Approaching the seventieth anniversary of its founding in April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains the single most important contributor to security, stability and peace in Europe and North America.
NATO allies, however, are confronting daunting and complex challenges that are testing both their purpose and unity. Based on extensive discussions with current European and North American leaders, former senior officials, academics and journalists during the past six months, this report argues that NATO needs to come to grips with ten major challenges this year. The list is long, with simultaneous challenges from within the alliance, from beyond NATO’s borders and looming on the horizon. Most significant is a challenge NATO has not faced before: the absence of strong American presidential leadership. NATO’s leaders need to act decisively in 2019 to meet these tests and heal the widening divisions within the Alliance before it is too late.