Why NATO Endures examines military alliances and their role in
international relations, developing two themes. The first is that
the Atlantic Alliance, also known as NATO, has become something
very different from virtually all pre-1939 alliances and many
contemporary alliances. The members of early alliances frequently
feared their allies as much if not more than their enemies, viewing
them as temporary accomplices and future rivals. In contrast, NATO
members were almost all democracies that encouraged each other to
grow stronger. The book s second theme is that NATO, as an alliance
of democracies, has developed hidden strengths that have allowed it
to endure for roughly 60 years, unlike most other alliances, which
often broke apart within a few years. Democracies can and do
disagree with one another, but they do not fear each other. They
also need the approval of other democracies as they conduct their
foreign policies. These traits constitute built-in, self-healing
tendencies, which is why NATO endures.
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