Burns, R. Nicholas, and Douglas Lute. "NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis." Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, February 2019.
Approaching the seventieth anniversary of its founding in April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains the single most important contributor to security, stability and peace in Europe and North America. NATO provides the umbrella defending Europe from conventional and nuclear attack and a secure geopolitical landscape for the world’s two largest economies—the European Union and the United States. NATO members comprise the largest and strongest alliance of democratic countries in the world. They contain Russian aggression and protect over 100 million East Europeans who now live in democracy and freedom after the fall of communism. Far from obsolete, NATO remains vital for the more than 900 million Europeans and North Americans who benefit from it every day. It is no overstatement that if NATO did not exist today, countries on both sides of the Atlantic would need to create it in a troubled, divisive 21st century where authoritarian powers are on the rise.