Courtesy Reuters

The Reform of Nato

For several years there has been a general feeling on both sides of the ocean that the central institutions of the Atlantic Alliance, especially NATO itself, are inadequate to the steadily widening complex of problems which confronts them. The Berlin crisis, which directly concerns only three or four of the fifteen allies, has in fact illustrated, as no doubt Mr. Khrushchev intended that it should, a number of important divisions among them in both political and military policy, and has brought to light certain weaknesses in the organization of the alliance which have been visible below the surface of events for some time past. Indeed, the Berlin crisis could be a blessing in disguise, even though only a fragile or unsatisfactory negotiated compromise emerges over the city itself, if it forces governments and public opinion in the Atlantic countries to confront some distasteful facts about their shortcomings in constructive coöperation.

But before attempting any analysis of the internal and external pressures that demand a refashioning of NATO, it is wise to set out the frame of reference within which we must work over the next few years. There are two particular boundary fences which must be accepted.

The first is that NATO is in no sense a synonym for "the free world" and can only very partially act as the focus of that "cohesive community of free nations" which Senator Fulbright has suggested as our goal (Foreign Affairs, October 1961). This, if it can be achieved, presupposes an identity of view and purpose with powerful democratic countries-India, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Australia among them-which cannot or will not become members of NATO. It is not a substitute for the United Nations, and would have only an indirect influence upon the course of events in areas far from the Atlantic-the confrontation of China, for instance. Nor is it the sole center for the coördination of Atlantic interests; the creation of O.E.C.D. has fortunately resolved any argument that the cure

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