A Case For the Preservation of NATO

Date of Graduation

Fall 1991


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


This thesis examines the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its future in light of its history and recent changes in the international security environment. In Eastern and Central Europe, the grip of the Soviet Union has been loosened; communist regimes are being replaced with more democratic ones; and the Warsaw Pact has been officially disbanded. Germany is unified. The perception is that the military threat has been greatly reduced. Even though large numbers of Soviet forces remain in Europe, many believe that NATO should be changed organically, or even dissolved, to be replaced by a broader European security entity. An examination of NATO's role in Europe, of alternatives, and of the current situation suggests, however, that such fundamental changes at this time would be unwise. Uncertainties, instabilities, and threats remain. It would be premature to do away with the transatlantic alliance, and its primary objective of guarding Western interests.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Philip Luethi Ritcheson