NATO’s Growth without Its Cold War Rival?


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the largest military alliance on the planet which is more than 70 years old. A Cold War creation, NATO was established in 1949 as a bulwark against the colossal Soviet armies based in Eastern Europe in the wake of the Second World War. The purpose is to counter Soviet dominance and provide security umbrella to its allies under the article five. However, NATO has struggled to redefine its role and relevance since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite expanding its domains to include outer space and cyberspace, and recently refocusing some of its attention on its old nemesis, Russia; it now also extends far beyond Europe, past Iraq and Afghanistan, to its new main concern, China. However, it is perceived that NATO has enjoyed unprecedent sphere of influence after the dissolution of Warsaw pact in 1991. The relevance of NATO leaves two question to unfold: First, without a foe, did NATO really have a purpose anymore? Second, did NATO create its enemies to maintain its relevance?