NATO's 2012 Chicago summit: a chance to ignore the issues once again?



    1. Professor of International Security at King's College London (Joint Services Command and Staff College) and is an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.
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    • The analysis, opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Joint Services Command and Staff College, the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence or any other government agency.


NATO and its members are beginning to gear themselves up for the summit in Chicago in May 2012. Such summits are always important, especially when they are held in the United States during an election year and in the aftermath of the French presidential elections. This article addresses the issues that are likely to be most prominent at the Chicago summit—NATO's wars; enlargement and Russia; burden-sharing; and divergent agendas—before drawing some general conclusions. The outstanding question is whether these issues will lead to division within NATO and hence its possible demise—or will they be finessed?