China Pops Up on the NATO Threat Radar

cc Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, Flickr, modified,


Since its creation in 1949, the main task of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been to ensure the security of its members by deterring – and if necessary defeating – an attack against them. During the Cold War, the principal threat to the Alliance’s security came from the Soviet Union and its satellites. All this changed following the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the USSR itself in 1989-1991. The Organization had to adapt to the new challenges emerging from the new geopolitical landscape, such as the rise of China. In spite of the considerable distance from the North Atlantic area, its emergence as a near-peer competitor to the United States and its world-spanning influence have deep implications for the Alliance.

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