgency of uniting to fight a common enemy.

By contrast, this year’s summit takes place at a moment of flux for both sides of that political-military equation.

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