Politics & Society

How Relevant is NATO to Transatlantic Security and Defense?

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has been the transatlantic community’s primary military alliance since 1949.

Over time, the bloc has faced many challenges – and criticism. As recently as 2019, 70 years after the organization’s founding, French President Emmanuel Macron stated, “we are currently experiencing the brain death of NATO." This observation echoed a question that has repeatedly surfaced: How relevant is NATO to transatlantic security and defense? With that question in mind, this animation takes a look back and examines the moments when experts predicted NATO’s demise – and how the organization defied the odds.


Brandon Bohrn

Manager, Transatlantic Relations
Bertelsmann Foundation


Sara Leming

Research Analyst
Bertelsmann Foundation