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Andreas Kluth

Rumors of NATO’s Brain Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

United, vigorous and expanding, the Western alliance has become everything Vladimir Putin loathes, and exactly what the free world needs.

To Russia, with love.

To Russia, with love.

Photographer: Stefan Rousseau/Getty Images

Reports of NATO’s “brain death” were greatly exaggerated, it turns out. That was the memorable diagnosis French President Emmanuel Macron offered for the transatlantic alliance in 2019. But as the 30 allies — and two future ones — powwow in Madrid this week, an updated health check suggests the exact opposite appraisal. 

Far from comatose, NATO is today more vital and vigorous than it’s been since the height of the Cold War. It remains the greatest guarantor of security in the West and the entire free world. It is without doubt the most successful alliance in history.