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NATO’s Watford summit features a troublesome trio

The Economist |  27 February 2020  |  Investing

THE CELEBRATION of NATO’s 70th birthday should have been a triumphal march. The average lifespan of collective-defence alliances over the past five centuries is just 15 years. NATO has not only survived to three score and ten, but is in many ways in fine fettle. It remains “the strongest alliance in history”, says Jens Stoltenberg, its secretary-general, and has implemented “the largest reinforcement of our collective defence in a generation, with for the first time in our history combat-ready troops in the eastern part of the alliance”. Yet it has manoeuvred around its anniversary year with all the caution of an army entering hostile territory—the final, fraught operation being a gathering of its leaders on December 3rd at Buckingham Palace, where the queen is to host a reception, and a summit the next day in Watford, just outside London.

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