How the alliance should move forward
BETWEEN the new American administration getting going and the NATO summit in Strasbourg in April lie a few short perilous months. The story since the war in Georgia has been that NATO proved reluctant to identify Russia as a military threat, but under the authority of the supreme allied commander, a brainy American called General John Craddock, is engaged in "prudent planning", which allows for quite a lot without requiring the authority of the North Atlantic Council.
The worry for Poles, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians is that pushing too hard for formal contingency-planning might be vetoed by the Russia-friendly countries in NATO. That would be a disaster.
Europe.view column, Dec 11th 2008
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What about NATO?