The Alliance: Trying to Heal the Rift

At a TIME conference, Europeans and Americans assess NATO's problems

"Treaties are like young girls and roses: they last as long as they last."

—Charles de Gaulle, 1963

As a peacetime alliance the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is, at 34, an extraordinary survivor, perhaps even a historical aberration. It has weathered so many crises, real or imagined, that there has been a tendency to minimize periodic symptoms of decline. Today, though, that brave front is no longer possible or realistic. The vitality of the transatlantic partnership has been draining away, not so much because...

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