When the Soviet Union dissolved and became the Russian Federation at the end of 1991, the Cold War came to an end. Many wondered whether the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—NATO—had any purpose in a post-Cold War world. Yet, NATO not only continues today but is expanding. But NATO’s mission has from the very beginning been as much political as military.
32 years later, with Russian leader Vladimir Putin taking an increasingly aggressive attitude toward the West, are both roles as urgent as ever?