News Release

Is NATO Obsolete? Does it Destabilize?


DAVID GIBBS, dgibbs at
Gibbs is professor of history at the University of Arizona, and author of the 2009 book First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, published by Vanderbilt University Press.

He writes: “Donald Trump is raising legitimate concerns about the security value of the NATO alliance, given the very high expense of maintaining this alliance, borne in part by the U.S. public. By any reasonable standard, NATO lost its function in 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then it has functioned as a make-work program for a series of vested interests, while it has generated global insecurity and destabilization. The NATO-directed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, for example, destabilized Libya and the whole of northern Africa, generating new sources of terrorism. While foreign policy specialists are rightly suspicious of anything Trump says, in this particular case, his statements have a measure of truth.”