The Relationship Between the US and Its NATO Allies

Throughout the global expansion, the US has remained the center and leader of NATO, American interest, namely the war on terror and the desire to preserve American supremacy, has driven much of NATO’s transformation and global affairs, When the US chose to plunge into the Middle East after the September 11 attacks, NATO was dragged along, and a similar phenomenon occurred more recently with the US’s shift in focus to the Pacific, Global partners, especially Australia and Japan, proved themselves to be more enthusiastic supporters of global intervention, often even providing more support — troops, materiel, and funds — than old Western European members.

This in turn encouraged NATO‘s partnership advances even more with the US’s desire to build a more supportive network; in 2011, President Obama declared one of the US’S goals was to “play a larger and long—term role in shaping Asia-Pacific and its future”.

On the other hand, “NATO fatigue” set in, and European support flagged due to opposition to intervention and the expense required to operate and provide mutual defense over a larger area Smart Defence, a NATO policy adopted in response to economic recession, also exacerbated dissent by calling on members to increase the efficiency of their defense spending for NATO, thus making up for disproportionately high American defense spending (NATO) This has been perceived as infringing on sovereignty by dictating a state’s defense spending.

Internal tensions have grown to the present day, where relationships in NATO have deteriorated taking a stand against the challenging encounters of a post~Soviet order while American influence has only grown.

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The beginning of the Cold War saw twelve Western democracies bound together in the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) out of mutual need, a relationship that deteriorated after a decade, causing strife that would continue after the Cold War and into a new era of US led global intervention, Under American leadership, the Alliance explored the shifting world order, encountered fierce resistance both inside and out, and exchanged resources with wide-reaching consequences.

The cornerstone of the NATO alliance is the principle of mutual defense, meaning that an attack on one member state is considered an attack on all member states. This principle has been invoked only once, following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, when NATO allies pledged to provide military assistance in Afghanistan. Burden-sharing: There has been an ongoing debate over the issue of burden-sharing within NATO, with some members criticizing the United States for bearing too much of the financial and military burden of the alliance. This issue has been a major point of contention in recent years, with the Trump administration threatening to withdraw from NATO unless other members increased their contributions.

NATO also serves as a forum for political cooperation between the United States and its European allies, providing a platform for discussions on issues such as security, human rights, and democracy. Military cooperation: NATO allies have worked closely together on military operations and training exercises, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. The United States has also stationed troops and military equipment in Europe as part of NATO’s collective defense efforts.

Overall, the relationship between the United States and its NATO allies is marked by both cooperation and tension. While the alliance has been a cornerstone of transatlantic security for over 70 years, disagreements over burden-sharing and other issues have strained relations at times. Nevertheless, the United States and its NATO allies continue to work together on a range of security and political issues, highlighting the enduring importance of the alliance in the modern world.

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The Relationship Between the US and Its NATO Allies. (2023, May 15). Retrieved from

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