The withdrawal of Nato forces from Afghanistan presents coalition forces with a nightmare of costs, negotiations and exposure to attack as valuable equipment is pulled out. It also places Nato at a strategic crossroads where the very future of the alliance and its future role is debated at a time when defence spending is being cut.

MEMBERS of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will have a shiny new one billion euro building in Brussels in 2016 and a new secretary-general.

But Nato will continue as a sleepy 28-member organisation with an enormous bureaucracy unless governments define their national interests and the evolving global challenges in ways which call for cl...

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Dr. Uwe Nerlich
the absence of a strong political foundation and a shared strategic view within Nato highlights the limitations it faces in the years ahead. The best bet for the alliance seems to be a lower profile in shared crisis management in its neighbouring environment with occasional intervention - although political support for this is dwindling
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