When the boxer Mike Tyson was asked ahead of a fight whether he was concerned about an opponent’s plan, he had a blunt answer: “Everybody has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” With nato it has been the other way around. For 42 years the alliance prepared meticulously for conventional and nuclear war with the Soviet Union and its allies. In 1991 the Warsaw Pact fell apart and the plans fell into abeyance. Now Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has underlined the need for new strategies.
On July 11th and 12th leaders will gather in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, for nato’s annual summit. They are expected to approve the alliance’s first comprehensive defence plans since the cold war. “It’s the most dramatic change…since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” says Matthew Van Wagenen, an American general in the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (shape). The question is whether the allies can live up to their ambition.
Source: The Economist