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Keegan, John

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The Daily Telegraph - United Kingdom | 03/04/2009

John Keegan on Nato's new start

Military historian John Keegan writes in the Daily Telegraph on Nato's 60th birthday: "The truth is that Nato has become the victim of its own success. To resolve this, it needs to change: not to shrink back to its original role, but to embrace this wider peacekeeping mission. The word 'Atlantic' was always an anomaly, and became more so as each new member was added. Perhaps, to recognise this new global role, it would be better to reconstitute the alliance as a permanent sub-organisation of the United Nations; to make it more international and less American; to charge it with peacekeeping rather than regional defence. Yes, this would risk polluting its decision-making with squabbles it has so far avoided. But it has the attraction of equipping the UN with the international military force it has always lacked - and an extremely effective one, at that. This force's membership could even be enlarged to include Russia. It would be a supreme irony if the power Nato was founded to oppose became a member, but would cap a record of achievement that deserves to be celebrated."

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