|NATO: The Evolution of the Alliance
: This is the first installment in a three-part series on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Part 1 discusses the role and origins of NATO. Part 2 examines the alliance's current state of play. Part 3 considers the future for NATO.
NATO was originally created as a counterweight to the might of the Soviet Union after World War II. The deep yet fractious roots that enabled the alliance to prosper have also presented challenges to its leadership and management. More than an organization, NATO is best envisioned as an overarching structure made up of individual, autonomous parts, each with different thought processes, competencies and imperatives. NATO adapted to survive beyond the Cold War but its continued existence remains under threat.
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