Wallace Thies noted in his 2009 book Why NATO
Endures, the perpetual arguments that NATO is
dying almost uniformly make two key errors. The first is in their
assignation of causes for observed strife within NATO, of which
expansion is only the latest suspect. The second is in examining
expansion as a cause, rather than an effect, of an evolving post-Cold
War NATO. These flaws in perspective lead to the repeated conclusion
that NATO will soon collapse, and thus shower us with the latest
round of doomsayers.
Luckily, recent authors like Thies have been critically examining these claims and providing a clearer picture of the actual state of NATO. This new scholarship illustrates three main points: first, that the pessimistic predictions arise from a flawed interpretation of NATO and its expansion policy; second, that these interpretations come from using theoretical lenses inappropriate to the case of NATO; and third, that using more appropriate theoretical perspectives can illuminate the true issues facing NATO (of which there are many) and provide insight into how to deal with them. In their views, NATO still faces great challenges, but in contrast to the popular narrative, they show that rumours of NATO's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Jason Naselli is an editor at Atlantic Community.