Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Russia Is a Real Threat to NATO

By Kathleen J. McInnis and Daniel Fata

20 May 2022 · 4 min read

Recent events in Ukraine have once again proved that reports of NATO’s death are an exaggeration. Many leaders across the alliance have been quick to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with aid to Kyiv, increases in their own country’s defense budgets, or both. But as the war grinds on and the geopolitical reality of an adversarial relationship with Russia sets in, NATO must once again take the longer view on what all this means for trans-Atlantic and global security.

Conveniently, in less than two months, NATO leaders will meet in Madrid to endorse the alliance’s new strategy. The key question, therefore, is whether member states will use the moment to reforge NATO’s raison d’être to meet current and future challenges—in particular, by naming Russia as a threat to the alliance itself. Given the implications of Ukraine for European and global order, the stakes could hardly be higher.

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