Dissertation

NATO’s Importance to the United States in the 21st Century

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also known as NATO, is an essential tool in United States foreign policy and has been since the end of World War II. NATO provides unwavering military partnerships for the United States and defends all of its members from formidable foreign enemies. Recently, the current administration of the United States has expressed doubt in the continued relevance or need of NATO. The most often cited issue is the cost. However, with an analysis of the past and present contributions of NATO to America's rise as a global hegemon, it seems clear that NATO is still very relevant to the interests of the United States. NATO's costs for the United States are not the problem. The current problem lies with NATO's unclear purpose in a world without the Soviet Union. NATO has shifted to become a tool of foreign policy and conflict resolution for its members rather than a pact against a single enemy. In the past two decades, NATO has led several successful missions worldwide to end violence and promote the development of democracy. As such, it is still an essential tool in the United States' foreign relations arsenal and should be preserved for the future.

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