For over forty years the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has formed an essential element of international security. Focused squarely on the military threat to the West from the Soviet Union and its allies in Eastern Europe, Nato provided a common focus for the collective defense of Europe and the United States. Despite periodic strains to the fabric of the organization, such as the 1966 French withdrawal from the integrated military structure, and recurrent debates over policy and costs within the populations of the member states, Nato, as an entity, has persevered.
Hickman, William F.
"Nato: Is It Worth the Trouble?,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 46
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol46/iss3/4