Once again, NATO has proved it is far from obsolete.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization struggled in the years following the end of the Cold War to find its purpose and define its mission. The alliance withstood years of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to bully its members and tear it down. But now NATO has been roused by Russia’s brutal invasion of peaceful, democratic Ukraine, which declared its independence from the old Soviet Union more than 30 years ago.
Ukraine, to be clear, is not a NATO member, though it has petitioned for admission for years. It is, however, a critical buffer between the rest of Europe and a revanchist Russia, which has now dropped any pretense of civility and shown it is willing to take the country by sheer force, no matter the cost to Ukraine’s civilians or to Russia itself. The ruthless bombing of the port city of Mariupol, where a hospital complex and an art school sheltering hundreds of civilians were targeted, signals how far Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to go.