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Opinion

NATO at 70: A sign of the times?

By Youri Cormer and Rob McRae      

Canada has a lot at stake in NATO. But make no mistake: without it, Canada would find itself in a world much more dangerous indeed.

Canada has a lot at stake in NATO. We are the sixth largest contributor to the alliance, and often play a leading role in operations. It is the only collective defence pact to which we belong that would ensure that Canada too would be protected against an outside aggressor. This is why it is in our interest to use our close bilateral relationship with the U.S. to help ensure it does not close itself off from the world, but continues to play an active part in multilateral organizations like NATO. With a bit of luck, and the renewed commitment of its members, the Alliance will survive the current political turbulence and continue to project stability and security for the next 70 years. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Usually, every 10 years, NATO member-states convene and negotiate a new strategic concept, a living document that gives purpose and direction to the alliance. Since the last such discussion happened in Lisbon in 2010, when it was endorsed by NATO heads of state and government, one might expect that the conversation is on everyone’s lips—but actually there is a deathly silence. No one wants to open that Pandora’s box right now. The question is whether this discomfort will pass or is it here to stay.

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