the best way for the U.S. directly to make a difference is through NATO. We could build on the idea that NATO is a military alliance, but it has always been a political alliance as well. Keep in mind that Franco’s Spain wanted to join NATO for years and years and years, but even during the Cold War, and despite the existential threat to the West, Spain was kept out. The same process should be in play right now – as recommended so persuasively by Professor Celeste Wallander in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2002. Today, even more so than in 2002, the very qualities that kept NATO together for more than six decades are at risk because of the pattern of behavior of some of the new members who are allowed to deflect possible criticism by sending 50 soldiers to Afghanistan or 25 to Kosovo in order to neutralize foreign criticism. This is unbecoming of NATO; its charter’s political values and expectations should be implemented.

Charles Gati