June 23, 2014 12:29PM

NATO — What Is It Good For?

With continuing instability in Ukraine, and Poland’s foreign minister Radek Sikorski allegedly using vulgar and racist language to disparage the US‐​Poland alliance, now’s as good a time as any to evaluate what NATO does for Americans.


Not much, I argue in Foreign Policy (online). As I conclude:

NATO has produced some benefits, but the costs to the United States — tens of billions per year, validating Russian nationalist narratives about the West, and infantilizing its European partners — are often ignored. Washington should cut the Europeans loose, and encourage them to cooperate with each other on European security matters. With a combined GDP larger than the United States and a benign threat environment, Europeans are capable of defending themselves, but won’t until Washington makes them.

Please give it a read.