NATO: A Guide to the Issues

NATO: A Guide to the Issues

NATO: A Guide to the Issues

NATO: A Guide to the Issues


This superb introduction to NATO is written for the national security novice, yet is full of insights for the more seasoned hand interested in how and why NATO reached its current state.

• Illustrations

• Maps

• A chronology


I found writing this book a daunting task. NATO has over 60 years of history that span quite significant events such as the Cold War, the growth of the European Union, wars in the Balkans, and military and civil operations in Afghanistan. There are already many books, articles, and publications dealing with NATO and its past, present, and future. Many of these publications are available on the Internet, as is an ever-increasing amount of primary source material such as meeting reports that NATO has declassified and made public.

Consequently, one of my assumptions is that the reader can easily go to NATO’s Web site; NATO Allies’, Partners’, and potential adversaries’ Web sites; as well as the Web sites of a host of other organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Western European Union (WEU), or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In addition, readers can simply Google terms, consult Wikipedia, or use any of a number of similar tools to get definitions and different perspectives, or to further research ideas that occur to them as they read this book. This book then aims to provide an overview touching on a variety of issues, some in detail, others less so, but with enough key terms and concepts included to arm the reader for further exploration.

My intent is to provide a high-level introduction and understanding of NATO, its history, current issues that the Allies are struggling with, and some questions about its future. The book is designed to be textbook-like, and I have purposefully eschewed footnotes and endnotes, indicating the source of quotes in the text itself. I also attempt to explain processes and concepts to provide the reader with an introduction to practical as well as theoretical aspects of NATO. I have also tried to avoid needless detail. The exact titles of specific NATO commands, staff divisions, and routine documents change over time, but the basic functionalities tend to remain, so I have tried to focus on the functionalities.

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