Defense Policy in the North Atlantic Alliance innbundetEngelsk, 1993


Who defines defense policy in the North Atlantic Alliance? Is it NATO, the national government, or the national military? Dutch scholar Jan Willem Honig addresses this widely misunderstood issue. His conclusion--which runs counter to the conventional wisdom that NATO is highly influential--is that the decisive influence in defining defense policy lies neither with NATO nor the allied governments but with the individual national military establishments. He argues that the Alliance does not possess the powers or the institutional framework to effectively control or steer allied defense policies.Honig's important and timely conclusion challenges conventional wisdom. He analyzes the issue in a detailed case study of the Netherlands' defense policy between 1949 and 1991. Because the fabric of Western security is undergoing its most radical transformation since NATO's inception, this study is especially valuable for its analysis of the changing parameters of European defense requirements. Policy makers and academics interested in NATO will find this work illuminating.