Over the Horizon: NATO, a User’s Manual

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Two weeks ago, Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired a parting broadside at the NATO alliance. Gates argued that many European countries have chronically underfunded defense, to the extent that they are now incapable of contributing to the multilateral expeditionary operations that have become part of the alliance’s portfolio. Gates’ exasperation focused mainly on operations in Libya, which have now considerably outlasted expectations and may soon outlast the will and capability of NATO’s European members. It is worth noting, however, that protection of Libyan civilians through airstrikes sits so far outside NATO’s founding purpose that the framers of the 1949 treaty […]

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