Publication details

NATO´s New Role. The Alliance´s Response to a Rising China


BECHNÁ Zinaida THAYER Bradley

Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Naval War College Review
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Political sciences
Keywords NATO China norms and principles
Description Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine have been momentous in their consequences for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Moscow has instilled new life in the almost seventy-year-old alliance. Doubts about its relevance and utility in the post–Cold War period have faded, at least for the time being, as leaders ponder what Russian leader Vladimir Putin will do next to challenge the alliance. Our central argument is that the transatlantic relationship is challenged by not only Russia’s Machtpolitik actions in Crimea and Ukraine but also the rise of China and the lack of a shared security identity between the United States and major NATO members. The deleterious consequences of China’s rise are discerned increasingly well from Washington. As a result of Beijing’s rise and the U.S. strategic rebalancing to Asia to reassure allies there and deter potential aggression, Europe is less important to the United States than it was during the Cold War. The consequences for NATO of the rise of China must be analyzed to identify policy solutions that will prevent a decline in the transatlantic alliance. To contribute to this objective, we review the major military, political, and normative aspects of the NATO alliance and argue that an explicit “Norms and Principles” component within NATO should be created to reinforce Western identity so as to help the organization remain unified in the face of a rising China.

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