Accession Number:

ADA517400

Title:

Skeptics at NATO's 60th Anniversary: a Critique of the Criticism

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

14.0

Abstract:

NATOs 60th Anniversary offered analysts, journalists and the public the opportunity to revisit the organizations successes and perceived crises over the years. To evaluate NATOs performance and put it into historical context, voters and policymakers need to understand not only what NATO has done wrong, but also what NATO has done-and continues to do-right. In the interest of helping the public better to understand the organization, analyses commemorating the anniversary might have included historical perspectives offered in the books by Ian Thomas, Wallace Thies, Robert Jordan, Ryan Hendrickson, Alexandra Gheciu, and Ronald Asmus. These authors add dimension and depth to frequently prosaic assessments of the organization, and explain the dynamics of rhetoric, burden shifting, personality, socialization and adaptabilityexpansion within NATO. In particular, their works contrast with the mostly-black-and-little-white analyses of the institution at age 60 offered generally by journalists or policy analysts with a partisan agenda-many of whom failed to capture the dynamics of alliance cohesion with any insight. This article evaluates the biases, assumptions and arguments of these analyses and asserts that we have reason to be more hopeful of NATOs continued longevity and relevance. Each of the thirteen NATO 60th Anniversary articles examined for this article contained subtle differences and emphases that arise from various sources analyzed below. Yet it is striking how similar the narratives on NATO have been, whether the analysis comes from the mainstream media or a think tank, from an American, Canadian, British or German perspective.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE