What is NATO for? – Mary Kaldor


Since the end of the cold war, NATO has struggled to find a role. It can find it in a focus on human security.

Mary Kaldor

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a geopolitical alliance. It was constructed during the cold war to counter a potential Soviet threat. NATO forces in western Europe, nuclear and conventional, anticipated and planned for a conventional Soviet attack—a Blitzkrieg across the German plains—on the model of World War II.

When the cold war ended, many hoped NATO would be replaced by a pan-European security organisation. Its basis would be the Helsinki Final Act, signed at the conclusion of the Conference on Co-operation and Security in Europe in 1975 by all the states of Europe and north America. Its principles of peace, economic and social co-operation and human rights we would nowadays encapsulate in the phrase ‘human security’.

The competing, Soviet-controlled Warsaw Pact was dissolved and the Organisation…

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