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Hal Brands

The West Must Move East for NATO to Survive

No matter what happens in the Ukraine war the US must persuade allies to move more troops and equipment permanently into states on Russia’s borders. 

Heartfelt support.

Heartfelt support.

Photographer: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

The leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries are in Madrid for the alliance’s most consequential summit in a generation. NATO appears to have overcome Turkish diplomatic blackmail to bring in two new members, Sweden and Finland. It must approve a new concept for transatlantic security amid Russia’s ongoing assault on Ukraine.

Not least, the alliance — and the US — will confront an inconvenient reality: Even if the Ukraine war takes a heavy toll on Russia, NATO will need a stronger presence in Eastern Europe than it possessed before the conflict.