In This Review

NATO: In Search of a Vision
NATO: In Search of a Vision
Georgetown University Press, 2010, 272 pp

How many volumes have been devoted to the old chestnut: Wither NATO? As the transatlantic alliance enters its seventh decade, few authors can avoid drowning in the clichés of the genre. In a single concluding paragraph, this book states that NATO is in crisis, faces new challenges, and lacks a grand strategic vision, and that it must therefore develop a common threat assessment, craft a new consensus, establish a comprehensive approach to civil-military relations, work closely with other international institutions, and forge new global partnerships. Yet beneath the generalities, there are gems. No recent volume is a better guide to the historical legacies that created the current institutional structure of NATO, the policy dilemmas of the Balkans a decade ago and of Afghanistan today, the complex and ambiguous diplomatic relations between NATO and Russia, and the various schemes for enhancing cooperation within the organization.