NATO: A Guide to the Issues

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ABC-CLIO, 2011 - Political Science - 178 pages
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is an alliance of 28 countries from North America and Europe committed to fulfilling the goals of a treaty signed on April 4, 1949. NATO's fundamental role is to safeguard the freedom and security of its member countries by political and military means. What, exactly, does that commitment mean in today's world?

In the more than half-century since NATO was founded, there has been endless debate about its purpose, about whether it is meeting that purpose, and about the strategies it employs to that end. Speculation has also been rife about the organization's "imminent demise." Those questions and more are the subject of NATO: A Guide to the Issues.

Covering the organization from its founding in 1949 through the present, the guide examines aspects of NATO that have undergone tremendous change over the years, including its purpose, military mission, geographic concept of operations, and membership. At the same time, it explores key aspects of NATO's organization that have remained constant. These include the ability of members to participate in operations as much or as little as they desire, decision-making by consensus, and a general belief that people from different countries working together on a daily basis promotes cooperation, understanding, and friendship.

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Chapter 1 What Is NATO?
Chapter 2 The Founding of NATO
Chapter 3 How Does NATO Work?
Atomic War
Coping with a Changing World
Questions of the Past and of the Future
Chapter 7 NATOs Next Strategic Concept
Chapter 8 Where and Who Is NATO?
Tips for Further Exploration

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About the author (2011)

Brian J. Collins, PhD, is an Air Force colonel currently on the faculty of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University, Washington, DC. He has served in a variety of flying and staff jobs, worked on NATO and European issues at the Joint Staff, was the director of flight testing during NATO AWACS modernization, and was an advisor on Soviet/Russian and East European issues at SHAPE in the early 1990s. Colonel Collins received his degree from Georgetown University and recently published Behind the Cyberspace Veil: The Hidden Evolution of the Air Force Officer Corps.

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