by Nick McIntosh (Ohio, U.S.A.)
Edited by Director Matthew Bishop
NATO, despite the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, has soldiered on into the 2010’s. Though many attempts have been made to understand its continuation, few have incorporated the lessons learned from America’s behavior prior to the Iraq War to properly understand the U.S. and its interest in keeping such an organization alive. Drawing from Ian Hurd’s "After Anarchy", I propose a mutually beneficial model for both the hegemon and Europe that functions off of a legitimacy filtration relationship. By using NATO as a multilateral international community, the U.S. is able to administer its foreign policy through the community to give the illusion that actions taken by NATO are beneficial to all member nations and the global community. In return, European members are able to free-ride on the hegemon’s military expenditures without having to build a defense on their own dime. I further conclude that such a model, though accurate as it stands now, is not stable. If NATO is to remain a viable institution, America must cede at least some of its predominance in decisionmaking to maintain the organization’s legitimacy output. Further, Europe must build its own defenses rather than remaining a protectorate of the hegemon.
Nick McIntosh is a political science and philosophy double-major undergraduate at Ohio University with an academic focus in Law, Justice, and Political Thought.