David Yost is a professor of international relations at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He has written extensively on European security issues, particularly regarding France and NATO. During 1996–97, Yost was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace.
NATO has come under increasing fire for its structural constraints, shortcomings in burden sharing among its members, and disagreements about threat assessments and priorities. Despite these serious challenges, longtime NATO watcher David Yost argues that the Alliance is no Cold War dinosaur.
NATO’s Balancing Act evaluates the alliance’s performance of its three core tasks—collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security—and reviews its members’ efforts to achieve the right balance among them. NATO has retained its original collective defense and positive political change missions, but it has also undertaken crisis management operations and addressed nontraditional threats, such as energy and cyber security, terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
This volume examines the evolving security environment and its implications for collective defense before turning to the Alliance’s crisis management efforts in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Africa, and Libya. Yost also considers the possibility of NATO’s further enlargement, the complexities of its partnerships with other international organizations, and its shifting relationships with Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Mediterranean and
Persian Gulf states, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Whether NATO can maintain cohesion and perform its tasks effectively is a question of fundamental importance for U.S. and international security. NATO’s Balancing Act calls for a constructive path forward, including balanced engagement with Russia, missions beyond Europe as necessary, and enhanced partnerships with international organizations and nations.
Recipient of "Outstanding Academic Book" Award—CHOICE, 1999
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, perhaps more than any other Cold War institution, embodied the West’s determination to deter potential Soviet aggression in Europe. But nearly a decade after the collapse of the Soviet empire, the Atlantic Alliance is engaged in cooperative security endeavors with former adversaries throughout Europe, including peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.
In this ambitious study, David Yost analyzes the major changes in the alliance and its new roles. While the Allies remain committed to collective defense, they have increasingly endowed NATO with new roles as an instrument of collective security. NATO Transformed provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the current debate on the alliance’s enlargement and its new cooperative security institutions—including the Partnership for Peace and the special consultative forums with Russia and Ukraine—and the demands of crisis management and peacekeeping operations beyond NATO territory. Drawing on international political theory and the history of other alliances, Yost identifies crucial challenges for the cohesion and effectiveness of “the new NATO."