The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was formed in 1949 as a Western military alliance to deal with the growing threat of the Soviet Union. However, since the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, it has struggled to define itself in the 21st century. This has led some to speculate whether the military alliance has a future?
NATO will have a renewed role in the 21st centuryShow moreShow less
NATO will increasingly expand its operations outside of Europe.
In the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring, NATO forces successfully intervened in the Libyan Civil War to prevent genocide. The justification given for this intervention, which was outside of NATO's normal scope, was based on the view that the destabilisation of states in North Africa and the Middle East would lead to a further rise in terrorism in Europe and an increasing number of refugees seeking to cross the Mediterranean.
The decision by NATO forces to intervene in Libya has set a wider precedent for the region. Making it likely that in the future similar justifications could be used as a pretext for NATO intervention and a wider role.
The NATO intervention in Libya failed to establish a stable government post-Gaddaffi, which has led to increased smuggling, trafficking, and the rise of terrorism, the very things it perported to stop.
Rather than encouraging further intervention, this failure has led to NATO countries avoiding involvement in subsequent civil wars and revolutions in the region, including in Sudan, Syria, Algeria, and Lebanon.